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Difference Between Meth vs. Crystal Meth

a person stands and looks at the camera to show meth vs crystal meth

Methamphetamine is derived from amphetamine, a potent central nervous system stimulator. Amphetamines are commonly prescribed to treat conditions like ADHD, narcolepsy, and clinical obesity. When used properly, these medications are highly effective. However, they also carry a significant risk of abuse.

Methamphetamine, called meth, crystal meth, crystal, and crank, is illegally produced in meth labs and sold as a recreational drug. Meth is extremely addictive, and the transition from regular use to abuse to addiction occurs quickly. A meth detox program in Massachusetts can help you or your loved one overcome meth addiction. Contact Evoke Wellness at Cohasset at 866.931.6429 to get started on your path to recovery.

Meth vs. Crystal Meth

“Meth” and “crystal meth” are often used interchangeably, but they refer to slightly different forms of methamphetamine. Following is a look at how the two differ:

  • Chemical structure – Meth exists in several forms, including a crystalline powder, while crystal meth is clear, bluish-white crystals resembling shards of glass or shiny bluish rocks.
  • Form and appearance – Meth can appear as a white powder, tablet, or pill, while crystal meth appears as distinct crystals or shards.
  • Purity and potency – Because of how its made, meth can vary significantly in purity and potency and often contains impurities and other substances. Crystal meth is usually thought of as purer and more potent.
  • Use and effects – Both forms are highly addictive and have similar effects on the brain and body. However, the higher potency of crystal meth can result in more intense effects and stronger addiction.

Overall, the main differences between “meth” and “crystal meth” are appearance and potency. Both are dangerous illicit drugs with significant health risks, including addiction and overdose.

The Signs and Symptoms of Meth Abuse

Meth is usually smoked but can be snorted, injected, swallowed, or inserted into the rectum. Meth production is dangerous and requires toxic chemicals that remain in the finished product. Smoking meth exposes the mouth to these harsh chemicals, eroding teeth and gums. This condition, called “meth mouth,” is the clearest sign of meth abuse or addiction.

The physical and psychological effects of meth abuse are more apparent than with alcohol or other drugs. Common signs and symptoms of meth abuse include the following:

  • Rapid and extreme weight loss
  • Burns on the fingers and lips
  • Intense itching and picking that causes sores and scabs
  • Twitching, facial tics, or spasmodic movements
  • Erratic sleep patterns
  • Hyperactivity
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Violent behavior
  • Delusions
  • Issues with coordination and motor skills

The risk of overdose from meth is high, primarily when used with alcohol or other drugs. Studies on long-term meth use show that it is associated with diminished verbal learning and coordination. Meth causes notable changes to areas of the brain that regulate memory and emotions. With successful treatment, these brain changes often reverse after a year or so of sobriety. Unfortunately, for some, these changes are irreversible.

“Tweaking” is an unmistakable sign of meth addiction. Tweaking occurs following a meth binge when a person cannot achieve a high. Tweaking can last anywhere from three days to two weeks and is characterized by side effects such as:

  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Violence
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations

Meth abuse and addiction can profoundly affect an individual’s mental, emotional, physical, and social well-being. At Evoke Wellness at Cohasset, our comprehensive approach to treatment is designed to help patients heal mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Contact Evoke Wellness at Cohasset to Reclaim Your Life from Meth Addiction

Meth addiction can make you feel trapped, even when you want to quit. Evoke Wellness at Cohasset’s methamphetamine treatment program can help you or your loved one safely detox, discover long-term recovery, and learn how to prevent relapse.

Our goal is to give patients the tools they need to live healthy, productive, and fulfilling lives. As the region’s premier medical detox and residential treatment center, we provide excellent care in an inclusive, welcoming, and supportive environment. Call 866.931.6429 to learn how we can help you or your loved one reclaim your life, or fill out our online form today.