Crystal meth addiction

Made famous to many in the hit show Breaking Bad, crystal meth is one of the most addictive substances in the world. Not only that, but it is also one of the most damaging and there are entire communities both in the UK and across the world which have been ravaged by its effects.

At Sanctuary Lodge, we have seen first-hand the damage that crystal meth abuse can do and we are determined to help as many people as possible understand the dangers of crystal meth addiction and free themselves from this awful drug.

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What is crystal meth?

Crystal meth is the common name for methamphetamine, a powerful and highly addictive stimulant. It is a white, odourless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol. Crystal meth is usually smoked in a glass pipe, but can also be snorted, injected or swallowed. However it is taken, crystal meth addiction can quickly develop.

The effects of crystal meth depend on how much is taken, how often it is used and the person’s tolerance to meth. However, generally speaking, crystal meth will make you feel euphoric, give you increased energy and make you feel more alert. These effects are short-lived and once they wear off, you will feel an intense urge to take more which is one major reason why crystal meth addiction can take over your life as you are constantly seeking more drugs to use.

Methamphetamine is a Class A drug (the classification given to the most harmful substances) in the UK and is illegal to possess, supply or produce. The penalties for crystal meth possession can include up to seven years in prison, an unlimited fine or both. For supplying or producing crystal meth, the penalties can include life imprisonment, an unlimited fine or both. Common street names for crystal meth include ice, glass and crystal.

Why do people start using crystal meth?

There are many reasons that people start taking crystal meth, from peer pressure to boredom or simply because they are curious. Some people take crystal meth in an attempt to lose weight or to stay awake and party but users can quickly develop a tolerance. This means more and more meth is needed to get the same effects which ultimately leads to physical dependence and finally crystal meth addiction. This can happen very fast and many crystal meth users are surprised at how quickly they become addicted.

What is crystal meth addiction?

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Crystal meth addiction is a dependence that leads to compulsive crystal meth use, despite the negative consequences. There are various signs of crystal meth addiction such as:

  • Neglecting work, school or family responsibilities in order to use crystal meth.
  • Participating in risky behaviour while under the influence of crystal meth, such as driving while high or having unprotected sex.
  • Continuing to use crystal meth even when it is causing problems in relationships.
  • Experiencing financial difficulties due to spending money on crystal meth.
  • Needing crystal meth in order to feel happy or confident.
  • Getting in trouble with the law as a result of crystal meth use.
  • Continuing to use crystal meth despite experiencing negative physical or psychological consequences, such as weight loss, tooth decay or anxiety.

If you spot any of these crystal meth addiction signs in yourself or a loved one, professional help should be sought immediately. The faster you identify that there is a problem, the better the chances of overcoming crystal meth addiction and turning your life around.

Who is most at risk of developing crystal meth addiction?

Anybody who engages in crystal meth abuse is at risk of developing crystal meth addiction. People of every socio-economic demographic have seen their lives ruined by crystal meth addiction. However, there are certain groups of people who may be more vulnerable to developing an addiction, such as:

  • People with trauma or other mental health conditions: Mental health problems can make people more likely to develop crystal meth addiction and using the drug can exacerbate existing mental health issues and trigger new ones. Some people may also try using crystal meth as a way of self-medicating mental health conditions but ultimately this is only likely to make them worse.
  • People who are socially isolated: People who lack strong social support networks may be more likely to turn to crystal meth as a way of coping with problems or feeling connected to others.
  • People who were exposed to drugs at a young age: If you grew up in an environment where drug addiction and abuse were prevalent, you may be more likely to develop a crystal meth addiction yourself.

What are the health effects of crystal meth?

Crystal meth is one of the most damaging substances to both your physical and mental health.

Short-term effects can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Confusion
  • Tremors
  • Convulsions
  • Aggression
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Raised body temperature
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Loss of appetite and severe weight loss
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Panic
  • Nausea
  • Erratic behaviour
  • Seizures

Long-term effects can be even more severe and include:

  • Psychotic behaviour
  • Paranoia
  • Delusions
  • Hallucination
  • Memory loss
  • Damaged blood vessels in the brain
  • Increased risk of stroke
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Lung disease
  • Memory loss
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Malnutrition
  • Psychosis
  • Depression
  • Epilepsy

Crystal meth addiction can also lead to crystal meth mouth, a condition characterised by excessive tooth decay and gum disease. This is because crystal meth users often neglect their oral hygiene as they become more obsessed with crystal meth and also because meth itself dries out the mouth and decreases saliva production.

Ultimately, methamphetamine is a killer – if you have a crystal meth addiction, you must seek help as soon as possible. Get in touch with Sanctuary Lodge today for expert advice and assistance.

Lies your crystal meth addiction will try to tell you

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“You are not addicted to crystal meth; you are just using it for fun”

Crystal meth addiction will often lie to you, telling you that you’re not addicted; you’re just having fun. This may have been true at the beginning. At first, you were curious about this drug that everyone was talking about so you decided to give it a try. No big deal. The reality is, however, that once you have become addicted to crystal meth, it is an incredibly dangerous drug that can ruin your life.

“You need crystal meth to function”

This is one of the most common lies that crystal meth addiction will tell you. It can cause you to believe that you cannot get through the day without using crystal meth and that it has become a necessity in your life. However, this is not true. Crystal meth is a poison and it is slowly killing you. You may think that you need it, but in reality, it is the crystal meth addiction that is controlling you.

“Nobody wants to help a crystal meth addict; you are on your own”

It is important to understand that your crystal meth addiction doesn’t want you to get help. If it is able to isolate you and make you believe that nobody cares, then it is more likely to be able to control you. In fact, many people want to help you but can’t unless you are ready to make a change. Reach out to friends and family, get in touch with Sanctuary Lodge, and we will support you through every stage of the recovery process.

The history of crystal meth

Methamphetamine was first created in Japan in 1919 as a more potent and easier-to-make form of amphetamine. It was used extensively during World War II to help keep soldiers alert for hours at a time so they could stay awake during battle.

In the 1950s, it was used as a diet pill as well as a stimulant, and it was commonly taken by students, athletes, and truck drivers. However, abuse of methamphetamine quickly became a problem, and in 1964 the full extent of the addictive nature of meth was understood and it was banned in the UK.

In recent times, however, gangs worldwide have realised the potential for making large profits from this easy-to-make drug and crystal meth abuse and addiction are now a global issue.

How is crystal meth addiction treated?

Crystal meth detox is the first step in overcoming crystal meth addiction as it removes all traces of meth from your body. This process should always be done under medical supervision because it can be dangerous and even life-threatening if not managed correctly.

The next step is crystal meth rehab which is where you will receive intensive therapy to help you understand the emotional and psychological aspects of your addiction and learn how to cope without crystal meth.

Aftercare is the final important part of crystal meth addiction treatment as it helps you stay on track once you have returned home.

To find out more about the three stages of crystal meth treatment offered by Sanctuary Lodge, get in touch with us today. Our admissions team are waiting to get you started on your road to recovery and a new life without the dangers of crystal meth addiction.

Frequently asked questions

How can I help a loved one who is addicted to crystal meth?
Helping a loved one with a crystal meth addiction can be very difficult but the most important thing to remember is that you cannot force them to change. They need to want to get help and be willing to commit to addressing their crystal meth addiction and changing their life around. The best thing you can do is provide support and understanding, and encourage them to seek professional help from a place like Sanctuary Lodge.
Are crystal meth and speed the same thing?
Crystal meth and speed are both stimulants that can be abused for their euphoric effects. However, they are not the same thing. Crystal meth is more potent than speed and its effects last longer, making it more addictive. Speed is also known as amphetamine while crystal meth is also known as methamphetamine.
Can I die from crystal meth abuse?
Yes, crystal meth abuse can lead to overdose and death. Crystal meth is a very dangerous substance and should be avoided at all costs. It has no medicinal benefits and has the potential to be lethal both in the short and long term. If you or someone you know is struggling with crystal meth addiction or abuse, please get in touch with us today for help.
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