There are many reasons why an addict is drawn to the synthetically made, and easily produced drug called crystal meth. Crystal meth is also know by the street names ice, crank, glass, chalk and glass. The ice drug is widely available, relatively inexpensive and currently the fastest growing drug problem in many countries around the world.
Crystal meth is gender, and age neutral. Meth addicts range from teen girls and boys looking for a quick high to help them ace tests, to blue collar workers, and even suburban housewives. Ice doesn't care if you are young, old, a woman, man, black, white, gay or straight. A 2004 National survey on drug use and health reported that 11.7 million Americans age 12 and up reported trying meth at least once in their life.
Crystal meth addicts claim to experience stimulating, long lasting, and euphoric rushes for up to 6-12 hours after using. Meth addiction often spirals out of control very quickly. Tolerance to ice happens quickly, and more is needed to satisfy a meth addicts craving.
Over dosing is quite common for many long term meth users. Primary causes of death often are rapid onset of kidney failure, or the collapsing of a crystal meth user's circulatory system. Severe cravings drive meth addicts to use more and more to reach the euphoric level had upon their first use of ice.
Meth addicts often opt to snort, smoke, inject or take ice orally. Highly toxic ingredients are needed to make crystal meth, and can be legally obtained. Mom and Pop operations have taken to mixing up batches in their basements, leading to unsafe, and potentially explosive situations.
Signs and symptoms of meth addiction are:
False sense of confidence, acting panicky, highly suspicious of others, irritable, increased energy, abnormal paranoia, highly intense alertness, increased sexual urges, decreased appetite, severe sweating, itching skin and skin rashes.
Long term effects of continued use of the ice drug are:
Severe depression, psychosis, formication, tooth loss, hallucinations frequent staph infections, immune system damage, convulsions, tremors, long term brain damage and possible permanent damage to your lungs, liver and kidneys.
Recovery is possible even though meth is one of the most difficult addictions to overcome. Crystal meth has surpassed heroin, and cocaine in national recreational use. Relapse rates for meth users are around 92%. Most ice drug users tend to be co-addicted to cocaine, ecstasy or alcohol.
With the right mix of treatment, therapy and support it's possible for crystal meth addicts to recover. Commitment is essential to over coming meth addiction. Once a meth user commits to their recovery they should receive individual therapy, group counseling, behavior modification and learn new skill building techniques.
Supports are available for meth addiction, and for those supporting someone suffering from meth addicted. Treatment is a process, and connecting with local community supports is an important step to a meth addict's recovery. Recovery is possible.