In the U.S. more than 4 million people struggle with crystal meth abuse or addiction and as many as 12 million reports to have tried it at least once. With nearly 500 tons of the drug produced each year, the drug is readily available, but at what cost?

Although there had been a short decline in the number of people admitted to hospital emergency departments, the decline was largely due to an increase in federal restrictions on the sale of items used to make crystal meth. However since the drug is manufactured in clandestine labs, the cooks just changed the recipe and added other ingredients not on the restricted list. So, do you know what is in your crystal meth?

What is Crystal Meth?

Where most other drugs stay active in the body for six to eight hours, crystal meth is different and can stay active for as many as twelve hours. The euphoria created is due to a combination of the chemicals used in creating the drug. For example it is not unusual for manufacturers to use:
• Lighter fluid
• Ammonia
• Ether
• Methanol
• Brake fluid
• Drain cleaner
• Lye
• Sudafed or Ephedrine

The combination of chemicals emits fumes that are toxic and explosive. In fact it is so dangerous that the fumes can kill anyone nearby.

Long-Term Effects of Crystal Meth Use

Crystal meth can be snorted, smoked, and injected. The drug affects the central nervous system (CNS) and brain by releasing the neurotransmitter dopamine, which gives an adrenaline rush and euphoria.

Individuals with chronic crystal meth use may stay awake for days at a time until they crash from sleep deprivation and exhaustion. Long-term abuse can lead to tolerance and dependency. Tolerance means that it will require more of the drug to achieve the desired effects, which puts the individual at risk for overdose.

Chronic crystal meth use can result in severe physical and psychological side effects including:
• Insomnia
• Meth mouth
• Psychotic breaks
• Violent mood swings
• Paranoia
• Aggression/anxiety
• Hallucinations/delusions

There is a certain amount of risky behavior that is associated with crystal meth addiction – behavior that without drug abuse/addiction the individual would not engage in otherwise. Health risks include sharing needles, trading sexual favors for crystal meth which also increases the risk for sexually transmitted diseases and infectious diseases including Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS.

The best way to have a life that is free from crystal meth is to enter an inpatient medical detox treatment, followed by a rehab program and participation in a support group and counseling. Most substance use stems from a deeper reason than just “getting high.” Participation in drug rehab and counseling can help you get to the cause/reason for drug use which will help you in your long-term recovery.

Author's Bio: 

Lara Schuster writes for Gallus Medical Detox Centers. Gallus Detox provides safe drug and alcohol detox with customized IV therapy to comfortably alleviate withdrawal symptoms and patients are monitored 24/7 by ICU level nurses. This proven detox method was developed by Dr. Patrick Gallus after 15-plus years as an emergency room physician caring for alcohol and drug addicted patients. Gallus Medical Detox Centers features upscale private rooms, HDTV, Wi-Fi and personal massage. Patient confidentiality is always protected.