Crystal meth is a highly dangerous white crystalline or “rock-like” drug in the methamphetamine family of drugs. Other street names include tina, glass or ice. Meth in this form can be snorted, smoked, swallowed or injected.
Crystal meth has grown in popularity over the past decade. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that over 1.2 million Americans (over the age of 12) tried crystal meth in 2009. What makes this drug so dangerous is unlike other drugs users can become addicted after just one use.
Short-Term Effects Crystal Meth
Crystal meth produces similar effects to cocaine, but the instantaneous euphoric states followed by an increase in energy can last much longer — up to 12 hours — depending on how it’s taken. While the euphoric state drives people to continue to use the drug, it also has many short-term negative physical and psychological effects on the body, including:
- Loss of appetite
- Compulsive skin picking
- Nausea or diarrhea
- Excessive sweating
- Abnormal heart rate
- Dry Mouth
- Tremors and twitching
- Itchy or dry skin
- Repetitive or obsessive behaviors
Long-Term Effects Crystal Meth
Crystal meth is highly addictive. When used for long periods of time, users develop a tolerance, meaning they need more and more of the drug to feel the same effects. This can lead to accidental overdose and death.
Other long-term effects on the body can include:
- “Meth Mouth” — rapid decay of a person’s teeth
- Intense withdrawal symptoms
- Weight loss
- Drug related psychosis
- Organ failure
- Death due to stroke, cardiac arrest or hyperthermia (elevated body temperature)
Users who try to stop using often go through mild-to-severe withdrawal symptoms, depending on the length of use and how often they use. These symptoms can include:
- Drug craving
Many people seek a drug addiction center or program to help them cope with the withdrawal symptoms and get a jump start on a sober lifestyle by meeting with counselors and attending group sessions.