methCrystal, crystal meth, glass, hot ice, whatever the name is, how much do you really know about the drug? Crystal meth is slightly different from methamphetamine, and it has many different names and methods of ingestion. The drug is a major threat to the safety and well-being of many people around you. Its usage can develop incredibly dangerous physical conditions as well as an addiction that can endanger anyone in the vicinity of a “meth-head”. Learning more about the drug can help you protect you and those you love from succumbing to this drug epidemic.

Facts About the Drug and its History

Methamphetamine was developed right before the start of the 1900’s in Japan. It was used abundantly as a stimulant for Axis soldiers in World War II. By the start of the 60’s, methamphetamine had made its way to America and was being marketed as a miracle weight loss drug due to its nature as an “upper”. After wide use and abuse, methamphetamine was becoming known for its addictive qualities and became a controlled substance by the government.

Crystal meth is a crystallized form of methamphetamine. Crystal meth is usually smoked, but can also be injected into the bloodstream. Crystal meth can be snorted and swallowed, as well. The non-crystallized form of meth can be found as pills, powder, clear liquid or like a solid block of paraffin. It can be colorless or it can be found in any number of colors: brown, orange, red, purple, green or white.

Methamphetamine is often synthesized illegally from over-the-counter medicines that include ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. These drugs are becoming increasingly monitored to ensure that they don’t fall into the wrong hands.

The process of making crystal meth is extremely dangerous due to a number of reasons. Some of the chemicals can create a poisonous gas or explode if heated incorrectly. The explosions can destroy the entire lab the meth is made in and set fire to surroundings. If meth is made in a regular home, many of the hazardous fumes and residues of the manufacturing process can stay in the walls, floors or carpet.

Facts About Meth Use

Methamphetamine was originally created to act as a stimulant, so the high associated with meth is usually quite the opposite of “downers” like heroin. Highs can last 8-24 hours which leads to long stretches where “meth heads” will continually use and stay high.

Meth can create such a powerful acceleration that the heart rate will rapidly increase to the point where the user will suffer a heart attack or stroke. The body temperature of the person using meth will also rise significantly and have stroke symptoms.

Signs of Meth Use and Its Outcomes

Some signs of meth use include: anxiety, irritability, nervousness, moodiness and mood swings. Some of the more unusual effects of meth are repetitious behavior, picking at the skin and pulling out hair. Chronic meth users will develop physical problems such as a gaunt appearance or bad teeth as well as general poor hygiene.

Meth users that take meth daily tend to insert meth into their daily activities. For example, a meth addict might smoke meth in a bathroom at work or withdraw from a family function to get high. Meth addicts, like most drug addicts, will go to great lengths to stay high. This includes stealing anything to pawn for cash or robbing family or friends to get more meth.

Hopefully, with some true data regarding meth, you can better spot some signs of meth use and addiction. If anyone close to you is potentially at risk, you should contact a professional rehab center like Narconon Arrowhead to guide you in helping that loved one.

References:

HealthVermont.gov – A brief History of Methamphetamine –  http://healthvermont.gov/adap/meth/brief_history.aspx

About.com – Crystal Meth Facts – http://chemistry.about.com/od/medicalhealth/a/crystalmeth.htm

Adamhscc.org – Facts about Methamphetamine – http://adamhscc.org/en-us/facts-meth.aspx

DrugAbuse.gov – Statistics and Trends – http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/methamphetamine