Crystal Meth Withdrawal

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What is Crystal Meth?

Crystal meth is an extremely addictive drug containing harsh chemicals. Users either smoke, snort or inject the substance. If you have developed an addiction to crystal meth, you will experience severe health consequences for both the short and long-term. More than 500 metric tons of crystal meth is currently being manufactured, sold and used every year. According to the latest estimates, more than 24.5 million people worldwide are abusing this dangerous drug. 

Among these individuals, nearly 600,000 are living in the United States and using meth on a regular basis. Crystal meth is illegal and classified along with other street drugs including cocaine. The most common nicknames for this substance are speed, glass, chalk, crank, ice and meth. The drug comes in either blue-white, shiny rocks or 100 percent clear chunks. Meth is a very popular drug at parties and generally smoked using a small glass pipe. 

Crystal meth is also injected directly into the vein, snorted and swallowed. Shortly after using meth, users experience a quick euphoric rush. This drug is extremely dangerous, can lead to severe psychological issues and damage your body. Although individuals of every age use crystal meth, it is most often used as a club drug at rave parties or in night clubs. The drug contains a potent chemical or a type of poison. 

The substance initially acts as a stimulant but will destroy your body systematically over time. Meth has been associated with numerous health conditions including:

  • Potential brain damage
  • Memory loss
  • Psychotic behavior
  • Potential heart damage
  • Aggression

The drug creates a dependence so strong the only way to find relief is to use more of the substance. Meth will also burn up the resources of your body and is highly addictive. The effect of crystal meth is highly concentrated. Many users become addicted after using the drug just once. Using meth can lead to the loss of your friends, family, job, money and leave you on the street with no place to live. This is one of the most difficult addictions to break and has resulted in numerous deaths. 

The first time methamphetamine was produced was during the mid-twentieth century. The drug was manufactured, marketed and used as a cure for both obesity and narcolepsy. Meth is now produced by illegal dealers and cartels using harsh chemicals. This is where the rocks known as crystal meth originated. Even if you only take one hit of the drug, you can become addicted. The substance will suppress your appetite while significantly increasing your energy levels. 

If you abuse crystal meth for the long-term, you will lose your appetite, resulting in the loss of a dangerous amount of weight. This will place your health in jeopardy. You can also experience psychotic breaks with reality, hallucinations and delusions. The harsh chemicals used to make crystal meth can cause sores on your skin and mouth and rot away your teeth. If you are abusing crystal meth you are exposing yourself to significant dangers. 

You should not attempt to stop using the drug by yourself because this is not only painful but can be extremely dangerous. The withdrawal from crystal meth is distressful. If you attempt to stop without professional help, you will most likely start using the drug again because of the severe pain of withdrawal. This does not mean you are unable to end your addiction to meth. Detox centers with medical supervision are a good option for both you and your family. 

Detox centers are capable of providing the help you need to go through withdrawal by alleviating the painful symptoms. If you continue abusing the drug you are risking your life.

Where Does Crystal Meth Come From?

Crystal meth is man-made and has been produced for a long time. Soldiers fighting in World War II used crystal meth to help stay awake. The drug has been used to help with depression and to lose weight. The only legal meth currently in use is a tablet to treat ADHD or attention deficit disorder and obesity. This drug is only available with a prescription and is prescribed rarely. Crystal meth is produced using pseudoephedrine. 

This ingredient is fairly common in cold medications because it helps with congestion. Since pseudoephedrine is used to produce crystal meth, all products containing this ingredient are closely regulated by the federal government. The majority of meth used in the United States comes from superlabs in Mexico, although there are some small labs in this country. Crystal meth is sometimes made in the dealer’s home. The process of making meth is dangerous due to the chemicals used. Not only are they toxic but explosions can result.

How Does Crystal Meth Make the User Feel?

Crystal meth provides users with a powerful rush often resulting in addiction after just one use. When you use this drug, dopamine rushes to the area of your brain responsible for regulating pleasure. This results in an energetic and confidant feeling. You can become addicted almost immediately and do anything to use crystal meth again. Anything. As you use the drug regularly, your tolerance will increase. To get the same effects, your body will require more of the drug. Higher doses are more dangerous with additional risks.

Length of Time Withdrawal Symptoms of Crystal Meth Last

You will begin to experience withdrawal symptoms a maximum of 24 hours after the last time you used meth. You will most likely experience physical symptoms first. Your symptoms will peak in about three or four days after you last used the drug. The majority of your physical symptoms will dissipate within two weeks. Your psychological symptoms can persist for weeks, months or in some cases, years. The physical symptoms are not as intense as many of the other illegal drugs such as heroin. 

The psychological withdrawal symptoms of crystal meth are long-lasting, distressing and severe enough to trigger a relapse shortly after you quit the drug. These symptoms include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Problems functioning in social settings
  • Depression
  • Psychosis
  • Anhedonia
  • Delusions

Effects and Signs of Crystal Meth Addiction

Crystal meth can cause your body temperature to increase to the point where you pass out or die. You may experience confusion, anxiety, become violent and have insomnia or mood swings. Your appearance will change drastically. You can age much faster, develop pimples and sores difficult to heal and have dull skin. Your mouth can become dry with rotting, broken or stained teeth. The drug can negatively impact your heart, with long-time use resulting in lung damage. 

You can become paranoid and see or hear things that do not exist. You may think about hurting someone else or yourself. You might experience the feeling of bugs crawling beneath your skin. Using crystal meth increases your risk of HIV/AIDS. Meth can lessen your inhibitions and affect your judgment. When you are under the influence of meth, your risk of dangerous behavior including unsafe sex increases. Additional risks include: 

  • Odd sleeping patterns including remaining awake for days or weeks
  • Taking constantly
  • Picking at skin or hair obsessively
  • Mood swings or angry outbursts
  • Rapid eye movement and dilated pupils
  • Lack of interest in grooming and personal appearance
  • Erratic, jerky movements, facial tics, twitching, exaggerated mannerisms 
  • Frequently borrowing money, stealing or selling possessions
  • Appetite loss resulting in loss of weight
  • Psychotic behavior including hallucination and paranoia

Recreational Use

Crystal meth is used in a variety of ways, and gained popularity due to the euphoric effect. The street names were derived from the glass-like or crystalline appearance of the drug. Meth is popular at parties and dance clubs among young adults. Some individuals begin using meth to lose weight quickly. Once the person stops using meth, the weight generally comes right back. As tolerance builds up in the body, weight loss will start to decrease over time. 

You may have started abusing crystal meth in addition to other illegal drugs for the sense of euphoria lasting for a maximum of 12 hours. Although the effects are similar to cocaine, they last longer with meth. Sometimes, people suffering from depression use crystal meth to experience the mood-enhancing effects. The drug is also attractive for some due to the increased libido resulting in sexual pleasure.

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The Impact of Supervised Detox vs Cold-Turkey Detox

If you suddenly stop using crystal meth, it is referred to as cold-turkey detox. Even if you believe this course of action is admirable or ambitious, it is not a good option to become sober. The majority of individuals attempting to quit drug use are determined and optimistic. If you try to quit cold-turkey, you will experience potentially dangerous and intense withdrawal symptoms lasting for a long period of time. To alleviate your distress and pain, you might start using meth again. 

The medical supervision you will receive in detox takes you far away from the ineffectiveness, distress and pain of attempting to quit cold-turkey. A detox facility provides you with an environment free of drugs, monitoring and eliminates harmful outside influences. The duration and severity of your symptoms will be decreased because you will be given either replacement drugs or gradually decreasing doses of meth by doctors. 

If you should experience severe psychological symptoms, you will receive medication from doctors to make certain you remain safe and free of harm. Withdrawal from any drug including crystal meth has been proven to be more reliable and effective in medical detox than trying to quit cold-turkey at home.

What is Safe When Detoxing from Crystal Meth?

Receiving gradually decreasing dosages administered by doctors of replacement amphetamine drugs is safe. This will prevent you from having intense symptoms of withdrawal. If you have been addicted to crystal meth for a long time, you most likely have a severe nutritional deficiency in addition to infections of your skin and mouth. You can safely receive treatment for any health consequences you are experiencing due to your addiction in a detox center. 

What is Not Safe When Detoxing from Crystal Meth?

Attempting to alleviate your symptoms from crystal meth withdrawal by abusing alcohol or other drugs is not safe. Attempting to stop using crystal meth in an unstructured environment where drugs or individuals able to get you drugs are accessible is not safe. The safest way to stop using crystal meth is by entering a detox facility because the environment is both supportive and safe. 

The Process of Withdrawal from Crystal Meth

When you enter a detox facility because you want to stop using crystal meth, doctors will conduct a thorough examination of your mental and physical health in addition to looking at your history of drug abuse. You will then be placed on a schedule enabling you to taper-off from the drug while receiving replacement drugs. Within 24 hours after you stop using meth, the physical symptoms will begin, generally lasting for two weeks. 

During this stage, you will gradually start to gain weight and sleep a lot. Anhedonia or the inability to enjoy activities you found pleasurable in the past and depression is possible for several weeks. If you experience any signs or symptoms of distress or depression, you will be assisted by the physicians on call.

Differences between Crystal Meth Withdrawal and other Amphetamines

The physical symptoms of crystal meth withdrawals are less intense than with other similar drugs. The emotional symptoms are pronounced and can last for years. To help avoid relapse, you need to have a plan for ongoing support in place.

Effects of Crystal Meth Withdrawal on Different People

The intensity and length of your withdrawal depend on how long you have been abusing meth and how much of the drug you have used. Each withdrawal timeline is different according to mental and physical health, metabolic rate, weight and age. When you enter detox, a personalized plan will be created for your needs. The help you receive from qualified therapists and doctors enables you to live a life free of crystal meth and pain. 

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