A Quick Introduction To Meth
Methamphetamine, which is often shortened to meth, is a stimulant which is used recreationally. Meth is produced under a different name and can be administered to some patients as a mental health medication. However, this is done under strict doctor supervision and doctors take all risk factors into account. This stimulant drug is a Schedule II drug which means that it is illegal to manufacture and produce without a license and users may not have it without a prescription.
Meth is a relatively simple drug to make which means it is very common on the street and can be consumed through smoking, orally, snorting and injecting it. Meth is off-white or white and completely odorless. Due to how simple it is to make, there are several producers in the United States and it is surprisingly simple to buy. Meth is a quickly spreading problem that especially seems to affect rural areas. More than two million people have tried meth at least once in their life.
Many users that have consumed the drug long term might become addicted to meth. Meth is very addictive. Due to this, addiction can happen very quickly in those that think they might not be vulnerable to addiction. Withdrawal from meth is not dangerous but it is unpleasant and there is a huge danger of relapsing when an user is a meth addict.
Identifying The Signs of Meth Use
Meth is considered to be a stimulant. It causes the user's brain to release dopamine, which in turn causes the user to feel an intense euphoria in a matter of seconds that is all-consuming. The user might also feel increased sexual feelings and a marked increase in energy. The user is also likely to experience a marked reduce need to sleep, which in extreme cases can be quite dangerous when the drug is taken over and over again. The first times that users consume meth they might feel something very close to those effects that users feel after consuming ecstasy - however, with increased and more frequent use, these effects will quickly change.
Other obvious effects of meth intake are increased talkativeness, weight loss and some users might experience marked increase in sweating. Users might start showing behaviors which are linked to obsessive-compulsive disorder like repeatedly touching a certain bit of furniture, washing their hands or turning lights on and off. Their weight might also fluctuate although users are much more likely to experience a marked weight loss. However, some users do experience an increase in weight.
The use of meth overtime can cause the user to have a distinctive and unpleasant body odor, bag under his or her eyes, itchy and dry skin, a huge loss in appetite, hyperactivity, shortness of breath, irritability and bad moods, ego inflation, aggressive behavior which can sometimes become very violent and lack of personal hygiene. The user might also start to feel intense paranoia and anxiousness. It might also cause nausea, dizziness and reduce enjoyment of eating and other things. The user might start to feel intensely depressed while not taking the drug and lose interest in sex overtime. Nosebleeds and picking at bits of skin is also a common sign of meth use and abuse, especially when the drug has been used through prolonged periods of time.
Although consuming meth does not cause hallucinations, extended times without sleep do. Due to the fact that meth users often do not feel the need to sleep, they are affected by all the effects of sleep deprivation, including auditory and visual hallucinations. Auditory hallucinations are considered to be a lot more common than visual hallucinations, although some users report that they feel bugs crawling inside their skin which can cause the user to scratch until the skin bleeds. Due to the way that meth affects the skin and the user, these wounds might not heal at all and if they do, they might leave marks or welts on the user's skin. It must be noted that all effects depend on the dose that the user takes, how long the user has been taking meth for, how the drug is consumed and whether the user "tweaks".
There are more advanced signs of meth abuse. One of the most obvious ones is a condition which is commonly called "meth mouth". This is thought to be because of the dry-mouth that users feel, along with the poor hygiene that meth users have, along with teeth clenching and grinding and the intake of carbonated drinks and other very sweet and sugary food. This condition can cause very quick tooth decay that usually only happens after a lot of years of use. The teeth may have decayed, rotten and could all have fallen off so that the user had several missing teeth. Along with this there is permanent damage to the gums and the teeth remaining.
Other long term signs of meth use are possible brain damage and liver damage that can be permanent and seriously affect the rest of the user's life. It might also cause strokes, cardiovascular disease, heart attacks and fatal liver and kidney disorders. About twenty percent of users that take meth on a long term basis develop psychosis very similar to diagnosed schizophrenia. Use of meth has a high correlation with Parkinson's disease, violent behavior and convulsions.
Users that take meth are also much more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior. The user is also likely to engage in unprotected sex with those that are likely to be at risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Due to the way that meth is taken, many users have shared infected needles and are therefore at increased risk of becoming infected with these sexually transmitted diseases including HIV. Other social effects of meth use and abuse are lack of motivation, being unable to fulfill social obligations, having difficulty in relationships, and having difficulty fulfilling roles in vocational and student activities. The user might eventually stop being able to start leading his or her normal life. If you think someone you love might be user meth, contact a mental health professional that specializes in addiction.