Crystal methamphetamine, aka “crystal meth,” is a dangerous and illicit street drug. The legal ramifications of its use, possession, or sale are dire and often result in life-changing consequences, including everything from steep fines to jail time. Not only are the repercussions of crystal meth addiction catastrophic from a legal perspective, but they’re also joined by a lengthy list of other reasons to avoid this deadly drug. Read on for a roundup of six additional ways crystal meth can destroy your life.
1. It’s extremely addictive.
Crystal meth is both extremely addictive and easy to obtain. Millions of people in the U.S. are addicted to crystal meth, and millions more are vulnerable to becoming addicted. In fact, many users report getting addicted the very first time they use crystal meth. And because of its potency and availability, crystal meth is also particularly hard to treat.
2. It will wreak havoc on your body.
Crystal meth is a harmful chemical that systematically destroys the body over extended periods of use. It’s associated with increased heart rate and blood pressure; damage to the immune system; liver damage; convulsions; brain damage due to escalated body temperature; and stroke. Other common symptoms of crystal meth use include constipation/diarrhea, dizziness, headaches, profuse sweating, rapid breathing, and tremors.
Crystal meth abuse can also lead to death. Says the National Institutes of Health,
“Methamphetamine can raise your body temperature so much that you pass out. If not treated right away, this can cause death. Death can also occur from a heart attack or stroke caused by the drug’s effects on the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which raises heart beat and blood pressure and constricts blood vessels.”
Meth use heightens users’ libidos, which can lead to sexual promiscuity and an increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases. At the same time, it can also cause impotence in users. In other words, you never know what you are going to get.
3. It will alter your brain.
Chronic meth use triggers changes in brain structure and function. This can result in everything from a decline in cognitive and motor skills, increased distractibility, and memory loss to mood disturbances and violent behavior.
Meth addiction is also associated with permanent psychosis, including paranoia (such as the sensation of insects crawling under the skin), hallucinations, and neurological disorders. These symptoms can last for years after meth use has ceased.
4. It will alter your appearance.
In addition to the behavioral and neurological impacts of meth abuse, users also experience physical changes, such as weight loss; severe tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss, AKA “meth mouth;” and skin sores caused by skin scratching. Meth can also interfere with the skin’s ability to repair itself, resulting in decreased skin elasticity and premature aging.
5. It will take a serious financial toll.
People may start using crystal meth because of its relatively low cost. However, as tolerance increases, addicts need to take higher doses more frequently in order to get the desired effect. Eventually, addicts may only be able to feel pleasure under the influence of meth, thereby perpetuating the crystal meth addiction cycle.
In addition to the cost of keeping up with the physical need for the drug, addicts also incur crippling expenses related to everything from lost job opportunities and wages to medical and dental expenses.
6. It will destroy your personal relationships.
In the simplest terms, crystal meth abuse comes between addicts and their loved ones. In addition to personality and behavioral changes caused by using, crystal meth abuse can lead to a number of personal issues, including infidelity and child abuse. Therefore, loss of trust from loved ones is a common problem among crystal meth users.
Crystal meth is a pervasive epidemic in the United States, and while treating it isn’t easy, drug rehab programs are uniquely qualified to help drug addicts through detox and withdrawal in order to begin the recovery process. They can also help put families back together after crystal meth addiction has torn them apart.
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