Methamphetamine is an extremely addictive and an illicit psycho-stimulant drug that is used for its strong ecstatic out-turn which is almost identical to those of cocaine. It has many nicknames like meth, crank, chalk or speed being the most common.
Crystal methamphetamine is a variety of a drug that looks like glass lustrous shavings or bluish-white rocks. Its chemical structure is almost the same with amphetamine; a drug that is used to cure attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy which is a sleeping disorder. (1)
History Of Methamphetamine
Since amphetamine and methamphetamine have a similarity when it comes to their chemical structure, the history of methamphetamine use is intertwined with the history of amphetamine. In 1887, amphetamine was first synthesized.
Followed by the discovery of methamphetamine in 1919. Come 1943, both amphetamine and methamphetamine became widely available to treat different forms of disorder such as depression, narcolepsy, obesity, alcoholism and behavioral syndrome, which known to be as ADHD.
In World War II, both amphetamine and methamphetamine were used by the soldiers to keep themselves alert and awake. After the war, methamphetamine became a famous dietary aid and non-prescription stimulant. Until later on, methamphetamine’s threatening compulsive properties became widely evident. With the value of misused peaks during the 1960s, the government restricted and regulated methamphetamine as illegal.
Nowadays, people use meth to make themselves high by inhaling/smoking, swallowing just like a pill, snorting, or injecting the powder that has been dissolved in liquid straight to their veins. In view of the fact that the “high” from the drug starts and fades quickly, people often take countless doses in a “binge and crash” scheme. In some situations, people take methamphetamine in a form of binging known as a “run,”. They give up food and sleep while continuing to take the drug every few hours for up to several days. (2)
Currently, methamphetamine is sometimes being mass-produced in “super labs” that house professional-grade apparatus to create a higher quantity and quality of meth. However, commonly, methamphetamine is processed in “home labs” or “stove tops” where a few people will generate small amounts of the substance. (3)
How Does Methamphetamine Affect the Brain?
The enjoyable reaction of methamphetamine result from the freeing of excessive levels of the neurotransmitter called dopamine—brain chemical involved in motivation, pleasure, reward and motor function. Nonetheless, the drug’s ability to release high levels of dopamine rapidly in reward areas of the brain produces the “rush” (euphoria) or “flash” that many people experience.(4)
What makes methamphetamine dissimilar and more harmful than other stimulants is that a higher percentage of the drug leftovers unchanged in the body. This permits the drug to be lingering in the brain overlong, increasing the stimulant effects.
Short Terms Effects of Meth
Consuming even small quantity of methamphetamine can turn into many of the alike health consequences as those of other stimulants, such as cocaine or amphetamines. These include:
- growing sleeplessness and physical activity
- food aversions or decreased in appetite
- rapid breathing
- brisk and/or abnormal heartbeat
- Shoot up in blood pressure and body temperature
Long Terms Effects of Meth
Long-term methamphetamine utilization has many other negative reactions, which includes: (5)
- drop in weight
- drastic dental complication (“meth mouth”)
- extreme tingling or itchiness, which may lead to skin lesion from scratching
- anxiety and stress
- confusion and delusion
- sleeping problems
- aggressive manners
- paranoia—extreme and obstructive distrust of others
- hallucinations—sensations and images that seem factual though they aren’t
A person can overdose on methamphetamine that may result in more critical or lethal symptoms such as stroke, heart attack, organ problems—such as kidney failure—caused by overheating or even death. (6)
How to Quit Meth
Find your Safe Place
Attempting to break off with meth and going through withdrawal while people around you are using is way too hard. So you better find somewhere to stay where people don’t use.
Build Your Support
While you could do it on your own, it will most likely be easier to go through withdrawal with some support from your family and peers. The people around you need to be encouraging, accessible and knowledgeable about what you are going through. If they know what is going on then they can help when it gets hard. Support groups like this one in Cambridge City are great examples of such.
Planning your Day Ahead
Succeeding through withdrawal can be uncomplicated if you have a plan ahead of how are you going to spend your time on a day to day basis. While at first, you may feel like doing nothing at all, after a few days you will feel more active and it’s good to have alternatives about what to do with that energy. You can deal with mood swings and cravings better with designed regimens.
While some kind of medications can lessen the seriousness of some withdrawal manifestation, not a thing will stop the indications wholly. There is no ‘magic pill’ or even mixing of medications that are especially functional in methamphetamine withdrawal.
If depression or anxiety come into view during withdrawal medication might help you deal with the worst of these scenarios, mostly if they don’t go away over time. Some alternative or natural method of healing can help with some withdrawal symptoms. (7)
Five Stages of Recovery from Crystal Meth
Stage 1: Withdrawal (Days 0 – 15)
Withdrawal typically lasts from 1 to 2 weeks, but it can last up to 4 weeks or even longer. Moreover, known as the “sleep, eat, and drink” stage, your body and brain are in restoration overdrive. You have addressed a lot of side effects of meth that you have to address before you can move forward.
Stage 2: The Honeymoon (Days 16 – 45)
A lot of people will relapse on the Honeymoon stage because of overconfidence that they have already survived their meth addiction. But not you. You are prepared. You understand this Honeymoon won’t last. Still, there’s much to enjoy while it does.
Stage 3: The Wall (6 Weeks – 4 Months)
Apparently, an unconquerable wall of depression, boredom, soberness, and despair will strike in the 45th day and it continues through the 4th month or near there. Infrequently, nevertheless, does the Wall last longer than 3 months. So, bare in your in mind that it’s going to get better. Though the Wall is often where people will relapse but the Wall is not absurd to conquer, just tricky.
Stage 4: Adjustment (Months 4 -6)
You’ve survived the Wall safely! The next stage is called “Adjustment” because that’s what distinguishes this time interval—adjusting, physically, socially, and emotionally, to life without crystal.
Stage 5: Ongoing Recovery (Months 6-12)
So as to approach the end of the first year crystal meth dependency can seem far away to your life. Recovery is always ongoing because, regardless of how distant your crystal dependence may seem, it’s essential to look back on that meth addiction is a chronic disease. (8)
Whatever you do, don’t try to depart from crystal meth on your own. Bound yourself with peers and family who can assist and motivate you. Enlighten yourself and decide which option works best for you.