Crystal meth is an extremely addictive and damaging substance that has swept the country. It wreaks havoc on your body, seriously affecting your appearance, lifestyle, and brain functioning. Despite knowing this, many people pick up meth, and before they know it, they become dependent on it, and can’t stop using it. If you or a loved one is struggling with a drug addiction, help and recovery is out there.

About Crystal Meth

Meth, more formally known as methamphetamine, is a stimulant that was originally developed for prescription use. But now it is rarely used by prescription, more often for a recreational high. “Crystal meth” is available in the form of a semi-transparent white or blue rock.

Users heat a meth rock for smoking in a glass pipe or crush it for injection or snorting. Using meth just once can draw you back into using the drug a second time. Addiction sets in quickly with this drug – more quickly than with others.

There are both short and long-term health consequences of using meth. In the short-term, relationships, jobs, and finances are usually destroyed. Most users of crystal meth eventually turn to crime to financially support their addiction.

Why People Start Using Meth

Meth gives its users a quick and long-lasting high. The drug travels rapidly through the bloodstream to the brain, where it provides an almost immediate euphoria and burst of energy. People using meth feeling very alert for up to 12 hours.

Many people use meth for the alertness and feelings of capability it provides. They seek out the drug because they want to reach goals faster and think meth makes them work harder and smarter. Sadly, that is not actually what happens when using meth. Instead, it causes serious damage to the user’s life.

Meth works like other stimulants, in that it can decrease appetite. This is one effect that many users seek, along with higher energy and increased metabolism. People who want to quickly lose weight may start using meth under the misguided intent of stopping its use once they’ve lost the weight.

Although there are some short-term positive side effects for meth users, the drug’s benefits come with a hefty price. Addiction is quick and pervasive for meth users who soon realize they have a deadly problem.

Short Term Side Effects of Crystal Meth

Using meth for a period of time can lead to paranoia, anxiety, and sleeplessness. People using the drug may have thoughts of suicide, too. Typically non-violent people may become violent when using a large amount of meth.

Short-term side effects of meth include:

  • Appetite loss
  • Weight loss
  • Mood swings
  • Sleep pattern changes
  • Tremors
  • Unpredictability
  • Hyperthermia
  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat

One ugly side effect of meth is degradation of the user’s appearance. The internet is full of before and after photos of people using meth, as they look like they have aged decades in mere months of the drug’s use. Those using crystal tend to lose their teeth and suffer many skin blemishes caused by “picking.” Open sores, aging of their skin and weight loss make meth users take on an often frightening, gaunt and sickly appearance.

There Is Hope through Quality Drug Treatment

For people addicted to meth, life can quickly seem hopeless. But there is hope through drug treatment programs. A quality residential treatment program can help you get your life back on track while helping you recover.

In Pompano Beach, Florida, 1st Step Behavioral Health provides a wide array of therapies to help you end your meth addiction once and for all. Call or text 1st Step Behavioral Health at (855) 425-4846 now to learn more about available programs. Don’t wait to make this call, as meth doesn’t wait to cause more damage in your life.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

Brittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is the Assistant Clinical Director at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.