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Methamphetamine, a derivative of speed, is one of the most abused illegal hard drugs. Crystal meth is a psychoactive stimulant that increases alertness and energy. Medical uses for methamphetamine are minimal, but the drug may be prescribed by a doctor through a non-refillable prescription.
Classified as a schedule II drug for its highly addictive nature, methamphetamine is most commonly purchased illegally. The majority of meth addicts obtain their poison from dealers who produce the substance in illegal meth labs. Methamphetamine is often referred to as “poor person’s cocaine,” because meth is easy to make and obtain.
This white, powdery substance can be taken orally, snorted, smoked or injected intravenously. The high from methamphetamine can last from 8 to 10 hours, while a crack high lasts only an hour.Almost 60% of individuals who try meth become addicted.
About 1 in 4 crystal meth addicts will experience a debilitating psychotic episode. The meth epidemic is currently causing tragic devastation to millions of Americans. You may be wondering what makes this drug so appealing. Like other amphetamines, some say they take meth to work longer hours. Many crystal meth users suffer from the delusion that they can get more done and perform better under the influence of crank. Others say they abuse meth to escape their problems.
Whatever the case may be, this cheap and easily produced drug can be devastating for those who become addicted. In fact, many are calling methamphetamine the Devil’s drug, because crystal meth addiction makes people lie, steal, cheat, fall apart, and eventually die.
The physical effects of crystal methamphetamine are similar to stimulants. The difference with meth is that a very small amount produces an intense effect. A person under the influence of meth becomes very alert, their appetite decreases and they will experience a rapid heart rate. Many crystal meth abusers feel they have more physical energy.
When meth enters the body it blocks the reuptake of the neurotransmitter in the brain, Dopamine. This leads to increased levels of Dopamine in the brain, which is the brain’s reward center where pleasure is experienced. This rush, or euphoric feeling is followed by a period of aggravation, and in some cases violence.
Due to meth’s addictive nature, many quickly develop a tolerance to the drug. This means they need more of it to produce the same effect. Meth addicts are known to stay up for days or weeks starting different projects, or taking things apart and putting them back together. They may experience a tingly sensation like something is crawling under their skin. This leads to scratching or picking at the skin in an obsessive manner. Those suffering from meth addiction become extremely paranoid where they may become afraid of everything and everyone. Besides these extremely destructive physical and psychological effects of crystal meth, this drug can cause stroke and even death.