Also referred to as “meth,” “ice,” “crystal,” “glass,” and “tik,” methamphetamine is a white, crystalline powder with a bitter taste. It can be ingested, inhaled, injected, or smoked. Meth is classified as a Schedule II drug; it has very limited medical uses and is typically administered in much lower doses than those commonly abused.
Like other stimulants such as cocaine and amphetamine, methamphetamine floods the brain with dopamine and hinders its re-uptake, causing an intense, euphoric “rush,” along with increased energy, heart rate, and breathing. It carries a high risk of addiction, a disease marked by increased tolerance, dependence, and compulsive, drug-seeking behavior.
Meth has many serious side-effects. Short-term side effects include: increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, hyperthermia, increased wakefulness, and irregular heartbeat. Long term side effects include: severe weight loss, dental decay, mood change, paranoia, delusions, visual and tactile hallucinations, and violent behavior. As with other stimulants, extended use is also taxing on a person’s cardiovascular system.
Users who inject meth also run the risk of contracting HIV and other blood-borne diseases when sharing needles with other users. Meth can also lead people to engage in risky sexual behavior, which carries additional risks.
According to a 2008 national survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, use of methamphetamine has steadily declined since the turn of the century. Still, more than 300,000 persons reported having used meth in the month prior to the survey. Meth use among teens has also declined in recent years.
Serenity House offers residential and outpatient treatment for a wide variety of addictions, including addiction to meth. Our expert medical staff can help you safely detox from meth abuse, and our licensed drug and alcohol abuse counselors will work with you to devise a personalized treatment plan to help you find true recovery.