Crystal Meth Side Effects
Crystal meth is a highly addictive illegal and dangerous stimulant drug which belongs to a class of drugs known as methamphetamines. Some methamphetamines are used in prescription medications to help individuals struggling from conditions such as ADHD. Crystal meth is made using several toxic substances such as antifreeze or battery acid, which heighten the risks involved.
Negative side effects include (but are not limited to):
• Hallucinations, panic and psychosis.
• Bizarre, aggressive and erratic behaviour.
• Infectious diseases and abscesses.
• Brain damage.
• Facial sores and scratching.
• Tooth decay (‘meth mouth’).
• Permanent damage to blood vessels.
• Heart attacks or strokes.
Once crystal meth enters the body, it releases large quantities of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain which makes the individual feel highly euphoric, energetic, confident and lack inhibition. Over time, crystal meth can alter the brain’s biochemistry and lead to dependency. Once the brain’s reward system has become dependent on the substance, it can be very difficult to feel calm, content or happy without it.
Many people who use crystal meth take the drug over several days and remain perpetually high throughout this time. Not only is the lack of sleep detrimental to their wellbeing, but this can lead to the two key features of addiction; tolerance and withdrawal. Tolerance refers to the need to continually increase the dosage of a substance to achieve the same ‘high’. With tolerance comes the development of withdrawal symptoms. An individual is in withdrawal when they experience anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, physical illness and depression once the drug wears off.
Signs of addiction include:
• A lack of concern about personal appearance, social activities, loved ones or responsibilities.
• Psychotic behaviour, such as hallucinations or paranoia.
• Repeated failed attempts to quit.
• Experiencing cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
• The inability to find joy in activities once loved or relationships.