The crystal meth comedown is intense. It is characterized by:
- Excessive sleeping and lethargy
- The increased appetite (which is why the weight loss “virtue” is so temporary)
- Heightened anxiety
- Profound depression
This depression from crystal meth comedown and withdrawal both lasts longer and is far more severe than even cocaine withdrawal. Essentially, once a person takes crystal meth, you are going to want more – either due to the desire to replicate the high or the need to escape the meth comedown. Once you get on crystal meth and start to do it regularly, you can often eat and sleep like a ‘normal’ person. Many people on crystal meth can even work for a time, but if they stop using, they are in for the week of sleeping, lethargy and only being able to wake up (barely) to go to the bathroom and eat some food. The meth comedown is not as dangerous as say, a heroin withdrawal, but it is still uncomfortable and detrimental, and causes many meth users to continue using in fear of going through this withdrawal.
The Meth Cravings
The cravings for crystal meth are exceptionally strong, and the human body’s tolerance to its narcotic effects is developed relatively quickly. Someone intending to start out as only a casual user can quickly cross the line into a full-blown addict if they develop these strong cravings.
The Meth Effects
Psychologically, crystal meth can increase feelings of grandiosity and invincibility which combined with the need to keep using and avoid a comedown can lead users into increasingly dangerous situations. Many crystal meth users that we see report saying that they would never steal or lie or cheat in order to be able to use, but reporting that all of that behavior eventually happened as their need for the drug became paramount to their other interests.
Once you have become addicted to crystal meth, you may:
- Neglect your family and job
- Become distant from friends and relatives
- Become engaged in deeper criminal behavior such as committing fraud, writing bad checks, selling drugs, continuing down the dark path that drugs create
Crystal meth also has profound and upsetting cosmetic effects. Many agencies try to scare people out of using meth by showing ‘before-and-after’ photos of people prior to their meth use and during or after they have begun using meth. The appearances tend to be similar and scary:
- ‘Meth Mouth’ which consists of brittle and thin teeth, missing teeth or teeth that become the shape of the ‘pipe’ from the chemicals
- Teeth grinding and tooth loss leading to a collapsed jaw
- Dry skin and gums
- Brittle or missing hair
- Sores all over the body leading to scars from the constant ‘picking’ many meth users do
- Sunken-in face
Are You Addicted to Crystal Meth?
Here’s how to tell:
- You have developed a dependence and a tolerance to the drug. Do you feel like you need it to get through the day, to feel better or for any other reason?
- You experience withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, dry mouth, sweating, depression, anxiety, shaking or insomnia or excessive fatigue.
- You use again to counteract withdrawal symptoms, AKA, to not ‘come down.’
- You are losing or have lost the ability to control your usage; e.g. taking more drugs than you planned, even though you said you would not do this.
- All of your priorities start to revolve around your drug use; e.g. you are preoccupied with getting drugs, you have to have drugs in your possession to ‘feel okay,’ you do whatever you can to stay high including missing work, family obligations, etc.
- You continue to take drugs even though you know it’s hurting you. Are drugs causing problems in other areas of your life? Do you have health complications, mood swings or paranoia?
And those are just the behavioral aspects of addiction to crystal meth. Physically, you can experience even more events that will tell you if you have a crystal meth addiction.
Here are some additional symptoms of meth addiction:
- Decreased appetite
- Extremely dilated pupils and light sensitivity
- Dry mouth
- Shaking and tremors
- ‘Picking’ of the skin causing dangerous and unattractive sores and scars
- Abscesses in the skin from dirty needles
- Decreased or increased and possibly painful urination
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Deterioration of physical appearance and personal grooming habits
- Agitation and irritability
Crystal Meth Addiction Not Just for the Lower Class and Rural Areas
Often called ‘the poor man’s cocaine,’ there isn’t a lot of good news about crystal meth. As one of the most highly addictive illegal drugs on the market, crystal meth production and sales constitute a true growth industry. Crystal meth has been stereotyped as a lower-class and rural problem, and while there is some reasonable evidence to support the origin of that stereotype, the truth is that crystal meth is increasingly popular as a party drug in urban centers and more upscale demographics too.
The term “crystal meth” refers to the crystalline form of methamphetamine, methylamphetamine, or desoxyephedrine. It is known by a wide variety of street names, most commonly including “crystal”, “speed,” “rock”, “ice,” or “glass” (due to its appearance). Crystal meth is consumed most commonly by smoking out of glass pipes, such as the way that crack cocaine is used. Meth users meltdown the crystalline substance and smoke it, although other methods include injecting, snorting, swallowing, injecting or even inserting it into the anus or urethra.
Crystal meth users turn to the drug for the effects it produces euphoria, increased energy and alertness, increased self-confidence and feelings of power, and increased libido. Some women may take crystal meth due to its causing extreme weight loss, although this is a very temporary (and highly dangerous) solution to that particular goal. The high that crystal meth produces is also uncommonly long-lasting, producing all of those heightened feelings for up to twelve hours in some cases.
All of the perceived initial benefits of crystal meth tend to turn around on you as you use longer and harder. Brittle bones due to smoking, snorting or shooting up crystal meth can occur, painful joints, weight gain, hair loss, blood in urine, heart palpitations and decreased ability for the drug to be effective in its initial purpose are all reported problems with increased crystal meth use.
Meth is Everywhere
Crystal meth labs are usually concentrated in remote places, since even the production of the drug is dangerous – it is highly combustible. For this reason, meth has generally been a rural or Midwestern concern. Its popularity is on the upswing, however, and the major cities are seeing more incidences of crystal meth use and addiction as a result of it. Big cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago have large amounts of meth users, and meth production in Mexico is on the rise, seeing more and more addicts here in the United States.
Are you concerned about your amount or manner of usage with crystal meth? You can get help!
An Intake Counselor is Waiting To Help (626) 398-3897