What Is Crystal Meth?
Crystal methamphetamine is one of the most dangerous drugs to ever hit. Although crystal methamphetamine has been around for a long time, it is in the news frequently. Crystal methamphetamine has many other names, some of which are dependent upon the community that uses it. Some of the slang terms for crystal methamphetamine are crystal, crystal meth, meth, g, glass, shards, Tina, sh*t, ice, shabu, and others. In its most pure form, crystal meth looks sort of like rock salt or pieces of ice, hence the name.
Ice is considered the most pure form of crystal methamphetamine and is typically smoked. It can be inhaled and injected as well. This is the form that has been ravaging men, women, young and old, all around the country and some parts of the world. Although there is a self-imposed hierarchy of denial among users of crystal methamphetamine, it does not matter a whole lot what route of administration you use. If you "only smoke it" that does not make you better than someone who slams it, just like someone snorting it is not any less addicted than someone smoking it. Crystal meth users tend to heavily rationalize their use and the consequences. The crystal meth denial is different than other drugs.
Why Is Crystal Methamphetamine So Addictive?
One thing that is both understood and denied is the incredible addictiveness of crystal methamphetamine. What make crystal methamphetamine so addictive is what it does to the brain. When a person sees someone they like, eats chocolate, laughs, has sex, and does other things that they enjoy, the brain releases a chemical called dopamine. When a person uses crystal methamphetamine the brain releases dopamine in levels that the body can never naturally reach. The use of the substance overwhelms the brain with this and other chemicals. Part of the problem, which is appealing to users, is that crystal lasts for several hours. Because of this, it makes it very hard to appeal to the user, and it makes it addicting in a short amount of time. What goes up must come down, and when someone who has been using comes down there is a chaotic mess happening in their brain. Depending on how long the person has been using, they may not produce their own dopamine, so acquiring the meth is very important just to return to a normal feeling. Studies are being done on the relationship between meth and memory. It has shown that meth's effect on memory is profound, and this causes harder cravings and other thoughts of using because the meth makes it hard to forget.
For some, the way you use it increases consequences. So, someone injecting it might spiral down faster than someone else. But, this does not mean any routes are safe. It is the crystal meth that is dangerous, not the pipe. Many people try vigorously to control their use by controlling the ways they ingest crystal meth. There is a false thought that if you "do not do it _____ way" then you are or will be okay. This is the illusion of crystal methamphetamine and other addictions. If you find yourself saying those things then you should probably look at whether or not you are having any consequences, at all, from using crystal methamphetamine. It is possible to stop using meth and stay clean though.
Meth mouth, the deterioration of teeth and gums, is a side effect scare tactic shown by many to curb or repel those who have not yet done crystal methamphetamine. It has to be for them because those who are already using meth know that their bodies are being ravaged by a poison. Unfortunately, all of the attention on meth mouth has turned some into targets. A large causal factor of meth mouth is chronic dry mouth and grinding your teeth. Having a dry mouth is very bad for your teeth. Other substances cause dry mouth and this "meth mouth" syndrome. These are Ritalin, Adderall, Cylert, Dexedrine, Oxy, Lithium, and other medications that suck the moisture out of you.
It is possible to prevent meth mouth. Learning to stop grinding teeth and keep hydrated will help a lot. Of course, stopping the use of crystal meth and others like it will help much more. One important thing to note is that not everyone who uses crystal methamphetamine will have this condition. As well, not everyone who has this condition is using or has used crystal meth. So, be cautious of your judgments.
Crystal Methamphetamine and Sexuality
Crystal meth increases impulsiveness, an understatement. While doing that it heightens a person's desire for sexual behaviors. Some people engage in physical activity. Some people become obsessed with pornography. Some cheat on their partners or spouses. Some turn to prostitution. For a lot of users, there is some compulsive sexual behavior that is acted out on meth. Because of this the rates of unwanted pregnancy, abortions, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), HIV, and other problems are occuring. These create shame and make users indulge more to find comfort. It is important to use plenty of lube and condoms to prevent disease, for anyone.
Often people think sex is better on meth. This creates a huge problem when they stop because they believe they wont ever enjoy it again. For some people, this one takes time to get used to clean, but it's more of a distorted thought than an ultimate truth. Meth and sex is the ugly side that people usually don't want to talk about. Shame should not keep you quiet though and it will not help a person heal from what crystal meth does to you.
Crystal methamphetamine is a devastating problem for men who sleep with men (MSM), whether they are gay or bisexual. Because of the super increased sex drive it wrecked havoc on a community that had finally had safe sex and disease fairly well contained. Crystal has driven a wedge between people within a community, some of which do not yet want to see or acknowledge that it is a problem, and not just their brothers have it. Crystal meth is taking a toll on lesbian, queer, and otherwise not straight women. Because men tend to get sutured first, gay or straight, they have a lot of crystal meth support groups, many of them based on the concept of peer support. Support groups for women and crystal are finally popping up.
Crystal and other drugs are used as party drugs. There are sometimes anonymous party and play encounters that happen. This is not to say that using crystal meth, partying, and having sex are exclusive to the gay or bisexual community. Not at all. It should be noted that the highest rising group of HIV infection is in women.
Crystal Methamphetamine Depression and Recovery
Recovery from crystal methamphetamine is possible. If you want treatment, find it, and get into recovery. There are Crystal Meth Anonymous meetings in many cities or other online support groups you can utilize. Stopping meth is not an easy task. The trick that meth pulls on some is a prolonged depression. Depending on how long crystal was used, and other factors, it will be harder for some to quit. It's hard to feel your body not making the right chemicals it needs to be happy. Sometimes when users crash or stop they can have difficulty talking, walking, and using basic motor functions. But, all of this is very dependent on the amount being used and other factors. It is a personal fight. It is not easy to stop, but it is possible and people are doing it. Being prepared to feel bad for awhile, until your brain starts working by itself again, can prepare you. Not everyone has a hard time. Some doctors are starting to use medications to stimulate the brain, such as Wellbutrin. Making your situation better than it is right now is a good goal. It is the staying stopped that is the hard part, for any substance addiction problem.
Imagine: Something happens and you can no longer feel pleasure. You know that you are supposed to because you have a memory, but for some reason, the things that used to make you laugh, don't. That is what is like for some crystal meth users. The lack of pleasure feeling is called Anhedonia. Their battle is an organic brain disease.
***Please note that showing pictures of crystal methamphetamine or paraphernalia is not always the best thing to do in an educational article. Learning to write without triggering involves not using pictures.