Why People Turn to Crystal Meth

Why people turn to meth
Why people turn to meth

Characterized by its crystalline form and appearance, crystal meth (also simply known as “meth”) is a stimulant drug that is highly addictive. In this form, the drug can be smoked, snorted, swallowed, injected, or inserted into the urethra or anus. Despite the numerous dangers that are commonly associated with using the drug, people find themselves abusing the drug for many reasons.

Weight Loss

Many women who use crystal meth sometimes do so because they believe the drug will help them lose weight. As a stimulant, methamphetamine can cause appetite suppression and lead to weight loss. However, the weight loss is short-lived as the body builds a tolerance against the drug. Meth users may begin to regain the weight they have lost within six weeks of initially taking the drug. Furthermore, many users begin taking the drug under the belief that they can simply achieve their weight loss goal and stop using meth. However, the drug is highly addictive, and its use cannot be controlled. Oftentimes, people begin using meth with an intended short term goal. However, by the time the person plans to stop using the drug, he or she is likely to discover that a full addiction to the substance has developed. In addition to the inability to control the likelihood of becoming addicted when using methamphetamine, users who are able to stop using the drug often find that the weight they lost is immediately regained following cessation.

Increased Energy and Euphoria

One of the first observations of crystal methamphetamine users is the instant rush of energy and the euphoric feeling they experience. When crystal meth is used, many neurotransmitters are immediately released into the brain, creating a high that may last as long as 12 hours. During this time, users tend to experience:

  • Increased concentration and alertness
  • Decreased fatigue
  • Increased libido
  • Reduced need for sleep

Use as a Party Drug

Crystal meth users often feel as if they can party for days on end, often going up to two weeks without sleep. However, with the meth high comes several negative characteristics. Users also tend to experience the following unpleasant side effects:

  • Diarrhea and nausea
  • Excessive sweating
  • Nervous behavior including tremors, talkativeness, agitation, irritability, paranoia, and panic
  • Fascination with repetitive tasks
  • Increased blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, and blood sugar
  • Arterial constriction

Furthermore, avoiding sleep for extended periods can lead to unstable mental and physical health. Crystal meth users commonly sleep for long periods after staying away for days, and eventually find that they are unable to keep up with responsibilities like work, school, or childcare. This is especially dangerous for people who work in jobs that require the use of heavy machinery or parents who are charged with the responsibility of supervising and caring for a child around the clock.

Self-Medicating

Some users of crystal meth turn to the drug in an effort to mask emotional and mental disorders. The high users experience may also include a feeling of powerfulness which can mask feelings of weakness, inadequacy, self-image issues, depression, and other symptoms of underlying emotional or mental health issues. Using the drug can only temporarily distract the user from these issues, as the negative thoughts and feelings eventually return. Those who are attempting to use drugs to self-medicate psychological issues are better off working through the condition they are experiencing with a counselor or healthcare professional. Furthermore, using crystal meth can lead to additional mental health issues like increased violence, uneasiness, and paranoia.

Increased Productivity

Because crystal meth users may have extended periods of alertness and may avoid sleep for several days and perhaps weeks, many people who use meth do so because they believe the drug will increase their productivity. From students to working professionals and even young mothers who believe they are unable to accomplish their daily tasks on their own, methamphetamine abuse begins with a desire to avoid fatigue in the interest of accomplishing more work. However, this practice is dangerous. Not only is meth a highly addictive substance that causes a host of negative side effects and dangerous behavioral changes, but a healthy body requires sleep. Furthermore, when people avoid sleeping for several days, the risk of developing psychosis increases. Between developing a dependency on crystal meth, suffering from physical ailments that are associated with meth use, and developing erratic behavior due to drug use and fatigue, people who decide to use meth as a means of increasing productivity often lose their job, academic career, or family as a result of the destruction the drug often causes in the lives of those who use it.

Hyper-sexuality

Some people use crystal meth because they feel it lowers their inhibitions and increases sexual stimulation. While methamphetamine may cause users to become hypersexualized, using the drug also greatly increases the risk of engaging in other unsafe and even harmful behaviors. Users may behave compulsively, have many sexual partners, and engage in sexual behaviors that may increase the risk of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. There is also growing concern for children who reside in homes in which there is methamphetamine use. According to the Illinois State Attorney General’s Office, children who are exposed to environments in which there is methamphetamine are more likely to also be exposed to hyper-sexual behavior between adults. These children may also more easily become victims of sexual abuse from adults who use the drug due to the violent, compulsive nature it induces.

Although many crystal meth users begin abusing the drug because of perceived benefits, they soon learn that these benefits come with massive drawbacks and are largely false. Meth generally cannot be used in a controlled manner for a short amount of time for purposes like weight loss or increasing school or work performance. Most users never plan to become addicted, but only find that they are unable to stop using the drug after trying it for a short period. Those who experience difficulty with ceasing use of the drug should seek crystal meth addiction help from a healthcare provider or nonprofit organization. Many communities make crystal meth recovery resources available to residents, and help may be readily available.

 

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