A big part of addiction is denial. Obviously, if one were fully aware of the risks they face every time they used, it would be difficult to keep doing so. But, addiction is a disease and the crystal meth use is compulsive; it can’t be controlled. When people become aware that they can’t stop using, they make up excuses to keep doing so and they stick their head in the sand. That is the birth of denial.
The following list is going to ask you to accept what crystal meth use is doing to you. It is going to require you to come face-to-face with the dangers and costs it poses. That might feel a little scary. It might eat into your denial.
But, don’t worry. Once you see the information, you might come to the realization that it is time to get help. That’s where we come in. Call 800-768-8728(Who Answers?) to speak to an expert in crystal meth addiction and treatment. Get your questions answered, discuss funding, and find treatment centers that you think would serve you well.
The User Demographic Is Changing
In the past, younger people were the most likely to use crystal meth and to become addicted to it. These users tended to be 15-40 years of age and to be linked to the underground club scene, which is why crystal meth has been so often linked to other club drugs like ketamine and ecstasy.
However, this demographic is changing. Per the National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Trends in Prevalence of Methamphetamine, the following are the lifetime rates of general meth use:
- Ages 12 or older: 5.40 percent
- Ages 12-17: .30 percent
- Ages 18-25: 3.30 percent
- Ages 26 or older: 6.40 percent
The percentage of users under 17 is very low, indicating older users are more common.
Crystal Meth Causes Many of the Same Responses as Other Stimulants
As one of the most powerful illicit drugs available to people, crystal meth comes with its fair share of negative use outcomes.
Even small amounts of crystal meth can trigger the same responses that users of stimulants, like cocaine, feel, including:
- Increased respiration
- Increased body temperature
- Decreased appetite
- Increased wakefulness
- Increased physical activity
- Rapid heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Irregular heart beat
Many of these symptoms can progress to a dangerous level. For example, increased body temperature can cause the kidneys to shut down.
Crystal Meth Use Causes Long-Term Problems
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, long-term users of crystal meth face:
- Severe dental problems
- Pronounced weight loss
- Skin sores caused by scratching
- Stimulant psychosis, a set of symptoms that mirrors schizophrenia
- Cognitive confusion and damage
- Cardiovascular issues
In addition, crystal meth use increases the likelihood a user will contract hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or HIV. The drug decreases inhibitions and alters judgement, which leads people to participate in risky behavior, like unprotected sex and multiple partners.
HIV/AIDS progression and its consequences may also be worsened by crystal meth use. According to studies, HIV-positive people who do not use meth face much less cognitive impairment and injury to neurons than users who do.
Crystal Meth Use Has a High Cost
A 2009 report produced by the Rand Corporation estimates that methamphetamine use cost the United States 23.4 billion dollars in 2005. But, that doesn’t consider the many social costs also associated with its use, like:
- Increased child neglect
- Increased domestic violence
- Increased unemployment
- New crime waves
Crystal Meth Addiction and Dependence Can Be Treated
It can be disheartening to read all this horrible information about crystal meth use if you are currently dependent upon or addicted to it. You must face up to what it is costing you and that isn’t easy. But, you can take heart in knowing that you have the option to change your life. Crystal meth addiction is completely treatable and a professional, formal treatment program is exactly what you need to regain control of your life and to move in a positive direction.
To find a program that can help you manage your addiction and begin your recovery, call 800-768-8728(Who Answers?). There is a perfect program just waiting for you to attend it.