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Crystal Meth Addiction Information
Crystal meth addiction is an extremely serious and growing problem. Long-term crystal meth abuse results in addiction. Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease, characterized by compulsive drug-seeking and drug use which is accompanied by functional and molecular changes in the brain. In addition to being addicted to crystal meth, chronic crystal meth abusers exhibit symptoms that can include violent behavior, anxiety, confusion, and insomnia. They also can display a number of psychotic features, including paranoia, auditory hallucinations, mood disturbances, and delusions, the sensation of insects creeping on the skin, for example. The paranoia can result in homicidal as well as suicidal thoughts.
Methamphetamines were first discovered when Akira Ogata reduced ephedrine with red phosphorus and iodine in Japan in 1919, but it wasn’t commercially produced in America until 1943 when Abbot Laboratories got approval form the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to manufacture this drug for the treatment of many disorders including hay fever, narcolepsy, and even for the treatment of chronic alcoholism. 1
Crystal methamphetamine, also known as crystal meth, is a powerfully addictive stimulant associated with serious health conditions, including memory loss, aggression, psychotic behavior, and potential heart and brain damage. Crystal meth is a stimulant which dramatically affects the central nervous system. The drug is easily manufactured anywhere with basic, over-the-counter ingredients. Crystal meth, a form of methamphetamine, is also known as speed, chalk, ice, crank or glass. It is a white, odorless, crystalline powder. Crystal meth’s structure is similar to amphetamine with more of an impact on the central nervous system. The drug releases high levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine into the part of the brain regulating feelings of pleasure. It usually causes increased activity, decreased appetite, and a heightened sense of well-being. Crystal meth can be smoked, snorted, orally ingested or injected directly into the blood stream. Crystal meth has a very toxic effect on the human body. It is very dangerous and can cause convulsions, permanent severe body damage or death. Because of its stimulating effects, it is a very addictive drug. Chronic use often causes depression, anxiety, fatigue, paranoia and aggressive behavior. Crystal meth is a Schedule II stimulant, which means it has a high potential for abuse and is available only through a prescription that cannot be refilled.
Crystal meth alters moods in different ways, depending on how it is taken. Immediately after smoking the drug or injecting it intravenously, the user experiences an intense rush that lasts only a few minutes and is described as extremely pleasurable. Snorting or oral ingestion produces euphoria - a high but not an intense rush. Snorting produces effects within 3 to 5 minutes, and oral ingestion produces effects within 15 to 20 minutes. As with similar stimulants, crystal meth most often is used in a "binge and crash" pattern. Because tolerance for Crystal meth occurs within minutes users try to maintain the high by binging on the drug. In the 1980's, "ice," a smokable form of crystal meth, came into use. Ice is a large, usually clear crystal of high purity that is smoked in a glass pipe like crack cocaine. The smoke is odorless, leaves a residue that can be resmoked, and produces effects that may continue for 12 hours or more.
As a powerful stimulant, crystal meth, even in small doses, can increase wakefulness and physical activity and decrease appetite. Crystal meth addiction has a very toxic effect on the body. In animals, a single high dose of the drug has been shown to damage nerve terminals in the dopamine-containing regions of the brain. The large release of dopamine produced by crystal meth is thought to contribute to the drug's toxic effects on nerve terminals in the brain. High doses can elevate body temperature to dangerous, sometimes lethal, levels, as well as cause convulsions. In scientific studies examining the consequences of long-term methamphetamine exposure in animals, concern has arisen over its toxic effects on the brain. Researchers have reported that as much as 50 percent of the dopamine-producing cells in the brain can be damaged after prolonged exposure to relatively low levels of methamphetamine.
With chronic use, addiction to crystal meth can develop. In an effort to intensify the desired effects, users may take higher doses of the drug, take it more frequently, or change their method of drug intake. In some cases, abusers forego food and sleep while indulging in a form of binging known as a "run," injecting as much as a gram of the drug every 2 to 3 hours over several days until the user runs out of the drug or is too disorganized to continue. Chronic abuse can lead to psychotic behavior, characterized by intense paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations, and out-of-control rages that can be coupled with extremely violent behavior. Although there are no physical manifestations of a withdrawal syndrome when crystal meth use is stopped, there are several symptoms that occur when a chronic user stops taking the drug. These include depression, anxiety, fatigue, paranoia, aggression, and an intense craving for the drug. Although use of crystal meth initially was limited to a few urban areas crystal meth use has shown a dramatic throughout the country. In addition, crystal meth use among significantly diverse populations has been documented.
Crystal Meth is one of the many drugs that Adolf Hitler took from his physicians and his many ranting displays were the resoult to this drug. It can also be argued that his lack of compassion and ethics was identical to those that we see today that overdose on crystal meth. It is reported that he took nine shots of methamphetamine during his last days in his bunker. There is documentation that Hitler relied on 74 drugs, including crystal meth. This is reason enough that intelligent persons should stop their use, recognizing that drug abuse and the persons abusing them has led our world into evil outcomes and destruction.
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