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Recognizing Crystal Meth Abuse

two silhouetted figures seated on a bed in front of a window as one comforts the other in recognizing crystal meth abuse

According to the National Institutes of Health, 1.6 million people in the United States have a methamphetamine use disorder. Crystal meth is one of the most potent forms of methamphetamine, making it a highly dangerous drug. But what is crystal meth, and how can you recognize the signs of abuse? The meth addiction treatment center at Insight Recovery Center can help.  

Call our team at 828.826.1376 to learn more about our services. 

What Is Crystal Meth? 

Methamphetamine, or meth, is a synthetic stimulant that affects the central nervous system. It comes in three forms, with crystal meth being the most potent. Crystal meth is a Schedule II drug because it carries a significant potential for misuse and dependence.  

Meth is a colorless and odorless drug. It can cause euphoria because it increases the amount of dopamine in the reward pathways of the brain, leading to changes in the brain’s structure, affecting motor function, and altering how the brain interprets pleasure. Because meth affects the brain structures associated with judgment and emotions, it can also cause personality changes.  

The effects of crystal meth can last between six and twelve hours, making it one of the longest-lasting stimulants.  

Users might snort or inject crystal meth. Its street names are ice, glass, crank, speed, and Tina.    

Signs of Crystal Meth Abuse 

Crystal meth abuse includes physical signs like: 

  • Marked weight loss 
  • Increased libido 
  • Increased heart rate 
  • Insomnia 
  • Respiratory problems 
  • Acne or picking at scars 
  • Dilated pupils  
  • Deterioration of personal hygiene 
  • Elevated blood pressure 

Behavioral signs of meth abuse are: 

  • Risky sexual behavior 
  • Aggression 
  • Mood swings 
  • Lying 
  • Isolating 
  • Preoccupation with chasing the next high 
  • Being unable to quit using meth 
  • Stealing 

There are also psychological symptoms of meth abuse, including: 

  • Marked confusion 
  • Memory loss 
  • Psychosis 
  • Hallucinations 
  • Depression 

The longer you use meth, the more likely it is that the symptoms worsen, putting your mental health and even your life at risk.  

Another sign of meth addiction is needing more of the drug to get the same high because your body has built up a tolerance to it. This increased use puts you at risk of an overdose, which can be fatal.  

Treatment of Meth Abuse 

A crystal meth use disorder, like any substance use disorder, is rarely possible to overcome without help. Because of the powerful structural changes crystal meth makes to your brain, getting sober on your own is usually not an option.  

An intensive outpatient program (IOP) can be a good choice because it gives you some flexibility with your treatment schedule while offering a high level of care.  

Because these programs do not require that you stay at a center overnight, they allow you to keep up with your family and employment responsibilities.  

The most important aspect of a substance use disorder treatment program is having access to therapy sessions. Behavioral therapy is the gold standard in addiction treatment, with cognitive-behavioral and dialectical behavior therapy helping you understand the negative thought patterns that might influence your behavior.  

Group therapy is another vital component of addiction treatment. A substance use disorder can be isolating, making you feel as though you are alone with your struggles. During group therapy sessions, you hear from people who face similar challenges. Group therapy also offers a chance to begin building your support system.  

Get Treatment for Crystal Meth Abuse at Insight Recovery Center 

If you or a loved one struggles with an addiction to crystal meth, don’t wait another day to get help. Meth use disorders can be life-threatening, damaging your mental stability and potentially leading to a fatal overdose.  

To begin your recovery process, contact Insight Recovery Center today at 828.826.1376 or reach out online to learn more.