The Véniez Drug Rehab Center© for Abuse & Addiction
Crystal Meth Addiction
Crystal Meth is a very pure, smokeable form of methamphetamine. It is a powerful and extremely addictive man-made stimulant. Its use can lead to severe physiological and psychological dependence. Clear crystal chunks, similar in appearance to actual ice or glass. Crystal Meth is odorless and colorless. Crystal Meth is usually smoked, but is sometimes snorted or injected. The drug is abused because of its euphoric effects. The drug’s effects are similar to those of cocaine but longer lasting. Crystal Meth can cause erratic, violent behavior among its users. Effects include suppressed appetite, interference with sleeping behavior, mood swings and unpredictability, tremors and convulsions, increased blood pressure, irregular heart rate. Users may also experience homicidal or suicidal thoughts, prolonged anxiety, paranoia and insomnia.
Crystal meth use by pregnant women can lead to premature birth or birth defects, including heart defects and cleft palate.
Long-term effects of Crystal Meth use can include brain damage (similar to the effects of Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease), coma, stroke or death. Chronic users may also develop distinct physical symptoms, as demonstrated by before and after pictures in the Faces of MethTM program. Signs of chronic use include weight loss, tooth decay and cracked teeth (“Meth Mouth”), psychosis and hallucinations, sores on the body from picking at skin, and formication (an abnormal skin sensation akin to "bugs crawling on skin").
“Crystal Meth” is one of the street names used for methamphetamine. It is also know as “speed,” “meth” or “chalk.” In its smoked form, it can be referred to as “ice,” “crystal,” “crank,” and “glass.” Methamphetamine belongs to a family of drugs called amphetamines-- powerful stimulants that speed up the central nervous system. The drug can be made easily in clandestine laboratories with relatively inexpensive over-the-counter ingredients. Methamphetamine is a drug with high potential for widespread abuse.
When methamphetamine is injected or taken by mouth, the effects may last 6 to 8 hours.
When it is smoked, the effects can last 10 to 12 hours. As with other amphetamines, users experience increased wakefulness, decreased appetite and a sense of well being when they take the drug. Often people that use methamphetamines use it in a “binge and crash pattern” which can have harmful effects on the person’s health and can lead to dependence on the drug.
Crystal Meth can be smoked, snorted, taken orally, or injected. Depending on how it is taken, the drug can alter mood differently:
- Smoking or injecting Crystal Meth can produce effects within seconds.
- With smoking or IV methamphetamine use, there is an intense rush or “flash” that lasts only a few minutes, which is described as being extremely enjoyable.
- Snorting or oral ingestion produces euphoria– a high, but not intense as with smoking or injection.
The rush and the high are believed to be due to the release of high levels of dopamine, a brain chemical that is responsible for pleasure.
Effects of Crystal Meth Addiction
The way methamphetamine makes you feel depends on a variety of factors that include, weight, age, how much you’ve taken, how long you’ve taken it, the method used to take it in, etc. Methamphetamine produces effects like euphoria and stimulation that are much like cocaine, except the effects last much longer. Methamphetamine is in the brain for longer, which can lead to prolonged stimulant effects.
- Tolerance can develop with long-term use of methamphetamine, which means the user will need larger amounts of drug to achieve the same desired effects. Long-term use can result in addiction.
- High dose use can result in violent behavior, anxiety, confusion, insomnia and weight loss.
- Methamphetamine causes increased heart rate and blood pressure, which can lead to strokes and death.
- Other effects include risk of convulsions, respiratory problems, irregular heartbeat, and extreme anorexia.
- With long-term use, psychosis can develop including paranoia, mood disturbances, delusions and hallucinations. For example, people may feel the sensation of insects creeping on the skin, and as a result scratch and pick at their skin until there are open sores, which can become infected.
- Another problem found among Crystal Meth users is “Meth mouth.” Many users often have rotting teeth and it’s not known exactly why, although it may be because of a reduced blood flow to the teeth and gums, and dry mouth from less saliva.
Some of the warning signs for parents that your child may be using Crystal Meth include “Meth mouth,” unexplained appetite loss, anorexia (with high dose and long-term use) or increased wakefulness and activity.
It is very important for parents and the general population to know the signs of an overdose to make sure it can be treated quickly and effectively.
- Loss of consciousness or coma
- Faster breathing
- Seizures or uncontrollable twitching
- Racing or irregular heart beat
- Chest pain
The danger of overdose from methamphetamines substantially increases with poly-drug use. Among particularly dangerous drug combinations are methamphetamine combined with GHB, alcohol, ecstasy or Viagra.
If someone you know is overdosing, send for emergency medical help. Call 911 right away, because it could be a life or death situation.
Crystal myths History
The most potent form of speed available -- with or without a prescription -- is methamphetamine, crystal, crank, tweak, go-fast, and dozens of other names.
In medicine, it comes in tablet form, as the prescription drug, Desoxyn®.
More often, though, it's cooked in makeshift labs and sold on the street as a powder, which is injected, snorted, or swallowed. A smokeable form of crystal, called "ice," is also used.
Widely available in the 1960's, crystal faded in the '70s, as controls were tightened on legal production, which reduced its diversion onto the black market.
But in the early '90s, crystal made an amazing comeback. And it's been back in a big way ever since.
The result? Crystal became a hot new high to a new generation of users too young to know firsthand -- or to have heard secondhand -- the downside of uppers.
And what a downside they have. Risks are so extreme because the drug works so well at overamping the central nervous system and zapping feelings of hunger and fatigue.
The result is the same sort of physical stress that follows any extreme exertion -- bungie jumping, for example, or skydiving.
But instead of giving the old body/mind a chance to chill between jumps (like any self-respecting bungie-jumping skydiver would do), crystal users extend speed "runs" for days or weeks, without food or rest, putting impossible demands on their bodies and brains.
For needle users, add in the hazards that come with injecting any drug. And for ice smokers, multiply it all by the still largely-unknown risk factor of exposing lung tissue to vaporized meth crystals.
That's why it's not a big mystery that you don't run into many old speed freaks in the real world.
They don't live long enough to get old.
Know the big difference between crystal and crank?
"Crystal" has seven letters, "crank" only has five.
A term once used mostly to distinguish down-and-dirty bootleg meth from its crystal-clean sibling, "crank" has become a generic nickname for all forms of speed. And that includes the tablets and capsules that find their way out of the local pharmacy and onto the street.
At this point, we'll add other speedy drugs to the mix, including non-amphetamine prescription stimulants (like Ritalin® and phentermine), and such non-crystal forms of street speed as "white cross," and "black beauties."
Effects match up, in most ways, to the effects of crystal. Dangers are similar, too, although oral use carries fewer short-term risks, since the risk of lung or injection-site damage and overdose is reduced or eliminated.
Still, a speed habit of any kind is a hazardous hobby for a lot of reasons, including simple wear and tear on the body and mind.
In a lot of ways, the human body is like a Timex watch -- built to take a licking and keep on ticking. Still, we aren't exactly indestructible. And speed, more than any other drug group, pushes the mind and body faster and further than either was meant to go.
The long-term physical toll can be massive, including any or all of the following:
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
- Lowered resistance to disease.
- Organ damage (particularly to the lungs, liver, and kidneys) after long-term use.
And as if the physical hazards aren't bad enough, there's a ton of mind-and-mood problems that speed can bring on, or worsen.
- Anxiety, depression, and chronic fatigue.
- Delusions. (Thinking you're being watched by enemies or police, for example -- unless you are being watched by the police, which is even worse.)
- Toxic psychosis after prolonged, heavy use.
And that's still only part of the story, because amphetamines also cause a serious form of dependency, which means that giving up speed can be a difficult process.
One reason why is that ex-users get depressed. Life without Mr. Crystal/Crank/Tweak/Go-Fast goosing up the juice in the brain can seem dull, indeed, to a suddenly-straight ex-speed freak.
Because of their risks, you might think that amphetamines would have disappeared as medical drugs by now. But you'd be wrong.
Because prescription speed is back on the medical beat big time, and getting bigger all the time.
Dexedrine® (dextroamphetamine) and Ritalin® (methylphenidate) are used by millions of American kids and adults every day to treat attention-deficit disorder.
Others take a prescription stimulant, phentermine, which used to be half of the diet-drug duo, "fen-phen." (The other half, fenfluramine, was pulled off the market in 1997, due to health hazards linked to it.) Now phentermine's a solo act again.
Taken at prescribed doses, Ritalin, Dexedrine, and phentermine usually aren't dangerous. Still, they're real forms of speed, too, and deserve all the respect you can give them.
And don't forget lookalikes and herbal ecstasy, which look and act (vaguely) like amphetamines and ecstasy, but contain only legal stimulants.
Still, just because the drugs are legal doesn't mean they're safe. They're not -- not always, anyway.
Most contain giga-jolts of caffeine and ephedrine, which can cause problems (even stroke or cardiac arrest) when overused, or when used at all by people who are hypersensitive to individual ingredients.
The speed scene has undergone major changes over the past few years with the resurgence of crystal, the introduction of ice, and a renewed interest in stimulants as a medical treatment for obesity and attention-deficit disorder.
Not only that, but the definition of what speed is and what it isn't has been subject to a lot of revisions as lookalikes and act-alikes and legal herbal stimulants have come and gone and come around again.
But one thing hasn't changed and isn't likely to. That's the idea that over-amping on speed -- any type of speed -- is a pretty risky way to live your life.
And while it may be stylish to look like you've never lusted after a leftover, and fatiguelessness might rank alongside cleanliness and godliness in your pantheon of personal values, you might also want to rethink your priorities if you think you need speed to put you where you want to be.
Because one other fact about speed that hasn't changed over the years is still the most important fact of all: Speed kills.
And what it doesn't kill, it burns out. Pass it on.
What if your interest in speed goes beyond simple curiosity? What if you already have a problem -- or someone you care about has a problem? Begin by admitting the truth. It's hard to overcome anything until you recognize it for what it is. Then do something about it -- or help the other person do something: Namely, quit.
Since the main pull amphetamines have on users is psychological, the biggest barrier you'll need to overcome is yourself. Here are two ways around common speed-recovery pitfalls:
Depression. Expect to feel more down than up, especially during the first few weeks or months. Just don't let depression surprise you or beat you. Recognize funky feelings for what they are -- the effects of withdrawal -- and keep on staying straight.
Anxiety. When you look at your life, you may find more to be bummed than buzzed about. Your body may carry some scars of speed use, either from disease or from general disrepair. Your head may be worse. Don't panic. The body and mind have a remarkable ability to heal themselves -- especially if you help them along.
So do what you have to do to pull yourself back together. Find another way to generate the energy and excitement that you used to get from speed. See a doctor if you suspect health problems, and visit a treatment program if you think you can't do it alone. But do it -- and keep it done.
And do it now. It's never going to get easier than it already is. And, sometimes, it gets a whole lot worse.
The solution for Crystal Meth Addiction
The first step is to physically detox then resolve why you got yourself into this addiction.
THERE IS A REASON FOR EVERYTHING.
Identify the causes, the sources of his or her addiction and eliminate them in four sessions.
The solution in Psychotherapy, Hypnosis with L'Approche Véniez© is to identify the causes, the source of his or her symptoms to eliminate them. The most precise and fastest way is with L'Approche Véniez©. These different techniques are used; visualization, breathing and relaxation, hypnotism, the subliminal, and post-hypnotic suggestions. There is nothing artificial or supernaturel about hypnosis.
- The first session consists of a series of questions asked to the individual to obtain therapeutic useful information about the patient. This session allows the therapist to understand his patient and explain to him how the therapy will take place. At the end of this first session, the therapist will introduce a brief induction of hypnosis to his patient. (duration of the meeting is usually an hour, sometimes more).
- The second session consists of a light follow-up by the therapist and deepening the patient's hypnotic state. (duration of the session is between 45 minutes to an hour).
- The third session consists of the work, acceptance, the release of shocks, traumatisms or causes of the lack of security experienced by the patient. (duration of the session is usually 1 hour or more).
- The fourth session consists of closing, reconciliation of the adult and the inner child, an experience of self-identity, self-confidence and loveing yourself. (duration of the session is between 45 minutes to an hour).
Once this work is done the results are permenent. The patient is self-sufficient and does not need further treatments. A brief follow-up may be in order.