In 2019, 11,000 people in the UK took crystal meth. This is a relatively small number when compared with the rest of the world. It’s also not a huge number compared to the other drug problems prevalent in the UK.
But if you or someone you love is personally affected, it can have a huge impact on your life. Just 1 person’s addiction can turn your life upside-down.
Drug addiction is never easy to overcome, especially if you don’t know much about it. It may sound cliche, but knowledge is power. This is especially true when it comes to combatting a difficult addiction.
In this article, we’ll give you a complete guide to crystal meth addiction so you can understand the drug better. We’ll also give you information on how to overcome your dependence and get sober.
What Is Crystal Meth?
You might know of crystal meth from the hit TV show “Breaking Bad.” But what exactly is crystal meth?
Its scientific name is crystal methamphetamine, but it’s rarely called that on the streets.
- Biker’s Coffee
- Black Beauties
- Chicken Feed
- Crystal Glass
- Crystal Meth Glass
- Hot Ice
- L.A. Glass
- L.A. Ice
- Poor Man’s Cocaine
What Does Crystal Meth Smell Like?
Crystal meth has a bitter taste and typically has a strong smell. Indications of a meth lab can hold odours of paint or something that’s often called a “hospital smell,” because of the strong chemical cleaners found in medical areas. In some instances, meth smells like vinegar or ammonia or an odour like window cleaner.
When answering what does meth smell like when it’s smoked, this is a bit more difficult to explain. The smells above are powerful and often ostensible associated with meth labs, but when meth is smoked, it tends to have a lighter, more subtle and somewhat sweet smell.
What Does Crystal Meth Look Like?
It has a small, chunky crystal-like appearance (where it derives the name “crystal” meth). It can also take on a brownish appearance as well.
Is Crystal Meth Illegal?
As you may have guessed from its name, this shiny, glass-like form of the drug methamphetamine is known as crystal meth and is a stimulant. In the UK, it’s a Class A drug, which is the highest class possible.
This means that if you’re caught while in possession of the drug, you can face up to 7 years in prison, an unlimited fine, or even both. So not only is this substance harmful to your health, but it can also ruin your life with imprisonment and financial ruin if the fine is high enough.
Crystal Meth UK and Worldwide Use
As we’ve said above, usage really isn’t all that high in the UK. This may come as a surprise, especially since this drug is highly used in all parts of the world.
For example, 12.3 million Americans claim they’ve taken methamphetamine before. In fact, half a million use it every week! This is because Mexican cartels bring a steady supply of this drug across the borders.
Other places where crystal meth usage is prevalent are Asia and Australia. In Asia, this is the case because Myanmar(formally Burma) is actually one of the world’s largest producers of this substance.
Between 2018 and 2019, a total of 14 hidden crystal meth labs were seized in Myanmar. In 2017, a Buddhist monk was detained in Myanmar and connected to more than four million methamphetamine pills hidden in a monastery.
And in Australia (and New Zealand), they don’t have good access to better stimulants, so they took to cooking up crystal meth on their own.
Now, on the other hand, take the UK. It’s halfway across the world from Mexico. Plus, it’s right next to the Netherlands, which is well-known for producing high-quality drugs such as cocaine and MDMA. These 2 factors meant that the British had no reason to get into “poor man’s cocaine.”
How Is Crystal Meth Taken?
Most people take crystal meth by smoking it through a glass pipe. This is a very quick way of getting high.
Some prefer to inject it, which gives almost an instantaneous high.
Other methods for crystal meth users include snorting, swallowing, or even inserting it into their anuses.
What Are the Crystal Meth Effects?
Crystal meth’s drug effects are very apparent. As we’ve mentioned before, this substance is a stimulant. This means the user will experience various energetic feelings.
For example, they’ll have a higher heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. If you look into their eyes, their pupils will be dilated.
Other crystal meth’s drug symptoms you’ll experience include:
- loss of appetite
- jaw clenching
If you abuse the drug for long enough, you’ll experience more unpleasant effects, such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, and even seizures.
As you can see, it can be quite dangerous to take this drug.
Crystal Meth Side Effects
When people smoke crystal meth constantly, they’ll usually end up with a condition called “meth mouth.” This is where they get dry mouth so much that their teeth and gums are completely ruined. This is compounded by the fact that crystal meth ingredients may include other impurities, which can harm your health.
In the case of injecting, it can lead to ruined blood vessels. Not only that, but it may lead to other diseases from sharing needles, such as hepatitis and HIV.
Snorting may cause you to get a deviated septum. This may result in a constantly runny nose.
Long-Term Side Effects
If you take this drug for long enough, it can cause you to have both emotional and cognitive side effects. These can include:
- Violent behaviour
- Delusions of grandeur
- Obsessive behaviours
- Psychosomatic disorders
In most cases, these side effects can be reversed if you stay off the drug for long enough.
Why Is Crystal Meth So Addictive?
Crystal meth is so addictive because it makes you feel extreme happiness. This is because it causes a flood of dopamine in your brain. This is the neurotransmitter that’s responsible for pleasure.
All good things end, so when the drug wears off, your brain wants more of that “feel good” feeling. But because this substance prevents your brain from naturally reabsorbing the dopamine, it can change how your brain functions.
Essentially, you cause your brain to become rewired. Over time, you’ll need more and more of the drug even to feel a little bit high. Because of this, you can quickly get caught up with addiction.
What Are the Signs That Someone Is Using Crystal Meths?
A few signs that may indicate that someone is using crystal meth include:
- Lack of personal hygiene
- Obsessive picking
- Dilated pupils
- Abnormal sleeping patterns
- Mood swings
- Shady behaviour (such as stealing)
- Talking more than normal
Some of these signs may overlap with signs of usage for other drugs. However, it’s always a good idea to be on the lookout for these.
How Can I Overcome a Crystal Meth Addiction?
The first step on how to recover from crystal meth addiction is to cease the use of the drug. This gives your body a chance to process all the remnants of it and for it to reset itself.
Of course, that’s easier said than done. Often, withdrawal comes with very nasty side effects; this drives people to start using again. They feel it’s better to feed the dependence rather than suffer the withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal starts just a few hours after your last hit, and it can take up to 5 weeks before you feel completely normal again. As you can see, that’s a very long journey to take on your own.
The best idea is to go through detox at a rehabilitation facility.
There, medical professionals can help monitor your symptoms and prescribe antipsychotic drugs if needed. Some people may go through psychosis as a side effect of withdrawal. You may also be prescribed some other medications to make the withdrawal process more comfortable and safer.
Just the fact that you’re going through detox in a monitored facility rather than doing it alone significantly increases your chances of success. It’ll be much easier to get a hold of the addiction while you’re under the care of professionals.
Your Choices for Meth Treatment
Meth effects may be very difficult to deal with. Detox is only half the battle; to overcome addiction for good, you need to go through the proper steps to deal with your triggers and root cause of dependence.
Mainly, you’ll have 2 choices for rehabilitation: inpatient and outpatient. Read on to find out more about each option.
As we’ve said above, inpatient rehab takes up your entire schedule. While this gives you the best chance at getting and staying sober, it’s not always feasible. Some people are single parents who have no one to rely on, or others have a rigorous university schedule they need to stay on top of.
In this case, there’s outpatient rehab available. You can still reap the same benefits as in inpatient rehab, such as therapy (both individual and group), alternative therapies, and taking any medications if necessary. However, you make an appointment with the centre, and you’ll come to get their services, then leave to continue your daily schedule.
While this is a great alternative, it may not be suitable for everyone. For instance, if you have a poor home environment where others partake in drugs and alcohol frequently, being around that can increase your chances of relapse, especially while you’re still in the beginning stages of rehab.
However, it’ll be a lot cheaper than inpatient rehabilitation. Consider that you don’t have to eat and sleep there; the costs are considerably lower.
Whether you’ve gone through inpatient or outpatient rehab, aftercare is always a great idea. Sobriety is an ongoing process, and it can be tough to transition straight back to normal life, especially if you were in inpatient rehab before.
In aftercare, you go through a lot of the same things you did while in rehabilitation. For instance, you’ll still have the help of individual and group therapy. This can be vital to your success, as it’ll be easier to resist temptation if you have the support of others.
With your counsellor, you’ll also outline a relapse prevention plan. By continuing your sessions with them, they’ll be able to help you keep on track with the path to being sober for good.
In the group therapy sessions, you’ll get to make friends who are also transitioning back to normal life. You’ll be able to discuss your struggles and what everyone’s coping mechanisms are. It’ll be constructive to explore the challenges of recovery and figure out wholesome ways to stay in the right direction.
Beat Your Crystal Meth Dependence With Professional Help
While the crystal meth drug isn’t as big a problem in the UK as other drugs are, people still struggle with it. Whether you or a loved one have a dependence, it can feel like the world’s come crashing down on you.
But there are ways out of drug addiction, especially if you get professional help. With the support of experts and others who have been in your position (or currently are), you’ll be able to overcome all the challenges of addiction. As a result, you’ll get a path to sobriety and have the best chances of success for the rest of your life.
If you or someone you love needs help with crystal meth addiction, don’t hesitate to contact us now. We can check you into our detox and rehab programmes. We’re happy to provide you with free advice too.
Frequently Asked Questions