Teen Crystal Meth Addiction

  1. Article SummaryPrint
  2. How Dangerous Is Crystal Meth?
  3. Signs of Crystal Meth Addiction
  4. Negative Effects of Crystal Meth Addiction
  5. Dangers Associated With Crystal Meth Overdose

Crystal meth, or methamphetamine, is a popular street drug among teenagers. Although the 2009 Monitoring the Future survey indicated a significant reduction in methamphetamine use among teens in recent years, the high potential for abuse is still there.

Crystal meth is an odorless, white, bitter-tasting and crystal-like powder that can be easily dissolved in alcohol or water. As such, it can be taken orally, by snorting, through injection or by smoking. The drug is known by the following street names: meth, speed, ice, chalk, crystal and glass.

How Dangerous Is Crystal Meth?

Crystal meth is a central nervous system stimulant with a structure similar to that of amphetamines. It belongs to the Schedule II category of drugs because of its huge potential for abuse.

In the United States, most crystal meth drugs come from either domestic or international laboratories. However, it is possible to manufacture these drugs in small laboratories. If production is done this way, it may pose hazard to the environment and put the lives of people working in the labs and the neighborhood at risk.

Crystal meth addiction is extremely dangerous. Think about the real harm that crystal meth can inflict on your body and mind. If you are unfortunately caught in the grips of crystal meth addiction, help is available. Depending on your goal, you can enroll in either an inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment program. The longer you stay in an inpatient facility, the greater your prospect for recovery is. If you are considering or actively seeking treatment for your crystal meth addiction, call our helpline at 1-800-928-9139 or fill out our brief contact form so we can refer you to a reliable treatment center.

Signs of Crystal Meth Addiction

In a survey conducted by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, methamphetamine use among youth ages 12 to 17 has significantly dropped from 2002 to 2008. Despite this good news, parents cannot afford to relax on the subject and should monitor their children's behavior for potential signs of abuse and addiction.

There are warning signs parents can watch out for to determine if their teens are addicted to crystal meth. These include involvement in some form of drug use  and getting into trouble. Other signs of crystal meth addiction are:

  • Unusual sleeping patterns: If teens appear restless for days and then sleep for the same length of time, this can be a sign of crystal meth addiction. Being energetic and alert for a couple of days and then lethargic for days after that could also be an indicator of addiction.
  • Uncommon nervous behaviors: Examples include twitching and scratching the skin.
  • Decreased appetite and weight loss: Teens addicted to crystal meth are usually thin because they tend to avoid eating, resulting to lost weight.
  • Burn marks on finger or mouth: This results when crystal meth is taken by smoking a pipe.
  • Lying and secretive: If a teen is lying about his or her whereabouts and activities and secretive about trivial and important matters, there may be something wrong. The suspicion for crystal meth use increases when the teen avoids spending time with family members or old friends.
  • Thoughtless behavior: If a teenager takes his or her appearance and important concerns for granted, this is another sign of crystal meth use.

If a teen manifests any or some of these signs, addiction to crystal meth could be possible. Parents should address the issue and convince their teen to seek treatment as soon as possible. To determine which treatment option is best, consider calling 1-800-928-9139 today to speak with a trained advisor.

Negative Effects of Crystal Meth Addiction

Teens continually using crystal meth will soon become addicted to the substance. Although they take only small amounts and on occasion, the dangerous repercussions are still present. The drug particularly causes huge adverse health effects, as it can cause inflammation in the lining of the heart. Even worse, overdose can lead to convulsions and hyperthermia.

Knowing the ill effects of methamphetamine use should be enough to discourage you from taking the drug. As with other stimulants, including amphetamines and cocaine, crystal meth has similar effects to the body. The following effects may occur even if you take very small amounts of crystal meth:

  • Amplified sleeplessness
  • Paranoia
  • Intensified physical activity
  • Reduced appetite
  • Increased breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Collapsed/scarred veins
  • Uneven heartbeat
  • Pneumonia
  • Magnified blood pressure
  • Tuberculosis
  • Boils and sores
  • Liver and kidney disease

The long-term effects of crystal meth abuse are more severe and include excessive weight loss, serious dental problems (known as meth mouth), nervousness, bewilderment, difficulty sleeping, mood fluctuations and violent behavior. Crystal meth abusers may also exhibit numerous signs of psychosis, such as auditory and visual hallucinations, paranoia and delusions.

Another reason for concern regarding methamphetamine abuse is the transmission of hepatitis B and C as well as HIV. This results when teens engage in unhealthy sexual behaviors due to the influence of crystal meth, which can impact inhibition and judgment. This is always possible no matter how the drug is taken. When crystal meth is injected, the spread of HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases may be caused by using the same syringes, needles and other injection instruments among several users. Apart from transmission, worsening HIV/AIDS is another concern.

Dangers Associated With Crystal Meth Overdose

"Crystal meth addiction is extremely dangerous."Tolerance occurs when a user takes a substance in an amount that the body can't handle. Overdose is a condition that is more serious than tolerance. The signs of crystal meth overdose include excessive sweating, amplified heart rate, hurried breathing and dilated pupils. Other possible effects are kidney damage, excessively high body temperature and cardiovascular failure. The bad news for abusers is that these effects can occur very quickly.

The effect of crystal meth on the central nervous system typically depends on the dosage. At low doses, abusers may experience alertness and feel invigorated because crystal meth reduces fatigue. At greater dosages, euphoria and exhilaration may be encountered. At extremely large doses, users may display signs of paranoia, agitation and odd behaviors.

If you are a parent and suspect your teen is addicted to crystal meth, take action now before time runs out. Don't let your child suffer the same fate as these kids. Feel free to call us on 1-800-928-9139 or fill out our short contact form for reference to a reputable treatment center in the country.