Crystal Meth Addiction Treatment
Crystal Meth is a formulation of the drug methamphetamine, a stimulant that can be ingested nasally, smoked, or injected. Initial effects of the drug include increased energy, a sense of euphoria, and increased libido. These initial effects are usually experienced as pleasurable and set the stage for the development of future addictive behavior as its users attempt to recreate that initial pleasurable high by continuing to use the drug.
Over a short period of time, crystal meth’s negative effect on brain chemistry begins to be seen. Common negative effects begin as depression and anxiety. Anxiety soon becomes associated with panic attacks and eventually delusional paranoia. Compulsive sexual activity often accompanies crystal meth use because of the drug’s effect of increasing libido and decreasing inhibitions. This deadly combination results in compulsive sexual behavior characterized by impaired decision making regarding safer sex behaviors. The result is often the acquisition of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B/C, and syphilis.
Crystal Meth is a growing concern in many communities across the country. In the LGBT community, however, crystal meth is an urban issue that has increased dramatically in recent years.
Indications of a problem with Crystal Meth use may include:
- Increased feelings of anxiety and agitation
- The development of extreme paranoia, often accompanied by delusional beliefs
- Inability to sleep, going for days on little or no sleep
- Increasing tolerance that requires higher doses and/or more frequent use to achieve the desired effect
- Slamming (injecting) the drug
- Noticeable increase of risky behaviors, sexual promiscuity, unsafe sexual practices
- Physical signs that include deteriorating oral health (Meth Mouth), high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, and skin itching (or a sense that there are insects crawling on the skin surface)
Crystal Meth abuse and its accompanying risky behaviors can be successfully treated with chemical addiction treatment. Education, therapy, and social support grounded in the tradition of 12-Step philosophy are a few of the methods shown to be successful in combating crystal meth addiction.