Crystalline methamphetamine, often known as crystal meth, is a highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system. Methamphetamine is a synthetic stimulant that has been used for many years. Soldiers were given amphetamine to keep them awake during World War II, for example. It was also used to help people lose weight and reduce sadness. The chemical pseudoephedrine, which is present in many cold medications and helps relieve congestion, is used to make crystalline meth (Jones et al., 2020). The sole legal meth product nowadays is tablets for the treatment of obesity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is only accessible with a prescription and is rarely used.
This is the scariest drug a person can do, and it includes different short-term and long-term effects. Concerning short-term effects, the most dangerous ones are loss of appetite and emerging psychosis. The long-term effects are worse since they include brain damage, damage to internal organs (such as the liver and kidneys), and increased blood pressure (Jones et al., 2020). Aside from that, addiction to crystal meth can lead to severe consequences in different spheres – from social to physiological, and, in some cases, persistent use of it can lead to a lethal outcome.
Activation of all regions of the brain and a flood of energy occurs soon after consuming amphetamine. A person feels energized and strives for physical activity. He does not become weary, does not want to eat, and does not sleep at the same time. Dopamine and adrenaline are released in the body, which causes this (Jones et al., 2020). Amphetamine stays in the body for 8-12 hours. The central nervous system is under severe stress, and intracranial pressure is rising during this period.
When a person starts to consume the drug, he feels energy and euphoria from the fact that the remedy helps him cope with problems, and overcome depression and difficult life situations. Subsequently, this plunges a person into psychological dependence on the drug. The dose begins to increase, and with this, physical dependence with withdrawal syndrome develops. Multi-day intake causes acute psychoses and an absolute lack of sleep. Dependent becomes dangerous to himself and others; he begins to have such symptoms as the mania of persecution, hallucinations, and increased activity of speech (Jones et al., 2020). As soon as the drug reaches its peak concentration in the body, a person ceases to control his actions fully. This can result in unpredictable consequences both for the person and for his surroundings.
In the absence of appetite (and lack of food), the amount of vitamins and minerals entering the body is sharply reduced. This not only weakens immunity but also shortens life expectancy. Lack of complete nutrition can cause various disorders in the gastrointestinal tract – bloating, constipation, slowing digestion, gastritis, and ulcer (Jones et al., 2020). Coupled with the emerging psychosis, the short-term effects of crystal meth are extremely dangerous, and the price paid for hours of active fun and perceived happiness is becoming too high.
However, the worst physical consequences of taking crystal meth are embedded in its long-term effects. Long-term use of crystal meth can result in irreparable injury, including increased heart rate and blood pressure, which can lead to strokes or an irregular heartbeat, which can result in death; and liver, kidney, and lung damage (Jones et al., 2020). Consumers may have brain degeneration, which includes memory loss and an increasing difficulty in grasping basic thoughts. Those recuperating are more likely to experience memory lapses, which can progress to Alzheimer’s disease.
Crystal meth also has dangerous social and economic consequences. The need to consume methamphetamine can overshadow other activities in a person’s life, resulting in poor physical and mental health, social and financial issues, and family and societal devastation. It can easily lead to the rejection of friends, acquaintances, and relatives. Leaving work, and the school can lead to a worsening of an already ongoing depression, which can result in serious psychological problems. Moreover, although methamphetamine is not the most expensive drug, the lack of funds to buy it can be a severe problem. Theft, pawnshops, and loans at mind-boggling interest rates, all of this will lead a person’s life to economic and social collapse, both in his personal life and in the lives of those around him.
Physiological consequences can easily be followed from the previous paragraphs. In addition to the shattered psyche, the influx of various social and physical upheavals can destroy mental health and psychologically break a person. Family and financial problems caused by the drug can kill a person long before his body does it – psychological trauma, as a consequence of the use of methamphetamine, can result in suicide.
Crystal meth, thus, can be considered one of the most dangerous drugs in the modern world. His short-term and long-term effects can cause irreversible harm to the organism and even cause death. Moreover, aside from the physical consequences, social, economic, and psychological are no less dangerous since all of them may combine in the same lethal outcome. The most dangerous thing, however, is the accessibility of crystal meth. It is easily distributed in clubs, bars, and other nightlife places and, at least at the beginning, seems an innocent accelerator for a fun night. Unfortunately, in the long-term run, it can become a source of death rather than fun.
Jones, C. M., Compton, W. M., & Mustaquim, D. (2020). Patterns and characteristics of methamphetamine use among adults—United States, 2015–2018. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 69(12), 317.