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Risks of Crystal Meth Abuse and Addiction

Crystal meth is a highly addictive stimulant drug that is often created in hidden kitchens and labs tucked away in every part of the country.

Crystal methEvery part of this drug– from its production to the results of abuse and addiction– is toxic and damaging to the person as well as his or her family members and the community at large. Here’s what happens when people continue to live with crystal meth addiction.

Risks of Crystal Meth Abuse and Addiction

Crystal meth affects the body and brain significantly. Crystal meth addiction affects the entire life of the person who uses it– the risks of avoiding treatment can touch almost every part of a person’s experience. These risks include:

  • Health problems. Crystal meth damages blood vessels in the brain, which quickly leads to stroke. Increased heart rate and blood pressure caused by the drug exacerbate the problem. Heart lining inflammation, overdose, convulsions, and other issues can result, including death.
  • Mental health issues. Violent or aggressive behavior, anxiety, hallucinations, paranoia, insomnia, confusion and other mental wellness issues result when the drug is used and when addiction is present. In some cases, these issues may lead to harm to self or others.
  • Chronic disease. Those who use needles to inject crystal meth open themselves up to contracting HIV, Hepatitis C, and other viruses. Infections of the blood and heart lining are also highly possible.
  • Financial problems. Even though many patients start out taking crystal meth in order to enhance their abilities at work or school, many end up falling off in both areas when addiction takes over. The cost of missed work adds up, and then the risk of arrest or jail time compounds financial issues significantly.
  • Interpersonal issues. Relationships with significant others, close family members and friends can suffer serious consequences when crystal meth addiction takes hold.

Meth Labs Makes Crystal Meth Even More Dangerous

Crystal meth is made with common household cleaners and easy to obtain chemicals– all of which are toxic. Because the methods of production for an illegal drug are not regulated, the storage of these chemicals as well as the disposal of waste associated with the process is unregulated as well.

In fact, for every pound of crystal meth produced, six pounds of toxic waste is produced, too. This means that the ground water is affected when the waste is disposed of improperly.

Additionally, the chemicals as well as the vapors and fumes created in the production of crystal meth are highly flammable. Fires and explosions are very common– a threat to those in the meth lab as well as neighbors and anyone else in the vicinity. Toxic fumes from meth fires or explosions are lethal.

Get Help Today

If crystal meth addiction is a problem for you or someone you care about, contact us at Michael’s House today. We can help you to enroll in a treatment program that will help you to heal and move forward in life without addiction.

 

Crystal Meth Labs Danger In the Neighborhood

Once upon a time, crystal meth was cooked and created in remote rural locations, and the labs used to create the drug were often in trailer homes or cabins that were far distant from neighbors. This is not true anymore. Crystal meth has become more and more prevalent in urban areas and more populated regions, and at the same time, more and more crystal meth labs have moved slowly and steadily toward the customers. There has been a surge of crystal meth labs in suburban neighborhoods, in apartment buildings, in roaming recreational vehicles, and even in city centers – and that spells danger for everyone in the area.

Dangerous Chemicals + Crystal Meth Addiction = Dangerous Explosions

Suburban meth houseThose who cook crystal meth in crystal meth labs are usually under the influence of the drug– not just when they’re cooking, but all the time. This can mean some pretty shoddy decision making and potential negligence, which is an unsafe state in any situation but doubly so when volatile chemicals and heat are involved. Crystal meth is made up of common chemicals found in almost any household, but when combined, their chemical makeup is highly unstable. A little too much of one thing or heat too soon – any misstep whatsoever and the whole place can explode, hurting everyone inside and nearby. Further, because these drugs are so unstable, even the most careful and sober meth labs are still highly dangerous.

Fumes, Kids, and Other Dangers of Crystal Meth Labs

Abandoned toys in sandboxWhen cooked, the chemicals used to make crystal meth release heavy, toxic fumes. You don’t have to be inside the house where the crystal meth is being made to breathe those fumes; they often infect the air outside of the home as well as the air inside adjoining buildings, including nearby apartments and other homes. Kids who are playing outside can inhale the fumes and become ill, and these toxins can also leach into the ground or into the water supply depending upon how they are stored or disposed.

Reporting Crystal Meth Labs in Your Neighborhood

It can be difficult to know if a neighbor is cooking meth. You may notice strange smells and fumes, lots of people coming and going, or lots of activity for days on end and at all hours.If you believe that your neighbors are cooking crystal meth in their homes, police are more than willing to help you. The dangers are simply too risky to ignore. In the meantime, keep children and teens as far from the house as possible and try to avoid breathing the fumes as much as possible.

5 Ways to Crush Crystal Meth Cravings

Crystal MethCravings come and go in recovery. Maintaining sobriety begins with remembering this fact. It begins with being prepared to crush cravings when they come. It continues with being aware of risk factors even after they go. Cravings may leave you alone for days, weeks or even months. Make the most of this time, and live your new, sober life. However be aware that cravings will come again, and have tools and tricks ready for when they do.

Crush Crystal Meth Cravings by Remembering What You Have to Lose

When cravings hit, it can be hard to remember just how good your sober life is. Remind yourself of the facts of recovery. Consider making lists of the good things sobriety brings. You feel better physically. You feel better emotionally. You are better able to manage any co-occurring mental health issues. You are a better parent, child, friend, or partner. You may have a good job or promising new career. You have money to start paying off debt or even start saving for a vacation or other treat. There are an endless number of benefits to recovery. Write down the ones that are true in your life. Look at these lists when cravings hit. Remember what you have to lose by using meth. Remember how much you’ve gained in recovery.

Crush Crystal Meth Cravings by Managing Stress

Stress is a powerful trigger for cravings.

Addiction Biology[1] explains, “Addition is a chronic relapsing illness affected by multiple social, individual and biological factors that significantly impact course and recovery of the illness. Stress interacts with these factors and increases addiction vulnerability and relapse risk.”

Stress is a risk factor unto itself. It also complicates and exacerbates other relapse risk factors. Managing stress helps you crush cravings. Managing stress involves uses tools and techniques you learn in treatment. You may find deep breathing, meditation or yoga help relax body and mind. You may benefit from talking with your therapist, with friends or family, and with peers in recovery. Crush cravings by recognizing the role stress plays. Use healthy coping mechanisms to move through and past stress and cravings without returning to your greatest source of stress of all: meth.

Crush Crystal Meth Cravings by Managing Emotions

Stress isn’t the only emotion related to cravings. Any emotion can trigger a desire to use meth, alcohol and other addictive substances.

Addictive Behaviors[2] found that during recovery, “Patients reported an overall problem with emotion regulation…in particular with emotional awareness and impulse control.”

This can lead to relapse. It doesn’t have to. You can crush emotion-related cravings by learning how to properly recognize, experience, and process emotions. Your therapist and treatment team will help you do just this. Peers in recovery can also offer further advice and experience-based strategies for managing how you feel. Addictive Behaviors continues, “Following protracted abstinence, patients without concurrent BPD significantly improved awareness and clarity of their emotional experience.” As you practice emotion regulation, cravings become easier to crush.

Distract Yourself to Crush Crystal Meth Cravings

Woman runningRecovery often asks you to face stress, emotions and other difficult situations. Treatment gives you the tools and skills to do so. However sometimes things are just too overwhelming in the moment. Rather than give in to cravings, distract yourself. Put time and distance between yourself and the moment or feeling that makes you want to use. The Association for Psychological Science[3] shares, “Disengagement at an early stage can successfully modulate low- and high-intensity emotional information before it gathers force.” You don’t get to avoid feelings forever. However temporary distraction takes the power out of these feels and helps you crush cravings. Go for walks. Call a friend. Watch a show. Get lost in your favorite hobby. Find the distractions that work for you, that help you get your mind off of your craving and on to something else. Keep a list of these distractions handy so that you can use them any time they are needed.

Let Others Help You Crush Crystal Meth Cravings

You don’t have to recover alone. In fact, you can’t recovery alone. You need professional and personal support. Don’t be afraid to reach out to these resources when cravings hit. Talk with peers from treatment or your local support group. Call your therapist. Call Michael’s House, and learn more about developing relapse prevention strategies. Call us to find resources for immediate and long-term recovery. No matter who you reach out to, make sure you reach out and crush cravings when they hit.


[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2734447/. “Modeling stress and drug craving in the laboratory: implications for addiction treatment development.” Addiction Biology. 28 Aug 2009. Web. 28 Mar 2017.

[2] http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.470.1044&rep=rep1&type=pdf. “Difficulties in emotion regulation and impulse control in recently abstinent alcoholics compared with social drinkers.” Addictive Behaviors. 2008. Web. 28 Mar 2017.

[3] http://people.socsci.tau.ac.il/mu/galsheppes/files/2016/10/Sheppes-G.-Scheibe-S.-Suri-G.-Gross-J.J.-2011.-Emotion-Regulation-Choice.pdf. “Emotion-Regulation Choice.” Association for Psychological Science. 29 Sep 2011. Web. 21 Mar 2017.

10 Steps to Avoid Crystal Meth Addiction Relapse

Crystal meth addiction is one of the most difficult addictions to shake in the long-term.

Group running 5K raceAccording to several studies, relapse occurs between seven and ten months after completion of crystal meth rehab in about 80 percent of recovering addicts. Whether a relapse translates to a full-blown return to crystal meth addiction or is just a temporary setback on the way to recovery is up to the individual. Are you prepared?1

To help you avoid a crystal meth addiction relapse, try following these ten measures for success:

  1. Give top priority to staying drug-free– Recovery from your crystal meth addiction is critical to quality of life. Everything you value –family, friends, career, etc. – depends on it. Do what it takes to make it happen.2
  2. Stay away from things that you associate with drug use– If you used to get high with certain people or in the bathroom at a particular bar or before you did a certain activity, these things can act as a trigger to relapsing. Try to avoid those people, places and situations. Establish new, healthier routines and activities.3
  3. Have an escape plan firmly in place– When you can’t avoid temptation, know where you will go, who you will call and what you will do in order to avoid relapse. An unclear battle plan is likely to lead you to succumb to temptation and result in reoccurring relapses.3
  4. Exercise, eat right, and sleep– Take care of your body. Stay fit, eat well and focus on thinking positively. Get enough sleep as well; the healing power of sleep is highly underrated. If you’re feeling strong and healthy, you will more likely make prudent decisions, like remaining drug-free.2
  5. Take care of your spiritual self– There are many different dimensions to who you are. When you are free from obsessing about drugs and getting high, you can take the time to explore your spiritual side.4
  6. Make new friends in recovery– Find people who are not only supportive of your new, drug-free lifestyle but also actively pursuing their own sobriety. Perhaps they are members of your 12-Step group. These people make great contacts when you feel tempted to relapse. They can relate to what you’re going through, encourage you during those tough times, and remind you of things that got you this far.3
  7. Get involved in aftercare treatment– Whether you choose addiction counseling, group therapy, personal therapy, 12-Step fellowship meetings or outpatient addiction treatment after crystal meth rehab, make sure you stay involved in something that helps you remain dedicated to your ongoing recovery.2
  8. Stay away from what you don’t want to use– The rule of never touching or holding an illicit substance or alcoholic beverage is helpful in early sobriety. Staying clean after crystal meth addiction means staying free of alcohol and other addictive drugs as well; any drug that alters rational thought can lead you right back into your old addiction habits.3
  9. Create a plan for your life– Now that the focus of everyday life is no longer on crystal meth, you have the opportunity to follow your dreams. Whether this means spending more time with your kids, going back to school, finding a new job or getting involved in a sport or new hobby, create a plan for yourself in recovery and focus on each small step that you need to take in order to get where you want to go.3
  10. Celebrate your accomplishments– Whether it’s avoiding a relapse or acknowledging a sober “birthday” milestone, celebrate the positive things that happen in your life during recovery and recognize all that you have gained by quitting crystal meth.2

If you would like to find a reputable rehab treatment program to help you fight crystal meth addiction, call us anytime, day or night, on our 24/7 toll-free line. You can place your trust in us. We care…and it shows.


1“Time to Relapse Following Treatment for Methamphetamine Use: A Long-Term Perspective on Patterns and Predictors”, National Center for Biotechnology Information, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4550209/, (August 26, 2015).

2 Samuels, Howard, Psy.D., “8 Ways to Prevent Relapse”, The Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-howard-samuels/relapse-prevention_b_3326444.html, (July 23, 2013).

3 White, Donna M., LPCI, CACP, “5 Ways to Avoid Addiction Relapse”, PsychCentral, https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/07/18/5-ways-to-avoid-addiction-relapse/, (April 22, 2017).

4 Laudet, Alexandre B., Ph.D., et.al., “The Role of Social Supports, Spirituality, Religiousness, Life Meaning and Affiliation with 12-Step Fellowships in Quality of Life Satisfaction Among Individuals in Recovery from Alcohol and Drug Problems”, National Center for Biotechnology Information, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1526775/.

Important FAQs about Crystal Meth Addiction

Do you have questions about crystal meth addiction? It’s one of the most dangerously addictive drugs out there today. Take a look at these FAQ’s to brush up on your knowledge about crystal meth.

crystal-meth

Why Do People Start Using Meth

Methamphetamine is a type of stimulant drug. It can make people feel invincible and full of endless energy. Construction workers, students, over-the-road truckers, and others might try crystal meth as a way to stay awake and get things done.

Stimulants also have appetite-reducing qualities. Some young women use meth as a way to keep their weight down. It’s also used as a recreational drug at parties, just for the sake of getting high. Also, people experiencing depression may use it to escape their feelings of despair. People who keep using it want to experience the euphoria they felt during their first use.

Why Is Crystal Meth Addiction So Addictive

Crystal meth is highly addictive, which makes it dangerous and difficult to experiment with. Regardless of why a person may start using it, they may quickly start needing it just to have any energy for the day. While the high may be very pleasurable, it’s the ugly rebound effect that gets a person hooked. They start taking more to get rid of the rebound, also hoping to catch that high again.

They use the drug frequently to manage this balance, but also need much more of the drug than before to just feel OK much less get a high. This chemical cycling of highs and lows throws off the natural chemicals in the body.

Dopamine is one of many neurotransmitter chemicals the body uses to communicate pleasure, pain, and other sensations. When an addictive drug like crystal meth is introduced, the body shuts down production of dopamine. This contributes to the awful rebound feeling and the need for more drugs. Meth literally takes over the body’s chemical messaging function, locking the person into a fierce addiction.

What Are The Health Risks of Crystal Meth

The biggest health risk is death from overdose. Meth affects the circulatory and the nervous systems. Any kind of excessive stimulation of these systems can put a person’s life at risk, especially if use is frequent and prolonged. Heart failure, brain damage, increased suicide risk, and stroke are common reasons for crystal meth fataliities.

Can You Get Over Meth Addiction On Your Own?

Not much chance of that. As stated before, crystal meth takes over the body’s chemical messaging system. When the drug isn’t taken frequently enough, withdrawal symptoms can be very uncomfortable. The psychological addiction to meth is also very strong. People hoping to get sober from meth are in a state of physical and mental vulnerability, and meth is simply too strong. Drug rehab is the only effective way to get free from a meth addiction. It takes a lot of support, learning, and time to get back to a sober lifestyle. Doing it alone is unlikely to work.

Crystal Meth FAQ’s

There’s a lot more you can learn about crystal meth. But these hopefully these questions have covered the most important points for you. Call today to ask more questions about crystal meth addiction.