Why is Crystal Meth Addictive?

why is meth addictive

The TV series Breaking Bad might just have popularized methamphetamine (aka meth) beyond the boundaries of pop culture.

study showed the prevalence and lifetime use of meth in 9th to 12th-grade students. 

Crystal meth, also known as Crystallized Methamphetamine is a human-made addictive drug that resembles ice chunks. It is colorless and odorless. 

Meth can be taken either by inhaling through the nose, smoking, or injecting it with a needle.

On the streets, crystal meth is known as speedcrankglasschalkice, and a host of other street names. Some of these street names are gotten from the look, and effects meth has on users. 

So why is crystal meth so addictive?

Speed, Euphoria and Other Effects

Meth is taken for its euphoric effects and a sudden burst of energy and adrenaline. It boosts the brain’s release of something called dopamine. 

What is Dopamine?

Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter made in the brain and used by our nervous system to allow communication between nerve cells. In other words, it plays a vital role in how we experience and interpret pleasure.

Dopamine also plays a role in our sense of motivation, mood, attention, alertness, reward, and other motor function.

Now, what meth does is to enhance the production and eventual release of dopamine into the nervous system. The effect, therein, is a rush that gives a sense of euphoria and hyperactivity people feel after taking the drug (hence the name Speed).

The problem is, too much or too little dopamine causes significant brain dysfunction, resulting in mental disorders such as ADHD, Schizophrenia, Psychosis, Depression, and Anxiety.

Meth can also alter the structure and function of the brain, causing emotional and cognitive difficulties. Other symptoms include:

  • Aggressive behavior
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Legal problems from using crystal meth
  • Anxiety
  • Incapacity to stop using
  • Poor hygiene
  • Cuts from picking skin
  • Pale skin
  • Cracked teeth
  • Tooth decay.

This is because the use of methamphetamine is linked with neurons in the Central Nervous System. Hence, the CNS can no longer regenerate lost neurons, and in some situations, cannot be recovered.

Bodily effects include dry mouth and skin, pale skin, itchy skin, acne, profuse sweating, rapid breathing, restlessness, tremors, meth mouth, and so on.

Users testify to getting hooked after the first dose. Soon the body develops a tolerance to the drug as users crave initial effects and energy over and over again, leading to addiction. Addiction creates dependence to the point where any form of abstinence gives rise to withdrawal symptoms.

Brief History

A Japanese chemist first synthesized methamphetamine from another stimulant in 1893. And during World War II, soldiers were sold a nonprescription drug known as Pervitin. 

Pervitin was methamphetamine made into a tablet. It was to boost the adrenaline, keep them awake, alert, and willing to take serious risks.

After the war, meth found its way into allied countries that used the drug―Britain, the US, and Japan.

Crystal Meth Addiction and Treatment

Crystal meth is addictive because it produces a rush of euphoria and energy for up to 12 hours.  After several uses, the drug loses its initial effect, causing users to seek that same energy in constant use continually. 

Constant use enables the body to develop tolerance, and tolerance incites addiction. Addiction breads devastating dependence. 

So what do you? How can you stop?

If you or your loved one is struggling with this addiction, you need to check in to a crystal meth addiction treatment center.

Laguna View Detox, located in Laguna Beach, CA understands how to help you break out of the addiction. We completely understand how addictive Crystal Meth actually is, and how it can consume your life. Our program is carefully structured to develop individual plans for each client, pay extra attention to them, and monitor their progress and wellbeing at affordable rates.

Contact us today, and we will guide you through your journey to recovery.