Crystal methamphetamine, also known as crystal meth is a highly addictive white cystalline drug that can be taken by snorting, smoking or injecting into the body. The drug also has some common street names such as ‘ice’ or ‘glass’.
Meth use, like other amphetamines, results in increased activity, decreased appetite, enhanced sociability and talkativeness, and can induce feelings of pleasure and a sense of well-being. A key difference between meth and amphetamines, however, is that greater amounts of the drug pass into the brain when compared with a similar dose of amphetamines, making it a more potent stimulant.
When the drug is smoked or injected, the effects are felt extremely quickly; causing an immediate and intense, but short-lived, rush. Snorting or oral ingestion produces effects of euphoria within several minutes but not an intense rush.
These pleasurable effects last longer than cocaine but are still somewhat fleeting, and users often try to maintain the high by taking more of the drug, sometimes foregoing food, sleep and other responsibilities as they binge on the drug over several days.
Taking meth causes an increase in levels of dopamine, a brain chemical that plays an important role in motivation and the reinforcement of rewards.
Approaching a loved one who is going through a crystal meth addiction can feel like walking on eggshells. The fear of saying the wrong thing can seem overwhelming, but it is important to reach out to your loved one and show them that you still care.
A crystal meth user should not be approached when under the drug’s influence. If possible, try to reach out at a sober time (ideally, when motivation to get better is high) to talk with them about going into treatment. You can expect to encounter some difficult emotions that are common to those suffering from addiction, including denial, anger, and justifications of their use and the problems caused by it. Avoid the temptation to get into an argument or a back and forth dialogue where you try to dispute what they’re saying and prove that you’re right. Instead, approach them with empathy. Avoid blaming and say that you’re concerned about their drug use. You can also calmly lay out clear boundaries of what you’ll accept in the future, but avoid making threats.
Bella Monte Recovery’s crystal meth treatment focuses on long-term recovery – using diverse modalities of treatment intervention and multiple types of therapeutic support.
Our treatment options often include:
- Providing education about the nature of crystal meth use, abuse, and withdrawal so that relapse triggers and other patterns of addiction may be realized and avoided in the future.
- Behavioral/mental health therapies that use facets of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and contingency management (CM).
- CBT works to build connections between the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of the individual to understand the role of crystal meth fulfilled and ways to function without it in the future.
- CM works to assess the people, places, and things that trigger use or cravings for the substance. By providing real rewards for avoiding use, recovery can be extended.
- Family education and therapy that illustrate the level of influence that family and close supports have toward perpetuating or ending the addiction. Together, better plans can be created to maintain abstinence.
- Support groups to build and maintain a support structure based on maintaining recovery from alcohol and other drugs. Daily or weekly peer meetings can aid in having goals and direction while moving through the steps.
- Drug testing is administered at regular or variable intervals to keep the person in recovery accountable for their decision-making.