Crystal Meth – the Ultimate Overkill

Crystal Meth is somewhat like a racehorse among drugs. Its reaction in the body is fast, furious and long lasting. So are the immediate and long term side effects. It increases attention, wakefulness, and physical activity, and decreases appetite and fatigue. There is a brief intense sensation or rush, followed by a long-lasting high or euphoria. This first high is the most intense, with all others being “chasers” which never quite come close to expectations again.

Once the drug’s effect disappears, known as the “crash”, the user may experience symptoms such as fatigue, nightmares, insomnia, disorientation, confusion, increased appetite, severe depression and suicidal tendencies.

To avoid the unpleasant effects of crashing, some people will take more crystal meth. Paradoxically, the more one uses this drug, the harder one crashes. [1] And of course use can lead to dependence and cravings lasting for life. [2] That means even if you beat the habit of taking this chemical soup, you’ll always have psychological yearnings.

In the USA, 2.8 percent of young adults (ages 18-26) reported use of crystal methamphetamine in the past year. [3] This is higher than the annual prevalence of crystal methamphetamine use by young adults (ages 19-28) of 1.4 percent reported by NIDA’s 2002 Monitoring the Future Survey. [4]

In Canada, the prevalence among young users is somewhere around 2 percent. [5] I personally believe overall use is somewhat higher, with much of it going unreported.

Crystal meth is the most powerful form of speed available. It excites the brain and nervous system by releasing dopamine into the body. Many times it’s made in small and dirty labs and sold as an injectable or snortable powder and a smokeable crystal form called “ice.” And it’s cheap, which makes it extremely attractive to users.

However, unknown to the victims, dealers often cut crystal with harmful fillers such as antifreeze, drain cleaner, lantern fuel, Epsom salts or battery acid to come up with a 3:1 ratio of filler to drug. [6]

The mix acts as a powerful psychostimulant and sympathomimetic drug, entering the brain and triggering a cascading release of norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin. Euphoria and excitement is caused by stimulation of the mesolimbic reward pathway. [7]

: takes 20-30 minutes to get high through pills or mixed into a drink. Method presents least amount of risk, because the drug is absorbed more slowly. Effects are less extreme but last longer.

The liver breaks down crystal into simpler components, but its use competes with other drugs, and so toxin breakdown may not be efficient. These substances migrate into the blood stream, causing possible drug interactions and overdose. Dangers include heart attack, stroke, coma and/or death.

: takes 3-5 minutes to get high. Powder inhaled directly through the nose and quickly absorbed into the body. This method has similar risks than injecting since sharing inhalers can spread diseases like HIV and Hep B& C. Snorting can also destroy the nasal passages.

In the kidneys, crystal constricts the blood vessels so that less urine is excreted and toxic waste is allowed back into the system, causing headaches and mental confusion. Long term use may cause bladder infections and inflamed kidneys.

: takes 7 to 10 seconds to get high through inhaling, quickly spreading through the blood stream, with long term concerns such as nerve cell damage, depletion of neurotransmitters, paranoia, psychosis and increased chance of stroke. [6]

“Smoking” methamphetamine actually refers to vaporizing it to produce fumes, which are smoked in glass pipes, or in aluminum foil heated by a flame underneath. Lung damage has been reported with long-term use, but manifests in forms independent of route (pulmonary hypertension and associated complications), or limited to injection users (pulmonary emboli). [7]

: (or slamming) takes 15 to 30 seconds to get high, as the drug is injected directly into the veins/blood stream with a needle or syringe. This method is extremely risky as it bypasses all the body’s defence systems. If injected into the blood stream, the drug travels directly to the heart, giving a 30 second high.

Physical effects include constriction of veins and arteries, reduced blood flow and increased blood pressure. The heart will beat a lot faster also, which increases risk of arrhythmia (heart out of rhythm) or heart attack. [6]

The hydrochloride salt of methamphetamine is soluble in water; injection users may use any dose from 125 mg to over a gram, using a small needle. This dosage range may be fatal to non-addicts; addicts rapidly develop tolerance to the drug. [7]

: takes 7 to 10 minutes to get high. The drug is heated in a glass stem until red hot and then inhaled through the nose, but can cause lung irritation/nasal passage irritation. The stem can also become contaminated and transmit HIV and Hep C. [6]

Treatment and support are necessary for addiction, requiring a period of detoxification, followed by rehabilitation. Counseling is also recommended to address issues which lead to meth use.

Canadian Aids Society
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Statistics Canada

Jorg Mardian is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Fitness Trainer, with over 25 years of practical experience through thousands of clients. He is also editor of “Health in Motion,” a health intelligence blog giving clear and concise information on the real truth about nutrition and causes of disease. It can be found at

Crystal Methamphetamine: Crystal Meth / Methamphetamine / Ice – Educational Video PSA

“Melting The Ice – Fighting Methamphetamine”. Sponsors: This program is made possible through a partnership with the Multijurisdictional Counterdrug Task Force Training (MCTFT) Program at St. Petersburg College and the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), with the technical support of the Satellite Education Network (SEN) at Ft. Lee, VA. Target Audience Statement: Primary target audiences for this program will include law enforcement officials, drug prevention specialists, Drug-Free Communities Act grantees, administrators, school drug counselors, high school athletic officials, treatment providers, drug court members, policy makers, business leaders, coalition volunteers, drug demand reduction coordinators, criminal justice professionals, members of the religious community and other community partners who may be interested. This program is also suitable for Public Access television distribution. Program Summary And Objectives: It’s an epidemic… spreading across the country from west to east. If it isn’t in your community yet, it will be. Methamphetamine kills people every day and knows no boundaries. Coalitions and concerned citizens everywhere can play a part in slowing down this plague. During this hour-long broadcast, we’ll hear from law enforcement about the realities of fighting a drug that is “homegrown”–made using over-the-counter cold medicines and household chemicals. The drug is dangerous and so are those who make it. If you come across a lab

Crystal Methamphetamine: Ghanaian arrested in Bangkok for drug trafficking
BANGKOK, June 11 — Thai police have arrested two foreign men — a Nigerian and a Ghanaian – and charged them with drug possession and trafficking, police said.

Crystal Methamphetamine: Int’l drug syndicates favor ferry crossings for trafficking
Bandarlampung (The Jakarta Post/ANN) – The Indonesian Police have tightened security at Bakauheni Port following strong indications that the Bakauheni-Merak ferry crossing, connecting Sumatra and Java, has become a major drug-trafficking route.
Read more on Asia News Network via Yahoo! Philippines News

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