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What is Crystal Meth?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 04 September 2014
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Crystal meth is a very pure form of methamphetamine, a drug originally manufactured for pharmacological purposes, although it is largely used for recreational purposes today. You may also hear crystal meth referred to as meth, tina, ice, or tweak, among other things. This drug is highly addictive, and crystal meth use began to be a major problem in many parts of the United States, especially in rural areas, in the late 1990s. Because crystal meth is illegal in most regions of the world, it is difficult to get hard statistics on how many users of this drug there are, and what their lifestyles are like, but studies of some addicts can provide clues.

Methamphetamine was first created in the laboratory in the late 1800s. The drug is a central nervous system stimulant, acting as an upper to increase energy and alertness. In both World Wars, several militaries handed out rations of meth and other uppers to their soldiers, with the goal of increasing their effectiveness in combat. By the 1960s, crystal meth was being used extensively as a recreational drug, and its use as a legitimate pharmaceutical product was on the wane; today, pharmaceutical use is very rare, due to the stigma associated with methamphetamine.

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There are several different ways to take crystal meth, with many users preferring to smoke it. The clear, odorless crystals of the drug can also be ground and injected or snorted. When users take crystal meth, the drug causes a flood of neurotransmitters to go off in the brain, elevating the heart pressure and blood rate while stimulating the central nervous system, creating agitation and increased alertness while depressing the appetite. The high is said to be similar to that of cocaine, but much more prolonged.

If someone overdoses on this drug, he or she can go into convulsions accompanied by a dangerous rise in body temperature, and this can lead to a coma and death. Prolonged use can also cause cardiovascular problems, as crystal meth puts strain on the heart and vascular system. Like other addictive substances, crystal meth can also cause social problems, as users go to great lengths to get their next fix.

One common sign of chronic meth use is severe damage to the teeth, known as “meth mouth.” Many people believe that crystal meth causes the dental problems associated with meth addicts, but in fact, meth is not directly harmful to the teeth. Meth mouth happens because users start to neglect their oral care, and because they often grind their teeth and consume large amounts of sweetened beverages while under the influence of the drug, leading to tooth breakdown and decay.

Methamphetamine production is a social problem in regions where numerous people are chronic users, and it is also a public safety issue. Crystal meth is not terribly difficult to manufacture, leading many people to try making their own. However, the conditions in a meth lab are potentially explosive and very dangerous, especially when the lab is run by users who may neglect safety. Meth labs can explode, starting fires and causing serious injuries or death.

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anon33952
Post 2

what are the symptoms?

maddy08
Post 1

Read this article, it is very dangerous if someone overdoses on this drug, he or she can go into convulsions and it may lead to a coma and death. Better to not get addicted to such drugs.

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