Crystal Meth: How It Works

Crystal meth (called “crystal” when it is in its crystallized form) is a stimulant drug that gives a long-lasting high and feelings of euphoria and joy. Those who suffer with feelings of despair, sadness, or depression, especially enjoy crystal meth for the temporary mood-altering benefits. Crystal meth also acts as an appetite suppression, so females especially appreciate the weight loss that they so often experience when taking crystal meth. Crystal meth is typically smoked, although it can be snorted or injected into the body. The use of crystal meth has been on the rise since the 90’s, especially among teens and college-aged students.

Crystal Meth: Affecting Teens Today

Teen drug use is continually on the rise. Unfortunately, teen drug use often starts in a teen’s own home where they have access to prescription drugs either prescribed to them or their parents or siblings. For awhile, prescription drugs bring feelings of excitement and euphoria, but after awhile, teens become bored and immune to prescription drugs and often turn to street drugs to experience a more powerful, lasting high. Crystal meth is one of these street drugs that teens so often turn to because it is inexpensive and it has very dramatic, potent side effects that teens crave and long for. A study in 2004 was conducted by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which found that a staggering 11.7 million Americans between the ages of 12 and 18 reported trying crystal meth at least once in their life time. Unfortunately these numbers are on the rise, and now more than ever, teens who do drugs are putting their future lives and happiness on the line.

How To Teel Who's Using It

There are signs and symptoms that parents and caregivers can look for if they suspect that their teenager is using crystal meth. These symptoms present themselves both physically and mentally. Some of these physical symptoms include:

  • Rapid weight loss
  • Severe acne on face and neck
  • Tooth loss and deterioration
  • Loss of skin and hair luster
  • Increased heart rate
  • Liver damage
  • Brain damage
  • Stroke
  • Death

Crystal meth also causes negative mental side effects. Some of these include:

  • Paranoia
  • Insomnia
  • Extreme anger or aggression
  • Depression
  • Social withdraw
  • Delusions and hallucinations

Also, any signs of the drug, which would include the drug itself (either a small looking crystal rock or a fine white powder) and pipes or needles, would obviously be a cause for concern and immediate action would need to be taken.

How Parents Can Help

There are many ways that parents can help their teens who may be suffering from a crystal meth addiction. Treatments, such as counseling, drug rehabilitation, and in/out patient therapy, are vital in the recovery process. Loving support from parents and loved ones is also imperative as teens will need all the sustaining they can get as they recover from this powerful drug.