Drug Abuse

Crystal Meth Rocks

Posted on October 4, 2017 in Addiction, Drug Abuse

The Truth About Crystal Meth: What Really Happens During a Meth High?

Crystal meth is a common name for the street drug methamphetamine. It gets its name because it bears a resemblance to the crystals found in certain kinds of rocks. Users of methamphetamine experience the same basic types of mental and physical changes while “high,” regardless of the specific form of the drug they consume. The difference is mainly in how quickly these effects arise and how intense they feel to the user. Let’s examine exactly what happens to people immediately after they take crystal meth.

Speed of Onset

The crystallized form of methamphetamine is typically smoked, although crystal meth addicts and abusers may also crush it into a powder and inject it into a vein, snort it or swallow it. When you smoke or inject meth, it reaches your brain much more quickly than it would if you swallowed it or snorted it. In addition, these two forms of intake produce a much more powerful initial “high.” It is this speed and power of drug onset that largely gives crystal meth its particular appeal as a substance of abuse.

Euphoria

The main sought-after effect among crystal meth addicts and abusers is the intense form of pleasure known as euphoria. This feeling occurs when the drug sharply drives up levels of a chemical called dopamine in a part of your brain commonly known as the pleasure center. You also experience dopamine increases when you do such things as eat foods you like or have sex. However, the presence of crystal meth triggers far greater increases than these activities, especially when you smoke or inject it.

Additional Mental Effects

Crystal meth use triggers other mental changes in addition to euphoria. For instance, users typically feel more alert and awake while “high.” They also frequently experience a short-term increase in their ability to focus and pay attention. In addition, crystal meth users generally lose any sense of hunger while under the influence of the drug.

Physical Effects

Your body also rapidly responds to the presence of crystal meth during use. Since the drug is a stimulant, the physical effects you feel will resemble those associated with other kinds of stimulant substances. They include:

  • A significant increase in breathing rate
  • A significant increase in heart rate
  • A significant increase in blood pressure
  • A significant increase in rate of physical activity

Some of the physical changes associated with a crystal meth “high” are dangerous to your health. For example, in addition to rising past a safe threshold, your heartbeat may grow unsteady or irregular. If you take too much meth, you can develop a potentially life-threatening elevation in your normal body temperature (a condition called hyperthermia). You can also go into uncontrollable seizures or convulsions.

Changes in the Effects Over Time

When you use crystal meth (or any other form of methamphetamine) repeatedly over time, your brain will eventually grow used to its effects. This phenomenon, called tolerance, also occurs in people who use other types of addictive substances. When crystal meth addicts and abusers grow accustomed to the presence of the drug in their systems, they will no longer feel as “high” as they used to when they consume any given amount of methamphetamine. In order to get the results they desire, they will have to increase their intake. In time, this cycle will repeat itself. As much as anything, it is the ongoing spiral of rising tolerance and increasing intake that leads to the development of a full-blown meth addiction, which will most likely require meth addiction treatment to break.

Resources

National Institute on Drug Abuse: Methamphetamine – What Are the Immediate (Short-Term) Effects of Methamphetamine Abuse?                     https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/methamphetamine/what-are-immediate-short-term-effects-methamphetamine-abuse

National Institute on Drug Abuse: Methamphetamine – Drug Facts https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/methamphetamine

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After The Fall: Schools’ Crack Down on Study Drugs – What You Need to Know

Posted on August 29, 2017 in Blog, Drug Abuse

Why ADHD Medication Abuse is Growing on College Campuses

The more some things change, the more they stay the same: professors who believe their course is your number one priority can make finals week a nightmare, especially when you have four or five such instructors! But getting through college without resorting to ADHD medication abuse is a new challenge – one that previous generations did not have to overcome.

In 2015, one study found that 17% of college students reported Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) medication abuse. The most commonly reported reason for this drug use was the effort to improve academic performance.

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Can an Epilepsy Medication Reduce the Risks for Morphine Addiction?

Posted on June 8, 2017 in Drug Abuse

Prescription Drug Use Continues to Rise

By Jenna Mitchell

According to recent findings out of the Mayo Clinic and Olmsted Medical Center, nearly 70% of Americans take at least one prescription medication, over 50% take two, and 20% take more than five. Furthermore, the same research shows that those percentages are only going up as prescription drug use has been steadily increasing throughout the United States for the past decade.

Money spent on these drugs is also on the rise. A 2015 study by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, a company that tracks sales at the pharmacy level for drug companies, reported that in 2014 total drug spending was $374 billion — up 13.1% from the previous year. In 2014, the most commonly prescribed drug was Levothyroxine at 120 million prescriptions. It was followed by hydrocodone at 119 million, Lisinopril at 104 million, Metoprolol at 85 million, and Atorvastatin at 81 million. Another study found that one in six U.S. adults takes a psychiatric drug, such as a sedative or antidepressant.

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photo of narcan rx

Posted on June 7, 2017 in Drug Abuse, Drug Addiction, Substance Abuse

How to Administer Naloxone/Narcan

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drug overdoses accounted for 52,404 U.S. deaths in 2015, the most recent year statistics are available, including 33,091 (63.1%) that involved opioids.

The tragic increase has been “driven in large part by continued sharp increases in deaths involving heroin and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl,” the CDC said in its latest report.

Naloxone (brand name Narcan) is a medication administered to those who have overdosed on opioids such as:

  • heroin
  • morphine
  • oxycodone
  • methadone
  • fentanyl
  • hydrocodone
  • hydromorphone
  • buprenorphine

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Wealthy Celebrity Prone to Drug Abuse

Posted on March 30, 2017 in Drug Abuse

Are the Ultra Wealthy More Prone to Drug Abuse?

In America and throughout the world, celebrities and other ultra-rich individuals receive a broad range of social perks and privileges. If you base your opinions on popular news and entertainment coverage, the ultra wealthy also appear to have ready access to drugs and alcohol. But does celebrity drug abuse actually happen more often than drug abuse in other segments of the population? Judging from the impact of wealth on substance abuse risks, the answer to that question may be “Yes.”

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Map of US Drug Abuse

Posted on March 24, 2017 in Drug Abuse

5 Cities With the Worst Substance Abuse Problem

If you take a look at national substance abuse statistics by city, it’s evident that some regions suffer from bigger drug problems than others. In particular, states such as Maryland and Louisiana are not only home to cities with major drug problems, but they also have seen dramatic increases in drug use in recent years. If you live in or are traveling through any of these five cities, stay safe and steer clear of any known drug areas.

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