The abuse of crystal methamphetamine is an epidemic that is sweeping the nation. Estimates state that at least 1.4 million people try the drug each year, and that over 12 million people over the age of twelve have tried it since 2003. Crystal methamphetamine, also known simply as "meth" or "speed," is a powerful and highly addictive man-made stimulant. Similar to other drugs, meth use releases a surge of dopamine to the brain that causes intense feelings of pleasure and euphoria. Users report that this euphoric high is unlike anything ever experienced, which makes people keep returning to the drug. Certain celebrities have spoken out about their addiction to crystal meth. Probably the most famous is the pop singer Fergie, who started with the Black Eyed Peas before launching a successful solo career. She overcame her addiction to meth, but has spoken of its addictive qualities.\r\n"It got to the point where I was doing meth day and night and had no more money. I was hearing voices. I thought people were after me. I wasn't talking to any of my friends or family. I actually lost so much weight my friends did an intervention."\r\nWeight loss is common with crystal meth use. Like other stimulants, meth can cause tremendous bursts of physical activity and energy while also suppressing the appetite. This is an attractive combination for many people who want to lose weight, but heavy meth users usually become frail and gaunt looking. Teeth-grinding, poor diet, and bad hygiene often occur, which lead to mouths full of broken, stained and rotting teeth known as "meth mouth." The drug can also cause rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure, and damage to blood vessels and tissues in the body. The drug also reduces the luster and elasticity of skin, making users appear much older than they are. If you or a loved one are addicted to crystal meth, a drug abuse recovery program may work. For more information about drug and alcohol treatment, please visit The Right Step today!