Deadly Drug That Leaves You Psychotic!

Deadly Drug That Leaves You Psychotic!

Crystal meth addiction is often described as “an epidemic” in parts of the US, Australia and mainland Europe. 1.7 million US citizens, including children as young as 12 years old, reported using crystal meth in the last year. 

Crystal meth is the common name for methamphetamine, is a highly addictive stimulant, which comes is rock or crystal form and is snorted, injected or smoked. The active ingredient in crystal meth is pseudoephedrine, which is commonly used in the US, in cold medications. In the US, crystal meth is mostly made in Mexican super-labs. Parts of Australia and the Czech Republic have a culture of meth production and use.

In the United Kingdom, crystal meth is mostly used as a club drug. It gives an immediate and long-lasting high. The drug acts as a stimulant throughout the brain and the body and there is an almost immediate feeling of euphoria, following by an increase in energy and alertness, which can last for up to 12 hours.

The drug also increases libido and has become popular – certainly in the UK – in the gay male club scene. Its effects of increased energy, libido, confidence and lowering of inhibitions, make it one of the most widely used chem-sex drugs.

While parts of the US report wide-spread crystal meth addiction, the drug is less well-known and its use less well-documented in the UK. A recent Home Office study of drug use in England and Wales, estimated that 2 million people used cannabis in 2017, three quarters of a million people used cocaine, half a million people used ecstasy and approximately 25,000 people used crystal meth.

In spite of this, drugs professionals remain cautious. Crystal meth use is predicted to rise in the UK, as its euphoric effects are experienced outside the gay community. Harry Shapiro, of the charity Drugscope, says: “So far, the prevalence has been pretty much confined to the male gay scene and even within that, what you might call the heavy end party scene of injecting crystal meth and promiscuous sexual activity. However, it’s starting to become more popular with clubbers and mainstream drug users.”

Smoking the purer, crystalline form of methamphetamine crystal meth produces a very intense high similar to that produced by crack cocaine. It releases the brain’s stress hormone norepinephrine, and the so-called feel-good chemicals, dopamine and serotonin.

Other so-called “desired” effects of crystal meth include:

  • The intense initial rush of euphoria, lasting for 30 minutes or more
  • Increased and intense focus and motivation
  • Feelings of confidence and improved intellect

However, most experienced drugs workers warn that these so-called positive effects are short-lived and usually only experienced in the first few session of crystal meth use. However, users will almost universally experience:

  • Mood swings, including erratic and even violent behaviour
  • Anxiety, edginess and paranoia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Tremors and convulsions
  • Hypothermia
  • Raised blood pressure
  • Irregular heart rhythms

Regular use of crystal meth is linked with severe anxiety, depression and insomnia. There is an increased risk of more persistent psychotic symptoms – including delusions, paranoia and hallucinations.

Regular users also report feelings of intensely itchy skin, like bugs crawling all over the skin’s surface. Body sores from persistent picking at the skin are not uncommon. Severe crystal meth abuse can cause outward signs of ageing in users. Since the drug destroys tissues and blood vessels and hampers the body’s ability to heal, users often develop acne and the skin takes on a dull look and loses its elasticity. The teeth can begin to decay and crack – a condition known as “meth mouth”.

One of the most serious effects of crystal meth use, however, is a highly increased risk of sudden death from cardiac arrest or a stroke.

In spite of this, crystal meth users will frequently take more and more of the substance to achieve the desired high and will take ever increasing amounts, further fueling the body’s and brain’s dependency on the drug. Like crack cocaine, the come downs from crystal meth are often frightening and intense. They can cause users to use very quickly again to mitigate the effects of the comedown.

One experienced UK addictions counsellor and psychotherapist says: “I have no doubt that crystal meth – methamphetamine – is one of the most highly addictive drugs and the most difficult to withdraw from. It can take weeks and months even for the intense cravings to lessen. Many users who are struggling to stay clean, not only experience horrendous cravings, but are also left with a drugs-induced severe depression. The early days of recovery are truly awful.”online-counselling1 Deadly Drug That Leaves You Psychotic!

She says: “If crystal meth has been used as a sex enhancer or in chem-sex situations, it can be very difficult for users to then return to having sex without drugs. There is both a physical and mental loss of interest.”

Can crystal meth withdrawal be managed without a residential treatment programme? Rebecca Sparkes, an addictions psychotherapist says: “It’s entirely possible to stop taking crystal meth and manage the withdrawal symptoms without residential rehab, but it’s tough. And it’s extremely tough to do so without specialist counselling and support.”

Rebecca says: “I would strongly recommend that anyone trying to quit the drug finds an experienced addictions psychotherapist or counsellor. Some of the psychological effects of stopping taking crystal meth can be frightening and debilitating – depression, anxiety and

often paranoia. Working with someone who understands this can be invaluable during the process.”

She is also an advocate of helping addicts look at the reasons why they are using the drug. “Supportive counselling is very good at helping managing withdrawals and cravings,” she says. “But where there has been a long history of drug abuse, it may be that there are some emotional and psychological issues which underpin the addiction. It’s very hard to get clean and to stay clean unless some of these are addressed.”

“However, crystal meth is an extremely powerful drug. It’s important that anyone struggling not to use, finds the right, specialist help.”

Author: Rebecca Sparkes

If you or someone you love is suffering from an addiction and needs help and advice, take the next step by calling 0203 955 7700 today. Our friendly, non-judgmental, and highly professional advisors will help you rediscover the joys of living a life free of alcohol and drug dependence in no time.

Dipesh / 27th July 2020/ Posted in: Drugs, Latest News

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    Detoxification (detox) is the medical intervention required for someone who is physically dependent to drugs or alcohol. If required, medical detoxification would be the first step taken in residential rehab. Detox is used to prevent uncomfortable and dangerous (even fatal) withdrawals symptoms resulting in suddenly becoming abstinent from alcohol/certain drugs.

    The goal of a medical detox is to aid in the physical healing required following long term addiction and rid the body of all together of substance whilst providing a cushion for unpleasant symptoms of withdrawals. Detox is not considered the whole treatment for drug/alcohol addiction and it is always recommended that a comprehensive rehabilitation program is used along side to help maintain long term abstinence.

    Medication is often required for alcohol detox. If you are dependent on alcohol and experiencing withdrawal symptoms it is vitally important to seek medical advice prior to stopping. There is a long list of medications used when treating alcohol addiction and the exact medication given to an individual will depend on their needs/medical history. Some of these include;

    • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
    • Lorazepam (Ativan)
    • Diazapam (vailium)

    Librium and Valium are the most commonly used detox medication in the UK. All medication used to help with alcohol detox have been proven to help reduce the effects of withdrawal symptoms.

    There are also a number of drugs recombined by the NHS to help treat alcohol misuse. Some of these include:

    • Naltrexone
    • Disulfiram (Antabuse)
    • Nalmefene
    • Acamprosate (campral)

    Medication is always required for heroin detox. For someone suffering from heroin addiction, the thought of detoxification (detox) can be exceptionally daunting. Withdrawal symptoms from opiates, such as heroin, can be severe and include pain, vomiting, nausea and shaking.

    There are different ways that heroin detox can be carried out, most usually either ‘maintenance therapy’ or ‘full medical detox’.

    Attempting to switch from heroin to a heroin substitute, usually on a controlled prescription, is known as Maintenance therapy. Subsites used are most often methadone or buprenorphine.

    A full medical detox from heroin will always be carried out in a residential rehab setting and will allow the individual to switch form heroin to a substitute and slowly withdraw completing treatment free of all substances. Someone using a heroin substitute can choose to have a full medical detox at any time, however detoxing substances such a methadone can often add to the length of detox required. Drugs most commonly used to fully detox from heroin are, Subutex, Suboxone and Methadone. Much like alcohol, the exact drugs used will be dependent on the individuals needs/medical history.

    Once detoxed from heroin the risk of overdose is much higher following relapse due to tolerance following withdrawal.

    The length of treatment in a residential rehab depends on a number of elements. Some substances require longer periods of detox than others.

    Private paying patients will also often choose a length of stay that suites their therapeutic and financial needs. As a rule, a full treatment program in a rehab is considered to be 28 days (often referred to as a month), however, treatment is offered in several different ways and lengths starting at 7 days.

    Treating alcohol addiction will always require a minimum of 7-10 days, this would be considered the detoxification (detox) faze. The length required for treating drug addiction can vary drastically depending on the substance being used. Detox for Heroin addiction is generally around 14 days minimum, with more time required if substances such a methadone are being used. Treating prescription drug addiction can often take the longest. The time required for treating gambling addiction, eating disorders and sex addiction will be based on the individuals needs.

    Rehab programs can be as long as an individual requires but primary treatment is normally caped at 12 weeks, with the offering for further secondary and tertiary treatment thereafter.

    *based on average rehab stays, everyone will vary dependant on needs and medical requirement/history.

    There is no need for your employer to know that you are seeking help for trauma and addiction unless you choose to involve them with the process. All employers should have a policy that explains what you do if you cannot come to work due to illness – illness to include treating alcohol addiction/treating drug addiction.

    If your work absence extends over 7 days your employer is likely to require an official statement of fitness to work which would be obtained from your GP. This would need to supply evidence of your illness as well as any adjustments required for returning to work, fazed return or reduced hours, but does not need to specify in detail the reason why you have been absent.

    If you are absent from work for 7 days of less, for example entering rehab for a detoxification (detox) on a Saturday for 7-10 days taking a full week away from work, you can self-certify your illness by letting your employer work you will not be attending work for that period of time. Exactly how an individual would do this would be dependent on a specific companies’ policies on taking sick leave.

    Any time longer than 7 days it is likely an employer will require a note from the individuals GP certifying their sickness and a fit note on return. Most companies have a clearly outlined policy on sickness and receiving sick pay so the exact requirement can vary. A rehab will always be willing to advise on time off work.

    How much does rehab cost is a very frequently asked question. The cost of treatment can range from £1,000 per week upwards depending on the place, with luxury rehab being the most expensive.

    There are free options available on the NHS but the waitlist of those looking for free treatment is longer than that for privately paying patients. Some private health insurance policies will cover treatment in some rehabs around the country.

    Choosing the right rehab centre will often be based on priced but it is important to follow guidance on the most suitable treatment centre for an individual’s needs which our expert team of advisers are on hand to offer.

    There are certainly pro’s for both treatment near by and traveling for treatment with one of the most asked question being should I get rehab near me? There are rehabs all over the UK and around the world that all offer expert programs, let’s look at how to choose a rehab.

    Local treatment

    Being close to home gives certainly has benefits. Visitors are normally permitted in rehab following the first 7 days stay, therefore if an individual is in treatment for a length of time longer than that being local will make it easier for loved ones to visit.

    Most rehab centres will also provide a full aftercare plan for someone following treatment, this will include ongoing aftercare in the specific treatment centre. Living close by can make it easy to take full advantage of ongoing aftercare. There can also often be the option for ongoing care with an individual therapist, again being close by will allow that treatment to be carried out face to face.

    Some individuals wish to be local but are willing to look broader, for instance the greater city of residence (London, Manchester, Liverpool, etc)

    Treatment Away

    Getting treatment away from home can be very appealing to some. Being out of the local area makes it a lot harder to just walk out of treatment as resources locally are unknown. Some also take comfort in knowing that they are not near home and focus more on treatment.

    As the price for treatment can vary so much from one residential treatment centre to another, private paying patients often would rather travel to keep the cost down. Those using private health insurance may also have to travel to find a treatment centre covered in their policy.

    When opting for treatment away from home this can be anywhere in the UK and also abroad. Aftercare can still be carried out and very successful using tools such as The Online Rehab.

    There is no right or wrong when choosing where to go to residential rehab, but our expert advisors are always on hand to help provide information on all possible options.

    Whilst millions of people in the UK have taken recreational drugs (amphetamine, cannabis, cocaine, crack, crystal meth, GHB, heron, ketamine, methadone, and prescription drugs) and drank alcohol not all become ‘addicted’. Most recent reports show that 279,793 individuals were in contact with drug and alcohol misuse services in the last year with over half of that being from opiate addiction and a quarter for alcohol.

    There are several risk factors invoiced in addiction and those using drugs and alcohol socially, simply take the risk. These risks are as follows;

    Tolerance – basically, if a substance is used repeatedly an individual’s tolerance to it will build. This will result in more of the same substance being required to get the same effect. In the long run this can easily lead to addiction and physical dependencies.

    Environmental risks – these can include influences such a peer pressure and stress as well as physical or mental abuse of an individual (particularly as a child). Overall, those who live with frequent pressures and stress are more likely to reach for a substance to cope and are therefore at higher risk of becoming addicted.

    Drug type – it is very well known that certain drugs are simply more addictive than others. Using substances such as heroin increases the risk of becoming addicted for need to ‘chase’ a high as well as physical dependency.

    Drug administration – how a drug is administered can affect its addictive qualities. A drug injected rather than smoked or snorted will release a quicker and more intense high thus making it psychologically (and in many cases physically) more addictive.

    Biological factors – it is now widely reported that being an addict is not only psychological but also biological. This includes your genetic makeup, mental health, sex and age. It is also reported to be 8 times more likely for the child of an addict to become an addict themselves.

    Its believed that addiction is approximately half genetics and therefore some are 50% more likely to become addicted than others.

    How do you help a loved one trapped in addiction?

    The first step is to help and encourage the individual to become willing to accept help. They do not need to be shouting this off the rooftops, but they do need to be willing to go into treatment. There are ways to help someone become willing to get treatment for alcohol or treatment for drugs.

    Set boundaries – set boundaries and stick to them. Once you have laid them out follow through with whatever consequences you have set however hard it is.

    Stop finances – if you are financially supporting someone stopping these finances can be the quickest way for the addict needing to ask for help. With no money to acquire a substance an addict’s options become very limited.

    Intervention – getting together with other family members/friends/colleagues and staging an intervention is often very successful in the fist stage of acceptance and gaining an admission to residential rehab.

    You can’t make them quit, this can lead to dangerous withdrawal. Boundaries are very important in helping someone become willing to get help. Unfortunately you cannot do someone’s recovery for them and without self-motivation it is very hard to make it work.

    The next step is to call our highly trained advisers 0203 955 7700.

    There is a huge range of rehab options available and where to start can be completely over whelming so let us help.