Methamphetamines are a Schedule II stimulant that work directly on the central nervous system and interfere with neurotransmission activity. Depending on the techniques used to produce it, meth might have a powdery form or can resemble rock salt or chipped ice.
Regardless of its shape or appearance, meth has dangerous side effects, including heart arrhythmia, elevated body temperature, convulsions and damage to the small blood vessels in the brain – which can cause a stroke. Regular meth users can quickly develop an addiction.
Why Does Meth Sometimes Look Different?
People who make meth at home often use over-the-counter cold medicines or decongestants as the basis for the drug. They then combine the pills’ ingredients with common household chemicals such as battery acid, drain cleaner, lantern fuel and antifreeze. These materials are usually inexpensive and easy to obtain, which is why some people opt to make meth at home.
Powdered meth can resemble cocaine or chalk dust depending on its texture and consistency. While the powder is usually white to off-white, colored meth can also look yellow, brown, orange, pink, gray or clear based on the processes and materials used to make the drug. For example, cooking meth using red pseudoephedrine tablets can give the powder a pink or reddish color – so-called “cherry meth.” Some studies suggest colored meth use may relate to adverse health effects, such as skin infections and abscesses.
Red Flags of Methamphetamine Use
People who take meth typically smoke, snort or inject it. In some cases, methamphetamine pills are available. Common signs that someone is using meth include excessive energy, moodiness, anxiety, sleep disturbances and repetitive behaviors such as skin picking or hair pulling.
Meth brings about a range of psychological and physical effects. Since users experience an energy boost with this illegal stimulant, they may become talkative, alert and overly confident. As a drug dependence worsens into a full-fledged addiction, meth users can exhibit signs such as weight loss, organ and tissue damage, respiratory problems and severe tooth decay. They may also be paranoid, panicky or have long-term memory loss.
Over time and heavy use of methamphetamine, the body reduces its number of dopamine receptors. Once this happens, brain cells cannot sense if dopamine levels stabilize. At this stage, a meth user will not feel as if they are functioning normally without some amount of the drug in their system. Achieving the desired euphoria will also require increasingly higher doses of meth.
Where to Get Help for a Meth Addiction
If meth use has taken over your life, it’s essential to seek professional help so you can rebuild and make a fresh start. At Vista Taos, we offer an accredited methamphetamine addiction treatment program in the spiritual center of Taos, New Mexico. Holistic healing methods will teach you how to cope with life’s challenges as you work toward recovering your mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Contact us today when you’re ready to learn more about breaking the cycle of methamphetamine abuse.