Recent studies have reported a resurgence in the use of crystal meth, with more women falling prey to the highly addictive drug than men. According to data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), more than 12 million people in the United States have used crystal meth or methamphetamine at least once in their lifetime. The data also revealed that 1.2 million people abused the drug in 2011.
Crystal meth is commonly known as ice, mainly due to its rock-like crystal appearance. People who have undergone the experience of crystal meth addiction, call it a waiting game. Crystal meth causes adverse effects on the body right from the first dose itself. When consumed, the drug attacks the appetite and reduces it for few hours. This has misguided many, especially teenage girls and young women who consider methamphetamine as short-cut to lose weight.
During the starvation, the body tends to use the stored fat to carry on with metabolism and other functions, which lead to severe health repercussions in the future. Besides physical, the drug also leads to mental impairment. This co-occurrence of an addiction and mental illness is known as dual diagnosis.
Impact of crystal meth on mental health
Consumed by various methods ranging from snorting, smoking to injecting with needle, crystal meth induces feeling of confidence, hyper activeness and false sense of happiness in a user. With regular use of the drug, people tend to suffer from mental illnesses such as paranoia, hallucinations, memory loss and insomnia. Besides, strange or violent behaviors, rapid mood swings, depression and anxiety are also common among crystal meth users. Some of the common mental problems that accompany crystal meth addiction in an individual are:
1. Ice psychosis: Excessive use or abuse of the drug can also cause ‘ice psychosis’, a condition in which users get out of touch with reality. And it may result in delusions, paranoia and hallucinations. Ice psychosis can be both distressing and dangerous and can last few days.
2. Schizophrenia: Another common mental illness among crystal meth users is schizophrenia, which is again characterized by hallucinations. Crystal meth users experience hallucinations due to sleeplessness for several days which in due course of time, can become very severe. Also, they are well aware of their hallucinations.
3. Bipolar disorder: Bipolar disorder, which is described by sudden mood swings and erratic behavior, is also common with users of the drug. Notably, while a user tends to exhibit the manic behavior only when high, the mood swings persist even in sobriety for many months. However, the methamphetamine-induced bipolar can be resolved with seizing the consumption of the substance. Besides, the long-term use of the drug can cause brain damage and an increasing inability to grasp abstract thoughts. Also, the side effects become irreversible with the long-term use and users find it difficult to get cured.
Road to recovery
Crystal meth is not the only drug that causes mental impairment when consumed in excess. In fact, dual diagnosis is common with people suffering from all kinds of drug addiction. Studies suggest that while there are people who pick up addiction due to suffering from a mental disorder, the opposite is more common. Therefore, co-occurrences such as depression in alcohol users, schizophrenia in marijuana users, anxiety in cocaine users, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in prescription abusers can be seen among people.
If you or a loved one is struggling to cope with a co-occurring disorder, feel free to contact the California Dual Diagnosis Helpline to learn about the best dual diagnosis rehab in California. You may call our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1736 or chat online with our representatives for more details about dual diagnosis treatment centers in California.