Meth or ‘ice’ a drug that has become a drug of choice for many in this age. It affects the glial cells in the brain that protect the brain, resulting in brain shrinkage, over activity and an increase in stroke and Parkinson’s disease.
Other names are crystal meth, ice, speed, chalk, crank, go-fast and chicken feed.
Over the years, different recreational drugs have come and gone, all leading to this most destructive illicit drugs. As with all mind altering substances it changes our behaviour and mental processes.
The major noticeable differences with ice are that sores start to appear on the body and the brain starts to shrink, sometimes to the point of a showing a similar molecular structural deterioration to someone with advanced dementia. This results in reduced motor speed (moving arms, legs, feet and body) and impaired verbal learning. The parts of the brain affected are the parts associated with emotion and memory. The sores become very itchy and picking and scratching them occurs from the feeling of things crawling under the skin. The scratching can lead to staph infections.
Ice is a very strong stimulant that once smoked, will keep people awake for days, as well as reducing the desire to eat. This is why many addicts can appear malnourished and have a small body size. The actual hit from the ice only lasts about 30 to 60 minutes, though the long term physical processes still continue to have their effects.
With every high comes a rebound low and the user will feel depressed and anxious as well as being exhausted from sleep deprivation. The more the person uses, the more severe are the highs and lows, even to the point of violence. If still on the high, then there is confidence that is combined with the aggression.
As the dependence and tolerance levels rise and the dose needed for the same effect also rises. The only pleasure the user derives is from the drug itself and this creates a vicious circle of feeling depressed and wanting more.
The Story Gets Worse
The malnutrition from not wanting to eat can increase the likelihood of chronic diseases, impaired immune functions and dental, bone and nerve tissue problems. Teeth problems arise from malnutrition, no saliva and teeth grinding. The problem with nerve tissue damage is that it takes a lot longer to heal and regenerate than other tissues and certain aspects of brain damage can be irreversible.
Physical problems also seen in chronic users are heart palpitations, kidney and lung disorders that can be fatal, brain damage, excessive weight loss, liver disease, heart conditions and stroke.
The social implications are the introduction of a chaotic lifestyle, inability to socialise, paranoia, delusions, severe mood swings, psychosis, suicidal tendencies and or hallucinations.
The delusions and hallucination can make the user believe that others are evil and they want to harm then, hence why parents and even children get harmed. It is not uncommon to see them yelling at others, hitting them or throwing objects at them. The other alarming factor is that the ice stimulates the sexual stimulation of the user and the result is small children being sexually abused. If they are not being abused they are left unattended, unfed and in soiled nappies for extended periods.
Overdose signs are difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart attack, stroke, leading to coma, seizures and kidney failure.
As with any drug addiction, the solution comes from the underlying desire and need to take yourself away from who we truly are.
Step one is always acknowledgement that you are behaving a certain way and that the drugs or mind altering substances are affecting you, your family and your life, that you are an addict and that you want to do something to change it.
Unless the person is able to take responsibility for who they are and what they do, change and healing will be short lived.
At Vitae Amor Seminars (www.vitaeamorseminars.com.au) we have worked with drug, alcohol and ice addicts and have great stories to tell of people getting back into the workforce, reconnecting with families, and starting to move away from the life of addiction and into a healthier and functional way of living.
If you have any family or friends who are ready to step out of the cycle of drugs, we are here to help, support and facilitate them through their transition process. Email us to find out more. firstname.lastname@example.org