The facts around crystal meth and meth dependence are scary, especially for parents who suspect their teen is using. The drug crystal meth is surpassing marijuana as a popular drug of abuse among teens.
Today, more teens than ever before indulge in the harmful drug, known by its street names “crystal,” “ice drug” or “meth”. Meth and marijuana are similar in regards to their ability to get people addicted, however, crystal meth is a white, crystalline powder and has far different side effects than marijuana.
What Exactly Is Crystal Meth?
Although almost everyone knows about marijuana. Many people are in the dark when it comes to crystal meth. They understandably lack the background to know the facts. The base drug in crystal meth is methamphetamine. Meth is shortened slang for methamphetamine.
A man-made stimulant, methamphetamine is available only by prescription. In truth, the drug is rarely used today. Crystal meth is made when the ingredient pseudoephedrine is added to methamphetamine. Found in many over-the-counter cold medicines, pseudoephedrine combines with methamphetamine to create a highly-potent crystalized version of the drug.
Making meth is very dangerous; the toxic chemicals are highly combustible. Although the production of crystal meth once was done in basements with cheap chemistry sets, most of the crystal meth sold today comes from Mexican “superlabs”. Run by the drug cartels, such superlabs flood the American drug market with powerful, easily accessible, and relatively inexpensive streams of the drug.
Meth and Marijuana
Why is crystal meth becoming more popular among teens? No one knows for sure what has caused the increase in interest but a number of theories may be at play:
- Availability. Crystal meth is easier to make. It’s hard to grow marijuana. In some regions, the flow of marijuana rises and falls. Crystal meth production is stable.
- No smell. Teens who don’t want to get caught in their drug use may appreciate the fact that crystal meth is odorless. Marijuana, on the other hand, is not; it carries with it a pungent odor when stored or smoked.
- Stimulant effect. Crystal meth has a stimulating effect that may enable teens to be more interactive with friends or even accomplish more at school or in a particular sport. Marijuana, however, has the opposite effect.
Harmful Effects of Crystal Meth Abuse and Addiction in Teens
The dangers of crystal meth abuse can hit teens even harder than adults who abuse the drug. Parents can expect that continued abuse of the drug without treatment will bring their teens a number of problems, including:
- Dental problems. Crystal meth dries out the mouth and reduces the amount of saliva produced. This lack creates a breeding ground for gum and teeth problems. Called “meth mouth,” it leads to significant dental issues after just a few months of abusing the drug.
- Trouble at school. Though some students initially abuse the drug in an effort to keep up with or get ahead on schoolwork, many fall behind when addiction takes precedence over other goals. Additionally, getting caught with the drug on campus or being high in class causes major problems as well.
- Legal issues. Getting caught off campus with the drug leads to legal issues, as can other poor choices made while under the influence of the drug.
- Weight loss and health problems. Most patients lose a significant amount of weight early on in crystal meth abuse. A lack of nutrients leads to a multitude of health problems, including eating disorders.
If your teen is struggling with crystal meth addiction, or you notice severe meth dependence in your teen, contact us at Newport Academy today to discuss his or her options for treatment.