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Crystal Meth Abuse Signs, Symptoms and Addiction Treatment

  1. Article Quick LinksPrint
  2. Signs and Symptoms
  3. Effects of Crystal Meth Abuse
  4. Crystal Meth Abuse Treatment
  5. Crystal Meth Statistics
  6. Teen Crystal Meth Abuse

Meth Addiction

Crystal meth has surpassed cocaine as the drug of choice for young people and has left a wake of destroyed lives in its aftermath. Meth addiction runs rampant in America and throughout the world. As such, parents and users need to recognize the signs of methamphetamine addiction and seek out treatment.

Crystal meth is a stimulant that is named for the crystalline structure it assumes during manufacture. The drug is most commonly smoked, but it can also be injected or taken in pill form. It is commonly created in homemade labs using common household ingredients and over-the-counter medicine.

What is crystal meth?

Crystal meth is illicitly produced methamphetamine in a crystalline form. Most commonly smoked, but also snorted or injected, methamphetamine acts as a powerful and immediate-acting stimulant. Its euphoric effects last for only a short time, which rapidly leads to repeated use and addiction. Crystal meth can have extremely damaging effects on both the mind and body, leading to persistent brain damage, violent behavior, weight loss and dental problems. (source)

Other names for crystal meth

  • Meth
  • Crystal
  • Ice
  • Glass
  • Crank
  • Speed
  • Tweak
  • Chalk
  • Tina
  • Uppers (source)

Google Trends: Searches for “crystal meth”

In the United States, searches for "crystal meth" are most common in Mississippi, Hawaii, California, and Nevada.

Countries using the most amphetamines

How many people have used methamphetamine non-medically in their lifetime?

United States, aged 12+

How many people used methamphetamine non-medically in the last year?

United States, aged 12+

How many people used methamphetamine non-medically in the last month?

United States, aged 12+

How many youth use methamphetamine non-medically?

United States

Annual market size for crystal meth

  • $13 billion (US, 2010) (source)

Purity levels of methamphetamine

Retail level

Street price of methamphetamine

United States

D-meth & unknown isomer
@ 0.25 pure gram

How much are people spending on meth?

United States

How much crystal meth is consumed every year?

United States

Amount of crystal meth seized


DEA domestic drug seizures


Source: DEA (STRIDE)

Crystal Meth Abuse Quiz question 1

Signs and Symptoms

Crystal meth signs and symptoms are often related to the drug's impact on the body as a function of its stimulant nature. A single sign may not determine an addiction, but several signs seen over
a short period of time can mean an addiction. Signs include:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Weight loss
  • Eye twitching
  • Loss of appetite
  • Repetitious behavior
  • Hyperactivity

People with an addiction to methamphetamine can also stay up for days at a time followed by an extreme crash, where they sleep for long periods. They can also go into a manic phase, where they have compulsive and obsessive needs for cleaning.

Those addicted to crystal meth for an extended period may show signs of extreme weight loss, seizures, rotted teeth and sores on the mouth and face. If you would like more information about crystal meth symptoms, call 1-800-943-0566. It's never too late to find proper treatment. Don't let this chance slip away.


Crystal Meth Abuse Quiz question 2

Effects of Crystal Meth Abuse

The Effects of Crystal Meth Use can be categorized as either physical or mental. The drug can have an impact on brain functions, causing damage to brain cells. This damage can lead to short-term memory loss and seizures.

The drug can also affect the skin, causing skin abscesses that often become infected because of a weakened immune system. This also leads to periods of sickness. Crystal meth can impact almost all areas of the body. It can lead to blindness, respiratory failure, kidney failure, chest pain, internal bleeding, brittle bones and malnutrition because of lack of eating and increased metabolism.

Psychological effects include psychosis and paranoia, aggressive behavior, mood instability, delusions, suicidal thoughts and schizophrenia. Many of these are caused by a mix of sleep deprivation, over stimulation and damage to the brain.

Crystal Meth Abuse Quiz question 3

Crystal Meth Abuse Treatment

The common first step in treating crystal meth abuse is detoxification. This requires the addicted person to stop taking the drug and go into withdrawal. The symptoms of withdrawal can be intense, so a rehab center or family members are needed for support. Once the withdrawal occurs, the addict is likely to take the drug again, unless there is a strong support system.

Since methamphetamine is a stimulant, treatment continues with addressing and treating depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. This treatment uses both medication and psychology. Often, there are underlying psychological reasons why a person uses drugs. Without addressing these reasons, the person is more likely to return to the drug. Call 1-800-943-0566 to discuss treatment options. We are available 24 hours a day to help.

Crystal Meth Abuse Quiz question 4

Crystal Meth Statistics

  • The severe tooth decay caused by crystal meth addiction is called "meth mouth."
  • In Asia, meth is commonly used as a pill called Yaba in Thailand and Shabu in the Philippines.
  • In Hawaii, 48.2 percent of those seeking addiction help for drug abuse were crystal meth users.
  • The worldwide production of amphetamine stimulants is more than 500 metric tons per year, according the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
  • There are more than 24.7 million methamphetamine users in the world.
  • Crystal meth has one of the highest relapse rates of any drug.

Crystal Meth Abuse Quiz question 5

Videos on crystal meth

Typical legal penalties involving crystal meth

  • Methamphetamine is classified by the DEA as a Schedule II drug. (source)
  • Repeated trafficking in a Schedule II drug such as methamphetamine – even fewer than 50 grams - can carry a life sentence. (source) State penalties for possession of Schedule II drugs can include prison sentences of up to 15 years. (source) (source 2)
  • The effects of methamphetamine can cause impaired driving and lead to DUI charges. (source)

Quotes from crystal meth addicts

“After a dose it is like you have just won an award, been offered sex with a very attractive person, and you are taking off in an aeroplane, all at the same time. Following the initial rush, I would become enraptured by a sense of the mystical: crystal meth can make you feel like your life is one big magical, lucid dream where anything is possible, everyone revolves around you and consequences are not binding. Then there is the flip side, when the magic potion wears off and the dreams become nightmares.” (source)

Crystal Meth Abuse Quiz question 6

Teen Crystal Meth Abuse

A recent survey by CBS news revealed that 1 in 33 teens in the United States has tried meth and a quarter of those surveyed said crystal meth was easy to get and had some benefits. Crystal meth is one of the most widely used drugs among young people.
Teens tend to enjoy the stimulant effects of the drug, which is readily available. Since crystal meth is often created in small local laboratories, it doesn't have to cross borders or travel long distances to get to users.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health has shown that crystal meth use among 12 to 17 year olds has dropped, but parents should still watch for the warning signs of meth use. It's not too late to find help for you or your son or daughter. Call 1-800-943-0566 for more information or to discuss treatment options. Help for Crystal Meth addict is always available for those who are determined to regain control of their lives.

Need Help Understanding Your Addiction Treatment Options? Call 1-888-747-7155.