Understanding Crystal Meth

Crystal meth – also known as meth, ice, crank or glass – is an extremely addictive drug, classified as a Schedule II controlled substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Crystal meth can be snorted, smoked or dissolved and injected. It is one of the most common, widely used drugs and produces its euphoric high by increasing the levels of dopamine in the brain.


Since crystal meth is such a highly addictive substance, its negative side effects can come on quickly. It can affect every aspect of someone’s life, from their job, to their living situation, their relationships, their behaviors and their physical well-being.

Crystal meth can cause a lot of dangerous substance when someone uses it, such as:

  • Abnormal heart rate rhythm
  • Restlessness
  • Hyperactivity
  • Violent behavior
  • Insomnia
  • Talkativeness
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Overconfidence
  • Chemical dependence
  • Extreme weight loss
  • High blood pressure
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Itchy skin
  • Skin lesions

If you or someone you love is suffering from a crystal meth addiction, it is imperative that you seek help as soon as possible. This is because crystal meth causes a lot of long-term physical damages. The sooner you are able to stop the addiction, the better the chances are that these consequences will not form.

Long-term use of crystal meth can lead to the following:

  • Extreme and sudden weight loss
  • Sunken eyes
  • Sunken cheeks
  • Dry skin and hair
  • Tooth decay
  • Large amount of skin lesions
  • Early aging
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Aggression
  • Violence
  • Numbness
  • Involuntary twitching
  • Tremors
  • Forgetful
  • Short attention span
  • Seizures
  • Increased risk of contacting HIV/AIDS
  • Heart attack
  • Death


Crystal meth is extremely addictive. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2012, approximately 440,000 Americans over the age of 11 had used meth within the past 30 days of the survey. In the same study, 133,000 Americans tried meth for the first time that year.

In addition, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 12 million people have tried crystal meth at least once and a 2009 report from the RAND Corporation noted that methamphetamine abuse cost the Nation approximately $23.4 billion in 2005.

The Cycle of Crystal Meth Addiction

When someone is using crystal meth, there is a cycle that takes place. The cycle includes recreational binging, compulsive binging, exhaustion and withdrawal.

  1. Recreational binging. During the recreational binging cycle, the user will smort, smoke or inject the drug and feel its euphoric effects. During this phase, the user might want to continue the high and use can continue for days at a time.
  2. Compulsive using. In an attempt to stay high, the user keeps using the drug but the brain has stopped giving the same euphoric high. After staying awake for days high on crystal meth, the user becomes extremely paranoid and exhibits obsessive behaviors such as skin picking or cleaning.
  3. Exhaustion. After a long period of using crystal meth and staying awake, the user’s body will become exhausted and crash. In an effort for the body to fix itself, the user may sleep for days and be extremely lethargic. Due to the high amounts of dopamine having been released, the user may also become depressed during this time.
  4. Withdrawal. As with any drug, once the substance has left the bloodstream the user will experience withdrawal symptoms. Cravings are high and the user is feeling generally depressed and lethargic, and wanting to be back on the energetic high that crystal meth offers. Then, the cycle repeats itself, often skipping step 1.

Am I Addicted to Crystal Meth?

Chances are, you are aware that your crystal meth use has gotten out of control, or that of someone you love. If you or someone you love is constantly repeating the cycle of crystal meth addiction and aren’t able to break free from it, chances are an addiction has formed and professional help is needed to overcome it.

Crystal meth is extremely addictive, so much so that it can only take one use for someone to become addicted. Crystal meth can completely take over someone’s moods, personality and behaviors and turn them into a negative, volatile person. This can lead to damaged relationships within a user’s marriage, parents, friends circle, job and children. In addition to behavioral changes, crystal meth has a lot of damaging, long-term physical consequences that can even lead to death. If you or someone you love is addicted to crystal meth, seek help as soon as possible.

About Pinelands Recovery Center

Having a treatment plan that is customized to your needs makes all the difference in addiction recovery. No two crystal meth addictions are the same, as everyone has different severities and have been addicted to various of amounts of time. We work hard to give you a treatment plan that you will enjoy, that will stick, and that will offer you the best chances possible for long-term sobriety.

Pinelands Recovery Center of Medford is widely known as one of New Jersey’s finest, most respected addiction treatment facilities. With comfortable 30-bed accommodations and a 24-hour professional staff, we can offer clients a serene, relaxing environment amid the lush piney woods. This stress-free setting with its sense of warmth and welcoming enables you to feel comfortable and confident about your clean and sober life ahead.

We will establish clear goals, both general in nature and specific to your needs. We continue to monitor those goals, to make sure that our clients are progressing and buying into their recovery plan. We thrive on assisting clients in feeling connected to the recovery community, share and demonstrate effective coping techniques, help clients to modify attitudes and patterns of behavior and everything else you will need to be happy and productive living a sober, healthy life.

We ensure that clients complete their planned concrete tasks, encourage hope, optimism and
healthy living. Our recovery program is not a revolving door treatment program; it is a recovery model designed to help clients go on to lead productive, happy lives. For more information, visit pinelandsrecovery.com