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Crystal Meth and Intravenous Drug Use: Are They Connected?

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crystal methCrystal meth is a smoke-able form of methamphetamine that is highly addictive and readily available in every part of the country. A dangerous drug when used in any amount, a new study shows that the harm extends beyond its immediate use. A new study done by the University of British Columbia demonstrated that use of this drug can lead to intravenous drug use, both of crystal meth and other substances. Using needles to get high increases the risks of abusing any drug due to the higher chance of contracting transmittable diseases like hepatitis C and HIV and developing infections at the injection site.

The 345 subjects of the study were individuals living on the streets of Vancouver. These participants were between the ages of 14 and 26 and were tracked during a five-year period. One out of every six people began injecting drugs during the five-year study though none of them did at the onset of the research.

Effects of Crystal Meth Use and Abuse

Very similar in effect to cocaine, crystal meth causes a number of negative medical and psychological effects and issues for users. Physical symptoms can include:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Convulsions
  • Tremors
  • Irregular heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiac issues

Crystal meth can also cause extreme psychological effects including extended bouts of anxiety, violence, unpredictability, paranoia and suicidal thoughts.

Additionally, when needles are used to inject a drug, it can cause a host of other medical problems, including:

  • Abscesses
  • Infections of the blood
  • Heart infection
  • Transfer of deadly diseases if dirty needles are shared

Any combination of these symptoms can cause medical emergency or overdose – both of which can be deadly.

Deeper into Drug Abuse

People have different reasons for choosing to first experiment with drugs like crystal meth, but few actively opt to develop an addiction or to experience the other negative consequences that come with continued drug use. Unfortunately, the mechanisms of these substances in the brain remove the choice from the individual. Over time, continued use alters how the brain functions and the way neurotransmitters are released and communicate with the rest of the body. Slowly, the drug user begins to need more and more of the drug in order to feel its effects at all and, when without the substance of choice, the user will crave the drug and feel anxious, uncomfortable or agitated.

The use of needles only exacerbates this issue. The high is often stronger and more rapid in onset so users very quickly develop an addiction, and their cravings are intense.

Escaping from Drugs

The downward spiral into drug abuse may seem to be more powerful than an individual’s desire to stop using drugs, but treatment can help anyone make amazing changes in their life. Help your loved one take the first step toward drug-free living when you contact us at the phone number above today.

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