1. EUPHORIA: dopamine flooding the brain, leading to feelings of euphoria.
2. ALERTNESS: after about 30 minutes, the euphoric sensations start to subside and the user begins to experience feelings of extreme alertness and a false sense of “hyper-intelligence”.
3. BINGING. Effects begin to wane and the user takes more of the drug to get those feelings back. Ot takes a larger quantity of the drug ingested more often to sustain the “high”. Alcohol and other substances are often used during this stage as well, until nothing will produce the desired feelings.
4. TWEAKING: User becomes irritable and paranoid, often suffering from hallucinations and uncontrollable anger, which leads to violence.
5. THE CRASH: The body begins to shut down after being awake and “tweaking” for several days in a row, and sleep can last for one to three days, or even longer in extreme cases.
6. THE HANGOVER: After sleeping, with no food or water for days, exhaustion, malnutrition and dehydration cause physical damage and feelings of illness, which in turn affect the user’s mental state.
7. WITHDRAWAL: Often too much for the user to bear, they begin the cycle all over again.
7 STAGES OF USING
Meth is extremely addictive; 95% of first time users get addicted.
Meth’s chemical structure is similar to that of amphetamine, but it has more pronounced effects on the central nervous system.
Meth affects the brain—it causes mind changes such as depression, delusions, confusion, irritability, insomnia and permanent psychological damage.
Meth damages brain cells, which can result in symptoms similar to those of Parkinson’s disease.
As a result of dopamine loss, chronic meth users may have problems learning new tasks, particularly new motor skills. The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains that meth users may also have problems with verbal memory.
Meth users may experience mental delusions and sensory hallucinations that fuel paranoia and irritability.
Meth causes increased heart rate and blood pressure and can cause irreversible damage to blood vessels in the brain, producing strokes.
Other effects of meth include respiratory problems, irregular heartbeat, hypothermia, fatigue and extreme anorexia.
Smoking meth rots teeth. Tremors, sores/skin abscesses (“meth bugs”), acne, vomiting, twitches and weight loss are symptoms of meth use.
Meth is not for dieting, partying or studying.
Meth can KILL—an overdose can cause heart failure.
Meth users who inject the drug and share needles are at risk for acquiring HIV/AIDS.
"“Haas repeatedly demonstrates an ability to convey, mostly non-verbally, internal strife, disappointment, and bewilderment all too common in typical addicts…”
- Josh Kruger, Philadelphia City Paper
IMPACT ON THE ADDICT
Signs of meth use may include:
inability to sleep
tremors or even convulsions
increased heart rate, blood pressure, and risk of stroke
nervous physical activity like scratching or grinding teeth
presence of paraphernalia.
Types of paraphernalia include: razor blades, mirrors, straws, syringes, heated spoons, or surgical tubing.
Street names: amp, ice, crystal, crank, speed, go-fast, glass, uppers.
Street reference for users: basehead, cranker, geeker, tweaker, wigger.
Street reference for meth intoxication: amped, buzzed, cranked, geeked, lit,
scattered, sparked, tweeked, wired.
"Even in the light of these numerous extreme dangers, meth maintans a level of popularity that is truly alarming. In a national survey of teens and young adults, around 35% of people aged 18-23 said that they had used methamphetamine. This same age group reported only around 7% had used cocaine and 12.5% had used heroin. That is a staggering disparity." - A Forever Recovery Center