What is a Crystal Meth Addiction?

Crystal meth is the name for the street drug crystal methamphetamine. Crystal meth can also be known as ice or glass, and it can be either snorted, smoked or dissolved and injected. It is a very strong and highly addictive drug. It affects the central nervous system, and crystal meth addiction has dangerous life-threatening effects.

Understanding Crystal Meth

Crystal meth is a man-made stimulant drug that has no legal use. It is made with methamphetamine, pseudoephedrine and a combination of other chemicals. Methamphetamine has been around for a long time, originally created to keep soldiers during World War II awake. Today, methamphetamine can be used to treat obesity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by prescription. In an effort to cut down on production costs, people who create crystal meth can often cut in other dangerous and deadly chemicals.

Pseudoephedrine is found in many cough and cold medicines, such as NyQuil, as it helps uncomfortable congestion symptoms. While it can be very useful for the common cold, it is often used to also make meth. This is why pharmacies and grocery stores ask for identification when purchasing these products.


Crystal Meth addiction is extremely dangerous and often leads to death. Some statistics from U.S. Department of Justice’s 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment include:

  • Crystal Meth is one of the top 5 most commonly abused drugs.
  • 85-90 percent of stimulant-related drug deaths involve meth
  • 5,716 people died as a result of stimulant overdose in 2015
  • Stimulant-related deaths rates rose 225 percent between 2005 and 2015

Dangers of Meth Addiction

Crystal meth is a very potent and addictive drug that can cause a lot of damage, which can be both behavioral and physical. If you think that someone you love might be suffering from a crystal meth addiction, take note of these symptoms.

Physical effects of crystal meth addiction include:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Gaunt appearance
  • Marked weight loss
  • Dry skin
  • Skin with lesions and open sores, especially on the face
  • Nose bleeds
  • Dry mouth
  • Jaw clenching
  • Bad breath
  • Rapid tooth decay and tooth loss
  • Sunken eyes and cheeks

It can be easy to tell physically whether or not someone is in the midst of a crystal meth addiction. You can also look out for plenty of behavioral symptoms, as well. Dangerous behavioral effects of crystal meth addiction include:

  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis
  • Irritability
  • Extreme talkativeness
  • Inability to focus
  • Inability to hold a conversation
  • Shady behavior
  • Twitches, tremors and other involuntary movements
  • Compulsive behavior
  • Insomnia
  • A major change in mental health, priorities, social circle and appearance

Long Term Effects of Crystal Meth Addiction

The cycle of crystal meth use involves binging, crashing and relapse. During the binging period, the user will stay up days at a time using the drug. Their body will eventually crash, which is when the user will sleep for extended periods of time in an effort to restore their body. They will also feel extremely dope sick, and will seek to obtain the drug again. Once the user feels recovered, they will binge again.

Participating in this cycle for the long-term can cause severely damaging effects to the body. The more cycles a user goes through, the more damages will happen to their body. This makes it imperative that someone suffering from crystal meth addiction seeks help right away. They include:

  • Weakened immune system
  • Brain damage
  • Psychosis
  • Heightened anxiety
  • Decaying teeth
  • Skin lesions and infections
  • Heart beat irregularity
  • Overdose
  • Death

Getting Help for Crystal Meth Addiction

Crystal meth addiction is almost impossible to beat alone, and sustaining sobriety is extremely unlikely without the help of professional treatment. This is because crystal meth offers extremely uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms during the crashing phase, drawing the user back in. Being able to experience these uncomfortable symptoms in a medical setting is extremely beneficial, since detox medication and therapy are available to alleviate these symptoms.

All addiction stems from a root cause. Treatment is essential in uncovering this root cause and treating it so that the addiction does not appear again. If someone quits crystal meth cold turkey without therapy, the addiction will eventually make its way around again because the root cause was never addressed.

Ongoing care and treatment is also important to make sure that the road to recovery is on track. Participating in an aftercare program, outpatient treatment or support groups are important, as well as having a strong support system.

About Cliffside Malibu

Crystal meth is an extremely dangerous and life-threatening addiction. If you or someone you know is suffering from crystal meth addiction, it is very important you seek help before any of the long-term effects set into place. Help for living a healthy life free of crystal meth addiction is possible, and we will help you lay out your roadmap to recovery.

Each patient is then matched with one of these five stages of the Transtheoretical Model: Precontemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Action and Maintenance. An individualized treatment plan is created based on their current stage of change. This process is in place to ensure that all our patients receive the best treatment path possible for their own specific need. Our goal is to move individuals through their treatment by assessing their readiness for change and formulating stage-matched interventions in order to move them through their respective stage.

It is the policy of Cliffside Malibu to ensure that all individuals who present with chemical dependency issues are assessed for the appropriate level of care. We strive to provide continuum of care including medically supervised detox, residential treatment, day treatment and outpatient services. Services are provided to individuals with a primary diagnosis of substance abuse and/or alcohol addiction. Individuals seeking treatment are assessed by qualified staff to ensure program criteria are met and that each individual admitted is placed in the appropriate level of care for treatment. The program is designed and structured for individuals who are in need of a supportive environment in order to maintain Sobriety.

For more information on Cliffside Malibu, visit cliffsidemalibu.com