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Drugs Crystal meth

When it comes to crystal meth, there's no room for experimentation. "You can get addicted quickly to crystal meth - physically and psychologically," says Dr. Brian Johnson. "The highs are intense, and the lows feel hopeless. Also, when you regularly use any drug that affects your mind or behavior, you might build up tolerance and need more of the drug to get high."

Be aware of the short- and long-term effects of this deadly drug:

What are the short-term effects of taking meth?
Immediately after smoking or injection, the user experiences an intense sensation, called a "rush" or a "flash," that lasts only a few minutes and is described as extremely pleasurable. (Snorting or swallowing meth produces euphoria - a high, but not a rush.) Following the rush, there is typically a state of high agitation that in some individuals can lead to violent behavior. Other possible immediate effects include increased wakefulness and insomnia, decreased appetite, irritability/aggression, anxiety, nervousness, convulsions, and heart attack.1

What are the long-term effects of taking meth?
Meth is addictive, and users can develop a tolerance quickly, needing larger amounts to get high. In some cases, users forego food and sleep and take more meth every few hours for days, binging, until they run out of the drug or become too disorganized to continue using. Chronic use can cause paranoia, hallucinations, repetitive behavior (such as compulsively cleaning, grooming or disassembling and assembling objects), and delusions of parasites or insects crawling under the skin. Users can obsessively scratch their skin to get rid of these imagined insects. Long-term use, high dosages, or both can bring on full-blown toxic psychosis. This violent, aggressive behavior is usually coupled with extreme paranoia. Meth can also cause strokes and death.1

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