Methamphetamine, known as crystal meth, is a potent and intensely dangerous drug. It is highly addictive, as it increases dopamine levels in the brain, creating an extreme high. It can be smoked, snorted, injected, or taken in pill form. As with other drugs, injecting it creates the most intense high, because injecting it into the bloodstream is the quickest form of ingesting meth. The fastest absorption creates the highest high. However, like other drugs, no high is ever as intense as the first, leaving users insatiable.
In addition to all of these on-going problems, meth users put themselves at risk for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Because crystal meth creates a false sense of confidence and power, it decreases the user’s inhibitions. People partake in risky sexual behaviour, with unknown partners, and without the proper precautions. Unprotected sex is a leading cause of STIs. Furthermore, when users inject meth, they often use needles that are unclean and even shared. This causes the spread of STIs, too. Meth’s effects on the brain don’t allow for the user to think through the consequences of engaging in such risky behaviour. STIs are detrimental to their health, and HIV can lead to death.
Long term crystal meth use is known for the toll it takes on the addict’s appearance. The body is unable to heal itself properly, meaning that any wounds are left open, and even simple things like acne don’t even heal properly. Facial skin begins to sag and look old. Rotten teeth create a haggard look that is synonymous with meth. People are often said to look ten or twenty years older than they actually are, because of what crystal meth has done to their physical appearances over time. Some users aren’t so fortunate as to grow old at all, however, because of the dangerous effects of crystal meth that lead to death in so many ways.