Tik – When to get help.
Tik is the South African street name given to crystal methamphetamine. It is a highly addictive and dangerous stimulant that acts on the central nervous system, increasing alertness, attention and energy. Tik users become addicted or dependant soon after experimenting with it as the effect is an intense “rush” and feeling of self-confidence and euphoria. This euphoria can last for hours and when it begins to wear off, it leaves the user feeling irritable, depressed which then drives the addict to use again in order to avoid these uncomfortable feelings.
Tik is an odourless substance found either in crystals or a finer powder form. It is usually white or brownish in colour and sold in small bags or straws. Tik can either be snorted, smoked or injected. Smoking is the most common method of use. It has gained enormous popularity as it cheap and easily available on the streets.
Tik is a potent stimulant which takes effect immediately, whether injected, smoked or snorted. The effects produced include:
- Increased alertness
- Intense feeling of happiness or euphoria
- Increased sense of activity or energy
- Increased feelings of self-confidence or self-esteem
- Loss of appetite
- Increased sex drive
- Increased sense of contentment or satisfaction.
More noticeable and destructive side-effects as a result of excessive and long-term use include:
- Decreased appetite resulting in significant weight loss
- Mood swings, irritability and depression
- Difficulty sleeping (insomnia) and loss of energy
- Loss of interest in hobbies or social interactions (isolation)
- Stomach and muscle cramps
- Damage to nervous system resulting in tremors in hands, arms head and legs
- Excessive itching of the skin
- “Meth Mouth” – deteroration and decay of gum and teeth
As a result of the intense and sudden effects produced, dependence is achieved rather quickly. The severity of of the physical withdrawal symptoms and psychological cravings lasts long after the tik user has stopped using, even months later the user could still have cravings for tik. This leaves the user trapped in a cycle of using, coming down and seeking tik again. This compulsive need to use despite the consequences is an indication that addiction may be present
Signs of tik abuse or addiction may include the following:
- Personal health deteriorating
- Work or studying performance suffering
- Loss of appetite and erratic eating patterns avoiding food and then binge eating
- Decrease in social interactions and or isolation
- Erratic sleep patterns and sleep deprivation
- Drastic mood swings or changes
- Financial instability or constant lack of finances
Usually when a tik addict has reached this stage, and the finding and using of tik has become the primary activity, there is a need for treatment. Detox is usually required, followed by treatment for the disease of addiction, which assists and aids the addict in gaining the tools to live a sober and clean life free from the addiction to tik.
If you or a loved one need assistance with an addiction to tik – know that help is readily available. The road to recovery is not always an easy one but getting yourself or your loved one the best possible care from the team at Crossroads Recovery Centre, provides you with a map to sober, healthy living. No matter how bad things seem, there is hope and it is a phone call away. If you or anyone close to you needs help with an addiction to sex, gambling, substances, alcohol or food, please contact us for a free assessment.
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