What you need to know about Crystal Meth A.K.A Tik

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What you need to know about Crystal Meth A.K.A Tik

17 January, 2020Articles, News

What is Crystal Meth?

Crystal meth is short for crystal methamphetamine and comes in a crystalized form that may look a lot like course salt and has a brownish tint to it. The drug can be used either by crushing it and snorting it through a note or straw, smoking it in a bulb or injecting it directly into the bloodstream.

Methamphetamine is placed in the same class as cocaine and other street drugs and is considered to be an upper. It has many popular street names in South Africa, the most common of which is “Tik”. Tik is specifically popular within the Cape Flats. It can be considered a popular party or “rave” drug as it is commonly used to keep the user awake for long periods and provides them with lots of energy.

It is usually made from a mixture of amphetamine and common chemicals that can be found in your everyday household. Common cold tablets can often be used. These are mixed in laboratories and can lead to dangerous consequences such as explosions whilst being made.

How does it work?

Crystal methamphetamine effects the central nervous system when used. It is highly addictive and often gets users hooked from the first try. Crystal meth creates a rush to the brain by filling it rapidly with high levels of dopamine. This creates an immense feeling of pleasure. Long-term use can cause the user to become dependent and effects the brains ability to produce and use dopamine naturally. The result of this, is that the user can experience high amounts of depression due to low dopamine levels which causes the user to want more of the drug. Meth can cause an increased heart rate, excessive sweating and fast breathing. It also causes the user to have high amounts of energy and allows them to stay awake for hours on end. Users are also believed to have an increased concentration span.

The signs of crystal meth misuse

The following signs and symptoms can be an indication of crystal meth usage :

  • Increased physical activity
  • Increased blood pressure and breathing rate
  • Elevated body temperature and heavy sweating
  • Dilated pupils
  • Loss of appetite and sleeplessness
  • Paranoia
  • Euphoria
  • Unpredictable behaviour
  • Restlessness
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Tremors
  • Dry mouth and bad breath
  • Uncontrollable jaw clenching

If any of these symptoms are present in your loved one, there may be a possibility that they may be addicted to crystal meth and they should be advised to seek out help if possible.

The side effects of crystal meth

Side effects of crystal meth can become quite serious to the user themselves. Side effects may also include anxiety and depression, violent behaviour, seizures and even an overdose and death. It can also have psychological effects such as drug-induced psychosis.

Treatment for Crystal Meth Addiction

If you or a loved one finds themselves addicted to crystal meth, it is important to seek out help sooner rather than later as the drug is highly addictive. Intervention should be done immediately and the reason for the drug being taken established as soon as possible a this can help with the recovery process. It is important for the individual to be placed under a detox programme which can be done through the nearest treatment facility and a programme of recovery such as a 12-step programme can help the addict get through their addiction.

Dominique Le Claire Rossouw

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