Crystal Meth Addiction

Are you concerned you have a problem with Crystal Methamphetamine and need help? Or perhaps you have concerns for a loved one? Whatever has brought you to this page, we hope that you find the following information helpful in finding out more about crystal meth addiction.

This cheap, illegal, man-made drug is a problem in epidemic proportions in some countries. Mostly prevalent in Eastern Europe, South-East Asia, South Africa, Australia, America and the Philippines, its use is spreading worldwide and trickling into the UK.

If you, or someone you know, become addicted to crystal methamphetamine there is a genuine risk of losing everything to the drug: family, finances, homes and your mind and soul. So many lives have already been devastated by addiction but we wish to assure you that help is available.

What Is Crystal Methamphetamine?

A powerful Class A stimulant drug. Its effects are very similar to that of Crack Cocaine, but more intense and cheaper to buy. The high can last for anything between 4 to 12 hours, depending on how the user reacts to it. It is synthetic and man made, “cooked up” in illegal laboratories or at home. It is an extremely addictive and very dangerous drug.

It is the crystalline form of methamphetamine and can be snorted, smoked, injected or taken orally. Methamphetamine that is smoked is known as ICE.

Other names crystal meth is known as:

It has a number of street names, here are some of the most commonly used names for the drug:


  • Beannies
  • Brown
  • Chalk
  • Crank
  • Chicken feed
  • Cinnamon
  • Crink
  • Crypto
  • Fast
  • Getgo
  • Methlies Quik
  • Mexican crack
  • Pervitin
  • Redneck Cocaine
  • Speed
  • Tick tick
  • Tweak
  • Wash
  • Yaba
  • Yellow Powder
  • Crystal Meth:
  • Batu
  • Blade
  • Cristy
  • Crystal
  • Crystal glass
  • Glass
  • Ice
  • Quartz
  • Shabu
  • Shards
  • Stove top
  • Tina
  • Ventana

What does crystal meth look like?

If you think a loved one has started taking crystal meth, you may find it useful to know that it can vary in appearance.  This is because dealers will often add colouring to define it as their own brand; pink, blue, yellow, orange or clear are most common. Usually its appearance is similar to that of shards of glass or ice…hence the street names of Ice and Glass.

How Long Does Crystal Meth Stay in My System?

It is important to know that crystal meth is a dangerous substance which affects your entire system, can worsen your health and cause unwanted psychological effects. This is a simple graph which shows you for how long the drug can be in your system, impacting your health and mental state:

What Are the Side Effects of Using Crystal Meth?

Short-term effects:

Unfortunately, the short-term side effects can sometimes be fatal because the drug vastly increases the heart rate and could put you or your loved one at risk from heart attack, heart failure and other vital organ failure.

Long-term effects:

If you or someone you know are using this drug, sadly, the long-term effects can be devastating. Usually, you will notice a rapid decline in the body and mind. Even after only a few months of frequent use, severe damage can be caused, some of which will be irreversible. The longer and more frequently you use for, the more pronounced the damage could be. These effects could include the following:

  • Permanent, irreversible damage to blood vessels in the heart and brain, high blood pressure which can lead to heart attacks, strokes and possibly death
  • Permanent damage to the liver, kidney and lungs
  • Deterioration of tissues in nose if snorted
  • Respiratory and breathing problems if smoked
  • Infectious diseases and abscesses if injected
  • Malnutrition and severe weight loss
  • Severe tooth decay, known as “meth mouth” when smoked
  • Strong psychological dependence, unable to stop using
  • Psychosis and Paranoia
  • Depression, Anxiety disorder, Panic disorder
  • Irreversible damage to the brain similar to Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and epilepsy
  • Destruction of tissues in the face and body leading to a gaunt and collapsed appearance
  • Reckless sexual activity which could lead to increased chance of pregnancy and catching STIs

Many lives have already been harmed by this drug, and it’s better to seek help before it becomes a part of your everyday routine.

This shocking image is of a real-life crystal meth addict, whose appearance has deteriorated beyond recognition over the 3 years of using the drug.

Long Term Use Effects Include:

  • Permanent, irreversible damage to the blood vessels in the heart and brain, high blood pressure which can lead to heart attacks, strokes and death leading to heart attacks, strokes and death
  • Permanent damage to the Liver, kidney and lungs
  • Deterioration of tissues in nose if snorted
  • Respiratory and breathing problems if smoked
  • Infectious diseases and abscesses if injected
  • Malnutrition and severe weight loss
  • Severe tooth decay, known as “meth mouth” when smoked
  • Strong psychological dependence, unable to stop using
  • Psychosis and Paranoia
  • Depression, Anxiety disorder, panic disorder
  • Irreversible damage to the brain similar to Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and epilepsy
  • Destruction of tissues in the face and body leading to a gaunt and collapsed appearance
  • Increased chance of pregnancy in women and catching STI’s and STD’s, due to unprotected and reckless sexual activity with multiple partners whilst high.

What is “Meth Mouth”?

Frequently smoking crystal meth could lead to severe tooth erosion, tooth decay and receding gums. This is known as “Meth Mouth”. Even with frequent brushing, it is highly unlikely that you can prevent this from happening as the toxins cling to the tissues in and around the mouth. It is an illness to the mouth and teeth which works from the inside out. Below is a picture of the typical damage that heavy use will cause over time.

What are the dangers of crystal meth production?

As well as the using of this drug, the manufacturing process can also have devastating consequences. This drug is typically created in illegal laboratories around the world and those who make it need to extract the ingredients from other sources such as common cold and flu remedies.

During the extraction process, the ingredients are ‘strengthened’ with other chemicals that can include antifreeze, battery acid, and drain cleaner. Creating meth is extremely dangerous because of the potentially explosive chemicals being used. Sadly, it is not uncommon for those making the drug to be severely burned or sometimes even killed in the process.

Those living near to an illegal lab are also in danger of being exposed to harmful toxins and chemicals, and there is also an added risk because of the toxic waste produced. Production creates five times more waste than average for every pound of meth that is produced.

How Is Crystal Methamphetamine Taken?

It can be ingested a number of ways; the most popular method is smoking it through a bong or glass pipe. It can also be swallowed in tablet form, crushed and snorted or made into a liquid and injected. Injecting is the most dangerous but produces a more intense high that is immediately delivered to the user’s brain via the bloodstream. Injecting carries additional risks such as a higher chance of overdose, collapsed veins and abscesses and possible contraction of blood borne viruses such as Hepatitis and HIV.

Paraphernalia associated with crystal meth

If you have concerns that a loved one may be using crystal meth, there is paraphernalia that is commonly associated with using the drug. If you find any of these items, sadly, there is a strong possibility that your loved one may be using some kind of drug. The use of crystal meth often leaves a milky white residue on the inside of the paraphernalia and scorch marks from heating the substance from the outside.

Crystal Meth Pipe – a typical glass pipe, commonly used for smoking the drug:

Crystal Meth Bong:

Homemade Bong:

Light bulb with inner working removed:

Injecting Paraphernalia:

Crushing, Snorting and Swallowing Crystal Methamphetamine:

Crystal methamphetamine can also be swallowed in pill form, the colour of the pill, like the crystalline form can vary:

All these items, if noticed around the house or someplace your loved ones reside, spend their free time or meet with friends, should be taken into serious consideration. Your friend or relative may be using this highly dangerous, harmful substance. Help is available through reliable private and NHS-supported inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation.

What Is Crystal Meth Addiction?

It is a stimulant that acts on your brain and nervous system, also known as amphetamine; a long-lasting drug with an intense stimulant effect that creates an overpowering desire for you to use more due to the impact it has on the brain’s reward system. This, together with its inexpensive cost, unfortunately makes it extremely powerful and addictive.  If you or a loved one are using crystal meth, the chances are you will become hooked very quickly.

Whilst it can be incredibly difficult to admit that to yourself that the drug has taken over your life and relationships, it is important to try and listen to the people who are around you and care for you.

You may have moved onto this drug as a progression from other stimulant drugs such as cocaine and crack cocaine; perhaps these drugs stopped producing the desired effect and crystal meth became an attractive alternative.

Signs and symptoms of crystal meth use

If you are concerned that someone you know might be using this drug the symptoms can be easy to spot, especially in someone who has been using frequently or over a period of time.

Due to its toxicity methamphetamine destroys the body and the mind of the user very quickly.  Look out for the following signs which could well indicate that your loved one is using and may need professional help and intervention:

  • Dilated pupils – Stimulants enlarge the pupils of the user.
  • Skin sores – Users often experience the sensation of their skin crawling or bugs under the skin surface and will obsessively pick at their face and body whilst high and during the come down.
  • Blisters around mouth – Inhaling hot and toxic vapour can cause the mouth and surrounding areas to blister and burn.
  • Abscesses, gangrene, cellulitis, collapsed veins, swollen limbs – These can all result from injecting.
  • Severe weight loss and malnutrition – The drug is an appetite suppressant and it also speeds up the metabolic rate, so they weight loss can be quite rapid.
  • Decaying teeth and receding gums – Referred to as ‘Meth Mouth’, it destroys the teeth and gums.
  • Collapsed or gaunt appearance in the face – The toxins in the drug can dissolve skin tissue.
  • Extreme changes in mood – Whilst high they may be extremely confident, hyperactive, chatty and excited; they can also  become aggressive, highly agitated, paranoid  and violent. During the comedown period they are likely to be restless, anxious, irritable, aggressive, very antisocial and even suicidal.

Types of meth abuse

There are varying degrees in which you or your loved one might be using, including low-intensity abuse, binging, and high-intensity abuse. Any type of use could lead to the danger of becoming addicted and developing a full blown habit that can be devastating. Addiction is a progressive illness, so over any given period of time things are likely to only get worse; there may be periods of control or even abstinence from the drug. However, if you or your loved one are suffering from the illness of addiction, things are likely to continue spiralling downward if the condition goes untreated.

Low-Intensity Meth Abuse

Some people might be able to take meth without becoming addicted. You may snort or swallow the drug recreationally or take it in order to stay awake for longer. You may take it because you like the fact that it reduces your appetite. You may be able to exercise some measure of control over your use, however due to the addictive nature of this drug, you may not be able to maintain that control for long.

Binge Abuse of Crystal Meth

If you are binging this will probably mean you are taking high doses frequently, such as every weekend when partying with friends; then abstaining from use during the week to enable you to work or attend to family. You may be able to go for days without using the drug, however, please be aware of the dangers of developing a more serious habit the more you use.

High-Intensity Meth Abuse

This is usually associated with a full-blown addiction. You or your loved one may become consumed by the need for the drug, to the point where nothing else in life matters. You could have become tolerant to the effects of the substance and need to continuously take more in order to experience the intense high. The more you take, the greater the risk of serious health problems and maybe even death due to overdose.

Treatment Options for Crystal Meth Addiction

“I don’t know what’s worth fighting for

or why I have to scream

I don’t know why I instigate and say what I don’t mean

I don’t know how I got this way

I’ll never be alight

So I’m breaking the habit

I’m breaking the habit tonight”

(Ref: Lyrics from “Breaking the Habit” Linkin Park)

Addiction in any form is a devastating illness that can have serious implications either if you are the addict or part of the addict’s world. Crystal meth is very powerful and will cause a number of complex issues including serious physical and mental health problems, damage to personal relationships, neglect of children, family, friends and responsibilities, job loss and unemployability, criminal and immoral activity and financial hardship.

Don’t lose hope; addiction can be treated successfully.

Is there free treatment for crystal meth addiction?

Sadly there is little help available on the NHS for crystal methamphetamine addiction. Free rehab, means applying through your local Drug and Alcohol Services for funding from the government. Funding is scarce, takes a long time to secure and is only reserved for exceptional cases.

Due to how quickly this drug can ravage you or your loved one, most don’t have the luxury of time to wait for treatment to be funded. The quickest way to access rehab treatment is through self-funding a private rehab.

Your local Drug and Alcohol Team (DAT) can provide free groups and key worker one to one sessions. Many have also introduced SMART  groups, which are aimed at abstinence and goal setting. You can find details of your local Drug and Alcohol team. Cocaine Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous also provide meetings and a programme of recovery which has proven to help many with addiction.

Your local GP may be able to arrange for you to have CBT therapy with a qualified counsellor, however there is again a waiting list for this service on the NHS.

Private rehab for crystal meth addiction

If you or someone you know has a full blown addiction, which seems beyond control, inpatient treatment is the preferred and most successful treatment option available.

Private residential rehabs provide a very safe and nurturing place. Giving you a safe haven away from the madness of addiction; you will be nurtured back to full health both mentally, emotionally and physically. A minimum of  8 to 12 weeks inpatient programme is recommended for a Crystal Meth addiction, Secondary Care and Sober Living options (Tertiary Care) are also available and highly recommended, especially if you have become submerged in the drug addiction culture in your local environment. Returning home too early will cause a greater risk of relapse.

Crystal meth addicts lead very chaotic lifestyles and because the addiction may have isolated them from normality, addicts tend to stick together. Reintegrating into society, family and normal daily life, is often the biggest challenge you will face and you will need to ensure you have adequate support systems in place when leaving a treatment programme.

Comprehensive medical assessment

It is possible that alongside Crystal Meth, you  may be physically dependent on heroin, alcohol, prescription pills or benzodiazepines. If this is the case a full medical detox for all dependencies will be required. In instances where there is more than one addiction present or a co-occurring illness alongside, a full 12 week primary care programme is recommended to cover the detox and rehabilitation and allow the team to work intensively to prepare you or your loved one to return home.

Proven treatments for crystal meth addiction

Addiction Helper’s rehabs only use proven, evidence-based methods of treating addiction. We don’t just provide a short term intervention, but look to provide a comprehensive bespoke treatment programme that will equip you with the recovery tools that you need to maintain recovery from addiction on a permanent basis.

We only work with experienced addiction professionals and our rehab staff are fully trained, experienced and qualified in their individual areas of expertise.

Our addiction rehab programmes will consist of various evidence based and effective treatment methods for addiction to Crystal Meth; here are some of the commonly provided treatments that our rehab deliver:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)
  • One To One Counselling and Trauma therapy
  • Process Therapy Groups
  • Family support group
  • 12 Step Therapy
  • Trauma therapy
  • Educational Workshops and Relapse Prevention
  • Holistic Therapies; such as Mindfulness and Meditation, Music, Art, Equine, Acupuncture, Yoga, Tai Chi and an individualised Fitness programme

Many of our rehab staff are themselves in recovery from addiction; they have a unique insight and understanding of every aspect of addiction. They are able to quickly break down barriers that are blocking you or your loved one from recovery.

Our rehabs treat each person as a whole, physically, mentally, socially, emotionally and spiritually. Our person centred approach to treatment has proven to show the most successful results.

The aim is to reignite your passion for life, provide you with the hope and inspiration to motivate you to get well and to make the necessary changes in order to maintain recovery. We will also show you how to rebuild yourself and your life,  developing healthy and loving relationships with yourselves and your loved ones.

Our telephone lines are open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week; we are passionate about saving lives and also helping families of those who are addicted. You can turn your life around with just one call to us; we can take care of all the arrangements if you are looking for a private rehab and find you the best treatment possible.


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