What Is Shooting Meth?
Meth, also known as methamphetamine, crystal meth, crystal, and ice, is an incredibly powerful stimulant. Originally developed for use as a nasal decongestant and for inhalers, meth produces an intensely powerful feeling of euphoria in users. Since its introduction to the United States in the 1930s, meth has become one of the most commonly abused and deadly drugs across the country.
There are many different ways of ingesting meth; the most common of which are oral consumption, smoking, snorting, and injecting. While all forms of meth use are likely to lead to addiction, medical issues, mental health problems, and possibly even death, injecting is likely the most dangerous. The process of injecting and getting high from meth is known as shooting up.
Shooting meth is also referred to as “slamming” and produces a more intense and faster high compared to other ways to ingest the drug. Individuals will, on average, feel the effects of the immediate rush within 30 seconds of injecting it. This rush is an intense euphoric high that can last for several minutes. After the rush phase, adrenaline will rush through the body and the energy-based high will last up to eight hours thereafter.
Why Is Shooting Meth Bad?
When meth is injected, its effects are immediate and especially intense. This speeds up the development, and increases the severity, of an addiction. It also more rapidly increases tolerance to higher and higher doses, meaning that users have to take increasingly dangerous amounts to experience the same high. As the user takes increasing amounts of meth, the damage to their minds and body gets worse and worse, and the risk of death from overdose rises dramatically.
The dangers of shooting meth extend beyond the direct impacts of the drug itself. It is very common for drug users to share needles with each other, which has the unintended effect of causing their blood to come into direct contact. This leads to numerous infections, especially infections of the blood, many of which are very serious. Additionally, individuals under the influence of meth often engage in high risk and violent behavior, which increases the likelihood of injury and communicable disease.
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Shooting meth can also cause vein damage, including scarring and vein collapse. Additionally, the stimulant properties of Meth can cause the veins to contract or shrink which can make it nearly impossible for users to find a healthy vein. Inflammation and burning in the veins are common due to the chemicals used to make Meth. Abscesses are also common when using a syringe more than one time (or when shared with another individual) as if it is set down on a table, for example, it easily causes cross-contamination of germs and possibly lead to infections of and inside the skin.
Are you worried someone you love is shooting meth? Find out about symptoms and warning signs.
What Are the Consequences of Shooting Meth?
There are multiple consequences of shooting meth, including the following:
Legal Consequences of Shooting Meth
Possession, distribution, manufacture, and sale of meth (and some related paraphernalia) are highly illegal. An individual found guilty of any of these offenses can face significant jail time, among other legal penalties. Users under the influence of meth are also considerably more likely to commit a number of serious crimes, including assault, robbery, murder, and sexual assault. Driving under the influence of meth is a serious offense as well.
Financial Consequences of Shooting Meth
While meth is considerably cheaper and easier to obtain than many other illicit substances, it can still be an incredibly expensive habit, especially as the addiction worsens. Even worse, meth use often leads to irrational spending decisions and property damage. Severe meth addicts are often unable to hold a job, which causes even worse long-term financial damage.
Social Consequences of Shooting Meth
There is very significant social stigma attached with shooting meth. Those who do so must hide their lifestyle from even their closest friends and family, which increases social isolation. As the addiction progresses, many meth addicts increasingly only associate with other meth users. This both encourages and normalizes shooting meth, which makes addictions more severe and more difficult to break. Additionally, meth use often causes severe damage to many relationships, as getting high from meth becomes the addict’s only priority, at the expense of everything and everyone else in their life.
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Mental Health Consequences of Shooting Meth
Meth causes serious mental health damage. Many meth users become addicted as a result of trying to escape the suffering caused by an underlying mental health disorder. Ironically, meth use often greatly worsens the severity of such dual diagnosis conditions. Additionally, meth use drains the brain’s natural production of the pleasure-producing neurotransmitter dopamine. This can cause severe depression after the drug’s artificially-induced high wears off. The long-term mental damage caused by meth can be quite severe as well, including:
- Memory loss
- Severe brain damage
- Personality and mood changes
Medical Consequences of Shooting Meth
There are numerous health consequences from shooting meth, especially after long-term use. Some of the most common and severe include:
- Uncontrollable jaw clenching and seizures
- Inability to sleep
- Overdose and death
- Nerve damage
- Anxiety and paranoia
- Severe tooth damage and decay
- Increased risk of injury and sexually transmitted disease
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How Do I Stop Shooting Meth?
Once someone starts shooting meth, addiction quickly follows. As the addiction grows worse and worse, it becomes harder and harder to quit. People shoot meth to feel better about their lives, but shooting meth makes their life worse. It becomes a vicious cycle that may seem impossible to break free from.
Luckily, help is out there. There are over 14,500 treatment centers across the United States that are dedicated to helping you or your loved one escape meth addiction and start on the road to recovery. Contact a treatment provider today to find out more about your treatment options.