What is an Ice or Meth addiction compared to other drugs?
Understand the story about ice and meth addictions beyond the 15 second new pieces you see on the TV.
How Does a Meth or Ice Addiction Compare to Other Drugs?
Popularised TV shows like COPS have painted a very easily consumed understanding of meth and when people take it they become strong, irrational and violent.
However, in today’s world we know that addiction in general be it Alcohol or Ice is the real problem, that doesn’t impact only existing criminals but everyday people like working-class families, mums, dads and more. With this understanding has come a degree of compassion and willingness to get help for those who are suffering from the addiction.
So, Let’s start simple – What is Meth or Ice?
First off – Meth and Ice are the same drugs, just given different names. Meth has the following names attributed to it:
- Go fast.
- Cotton candy.
- Go-go juice.
- No doze.
- White cross.
- Rocket fuel.
Back in the 1800’s Germany created the parent drug of meth – Amphetamines. Whilst methamphetamines were made and used by the Japanese in 1919 (you can read about the Japanese army using meth during world war one here – it’s very interesting!) The drugs were mainly used to keep troops on high alert and awake during the war, as the war progressed the army used meth to fight depression, help with tiredness and to assist in weight loss in their soldiers.
At this stage, meth was still smoked – as no other options were really available, but around the 1950’s and 60’s an injectable substance of meth/ice entered into the drug market, this is what is widely considered to start a meth epidemic, this injectable form helped lead meth to its status as a over-dangerous, hyper-aggressive and addictive drug which still mostly sits with it today. (source)
In comparison to other drugs, is Meth/Ice dangerous
As we mentioned above, in the 60’s a lot of drugs were considered very dangerous and most of them were listed on U.S. Drug Abuse and Regulation Control Act of 1970 (source) however a lot of these drugs are currently undergoing a second look in today’s environment in the United States there are numerous states that have legalized marijuana and many states that utilize marijuana for its medical uses.
With Meth/Ice, it is definitely more complicated and slow-moving. There is still a widespread understanding that one hit of meth will have you addicted for life, this kind of misinformation doesn’t help those who are struggling with an addiction. Some stats show that in Utah & Salt Lake City the number of methamphetamine-related fatal overdoses in Utah more than doubled in the past five years, as law enforcement has seen a stunning increase in large meth busts statewide. (source)
The real dangers of Meth is mainly on the user – Common impacts on the body of a meth/ice user are:
Itchy Skin: Meth is well known for causing irritation on the user’s skin, being described as having bugs under your skin.
Bad Teeth: Meth is quite corrosive, and as such the mucosal linings of the mouth and teeth are eroded and surprisingly this can happen very quickly after using meth.
Weight loss: As we mentioned earlier in this blog, the Japanese army used meth for this exact reason, Crystal Meth speeds up the users’ metabolism whilst slowing the desire for food which causes rapid weight loss. (source)
What is Ice Addiction?
Addiction is the state of being reliant on something (generally a substance) to a point where it impacts your life from an everyday perspective. Most substances or drugs have an addictive element that makes the end-user feel good, which is what ultimately turns a user into an addict.
The difference between enjoyment an addiction is best describes like alcohol or video games. You can easily enjoy drinking alcohol or playing video games, but it can get to a point where this enjoyment ends up costing your job, friends and other norms in society.
How To Know: Understand the telltale signs of a meth/ice user
Generally, with a meth addiction, you can spot side effects quite easily these can be wide-ranging from Overly anxious, being on high alert for seemingly trivial matters, paranoid, quick and violent mood swings and a large range of physiological effects. On top of the aforementioned effects people on meth may show the following side effects:
- Nosebleeds when they never use to get them before
- Weight loss – to an extreme level
- Burns around the mouth and fingers
- Dental issues like broken or rotting teeth
- Abnormal sleeping patterns
- Skin fissures & sores from itching.
- Needle/track marks on the arm
Understanding Meth/Ice Abuse and Addiction
A lot of ice and meth addicts avoid help or rehab is because of the stigma around the drug meth and its severe level of addiction. We’ve detailed a list of the common myths around meth addiction
Use It Once & You’re Hooked For Life
No doubt, drugs can be addictive – especially if it provides you with these overwhelmingly positive feelings…but addiction isn’t specific to drug use, whilst drugs can be addictive (like meth and ice) not every user is an addict.
Meth Is Only For Poor People.
This is one we think is easiest understood, and there are numerous reasons as to why this is thought of os frequently. Before you think this anymore, we’ve compiled a list of famous actors and singers who have been users of meth and ice.
Robert Downey Jr. Yes, Iron man smoked meth.
So there you have it – if these successful people have all tried the drug meth – it’s safe to say it’s not just for poor people.
People Who Use Meth Are Criminals & Prone To Violence
Once again, a very popular association with Meth is violence and crime, rightfully so too – as we mentioned at the start of this blog the last 25 years of the tv show COPS has been about catching criminals and a lot of them were on meth and other drugs.
With this in mind, it’s often the case that addicts of any substance turn to a life or moment of crime in order to get their fix – effectively making addiction the problem, not the specific drug or substance.
Get Meth Addiction Treatment In Utah & Salt Lake City
If you suspect a loved one is struggling with ice addiction, don’t lose hope. Treatment centers and rehabilitation programs exist for addicts to get sober. At Liberty Addiction & Recovery Centres we specialize in meth rehab and detoxing your body. With our in-house caring professional team, we are excited to help you or your loved one begin their process to recovery and sobriety.
Key to having a successful treatment is the need for us to go over and cover the psychological and physiological elements to your addiction. During the detox stage at our Utah treatment center we’ll help you address and understand the risk factors you face and what initially made you choose meth to begin with.
To be successful, treatment needs to cover both the physiological and psychological dependence on the drug. So during detoxification, it is important to address the risk factors (e.g. poverty, depression) that made the addict choose meth in the first place. This could be in the form of attending group therapy sessions, avoiding other potential addictions like alcohol, and getting support from family and friends.
We think it’s important to not say that meth or ice isn’t a dangerous drug, rather we’d prefer to make it easier for everyday folk to understand those suffering from addiction need to have an easier road to sobriety.
If you are suffering alone we’d love to help.
With our help, we could make a better life for you and your loved ones.
Sources used in this article