Also known as methamphetamine, can be used by snorting, smoking or injecting. The components of Meth are highly toxic and include: sodium hydroxide (lye), brake fluid, lithium from battery acid, lighter fluid, rubbing alcohol, drain cleaner, paint thinner, anhydrous ammonia, hydrochloric acid, red phosphorus lye, ether, iodine and ephedrine. Crystal Meth is highly addictive and is more common in the gay male population than any other group.

Ever hear a term used by a friend or loved one and not know what it is? Do you suspect someone may be using a drug but unsure of what substance? Below is a list of “street names” for five of the most commonly abused drugs: Oxycodone, methamphetamine, crystal meth, marijuana, heroin, and cocaine.

1. Oxycodone (Brand name Oxycotin)  Common Drug Street Names

  • Oxy

  • O

  • OC

  • Cotton

  • Oxy 80’s

  • Kickers

  • Cotton

  • Hillbilly Heroin

2. Methamphetamine

  • Meth

  • Beanies

  • Speed

  • Crank

  • Chicken feed

  • Cinnamon

3. Crystal Meth

  • Crystal

  • Tina

  • Cris/Cristy

  • Glass

  • Tweak

  • Shards

  • Ice

  • Quartz

3. Marijuana

  • Weed

  • Pot

  • Ganja

  • Grass

  • Herb

  • Skunk

  • Blunt

  • Hemp

  • Joint

  • Puff

  • Splif

  • Mary Jane

  • Hemp

  • Herb

  • Purple Haze

4. Heroin

  • Smack

  • Thunder

  • Horse

  • H

  • Dope

  • Junk

  • Black tar

  • Mud

  • Brown sugar

5. Cocaine

  • Blow

  • Snow

  • Coke/Cola

  • Blizzard

  • Powder

  • Sniff

  • Nose candy

  • Dust

  • Toot

You can find out more at the following sites:

www.drugabuse.gov

www.dea.gov

 

Written By: New Hope Recovery Center

New Hope Recovery Center is located in Chicago and offers individualized alcohol and drug addiction treatment in a loving supportive environment.  Contact New Hope Recovery Center at 888-707- 4673 (HOPE).

 

 

 

New Hope Recovery Center was again the Top

Fundraiser at Chicago Roundup Annual Bowl-A-Thon

We are so grateful to those who helped support this great event.

New Hope's Team, "The Incredibowls" were the top fundraiser at the RoundUp Bowling event.  (Yes, we got to wear capes!)

Thanks to our generous contributors we raised more than $1600.

 

A HUGE Thank You to all our Contributors:

 

Andrea Varol
Brian Ludden
Megan Campbell
Ben Goldberger
Russell Hilliard
Scott Skinner
Dr. Marla Kushner
Rocco & Valerie Mandela
Sutton Burke
Bradd Easton & Jeff Zacharais
Megan Flynn
James Gailey
Duple Meter
Barb Laukitis
Gina Wynkoop
Paul Gottschalk
Laura Fenster
Don Bell
Kelcie Becker
Sarah Buino
Chris Klaene
Nadine Rauch

Eric Vironet

 

Visit Chicago RoundUp to learn more about this year's Roundup, August 14-16, 2015.

The Roundup is an incredible one-of-a-kind event:
  • A weekend-long gathering of LGBT’s celebrating recovery and those interested in finding out what a life of recovery has to offer.
  • Provides thought-provoking panel discussions, engaging speakers, pure entertainment and fellowship opportunities intended to enhance your spiritual, emotional and sober life.
  • Offers the perfect opportunity to meet other recovering people from all of the world and make some wonderful new friendships in the process.
  • Is hosted in the heart of Boystown at the largest LGBT Community Center in the Midwest, Chicago’s state-of-the-art Center on Halsted.
  • Begins on Friday, August 14th and ends on Sunday, August 16th, 2015

Also visit  Crystal Meth Anonymous Chicago

Written By: New Hope Recovery Center

New Hope Recovery Center is located in Chicago and offers individualized alcohol and drug addiction treatment in a loving supportive environment.  Contact New Hope Recovery Center at 888-707- 4673 (HOPE).

 

Crystal Meth AwarenessDid you know that November 30-December 6, 2014 is National Meth Awareness Week?To learn more about Meth Awareness Week, visit The Meth Project on Facebook at facebook.com/methproject and Tumblr at tumblr.com/blog/methproject, and follow the conversation online at #MethAwarenessWeek.

Recent Meth Articles from New Hope Recovery Center

We thought this would be a good opportunity to share articles we have written about Crystal Meth. 

Crystal Meth's Toxic Ingredients

Why Is Meth So Addictive?

32 Warning Signs for Crystal Meth Addiction

Signs of Meth Use

Crystal Meth and the Gay Community 

Crystal Meth Resources

There are a number of resources for dealing with Crystal Meth, locally and nationally.  Here are a few resources we find helpful:

Crystal Meth Anonymous (Chicago) - New Hope Recovery Center hosts 4 Crystal Meth Anonymous meetings each week: 2pm on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Nationally visit Crystal Meth Anonymous.

Meth Project - In addition to the national group, there are a number of state organizations as well:  Colorado Meth Project, Georgia Meth Project, Hawaii Meth Project, Idaho Meth Project, Montana Meth Project, and Wyoming Meth Project 

Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

Illinois Meth-net - Informational resources provided by the State of Illinois. Many other states affected by Meth provide similar resources.

 

Written By: New Hope Recovery Center

crystal meth addictionMethamphetamine, also known as crystal meth or meth, is a highly addictive drug.  It is an artificial substance made from very toxic materials, which can cause serious harm or death when handled or inhaled.  Methamphetamine is typically ingested, snorted, smoked or injected.  Although there are different formulas used to create meth, there are some main ingredients that are consistent.  Most ingredients are extremely flammable and can be lethal.

What are the toxic ingredients in crystal meth?

A number of the ingredients commonly used in creating meth are extremely toxic:

  • Acetone- This is found in nail polish remover and paint thinners
  • Lithium- From batteries
  • Toluene- solvent used as fuel additive, in paint thinners, nail polish, brake cleaner
  • Hydrochloric acid- Highly corrosive mineral acid used to remove rust from steel and refine metal
  • Pseudoephedrine- found in cold medications
  • Red Phosphorus- found in explosives such as road flares and on matchboxes
  • Sodium hydroxide- also known as lye, in drain cleaners
  • Sulfuric acid- found in toilet bowl and drain cleaners
  • Anhydrous ammonia- found in fertilizer and countertop cleaner
  • Lantern fuel or lighter fluid
  • Ether found in starting fluid
  • Antifreeze
  • Iodine crystals

Cold and antihistamine medications (that include pseudoephedrine and ephedrine) are necessary as a main ingredient in meth production.

The long term use of methamphetamine can have serious internal physical health consequences:

  • Weight loss
  • Severe dental problems: Meth Mouth
  • Permanent damage to blood vessels of heart and brain
  • High blood pressure leading to heart attacks, strokes and death
  • Liver and kidney damage
  • Destruction of tissues in nose if snorted
  • Respiratory problems and lung damage if smoked
  • Infectious diseases and abscesses if injected
  • Damage to the brain similar to Alzheimer’s disease
  • Convulsions

And of course there are the observable physical effects that have been shown in numerous mug shot comparisons:

  • sunken eyes
  • dark baggy eye lids
  • facial drooping, particularly the mouth and lower lips
  • pale skin
  • dark blue-black lips
  • wrinkles from skin losing elasticity
  • acne and sores

Below are additional articles about methamphetamine that you may find helpful or if you are concerned about someone who may be using meth. New Hope Recovery Center, Chicago's premier addiction treatment facility, has substantial experience treating those addicted to meth.  You can reach us at 888-707-4763 or info@new-hope-recovery.com.

 Why Crystal Meth Is So Addictive

32 Signs of Meth Addiction

44 Signs of Methamphetamine Abuse

Written by: Written By: New Hope Recovery Center

 

 

Methamphetamine (meth or crystal meth) is considered one of the world’s most addictive drugs. Why is it so addictive?  To really understand the addictive power of crystal meth, it is helpful to understand the drug and how it works on the human brain and body.

What does Crystal Meth do?

Methamphetamine is a stimulant that creates incredibly positive, euphoric, pleasurable, alert feelings over a prolonged period of time (several hours). The user often feels that everything around them is interesting, exciting and wonderful (including the user). Users often feel overly self confident and less self-conscious than when they are in a sober state.

Crystal Meth creates a stimulant action by acting on nerves that secrete biogenic amines.  The main effects of crystal meth involve these amines:

  • Histamine is a neurotransmitter (neurotransmitters are chemicals that pass information from one brain cell to another) that mediates arousal and attention
  • Serotonin is a central nervous system (brain and spinal chord) neurotransmitter involved in regulating mood, sleep, appetite, and sexuality
  • Norepinephrine (noradrenaline) is a neurotransmitter involved in sleep and wakefulness and attention; it is also a stress hormone released by the adrenal glands
  • Epinephrine (adrenaline) is another adrenal stress hormone and a neurotransmitter that stimulates the “fight or flight” response
  • Dopamine is a neurotransmitter involved in motivation, reward, addiction, reinforcement

When used, meth causes the body and brain to be flooded with these amines.  Because methamphetamine blocks the body’s ability to take in these biogenic amines, the amines stay in the body.  Normally, these amines are only used as an immediate trigger and then they are either stored or broken down.  This is the reason that meth lasts so long in the body.

In the heart, noradrenaline stimulates the heart to beat faster and stronger, increasing pulse and blood pressure. Body temperature and metabolism increases.  In the brain, the amines increase alertness, concentration, and energy.  They decrease appetite for food and increase sex drive.  They can also increase paranoia, cause hallucinations and lead to a fascination or compulsion with repetitively performing a specific task.

Meth Mouth is the commonly used name for the deterioration of the teeth and gums from meth use.  The chemicals in meth are very caustic and acidic.  In addition, methamphetamine causes the mouth to become very dry.  Normally, saliva protects teeth and gums from acids, but with decreased salvia, the acid attacks tooth enamel.  Furthermore, users often grind or clench their teeth, which weakens or wears down the teeth.

Crystal meth increases impulsiveness and impairs judgment.  It also heightens the user's desire for sex. For many users compulsive sexual behaviors occur. With the mixture of euphoric/pleasurable feelings and a false sense of self-confidence, this usually leads users to believe that  sex is better on meth. This creates a big problem when users try to stop using because they believe they won’t ever be able to enjoy sex again.

Meth Use

The stages of meth use are often stated to be:

  • The Rush – The initial surge of adrenaline and other amines into the body.  This tends to last about 20-30 minutes.
  • The High – The user feels aggressive, capable, wonderful.  This lasts for several hours.
  • Tweaking – The user may have gone on a binge and used meth for several days, but eventually the drug no longer produces any high because your body's natural supply has run out.  At this point users are said to be tweaking.  The user feels very empty and craves the drug.  They feel a loss of identity.  Intense itching is common:  the user feels as if there are bugs crawling under the skin. The user is often unable to sleep and yet feels exhausted.  Hallucinations are vivid.  The person may be hostile to self or others.
  • The Crash – The user may sleep for several days as the body shuts down to recover.
  • Withdrawal can happen slowly over several months.  (In addition to the more immediate withdrawals during tweaking and crashing, longer term withdrawal also occurs.)  The user becomes depressed, lacks energy and is unable to feel pleasure. The user craves meth and believes (incorrectly) that the only way to experience anything positive or even normal is by using meth.

Effects of Meth Abuse

It is often stated that the lows from a drug are in proportion to its highs.  Meth is no exception.  Meth users may feel wonderful for a time, but there is a price to be paid as the body tries to get back to a reasonable “normal”.

Because the body has been flooded with the amines, it believes it no longer needs to create them.  So it drastically decreases or even ceases to produce the amines naturally. The decrease in amine production lasts much longer than the time meth stays in the body. The longer and more intensely someone has used meth, the more the body’s ability to create the natural amines is affected.

Meth causes the body to release more than 10 times the normal levels of dopamine.  So users feel an incredible euphoria.  But the body believes that far too much dopamine exists, so it cuts production.  Because the body no longer produces its typical levels of dopamine, the lower levels of dopamine lead to feelings of sadness, unhappiness, and depression.    Epinephrine and norepinephrine cause the blood vessels to constrict.  Over time, blood ceases to flow to certain areas of the body.  This leads to lower levels of healing and skin tightening or pulling back (such as the gums pulling away from the teeth).

Meth also affects memory and coordination.  Studies have shown that meth may continue to affect the brain for over a year after last use.  Damage to blood vessels in the brain can lead to strokes.

Heart damage can occur after repeated meth use. Meth artificially stimulates and stresses the heart, permanent damage can result.  In addition, high blood pressure is common among former meth users.

So Why Is Meth So Addictive?

Methamphetamine produces a prolonged sense of well-being and energy.  Many meth users want to feel the initial high they first felt using meth and so reuse meth again, and again.  Also, in contrast to the high it produces, it also produces incredible lows, involving severe depression, fatigue, paranoia and irritability. Finally, because of its impact on the brain, meth causes intense craving for using more meth.  Many early meth users begin to use meth more often as they “chase” the first high they felt using meth.  (This is not attainable because the body adjusts to this initial high, and so it is very unlikely a user approaches the initial feelings attained on first use.)  After repeated uses, many users continue to use meth to avoid the psychological and physical pain caused during meth withdrawal, in effect fighting off the lows.  Finally, the cravings caused by meth use often pull former users back into using even after months or years of sobriety.  These three factors cause meth to be incredibly addictive.

Help for Crystal Meth Addiction

Recovery from crystal methamphetamine is possible. It is hard to do on your own.  There are Crystal Meth Anonymous meetings in many cities which are free of charge. In addition, many treatment centers have developed expertise in treating meth addiction.  New Hope Recovery Center has helped a large number of individuals who were addicted to crystal meth.  You can reach us at 888-707-4673 or info@new-hope-recovery.com.  Read more at www.new-hope-recovery.com.

Written By: New Hope Recovery Center

Want more information about Crystal Meth? Check out our Journal for related articles or see below:

Crystal Meth Abuse and Addiction Symptoms How can you tell someone is abusing or addicted to crystal methamphetamine?  Crystal Meth (also called crystal, ice, tina, glass, quartz, tweak, crank) is an extremely addictive stimulant.  It is made from extremely caustic chemicals, which cause damage to any users beyond its simulative effects.

Warning Signs for Crystal Meth Abuse Methamphetamine, also called crystal meth, is highly addictive.  It can be used by snorting, smoking or injecting.  The components of Meth are highly toxic and include: sodium hydroxide (lye), brake fluid, lithium from battery acid, lighter fluid, rubbing alcohol, drain cleaner, paint thinner, anhydrous ammonia, hydrochloric acid, red phosphorus lye, ether, iodine and ephedrine.

Crystal Meth and Gay Men – What You Need To Know Crystal methamphetamine has a long and storied history.  From its discovery in 1893 to World War II where it was used by Hitler to energize the German troops  to the 1960’s where it became commonly used among motorcycle gangs, crystal meth is highly addictive and wreaks havoc on whoever uses it. More recently, it has become problematic, in the rural areas of the United States as well as in the LGBT community, most notably with gay men.  Chicago has been hard hit by the crystal meth epidemic.

 

Methamphetamine, also called crystal meth, is highly addictive.  It can be used by snorting, smoking or injecting.  The components of Meth are highly toxic and include: sodium hydroxide (lye), brake fluid, lithium from battery acid, lighter fluid, rubbing alcohol, drain cleaner, paint thinner, anhydrous ammonia, hydrochloric acid, red phosphorus lye, ether, iodine and ephedrine.

What do you look for if you suspect your loved one is abusing Crystal Meth? Here are 44 warning signs to look for:

Physical Warning Signs of Crystal Meth Abuse

  • Dilated pupils
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Weight loss
  • Uncontrolled twitching or jerking, such as eye twitching
  • Chronic nasal problems – i.e. deviated septum, nosebleeds
  • Bad breath
  • Dry, cracked skin, especially lips and fingertips
  • Dry mouth
  • Hair loss
  • Excessive sweating
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Extreme weight loss, appearing bony and gaunt
  • Sores, abscesses, red dots on skin (from injecting meth)
  • Skin sores or lesions from picking at skin (meth addicts feel as if bugs are crawling under their skin)
  • “Meth mouth” – rotting teeth/tooth loss due to the impact of the chemicals in meth on tooth enamel
  • Burn marks on fingers or mouth (from smoking meth)

Behavior Warnings Signs of Crystal Meth Abuse

  • Intense focus on a trivial matter or task
  • Grinding or clenching teeth
  • Fidgeting, unable to sit still
  • Excessive talking, rambling
  • Insomnia, not sleeping for extended periods
  • Sleeping for several days
  • Not eating for several days, loss of appetite
  • Repetitious behavior, compulsive actions
  • Hyperactivity, nervous or anxious
  • Short term memory loss
  • Scratching or picking at face and skin
  • Hallucinations
  • Psychosis and paranoia
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Mood instability
  • Delusions
  • Suicidal thoughts

Indirect Signs of Methamphetamine Use

These are indirect indications of meth use (and could apply to other drugs that are snorted, smoked or injected).

  • Missing or stolen money or valuables or frequent requests to borrow money, particularly with nothing to show for it
  • Aluminum foil with burn marks (if smoking)
  • Straws (used to snort), especially with burn marks (used to smoke)
  • Empty plastic pen cases (used for snorting or smoking)
  • Small plastic bags
  • Water pipes or other pipes (used to smoke)
  • Rolled up dollar bills or paper (used for snorting)
  • Razor blades, IDs and credit cards with a powder residue on them (used for snorting)
  • Syringes and syringe caps (if injecting)
  • Missing or misplaced shoelaces (used to tie off injection sites)
  • Rubber straps or bands (used to tie off)

If you suspect your loved one is using methamphetamine, get help immediately.  It is a deadly drug.  Because of its many caustic chemical components, it can seriously jeopardize your loved one’s health and body.  It is incredibly addictive, so persuading your loved one to go to treatment, or at minimum visit a doctor is very important.

New Hope Recovery Center has helped many clients with methamphetamine addiction.  We are happy to answer your questions.  Contact us at 888-707-4673 or email us at info@new-hope-recovery.com.

Written by: New Hope Recovery Center

For additional articles on crystal meth:

Crystal Meth and Gay Men: What you need to know

New Hope Recovery Center Review - Client Success Story

 

crystal meth and gay menCrystal methamphetamine has a long and storied history.  From its discovery in 1893 to World War II where it was used by Hitler to energize the German troops  to the 1960’s where it became commonly used among motorcycle gangs, crystal meth is highly addictive and wreaks havoc on whoever uses it. More recently, it has become problematic, in the rural areas of the United States as well as in the LGBT community, most notably with gay men.  Chicago has been hard hit by the crystal meth epidemic.

What is crystal meth, what are the characteristics of meth usage and what does addiction to meth look like?

Methamphetamine – also known as tina, speed, glass, crystal, tweak – is like a typical amphetamine times 10 because the rate of addiction is astronomical.  People often describe being “hooked” or addicted the first time they use it.

It can be smoked, snorted and/or injected.  Any method of ingestion has its unique medical challenges but nowhere is the impact more dangerous than with IV usage due to the potential for the spread of STD’s/HIV/AIDS.

Methamphetamine itself looks yellowish or white, has no odor, looks like shards of ice and dissolves easily with liquids.  Methamphetamine is a Schedule II controlled substance in the US, which means the potential for abuse and addiction is high.

What are the physical symptoms that could indicate  meth usage?

  • Chronic nasal problems – i.e. deviated septum, nosebleeds
  • Bad breath
  • Dilated pupils
  • Dry, cracked lips and fingertips
  • Dark circles under the eyes due to fatigue
  • Extreme weight loss – the appearance of bones sticking out
  • Skin sores/abscesses (consistent with IV usage)
  • “Meth mouth” – rotting teeth/tooth loss due to the impact of the chemicals in meth on tooth enamel

The most common effects of methamphetamine usage are increased alertness and energy, decreased appetite, difficulty sleeping, irritability and high rates of anxiety.

What are the long term effects of meth usage? These signs indicate the more disturbing aspects of meth use:

  • Paranoia
  • Erratic hyperactive behavior
  • Aggression and violence
  • Picking of skin– an individual feels like there is something under their skin i.e. spiders
  • Severe mood swings/disturbances
  • Repetitive nonsensical behaviors – “tweaking”
  • Psychosis – hallucinations and delusional thought processes
  • Body tics – may appear similar to Parkinson’s

With the ability to make and distribute meth becoming easier, it appears the increase in meth use won’t stop anytime soon.

While addiction to meth doesn’t discriminate, gay men seem to be highly impacted by the use of this particular drug.  If you or someone you love is impacted by crystal meth, please contact New Hope at 773-883-3916 or info@new-hope-recovery.com.  Our “New Hope With Pride” program focuses on the unique needs of LGBT individuals  and the impact of addiction on the LGBT Community.

Written by Jeff Zacharias LCSW, CAADC, RDDP