Methamphetamine (or crystal) floods the body with dopamine at a much higher rate than normal activities that trigger the same brain-based response. The health problems caused by crystal can be catastrophic and lead to any number of adverse physical impacts.
Some of the more high-profile issues that come with crystal dependency should help to discourage people from using, but the truth is that it continues to flourish in the United States. It may seem as though skin issues, decaying teeth and physical ticks are as bad as it gets with crystal, but that's not the case. The long-term effects and health problems associated with this substance are more than skin deep.
Crystal stimulates the neurotransmitters in the brain responsible for triggering dopamine - or pleasure. The initial rush of pleasure is fleeting, but a sense of elation and happiness can last from six to 12 hours.
Users then increase the frequency of use to overcome any crash from the influx of dopamine chemicals. This triggers more dopamine production, which can be depleted from the body by destroying these brain cells from overuse. The user is then unable to achieve a normal level of contentment, which can in turn trigger depressive episodes and other at-risk behaviors.
Since crystal affects other chemicals in the brain, one of the risks of using is an increased predisposition to Parkinson's Disease, This is an incurable and degenerative disease that can cause uncontrollable tremors, limb rigidity, and other neurological problems. Although the disease itself isn't life-threatening, the side effects sometimes are.
Women who use crystal have five times the increased risk than non-users.
Crystal causes a constriction of the blood vessels throughout the body, which can lead to several problems due to the decreased flow of blood to vital organs. One such problem is the fact that tissue in the bowels is all but wiped out.
The impacts of bowel issues includes low blood pressure, blood clots, a ruptured bowel, or other diseases, as well as an inability to control bowel movements. If the user suffers a ruptured bowel, peritonitis can set in and cause septic shock.
Ingesting this substance constricts the blood vessels and reduces blood flow to vital organs, which has a widespread effect on the entire body. This can lead to a hemorrhagic stroke - which is more severe than one caused by a clot.
The risk of stroke in individuals under the age of 45 is five times higher when crystal is involved. Users are also more likely to perish because of their stroke than non-users that suffer the same trauma.