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Crystal meth: effects and risks of the recreational drug

The party drug methylamphetamine is known under the name crystal meth. It has a strong euphoria and is quickly addictive. The consequences of consumption are terrifying.

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The dangerous drug methylamphetamine is a growing concern for the authorities.

Crystal, Ruppe, Ice or just C - all these terms stand for the illegal drug crystal meth. The substance reduces feelings such as fear, hunger and pain. It can make you euphoric and increases the subjective willingness to perform. If the effect of crystalline methamphetamine, so the translation for crystal meth, wears off, there is a lack of drive and irritability. And with regular use, the consumer's personality changes, as Roland Härtel-Petri, an addiction therapist from Bayreuth, explains.

Crystal meth has a performance-enhancing and euphoric effect

"The first crystal wave primarily affected the techno party scene," says the expert. “However, we have been experiencing a second wave since around 2009 and are now seeing many people who take part in consumption in order to meet their own performance requirements and a hunger for adventure. These are completely different milieus. " Many already addicts do not accept offers of help because they have not yet seen themselves as "down" as addicts in the USA, of whom frightening images are sometimes shown in the media.

Methamphetamine: shape and color can vary

The consistency and appearance of the methamphetamine were reminiscent of ice crystals or small splinters of glass, according to a brochure from the contact point for youth addiction and drug advice at the Chemnitz City Mission. In this form or in fine, powdery form, it is offered on the drug market. The crystals would have a milky white color, but could be pink or blue in color.

Crystal meth use

"Crystal is usually sniffed, smoked or inhaled through the nose," explains Gabriele Bartsch from the German Central Office for Addiction Issues (DHS) in Hamm. "But it can also be injected with syringes, which brings with it the risk of infection, as we know it from heroin addicts."

Effects of crystal meth

A single use of crystal meth can be addictive. The synthetic drug, which belongs to the meth-amphetamines, makes you euphoric, increases self-esteem, relieves basic anxiety and suppresses tiredness, hunger and pain. These effects quickly lead to psychological dependence, explains Christa Roth-Sackenheim, Chairwoman of the Professional Association of German Psychiatrists (BVDP) in Krefeld. Those who take crystal meth often report that they lose control of their consumption after a short time. This is also due to the fact that those affected perceive the withdrawal symptoms as unbearable.

Consequences of crystal meth use

According to Roth-Sackenheim, there is a risk that the drug could cause psychoses with delusions, hallucinations and thought disorders. Mental abilities often suffer as well: those affected can concentrate poorly or remember appointments and information. Infections, heart problems or weight loss are possible physical consequences.

Methamphetamine is spreading in Germany

Authorities are now concerned that the drug could spread in Germany. So far it is mainly known in the federal states of Bavaria and Saxony, which border on the Czech Republic. More than 75 kilograms of crystal meth were confiscated in Germany in 2012, compared with 40 kilograms in the previous year. This emerges from data from the federal drug commissioner.

Crystal meth is one of the most dangerous illegal drugs

Researchers led by Bernd Werse from the Center for Drug Research (CDR) at the University of Frankfurt am Main have been asking schoolchildren and members of the party scene which intoxicants they use for more than ten years. "About one percent of the students surveyed has tried Crystal, the numbers are very constant here," explains the scientist. "But the drug has a bad reputation, is considered difficult to control and the duration of action is too intense." There are people who are very susceptible to the effects of the drug, so that they can no longer stop using it after just one use. Others felt put off. Rightly, says Werse: "Crystal meth is one of the most dangerous drugs on the illegal market."

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Source: dpa

| Updated: Thursday, March 3, 2016, 9:27 am

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