Meth New Zealand: The Drug of Choice
Methamphetamines first hit the market in the 90s. Since that time they have grown in popularity and widespread use. Originally a party drug for the wealthy, meth has made its way into even the most rural areas in New Zealand. Since the beginning, meth has definitely held the spotlight in public consciousness due to media reports. These reports typically focus on the manufacturing of meth in New Zealand and accidents that occur while this is happening. The truth is, while manufacturing meth is dangerous, using meth is much more dangerous and addictive.
New Zealand Takes a New Approach
While in the past it was thought that locking up meth users was the best option to stop the spread of addiction, New Zealand is trying a new approach. New programs are health focused instead of punishment focused. Basically, this means users gaining access to treatment over time in jail or prison. Though the results are not yet clear, this would mean that addicts would have a chance at an addiction free life without a criminal record. This would give them a better chance to start over.
What is Meth?
Meth is a shortened term for crystal methamphetamine. It is just one form of the methamphetamine drug that is illegally produced. Meth is a white crystalline drug that can be snorted, smoked, or mixed with a liquid and injected. Some people do take it orally, but this is not the most common form of use. Once used, even from the first use, a strong desire to use again begins because of the intense rush of happiness. The effects of a single use can last up to 8 hours on average, but some have felt effects for an entire 24 hours.
Commonly a club drug, crystal meth goes by numerous street names that include crank, chalk, and speed. In clubs it is most often called ice and glass. The dangerous chemical mixture is poison to the body and begins to systematically destroy it from the beginning. Meth is so potent, it is not unusual to be addicted after the very first use.
Effects of Meth
Meth is often equated with a pleasurable experience by users, but even with the first use, meth begins to destroy the life of the user. This is in part because of the euphoric feelings that make the user think that they can go faster or further than a normal person. This then causes them to push their body beyond normal limits and leads to injury and damage.
Short Term Effects
Short term effects of meth are intense and can occur with the first use and continue through each subsequent use. These include:
- Increased heart rate, temperature, and blood pressure
- Loss of appetite
- Altered sleep patterns
- Euphoria and excitement
- Erratic behavior that may turn violent
- Dilated pupils
- Convulsions or seizures
- Death from overdose
Long Term Effects
- Permanent damage to the heart and brain
- Liver, lung, and kidney damage (possibly permanent)
- Nose tissue damage (if snorted)
- Breathing issues (if smoked)
- Tooth and gum damage and decay
Many of the long term effects are permanent even after detox and refraining from any further use. However, getting treatment could mean the difference between life and death for users who are already experiencing side effects.
Getting Help with Addiction at DARA
DARA is an in-patient facility with multiple locations in Australia. These facilities, located in Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney can help those with both long and short term meth addictions to get started on the road to recovery through 6 to 12 week average stays. With multiple facilities it is not only easy to get a spot, but affordable. This also allows the user to find a facility nearby, yet away from the area in which primary use occurred. This is important in the early days of recovery as a change in scenery in a drug free environment can take away the ability to continue use while skills to stay clean are being built.
Each individual that enters DARA is given a personalized treatment plan based on their individual needs. While every plan involves similar activities, the specifics are unique to the individual. Treatment includes the use of cognitive behavioral therapy in both group and individual sessions, wellness programs, and spiritual wellbeing. This is combined with exercise and proper nutrition to help the body heal as well as the mind. This is important because addicts tend to neglect physical health and hygiene when in active use.
While it may seem odd to include all these different aspects, drug addiction effects the whole body. This is especially true for those using meth as even the first use can begin causing damage. Through exercise and proper nutrition, the body can further detox. The dual purpose of giving the person an outlet for the energy and aggravation often brought on by detox and lack of access to drugs is also useful. Furthermore, this practice of daily physical activity can be useful when reintegrating into life as an alternative to drug use. If you or someone you love needs help in overcoming addiction, call DARA anytime.
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