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What’s the Difference Between Meth and Crystal Meth?

Many people wonder, “What’s the difference between meth and crystal meth?” These substances are often used interchangeably when speaking about them. However, they are not the same thing. Both are highly addictive substances and equally destructive in the lives of those struggling with addiction.

Understanding meth versus crystal meth helps individuals get much-needed, and life-saving help for themselves or a loved one.

Overview of Crystal Meth

As a more potent, distilled form of methamphetamine, crystal meth is illegally produced and illicitly used. It comes in a rock-like, or crystal form, and can be smoked, snorted, or injected.

Also, it is generally produced in a lab by mixing over-the-counter products and methamphetamine to produce this highly addictive, extremely potent, and dangerous drug.

Overview of Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine, or meth, is a psychostimulant drug. It comes in the form of a pill or a white powdery substance. A Schedule II substance, methamphetamine is not as widely prescribed as it once was. However, it still carries legitimate medical purposes for the treatment of certain conditions, such as obesity and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Illicit meth use is common, and despite its medical use, it can be highly addictive. Read further to better understand what’s the difference between meth and crystal meth.

Crystal Meth Versus Meth

A common misconception in society is the interchangeable use of meth versus crystal meth. They are often thought to be one and the same. However, despite their many similarities, there are a few differences. Similarities of these substances begin with the effects.

Meth versus crystal meth users will experience similar effects that include euphoria, and heightened energy levels, and can exhibit an exaggerated sense of confidence. 

There are also differences between the effects of meth and crystal meth. Crystal meth produces a more “head high” in users. Whereas, meth causes a rush within the body. In addition, the differences also include cost, appearance, and their addictive nature. 

Differences in Appearance

As previously stated, when comparing meth versus crystal meth, meth comes in a pill or powdery substance. While crystal meth is a crystalline substance made by mixing different chemicals with methamphetamine. Due to this process, crystal meth could potentially be a more addictive substance than meth in its natural form.

During crystal meth production, the substance is cut with different agents, and these agents contribute to the addictiveness. 

Differences of Use

Meth use differs from crystal meth use in that meth has legitimate medical uses. It usually comes in a pill form that is then swallowed to achieve the desired effects. Conversely, crystal meth is lab created, illegally, and is generally smoked, snorted, or injected. 

Differences in Effects of Both Substances

Smoking or snorting crystal meth results in a head high. Users experience a short-lived high. Therefore, they often resort to repeated use in order to continue that feeling.

By contrast, with its legitimate uses, methamphetamine produces a body rush. This is partly due to its medical properties. The drug is taken in pill form and distributed throughout the body. Thereby, resulting in the euphoric, heightened energy high that meth causes.  

Differences in Effects on the Body

Another difference between meth and crystal meth use is the potential danger and risk of each. Use of either of these substances can result in aggression, hyperactivity, anxiety, agitation, and hallucinations or paranoia. However, they each have different effects on the body. 

Crystal meth use, due to its production, introduces toxic chemicals into the body causing damage to vital organs and body functions. Sometimes, manufacturers add potentially lethal substances during production, such as fentanyl.

Additionally, poor hygiene and dental hygiene often occur in individuals using crystal meth. Accordingly, long-term crystal meth use leads to meth mouth—extensive tooth decay, gum disease, tooth loss, and other oral health issues.

Crystal Meth and Meth Withdrawal

Withdrawal is an uncomfortable and unpleasant process for anyone. Despite the differences between meth and crystal meth, they both result in addiction and inevitable withdrawal from the substances.

Some symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Fatigue
  • Agitation
  • Vivid dreams
  • Hallucinations
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Changes in appetite
  • Aggression

Withdrawal from these substances can begin as little as a few hours after the last use and peak within 2-3 days. Usually, it then begins to subside. However, some people experience withdrawal symptoms longer. Professional drug addiction treatment makes this process safer and easier to endure. 

Why Detox Can Help

Detox is the first step to recovery from addiction. Removing the toxins introduced through drug use is a crucial part of being able to live a productive life in the future. Detox provides a safe and healing environment to go through the withdrawal process with medical and emotional support. 

Evidence-based therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and trauma therapy promote change and healing during detox and recovery. Additionally, learning positive coping skills and healing from potential traumas that lead to addiction is a vital component of recovery.

Find Effective Addiction Treatment at Empowered Recovery

Meth addiction affects every aspect of a person’s life. Often, with devastating consequences. It not only affects interpersonal relationships but also leads to numerous health complications in individuals who struggle with meth and crystal meth use disorders. 

However, there is good news for these individuals. Help is available. Treatment can and does work. So, if you or a loved one are struggling, we can help. At Empowered Recovery Center we offer specialized care for individuals struggling with these substances. 

Contact us today and begin the rewarding journey of recovery.

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