Crystal meth is one of the most dangerous illicit drugs that is on the market today because of its addictive qualities. Made from methamphetamine, this drug can cause life to become tunnel-visioned with just one primary focus: to score more meth. Whether those addicted are looking to buy a day or a week of supplies at a time, the central focus of the addict’s life orbits around their need for the drug. This makes it very difficult for a path toward recovery to be walked.
Statistics of Crystal Meth Recovery
1. 88%. That’s the percentage of crystal meth users who will relapse within the first 1-3 years of their recovery efforts.
2. Going through a professional rehabilitation program designed to deal with crystal meth addiction gives users 2x the chances of staying free of the drug in the first 24 months of a recovery effort.
3. The number of people above the age of 12 who have tried crystal meth at least once in their lives in the US alone: 10.4 million.
4. About 1.3 million people reported crystal meth use within the last 12 months.
5. 512,000 people report that they have used crystal meth within the last 30 days at least one time.
6. The number of ER visits that are directly associated to crystal meth use have risen by 50% since 1995.
7. In 2004, crystal meth accounted for 4% of the total drug-related visits to emergency rooms in the United States.
8. 1%. That’s the percentage of high school seniors who have abused crystal meth at some point during the school year. Sophomores have the highest abuse rates at 1.6%.
9. Over 4% of high school students have used crystal meth at least once at some point in their lives.
10. Only 1 out of 2 crystal meth users will stay clean for the first 3 months after they try to give up the habit. Without any formal treatment, however, only 1 in 9 users will make it through the first 3 months.
11. The success rate of crystal meth users to be clean after 3 years without any rehabilitation or treatment: 5%.
12. When all relapse incidents are grouped together, it is estimated that 92% of crystal meth users will fail at least once in their recovery efforts.
13. The average crystal meth recovery includes at least 7 relapse incidents in total.
14. The effects of a single use of crystal meth may last for up to 8-12 hours.
15. Crystal meth has a direct correlation with a higher risk of serious infections diseases, including HIV and Hepatitis. Chronic users who inject methamphetamine also risk scarred or collapsed veins, infections of the heart lining and valves, abscesses, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and liver or kidney disease.
16. 1,200. That’s the number of dopamine units that a single use of crystal meth may release in the human brain. That’s quadruple the amount of cocaine.
17. The average spot price of gold is 10x cheaper than the average price of crystal meth.
18. Even though crystal meth can be made directly from pseudoephedrine products, only 35 states currently have laws on the books that restrict the sale of it in some way.
19. Desoxyn. Remember that name. That’s pharmaceutical grade crystal meth. It’s used to treat ADHD and obesity.
20. Only 1 in 10 self-identified drug users say that crystal meth is their primary or secondary drug of choice.
21. The cost of crystal meth use in the United States annually: over $480 million.
22. It only takes 6 weeks for the human body to stop responding to the beneficial side effects of crystal meth.
23. The going price for crystal meth: $25 for 0.25g.
24. Individuals who use crystal methamphetamine may have episodes of violent behavior, paranoia, anxiety, confusion, and insomnia that are related to the brain reorganization effects of the drug.
25. Crystal meth may cause psychotic symptoms within users for several months or even years after they have stopped using the drug.
26. The most common names for crystal methamphetamine are ice and glass.
27. Crystal meth was widely used in the 1960’s and 1970’s before it disappeared in the 1980’s. Now it’s back bigger than ever before.
28. 50% of first-time crystal meth users report feeling cravings for the drug that are very much like an addiction.
29. 75% of crystal meth users who take a second hit of the drug state that they feel cravings for it after the high wears off.
30. Women tend to take crystal meth more than men because of the early weight loss qualities that it is able to provide.
31. It is not uncommon for the stimulating effects of crystal meth, which are similar to caffeine or Adderall, to last for several days at a time to prevent sleep from occurring.
32. Crystal meth is known to be able to elevate blood sugar to dangerous levels.
33. With long enough use, crystal meth will eventually destroy the brain’s dopamine receptors, making it impossible for someone to feel pleasure.
34. The average person finds crystal meth use to be 12x more pleasurable than having sex.
35. After 12 months of sobriety, the dopamine receptors of the brain can heal, but the memory impairment and motor coordination symptoms continue to remain.
Understanding Crystal Meth
Crystal meth is not a new drug. It was first created in 1919 and has even been used by the US military in combat arenas. The root drug of crystal meth was first created in 1887. Up until the first days after World War II, the US held a very liberal policy of drug use. Even cocaine and high level opioids were used regularly and legally, but as the addictive qualities of these drugs became know, policies shifted to making them illegal and more difficult to obtain.
As the statistics show, it can be very difficult to get beyond crystal meth. Crystal meth recovery is not impossible to achieve, but it’s an even more difficult path to begin walking along.
What Are the Effects of a Crystal Meth Addiction?
Once a crystal meth addiction begins, the rational brain shows an equal reduction in its power to operate. This drug will dig into the physical and psychological aspects of life and compromise an individual at the very core of their being. This shift begins from the very first moment that someone tries crystal meth. It will literally rewire the brain so that it functions differently.
People try to replicate that first high, but it never happens. The euphoria can never be matched and many users wind up destroying themselves to enjoy that feeling just one more time. In small quantities, crystal meth encourages weight loss and focus. At high quantities, it creates paranoia, agitation, and cardiovascular complications.
This means that chronic crystal meth use can lead to a wide variety of problems. The most well-known issue is the “meth mouth” of destroyed teeth, but a number of additional health issues also arise. Strokes, cardiovascular issues, breathing problems, chronic headaches, muscle cramping, and organ damage all occur with prolonged crystal meth use.
For effective crystal meth recovery, we need to get people into effective treatment programs. Throwing a crystal meth user in prison for a prolonged period of time does no one any good. The statistics prove that unsupervised recoveries are going to fail 95 out of 100 times within the first 3 months, when all relapses for all individuals are included. To think that crystal meth can’t be obtained in prison is also naïve at best.
Should we be loving meth addicts up? Or should we be encouraging a better rehabilitation program that will encourage societal reintegration?
What Do These Statistics Mean?
There is one problem that can be found in the crystal meth statistics: individuals are not counted, but relapse incidents are counted. This means that one user who has 9 relapse incidents will count as 9 meth users because every time they stop and then start again, they are counted as a new user. Because the acceptable range of crystal meth relapse is between 7-13 incidents per person, this should be accounted for in the statistics.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA] has discovered that when this discrepancy is accounted for and individuals, not relapse events, are counted, about half of all crystal meth users will be able to become sober and beat this addiction.
The key to defeating an addiction to crystal meth is consistent group support, ongoing therapy, and removal of triggers that would cause one to use. The public service announcements encourage people to never use crystal meth – not even once. That would seem to be pretty good advice. For those who are trying to recover, it is also important to remember that tomorrow is a new day that can bring about new opportunities.