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Recent Articles

Below are past articles previously published in Drugs & Addiction Magazine. These are filled with current and relevant information and statistics and can be used as great conversation starters with youth.

  • A Cry for Guidance

    January 18, 2018

    ‘We are dying’: Maskwacis community members overwhelmed by suicides.   Emily Soosay is grieving the loss of her 22-year-old son Luwen Soosay-Morin, who took his life two days before Christmas. Saturday she attended a vigil for a celebration of life following a wave of recent deaths by suicide in her home community of Maskwacis, Alta. She […]

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  • Vaping 101 – Health Relation, Benefits, Dangers, Fun Facts and More

    January 2, 2018

    Vapers Among Us: When you notice someone standing on the street puffing away at their vape pen, do you stop and think for a second and say “ Hey that looks cool!” I don’t think any of us do. So, when we see celebrities such as Johnny Depp and Katy Perry doing it — maybe some […]

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  • Your Friend’s Substance Abuse

    September 15, 2017

    The Risks at Hand When a friend develops a problem with drinking or drug use, it can be upsetting and confusing. The person who you thought you knew so well seems different. Her moods might be less predictable, and she may seem more irritable. She could be treating you differently than she used to, or […]

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Crystal meth is part of a category of drugs known as “methamphetamines.” Methamphetamine (MA), which is known by various street names including “speed”, “meth”, “crystal meth” and “chalk”, is a white, odourless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that readily dissolves in water or alcohol.

It can be snorted, swallowed, injected or smoked. In its smokable form it is referred to as “ice”, “crank”, “crystal”. “glass” or “tina” because if its transparent, sheet-like crystals, and is smoked in a pipe like crack cocaine. The smoke is odourless and leaves a residue that may be resmoked. Immediately after smoking or injecting the drug, the user experiences an intense rush that lasts for only a few minutes but is extremely pleasurable. This rush is followed by a prolonged euphoria, or “high”. Snorting or taking the drug orally produces euphoria but not the rush. Snorting produces effects within 3-5 minutes and oral use produces effects withing 15-20 minutes. The duration of the effects can vary and depends on the amount taken. MA is a powerful stimulant that increases attention, decreases fatigue, increases activity, decreases appetite and increases respiration.

The actual prevalence of crystal meth use amongst adolescent students is low (4%) compared to alcohol (58%), marijuana (37%) and mushrooms (13%). However, this number jumps dramatically for street youth; 70% have used crystal meth.

The addictive potential of crystal meth is much higher than that of other drugs, meaning that it’s very difficult to use meth in moderation. Many people who try it, even experimentally, end up becoming dependent. Tolerance to the effects of methamphetamine builds up quickly in regular users, which means they need more and more of the drug to achieve the desired effect. When dependent users stop taking methamphetamine, they have strong cravings for the drug, and within a few days will experience withdrawal symptoms including stomach pain, hunger, headaches, shortness of breath, tiredness and depression.

Crystal meth can present very dangerous threats to people who use it occasionally, or even to first time users. Methamphetamine causes the heart to beat faster and blood pressure to rise. Since the content of the drug sold varies widely, it is difficult to judge the size of a dose. An overdose of methamphetamine can result in seizures, high body temperature, irregular heartbeat, heart attack, stroke and death. The risk of overdose is highest when the drug is injected.

The effects of crystal meth on the brain, body and behaviour can be severe and long-lasting. These include
// Paranoia
// Delusional thoughts and psychosis
// Mood swings
// Rage and violence
// Possible long-term damage to brain cells

Below is the original article previously published in Drugs & Addiction Magazine.

Methamphetamine Article

September 15, 2017