Home' LOTL : March 2006 Contents 53
By Dr Ann
QIs crystal meth as bad as the media is making out? Party girl.
AThis is going to be a short column this week: yes.
...for all your optical
needs, purple or otherwise.
Phone Sarah or Lizzie
for an appointment
on 9743 0898.
Eye Exams Bulk Billed
Lizzie Wilson Optometrist B.Optom(Hons)UNSW
49a Majors Bay Rd, Concord NSW 2137
PURPLE IS OUR FAVOURITE COLOUR!
Mention the LOTL add
and receive an extra 10%
discount off everything except
20 DARLINGHURST ROAD POTTS POINT NSW 2011
PH: (02) 9358 6712 FAX: (02) 9358 3625
1-4 people per session
Hatha & Astanga
Suzy 0410 17 22 58
I’ll come to you!
OK, I can’t resist – give me a soapbox, and I’ll stand on it. What is
my experience of crystal meth you might ask…well how does a raft
of paranoid, anxious, depressed and often frankly psychotic patients
sound? The people I’ve seen who use crystal meth regularly were not
out looking for an addiction, and they were not signing up for an acute
onset mental illness – they just thought it would feel good.
Crystal meth, “ice” or crystal methamphetamine hydrochloride promises
to give you what everyone is looking for at one time or another: quick,
intense euphoria, lack of inhibitions, and increased sexual pleasure. Only
most people don’t bother to look for the fine print that accompanies this
tempting promise: you’ll lose your inhibitions, but you could also lose
Perhaps you may have heard of crystal meth by another name. The
following gives you an idea of how many terms there are for this drug
and its closely related cousins: Amps, Batu, Chalk, Chicken powder,
Crank, Cristina, Croak (mixture with cocaine), Crystal, Glass (resembles
ice shavings), Gofast, Ice (smokable form), LA glass, Meth, Monster,
Peanut butter crank, Shabu, Snot, White cross.
Now I have tried to find the evidence which supports crystal meth use
as an “okay if used wisely” type drug. I’m sorry. There isn’t any. You
can become addicted to crystal meth the way you can other drugs,
and even if you don’t see yourself as fitting into the “binge” or “long
term” categories, the side effects and brain damage that can occur are
The immediate effects arise from the activation of the sympathetic
nervous system: dry mouth, rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure.
Doesn’t sound too bad? Add to this severe headache, sweating,
dizziness, blurred vision and tremor – not sounding so sexy? Despite
the euphoria from the body releasing dopamine and serotonin, you can
also experience anxiety, aggressive feelings, paranoia, hallucinations and
insomnia. Plus, disinhibition and feelings of “bulletproof confidence” can
get you into situations you’d normally run a mile from.
The proven long-term effects of crystal meth use include severe
depression (more than just the usual coming down after using),
psychosis, and paranoia. This is in addition to the heart, lung, kidney
and brain problems associated with chronic abuse. It’s this “brain and
mind” side of crystal meth that makes it a drug to avoid. Regular users
are known to perform poorly on tests of brain function and coordination.
Even worse is the news that these changes are permanent.
If you’re thinking of trying crystal meth this Mardi Gras I have a piece of
advice for you that is simple, easy to remember, and won’t leave you in
the Emergency Department or local Mental Health Unit: DON’T! If you’re
currently using crystal meth regularly and want to stop try the following
contacts: Crystal Meth Anonymous (02) 9206 2052, ACON (02) 9206
2000, 1800 063 060, www.acon.org.au.
Dr Ann is a doctor at a Sydney metropolitan area hospital. The opinions
expressed in this column are those of the author and are not intended
as a substitute for medical advice. If you have concerns about your
health please consult your health practitioner.
“I have tried to find the evidence
which supports crystal meth use...
I’m sorry. There isn’t any.”
Links Archive February 2006 April 2006 Navigation Previous Page Next Page