Methamphetamine is a very powerful drug that has increased in popularity in recent years. The crystallised form of this drug is known as crystal meth or Ice, and it gives users an intense high. Because the powerful high tends to be followed by a severe comedown, many users are tempted to take more of the drug; this has resulted in increased incidences of Ice addiction among people across the United Kingdom.
Crystal meth use is on the increase, which is frightening considering how addictive this drug is and how devastating the effects can be on a person’s physical appearance and behaviour.
With police all over the UK cracking down on illegal drug use, dealers and users are coming up with innovative ways to hide their stash, which could have implications for innocent civilians. In fact, a six-year-old boy from Limavady in Belfast recently found a Kinder Surprise egg stashed in a bush where he was playing. However, this was not a normal chocolate egg, as the boy and his brother soon discovered. Inside the egg was a bag containing a white substance, which tests later showed was Ice.
Thankfully, the boy took the bag of drugs to his father, who then called the police to inform them of the find. Northern Ireland Police Service Inspector, Colin Shaw said, “The contents of the bag, which was found inside a toy egg, is believed to be methamphetamine. This small quantity of drugs will be disposed of by police. This incident is of the uppermost concern for all of us. Tackling the use and supply of illegal drugs is a priority for us, and the possibility that something so potentially dangerous has been discarded where children could find it is deeply concerning.”
Inspector Shaw said he was thankful that the child in question took the drugs to his father, and said that locals should be aware of the disregard criminals have for their safety and the safety of children in the area.
Councillor Alan Robinson agreed and said, “In this instance the children are to be commended for passing the contents to their parents.”
It is not difficult to imagine what could have happened had these kids taken another course of action.
Kinder Eggs have been used to smuggle drugs before. A seventy-three-year-old woman in Spain apparently hid drugs inside chocolate eggs, which she then placed inside her vagina before going to see her son in prison. She was caught and given a suspended jail sentence of twenty-one months.
In the meantime, police in Belfast are conducting an investigation into the drugs found by the young boy.
What is Crystal Meth
Crystal meth is typically smoked and will give the user feelings of pleasure, well-being, and happiness. The user could have boundless energy and confidence, and some will become hyperactive. The high experienced by Ice users tends to last for around six to eight hours, but some users experience the pleasurable effects for up to twenty-four hours.
These feelings of pleasure can be so intense that users tend to crave the drug as soon as the effects start to wear off. This means that they may become addicted very quickly. Crystal meth users tend to lose weight rapidly because the drug decreases their appetite. Many do not eat at all while on the drug, and they rarely get enough sleep. This means that their physical appearance can diminish rather quickly.
Health Complications of an Ice Addiction
Those who develop an Ice addiction will find it very hard to break. The drug is highly addictive, and the crashing comedowns and intense cravings make it hard for users to stop themselves from taking it again and again.
This dangerous drug can have serious implications for physical and mental health, however. Those who become addicted are at risk of developing memory problems, psychosis, paranoia, depression, violent tendencies, heart disease, and brain damage.
This destructive substance causes both short and long term damage and, unfortunately, some of the long-term damage is irreversible. One of the effects of the drug is increased heart rate and high blood pressure, which can lead to an irregular heartbeat and heart disease. The drug can also damage other internal organs including the lungs, liver and kidneys. Brain damage may be irreversible, with some people unable to remember large periods of their lives.
Treating Ice Addiction
An Ice addiction is notoriously difficult to treat because of the intense cravings experienced by the addict. Treatment typically involves a programme of drug detox followed by counselling and therapy options, which could include cognitive behavioural therapy, motivational interviewing, contingency management, individual counselling, group therapy, and twelve step work.
It may be necessary for the patient’s family to attend family therapy sessions as well because an Ice addiction can cause devastation to those close to the addict. Family therapy aims to help all members of the family overcome the illness and learn how to rebuild their relationships.