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Crystal Methamphetamine (Crystal Meth)

Crystal Methamphetamine use is on the rise in New Brunswick communities, causing devastating effects on the health and safety of individuals who live in them.

Crystal meth use, and its wider effects are felt in many communities throughout North America.

WHAT IS CRYSTAL METH?

Inexpensive to acquire, crystal meth is manufactured using pseudoephedrine or ephedrine, commonly found in cold medicine. It is often cooked with other common household products never intended for human ingestion such as nail polish remover, fertilizer, battery acid, lantern fuel, antifreeze and drain cleaner.

It is a white crystalline drug that can be swallowed in pill form, snorted (inhaled through the nose), injected with a needle or smoked. The powder is odourless and easily dissolves in water.

Street names for the drug include tweak, meth, glass, ice, Tina, Chrissy, crank, chalk and speed.

WHAT DOES IT DO?

Acting as a stimulant, the drug induces a sense of euphoria, confidence and hyperactive energy and audio and visual hallucinations in the user. A "high" typically lasts six to eight hours and sometimes up to 24 hours. Because it is highly concentrated, it is extremely easy to become addicted after the first use.

Younger experimental users of other drugs such as cannabis can become addicted to crystal meth through unknowingly purchasing meth-laced cannabis products on the street. Urinalysis tests confirm some of Horizon's Addictions & Mental Health clientele became addicted this way.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS?

  • To the user:

The drug is a poison that starts to damage the body as users try to regain that sense of well-being from the first high. Repeated use induces psychosis and evokes violent, aggressive behaviour and associated health issues such as serious infections, malnutrition, depression, epilepsy symptoms, respiratory issues, liver and kidney damage, irreversible brain damage, heart damage, Meth sores, or open wounds and abscesses caused from incessant picking at the skin.

  • To families and communities:

Crystal meth use has a much wider affect beyond the individual user. Suicides, mental illness, shared needles, risky sexual behaviour, crime, violence, child neglect and abuse are among the secondary effects in communities where crystal meth is present.

Treatment for crystal meth addiction is notoriously difficult. Typical relapse rates are 61% within one year after treatment and 25% during years 2-5.

WHERE TO GET HELP

Call 811 from anywhere in New Brunswick.

MIRAMICHI REGION

Miramichi Addiction and Mental Health Services / 506-778-6111

Miramichi Detoxification Unit / 506-623-6175

Rising Sun Treatment Centre (First Nations) / 506-627-4626

SAINT JOHN REGION

Saint John Addiction and Mental Health Services / 506-658-3737

Sussex Addiction and Mental Health Services / 506-432-2090

St George Addiction and Mental Health Services / 506-755-4044

Charlotte County Addiction and Mental Health Services / 506-466-7380

Grand Manan Addiction and Mental Health Services / 506-662-7023

Ridgewood Centre / 506-674-4300

Portage Atlantic - Drug Addiction Rehabilitation Centre / 506-839-1200

MONCTON REGION

Moncton Addictions and Mental Health Services / 506-856-2444

Teen Challenge Atlantic Rehabilitation center / 506-758-2377

Naomi and Ruth Rehabilitation center / 506-481-0406

Harvest House / 506-388-4357

FREDERICTON REGION

Fredericton Addiction and Mental Health Services / 506-453-2132

Woodstock Addiction and Mental Health Services / 506-325-4419

Perth-Andover Addictions and Mental Health Services / 506-273-7257

A complete list of all Addictions and Mental Health Services provided by Horizon is available here.

A complete list of all Addictions and Mental Health Services provided by Vitalité is available here.