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Cream Addiction & Abuse

Cream, a slang term for methamphetamine, offers a rapid, intense high leading quickly to addiction. Its use causes both pleasurable and detrimental effects, from heightened alertness to severe health risks like organ damage and mental health issues. Effective treatment through behavioral therapies is crucial for recovery.

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Cream is one of many slang terms for methamphetamine or meth. It causes an immediate, intense high to which people can quickly become addicted. 

Both mentally and physically pleasurable symptoms can be experienced, and long-term use greatly increases the risk of dangerous and potentially irreversible health effects. Fortunately, a cream addiction can be treated through a combination of therapies.

What Is Cream & Why Is It Used?

Cream is a stimulant drug that produces an intense and powerful high. It influences the central nervous system and affects how people feel both emotionally and physically.  Cream, or methamphetamine, can be consumed by smoking it, swallowing it in pill form, snorting it, or injecting a dissolved form of the powder.

People use methamphetamine in search of an intense high that includes increased alertness, energy, and a sense of euphoria. Approximately 2 million people over the age of 12 use methamphetamine each year, with 500 people trying it for the first time every day. 

The euphoric high leads people to use the drug, despite short-term and long-term health consequences. As more people use cream to get high, more people experience methamphetamine addiction and overdose, which can be fatal.

Effects of Cream on the Mind & Body

Cream works by increasing the amount of dopamine released in the brain, explains the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Dopamine is a natural chemical in the brain that makes you feel good. 

Thus, when cream causes high amounts of dopamine to be released at once, intense feelings of pleasure and euphoria can be experienced. Such feelings reinforce the use of cream, quickly leading to addiction. 

Short-term effects of cream, as outlined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), include the following:

  • Increased alertness and energy
  • Amplified sense of motivation
  • Rapid heartbeat and breathing 
  • Increased body temperature and blood pressure
  • Erratic and irritable behavior
  • Violent and aggressive behavior 
  • Nausea 
  • Decreased appetite 
  • Interrupted sleep patterns 

The above effects of methamphetamine are likely to subside when use is stopped, though long-term health consequences can occur, even with minimal cream use. 

Because a cream high is so intense, it also goes away relatively quickly. People addicted to the high may use cream repeatedly to continue experiencing the above short-term effects. The long-term effects of cream use are less pleasurable and include addiction and many harmful effects on the body.

Signs & Symptoms of Cream Abuse

Methamphetamine is one of the most frequently abused stimulant drugs in the world. In 2021, approximately 2.5 million people reported using meth in the past year. 

People using cream are likely to suffer mental, emotional, and physical side effects. Symptoms of cream abuse, ranging from short-term to long-term effects include the following: 

  • Increased attention, activity, and wakefulness
  • Decreased fatigue
  • Reduced appetite 
  • Increased breathing and a rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Hyperthermia
  • A sense of euphoria or a rush
  • Psychosis, including paranoia, hallucinations, and repetitive motor activity
  • Changes to the brain structure and its function
  • Memory loss
  • Distractibility 
  • Reduced thinking and motor skills 
  • Aggressive, violent, or agitated behavior 
  • Disturbances in mood 
  • Weight loss 
  • Severe dental problems, including tooth decay and tooth loss, also known as meth mouth
  • Skin sores 

Any combination of the above symptoms may indicate cream abuse. Misusing cream can cause irreversible health problems, such as tooth, organ, and brain damage, as well as addiction. 

In the case of cream addiction, use is highly challenging to stop. Dependence on and addiction to cream can cause significant withdrawal symptoms when use is suddenly stopped. 

Withdrawal Symptoms of Cream Addiction 

Withdrawal symptoms caused by a cream addiction are likely to be uncomfortable. They range in severity from mildly uncomfortable to highly physically and psychologically distressing. 

Cream withdrawal symptoms, as outlined by NIDA, include the following: 

  • Anxiety
  • Tiredness 
  • Severe depression 
  • Psychosis
  • Severe cravings for methamphetamine 

The intensity of withdrawal symptoms varies between individuals and depends on the severity and length of drug use. To ensure safety during the withdrawal process, individuals can check into detoxification or treatment facilities, where physical and psychological safety and support are offered. Medical supervision is always recommended to ensure safety and support throughout the withdrawal process.

Can You Overdose on Cream?

Cream is highly potent, and it is possible to overdose on it. Even when consumed in small doses, an individual’s response to the drug can be unpredictable and overdose can occur. 

Signs of a methamphetamine overdose are as follows: 

  • An irregular, weak, or rapid heartbeat 
  • Heart attack
  • Bleeding in the brain
  • Increased body temperature
  • Methamphetamine-induced psychosis

A methamphetamine overdose can cause heart attack, stroke, and organ damage. If you witness someone overdosing on meth, it is important to seek emergency medical care right away. 

Emergency responders can focus on restoring blood flow to the brain and heart, and treating any organ issues, explains NIDA. If left untreated, a methamphetamine overdose can be fatal. 

Cream Addiction Treatment Options 

Cream addiction can be effectively treated through a combination of behavioral therapies, shares NIDA. There are not currently any medications specifically approved for the treatment of methamphetamine addiction. However, effective therapies for a methamphetamine addiction include the following: 

  • Medically supervised detox
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Contingency management 
  • The Matrix Model
  • Motivational Incentives for Enhancing Drug Abuse Recovery (MIEDAR)
  • Support groups

The Matrix Model combines many treatment approaches, including individual and family therapy, 12-step programs, regular drug testing, and support to engage in non-drug-related activities. In addition to addressing substance abuse, effective treatment programs must also include treatment of any medical and mental health issues.

While recovery is challenging, it is possible. Addiction treatment professionals can help establish holistic treatment plans to fit the unique needs of the individual in recovery, to encourage long-term sobriety. There isn’t a quick fix to manage cream addiction, but the work in treatment is well worth it when you see the benefits of long-term recovery.

Updated November 21, 2023
Resources
  1. Know the Risks of Meth. (August 2022). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
  2. Methamphetamine. Your Room: New South Wales Health.
  3. Methamphetamine DrugFacts. (May 2019). National Institute on Drug Abuse.
  4. Methamphetamine Research Report. (October 2019). National Institute on Drug Abuse.
  5. Slang Terms and Code Words: A Reference for Law Enforcement Personnel. (July 2018). DEA Intelligence Report.
  6. Combination Treatment for Methamphetamine Use Disorder Shows Promise in NIH Study. (January 2021). National Institutes of Health.
  7. Injury Associated With Methamphetamine Use: A Review of the Literature. (March 2006). Harm Reduction Journal.
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