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Crystal meth- Hollywood's latest fix of choice

August 9, 2011 - Washington

After cocaine, the latest illegal drug that is gaining popularity in Hollywood is crystal methamphetamine.

"It is in the circuit and it's slowly rising," Fox News quoted Dr. Eric Braverman, addiction specialist and author of 'Younger (Sexier) You', as saying.

"It doesn't need to be imported; it can be made at home, so it's one of the hardest substances to police or control," Braverman added.

Several celebs have admitted to falling prey to the powerful drug. Prior to the success of the "Black Eyed Peas" lead singer Fergie was hooked on the stuff. The following year Farrah Fawcett's son, Ryan O'Neal, was taken to the slammer after authorities found meth strewn about his Malibu home.

The impact of meth addiction on one's health is particularly devastating. Crystal meth blows out the brain's ability to make dopamine, a neurotransmitter that controls the brain's pleasure centre, resulting in brain damage, Braverman said. The user can only regain physical energy from continuing to use it.

Yet even with knowledge of such horrifying consequences, crystal meth still has allure in the image-conscious entertainment industry.

"There is often a lot of pressure to maintain a Hollywood relationship, and meth (gives the perception of) increased libido sexual performance," Braverman said.

Another reason why its popularity is soaring in the movie industry is because Meth - also referred to as "poor man's cocaine" - is much cheaper than its illegal counterparts.

"The drug is very cheap and made out of chemicals that you can buy in any drug store," said Pax Prentiss, the founder and director of the Passages Malibu drug and alcohol treatment center.

"The most expensive drug is heroin, and it's not uncommon for a celebrity with a heroin habit to pay up to 500 dollars a day, or 200,000 dollars a year. But a typical meth habit is only 20-40 dollars per day," Prentiss added.


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