Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment
Methamphetamine is a powerful, highly addictive, crystalline powder that is often snorted, smoked, or injected. Methamphetamine is one of the most difficult addictions to treat and many have lost their loved ones from using this drug.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 1.2 million people reported using methamphetamines in the past month. Each year, methamphetamine substance abuse leads to hundreds of thousands of emergency room visits. Each year, meth abuse also leads to thousands of deaths.
If you or someone you love needs meth addiction treatment, Destination Hope is ready to help you break the cycle of addiction. Get help today by calling 866-756-HOPE.
What is Meth?
Methamphetamine is a stimulant drug that affects the central nervous system. Methamphetamine was developed in the 20th century from its parent drug, amphetamine. Originally, methamphetamines were used in nasal decongestants and bronchial inhalers. Methamphetamine is a Schedule II stimulant, which means it is legally available through prescription and may sometimes be used to treat different disorders, though, prescription dosages are far lower than the doses typically abused.
Methamphetamine is also known as speed, crank, and meth. Crystal methamphetamine, better known as crystal meth, is methamphetamine in the form of a rock-like crystal.
Why is Meth Addictive?
For meth addicts, their first experience with methamphetamine may be euphoric, but it is also the first step toward addiction. Meth can deliver up to 10 times the normal levels of dopamine when used. It can also rush norepinephrine and adrenaline into the body’s system.
Users quickly become addicted because methamphetamines can change the brain. Research suggested that after a few uses, the decision is no longer a conscious decision, instead, it is an involuntary function because the decision no longer comes from the brain’s prefrontal cortex, which handles voluntary actions. As an involuntary action, users need to get more of it as quickly as possible.
As a result of these changes, it can take years for the brain to get back to where it once was before the addiction took over. The success rates for methamphetamine addiction is about 50%.
Meth Addiction Symptoms
Methamphetamine use can last for several hours and in some cases, up to 24 hours. Some signs a person may be using can include:
Along with restlessness, a person may experience:
- Addict does not sleep frequently
- User will start to lose weight
- Rising temperature and sweatiness
- Dilated pupils
As methamphetamine can be used a number of ways, a user may have small bags of white powder or crystals, syringes, or pipes lying around. Some users may binge the drug and use until they are incapacitated.
When a person stops using meth or seeks out meth addiction help, they may go through physical and psychological withdrawal. Some common meth withdrawal symptoms can include:
- Increase appetite
- Loss of motivation
- Fatigue and insomnia
Methamphetamine cravings can be very strong. Medically-supervised detox is the first step in meth addiction treatment as withdrawal can last several days and depression and cravings can strongly persist afterward.
Many people may know about the cosmetic effects of meth abuse, however, the drug’s short-term and long-term effects, particularly to vital organs, can be detrimental to a person’s health.
Short-term effects of meth abuse include:
- Permanent damage to the heart and brain
- Heart arrythmia
- Mood disturbances
- Violent or aggressive behavior
The long-term effects of meth abuse can include:
- Changes in brain structure
- Lung damage
- Deficient thinking and motor skills
- Kidney damage
- Memory loss
- Weight loss and malnutrition
- Liver damage
Over time, a person may develop “meth mouth,” which is dental damage caused by the chemicals in the drug. Dry skin and gums, brittle hair or hair loss is also common, as are sores all over the body and scars from picking at the skin. Intravenous methamphetamine use can also cause abscesses.
Along with psychological and physical effects, meth users can have poor judgment and are more likely to engage in risky behavior, such as criminal behavior or unprotected sex. As a person begin to abuse meth, they may take less care of their home and family, and pay less attention to their job. They may also become distant from friends and family.
Methamphetamine overdose can lead to seizures, cardiovascular collapse, and death.
Getting Meth Addiction Help
For these seeking meth addiction help, behavioral therapies, individual and family counseling, education, and contingency management are effective. Destination Hope can help guide you through the admissions process if you are seeking meth rehab. During the admissions process, a member of the Destination Hope team can help create a personalized treatment pain so you can become part of something meaningful and join a brotherhood in recovery.
To contact an admissions specialist about meth addiction treatment, call 866-756-HOPE.