Meth Addiction Treatment & The Dangers of Meth Use
Over the past few decades, the drug epidemic in the United States has spiraled out of control. A drug that has become one of the most popular is methamphetamine. Highly-addictive and extremely detrimental to health, meth can wreak havoc on a person's entire life. Meth is so habit-forming and physically addictive that breaking free from a dependence on it can be nearly impossible without outside help. This is why quality meth addiction treatment is essential.
What is Methamphetamine?
Crystal methamphetamine, or crystal meth or just meth, is a drug that comes in ice-like chunks or shiny, small rocks, leading many to refer to it as "glass" or "ice." Designed to affect the central nervous system, this substance offers a quick jolt of euphoria when used. Dopamine rushes to the brain, giving first-time users such an intense rush that many become hooked right away.
While that euphoric feeling is what keeps users coming back, it's fleeting. With each use, a person will get less of the rush as their body adjusts to the feeling. They'll end up needing more and more to get that initial "high." With their growing tolerance, the user will need to increase the amount they use, which has even more dangerous side effects on the body and brain.
The Effects of Methamphetamine Use on the Body
Short- and long-term abuse of meth can have severe consequences for the user. Common short-term effects of meth use include:
- Difficulty feeling pleasure
- Lack of sleep and increased fatigue
- Manic behavior and thoughts
- Increased heart rate
- Weight loss
The long-term effects of using meth are even more dangerous. These include:
- Severe anxiety
- Confusion or disorientation
- Aggressive or violent behavior
- Hallucinations that are auditory or visual
Psychotic long-term symptoms may be felt by the user for months after they have stopped using the drug. This meth-induced psychosis can lead a user to push their friends and family away and puts them in a paranoid, scary emotional state that loved ones often have a tough time understanding.
In addition to the above, those who abuse meth may have lasting damage to their brains that can take a year or longer to recover from. One of the most devastating consequences of meth abuse is cognitive impairment. Abusers may experience damage to their dopamine receptors, as well as an impairment to motor coordination, judgment, and memory.
Not only will an abuser have internal effects on their brain and their behavior, but they may also have physical effects. You may have heard of the terms "meth face" or "meth mouth." Dehydrated skin, acne, and open sores are telltale signs of the use of meth, which can cause the user to appear much older than they are. Many users will also experience rotting teeth, that they will eventually lose. Meth also impacts appetite, as many who are dependent on it do not eat properly, also negatively impacting their outward appearance.
Meth Use and Interpersonal Issues
As if all of these side effects weren't bad enough, most people with long-term dependence on meth will have issues with their relationships due to their emotional and behavioral changes. They may end up losing their jobs, leading to homelessness, as users spend all of their money on getting more of the drug, and not on their daily expenses.
With so many detrimental, life-altering adverse effects, it can be hard to believe that the drug is so prevalent in this country. How widespread is the abuse of meth in the United States? About 12.3 million Americans have used meth at least once, and roughly 600,000 people use the drug regularly.
Quitting Methamphetamine for Good
Unfortunately, because crystal meth is highly addictive, the rate of relapse is also very high. Most people are not able to quit the drug without assistance from the outside, and many require multiple rounds of treatment. Physical withdrawal effects include nearly debilitating nausea, fatigue, headaches, and more. These effects need to be managed in a safe setting with medical supervision for the highest rate of success.
The good news, however, is that recovery is possible and can save the life of the person who has become addicted to methamphetamine.
Meth Addiction Treatment
If you or a loved one finds themselves with a dependence on crystal meth, help is available. Spring Gardens Recovery is here to offer holistic treatment options to help you break free from the addiction cycle and get your life back. Contact Spring Gardens Recovery and take the first step towards a sober, healthy life.
Sources: https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/crystal-meth-what-you-should_know  https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/methamphetamine/what-are-long-term-effects-methamphetamine-misuse  https://drugabuse.com/the-damage-done-6-long-term-reminders-of-meth-abuse/  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1199019/
Samantha Nettleton, CCTP, CMHIMP is the Chief Operating Officer and Clinical Director for Spring Gardens Recovery. After completing and receiving her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Human Services (Concentrations in Mental Health & Addiction Counseling), she became licensed for the State of Florida as a Mental Health Counselor. She has also been a recovery coach since 2012. Samantha specializes in Trauma, Personality Disorders, Substance Abuse, Process Addictions, and Other Mental Health Disorders.