Methamphetamine is one of the most dangerous illicit drugs being used today. It stays in the body and affects the brain longer than many other substances, and its physical and psychological effects are often more severe.
Methamphetamine has the potential to destroy the synapses in your brain’s pleasure center, and with continued use it makes it more difficult for you to experience any kind of pleasurable feelings without using the drug.
Meth is a powerful stimulant that affects the central nervous system and changes the chemistry of your brain. When you use meth, you may experience feelings of euphoria, increased energy, talkativeness and a decreased appetite. It can also cause behavioral changes such as aggression, violence and other erratic behavior that may put you at risk. It takes a toll on your body as well, causing many health-related issues, and sustained use can lead to a stroke or even death.
Meth is relatively easy to create and obtain, though it can be volatile if the chemistry is off. Despite that, its prominence and the ability to take it in multiple ways makes it very popular among people with substance abuse disorders. A recent study by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that approximately 1.6 million people in the U.S. said they have used meth in the past 12 months.
Meth addiction is a massive problem in the United States. According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the average age of those using meth for the first time was 23.3 years old. That means that young adults, many just graduating from college or starting on their career path, are falling victim to this drug. With around 1.6 million people reportedly using meth in 2016, the last survey data available suggests that this is a problem that is widespread around the country.
People of all ages abuse methamphetamine, which is part of what makes it so disruptive and dangerous to communities around the country. In fact, even those in middle and high school have reported using meth. This just goes to show that this drug permeates all classes and ages, so it shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Those with meth help themselves when they look into a treatment program. A good treatment program can make withdrawal much easier. It can also help you learn new techniques to minimize the risk of relapse and to encourage a healthier life post-recovery.
Methamphetamine is a stimulant drug. As a highly addictive drug, it quickly leads to the body’s dependency. When someone attempts to stop using it, it can cause serious withdrawal symptoms.
Meth is usually a white, odorless powder. This drug might be dissolved in alcohol or water to make it easier to take. Interestingly, it does have medical uses. It was used in the past as the parent drug amphetamine, which improves feelings of well-being and helps decrease the appetite.
Unfortunately, amphetamine and methamphetamine are not identical. When methamphetamine is taken at the same or comparable doses to amphetamine, it’s much stronger. More of the drug gets to the brain, and it lasts longer. It has a higher chance of causing addiction in comparison.
Today, methamphetamine is classified as a Schedule II drug. It is known to be addictive.
This also means that it is possible to get versions of it with a prescription. It may be advised in some cases, such as if it is needed for short-term weight loss or for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but it isn’t often prescribed. This is because there are other drugs and medical treatments to help those conditions, and methamphetamine has a high risk of abuse.
Methamphetamine can be used in several ways. The most common way people use meth is to smoke it in a small glass pipe called a flute. This provides the strongest, quickest rush. This takes effect almost immediately. Other methods include:
With any method, methamphetamine has similar effects. It will first start by entering the bloodstream and brain. Then, it will cause an intense rush that causes feelings of euphoria. Sometimes, it can cause adverse health consequences.
After this, the rush quickly dissipates. That’s why meth is said to have a “binge and crash” pattern. To chase that feel-good euphoria, people may continue to take more meth even though the original dose isn’t out of their system. This is why meth has the potential for overdose and other consequences.
The common effects seen when meth starts to take effect include:
These and other symptoms may arise if you take meth even one time. Unfortunately, this drug can be unpredictable and lead to serious consequences after a single use.
Signs and Symptoms of Meth Addiction
Meth users often go through periods where they don’t eat or sleep for several days in row as they binge on the drug before crashing. They may also lose interest in people and activities that were once important to them – relationships, hobbies, friendships and careers often get neglected when someone uses meth regularly and becomes addicted.
There are physical signs of meth addiction as well, including:
Methamphetamine withdrawal can be difficult to handle, which is why it is a good idea to look into seeking meth treatment and detox options. People who are detoxing from methamphetamine may go through a period of withdrawal that begins within the first 24 hours after the last dose.
The peak of meth withdrawal usually occurs within 7 to 10 days. The intensity of the symptoms should subside after that time, but the average duration of meth withdrawal is around 14 to 20 days. Those struggling with stopping meth should be prepared for an average two to three weeks in detox as they go through the most acute stages of withdrawal.
During meth withdrawal, some symptoms that you may go through include:
To cope with these and other symptoms that you may go through, you can try a few different methods:
Unfortunately, there are no drugs that are effective in removing methamphetamine from the body, but there are some that can treat the symptoms of withdrawal and help you maintain your sobriety in the long-term.
One of the drugs often used during meth addiction and detox treatment is Modafinil. This is a drug normally used for narcolepsy that has moderate stimulant effects. It may help you avoid cravings and some of the more severe symptoms of withdrawal by working as a kind of taper drug.
Another drug used is bupropion, which is an antidepressant. This drug helps regulate dopamine, which may help reduce the impact of the dopamine deficiency that meth use can cause.
A third drug option could be fluoxetine. This drug, commonly known as Prozac, is used for anxiety but has been shown to help people during withdrawal from meth, too. It may help relieve depression and heart issues that develop due to meth use.
During your recovery from meth addiction at our meth rehab, our team at Harbor Village provides around-the-clock care and guides you through drug detox. We provide any necessary medical treatment, so that you don’t have to be in pain or deal with severe withdrawal symptoms.
Our clinicians and therapists work together to create a treatment plan that fits your individual needs. This helps us uncover and treat any co-occurring mental health disorders that contributed to your addiction. By treating the underlying cause of an addiction, it may be possible to greatly reduce the likelihood of relapse.
Throughout each stage of recovery, we help you develop cognitive skills and learn healthy coping mechanisms that will improve your ability to stay sober even under challenging circumstances. You will discover how challenging irrational thinking can help you maintain sobriety despite triggering environments and situations.
Every client at Harbor Village has their own personal addiction treatment plan because no two people have the same medical or personal history. Your treatment plan may include some or all of the treatments that we are able to offer.
Your personalized meth addiction treatment plan may include:
These and other options may be available to you. We would be happy to speak with you about the treatments that we offer and how they can help you on the road to sobriety.
Then, after you graduate from your drug rehabilitation program, we develop an aftercare support plan that provides ongoing counseling and other options to help you maintain your sobriety for the long term. We know that with the right support, you will be in the best position to stay sober in the long-term. A good support system, the right education and the right medical treatment makes a world of difference in addiction treatment and care.
We are here to walk you through every stage of recovery.