What is Meth?
Meth, short for methamphetamine, is a powerfully intense synthetic stimulant drug which is primarily used to achieve a rapid intense euphoric reaction or “high.” Meth is not considered to be a physically addictive drug, however it is exceptionally psychologically addictive. The drug is usually smoked or injected, and once it enters into the bloodstream it produces a dopamine rush. The effects of methamphetamines onset rapidly, however the high is very short lived. The drug is usually found in the form a white, bitter-tasting, and odorless crystalline powder, which can be easily dissolved into alcohol or water. Meth is not only dangerous due to it’s addictive properties, the ingredients which are used in the drug impose a great danger to its users. some of the common ingredients used in producing meth includes drain cleaner, antifreeze, rat poison, battery acid, and kerosene. These toxic combinations not only destroy the brain and central nervous system, they also cause significant damage to one’s dental structure. Meth users typically suffer from “meth mouth,” which is the deterioration of the abuser’s teeth and gums and decomposition of the roots from the inside out. Slang names for meth includes: speed, chalk, redneck cocaine, ice, crystal, crank, and glass. Meth induces a very powerful addiction which ultimately ruins most of its users lives.
Effects of Methamphetamine
Due to methamphetamine being a powerful stimulant drug, it causes a great deal of detrimental effects to one’s physical and psychological health, and can also cause some social consequences. The fast acting, intense high produced by meth causes users to commonly abuse the drug, which often leads into a dependency. Some of the short and long-term effects associated with methamphetamine addiction includes:
- Altered brain structure and brain functioning
- Memory loss
- Aggressive and violent behavior
- Severe dental problems
- Dramatic weight loss
- Cardiovascular complications
- Heightened blood pressure
- Extreme fluctuations in mood
- Bizarre and erratic behavior
- Broken interpersonal relationships
- Lack of financial stability
- Job loss
With long-term use of methamphetamine, some of the effects of meth can be experienced for over two years, and some for a lifetime.
Methamphetamine Symptoms of Withdrawal
Although meth is very powerful, it does not produce significant physical withdrawal symptoms similar to heroin. However, the psychological withdrawal symptoms associated with meth are extremely uncomfortable and difficult. Being as though meth increases dopamine levels in the brain, once a user suddenly stops consuming the drug, their dopamine levels drop dramatically causing individuals to experience deep depression and inability to experience pleasure. The duration and severity of withdrawal from meth is generally contingent upon an individual’s frequency and longevity of abuse. Some of the common withdrawal symptoms associated with meth include:
- Deep, dark depression
- Loss of energy
- Increased sleeping
- Night sweats
- irritability and agitation
- Intense methamphetamine cravings
- Suicidal thoughts and committing suicide
- Teeth grinding
- Mood swings
Withdrawing from meth can be a very unpleasant process, but it is not one of the more dangerous drugs to withdraw from. It is suggested to always enroll in a medical detox treatment to ensure your safety and ensure you’re being attended to by a medical professional.
Recognizing the Need for Meth Addiction and Recovery
There are many warning signs that may imply that you or a loved one may be addicted to methamphetamine. typically, meth abusers physical appearance is negatively impacted by their meth use. However, there are a few indicators you can observe for which suggest that there’s a presence of meth abuse or addiction. The following are common signs and symptoms of meth addiction and abuse:
- Loss of control over meth use
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when meth use has been reduced or stopped
- Tolerance for meth causing the need for high doses and more frequent use
- Skin picking
- Decaying teeth
- Hair loss due to drug use
- Increased attention and decreased fatigue
- Experiencing sudden health problems as a direct result of drug use
- Lying, cheating, or stealing as a means to obtain meth
- Keeping a stash of meth to satisfy cravings a any given time
- Broken relationships as a result of drug use
- Job loss and financial loss as a result of drug use
- Lack of upkeep of physical appearance and personal hygiene
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the signs or symptoms listed above, there’s a possibility that there’s an addiction present and medical attention should be enlisted.
Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment
The most effective approach to treating a methamphetamine addiction is by enrolling in a treatment center which specializes in treating meth addicts through behavioral therapies and continual support. Recovery for other stimulant drugs like amphetamine withdrawal treatment, ephedrine addiction treatment, and cocaine addiction treatment are proven to dramatically reduce the chance of overdose and relapse. It has been suggested that behavioral therapies such as cognitive-behavioral and contingency-management interventions are the most effective in treating methamphetamine addictions. Although some medications have been proven to be effective in treating some substance use disorders, there are currently no medications specific for counteracting the specific effects of methamphetamine or that enhance abstinence or reduction on use of methamphetamine.