Behavioural/social Symptoms Of Meth Addiction:
- Continuing to abuse meth even after experiencing negative effects as a result of this
- Feeling as though methamphetamine has taken over your life
- Spending a great deal of time obtaining, using, and attempting to recover from the effects of meth
- Driving or engaging in other risky behaviours when under the influence of meth
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies that were once important to you
- Failing to meet personal responsibilities
- Being incapable of controlling the amount or frequency of your meth use
- Attempting and failing to stop taking meth
- Becoming uninterested in grooming, personal hygiene and physical appearance
- Picking obsessively at hair or skin
- Lying to loved ones about the extent of your methamphetamine use
- Withdrawing from family and friends, resulting in social isolation
- Finding that you only tend to associate with other meth addicts
- Possession of syringes, needles, and other paraphernalia related to injecting meth
To discuss how the Manor Clinic team can help to support individuals and families dealing with an addiction issue or for further information on treatment and rehabilitation programmes, please call: 023 8046 4721 or click here to book a FREE ADDICTION ASSESSMENT.
What Are The Signs Of Meth Addiction
There are some tell-tale signs of meth addiction that you may be able to spot right away or which may become more prevalent as time goes on.
Look out for the following signs of meth addiction:
- Track or needle marks on the arms, legs, hands, feet or neck
- Euphoric states followed by fatigue or depression
- Respiratory problems, sinus infections or lung infections
- A cough or hoarse voices from smoking methamphetamine
- Jerky movements or ticks
Psychological Effects Of Methamphetamine Addiction
Methamphetamine exists as one of the most addictive drugs on the market with no known medicinal purpose to its name. In effect, this drug stimulates signal communications between the brains neurons and circuits to the point where it depletes vital neurotransmitter chemical supplies over time, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Methamphetamine addiction causes widespread damage to brain and bodily structures diminishing a persons overall physical, mental and emotional well-being. Perhaps more than anything else, the psychological damage left behind by methamphetamine addiction becomes the biggest obstacle to getting off this drug.
The psychological effects of methamphetamine addiction impair a persons overall ability to function in everyday life. The more pronounced these effects become the more difficult it is for users to overcome methamphetamine addiction.
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How Common Is Marijuana Use Disorder
Concerning marijuana statistics with estimates of the number of people addicted to marijuana are controversial, in part because epidemiological studies of substance use often use dependence as a proxy for addiction even though it is possible to be dependent without being addicted. These studies may be biased due to the classification of addiction and dependence. Studies have shown that 9% of marijuana users become dependent on it, rising to about 17% in those who start using in their teens.
Statistics like these continue to rise in 2015 alone, about 4.0 million people in the United States met the diagnostic criteria for a marijuana use disorder. Unfortunately, of these four million people, less than 140,000 individuals got help for their marijuana addiction and sought personal help.
At Boardwalk Recovery Center, we strive to close the disproportionate gap between individuals needing and seeking help, receiving care, and successfully recovering from their addictions.
Drugs Commonly Combined With Meth
Methamphetamine is often cut with other powerful substances, and some users will deliberately mix in or take additional drugs in order to elicit a stronger high. Some of the drugs most commonly combined with Meth include:
The Stimulant effects of Meth can mask the Sedative effects of alcohol and lead to someone drinking more than they would typically drink. Concurrent consumption can also lead to high blood pressure, psychosis and hallucinations, chronic liver damage, cancer, and sudden death.
People often mix Meth and Opioids for the polydrug combination known as a Speedball. The combination produces a far greater high than either drug would create alone. Speedballs will often cause the user to have difficulty walking and to exhibit suppressed avoidance responses. This makes them more likely to injure themselves and others. Combining an Opioid drug with Meth also increases the likelihood that an individual will overdose.
Anxiety is a common negative side effect of Meth use. Xanax, a medication used to reduce anxiety, can be used to combat this negative feeling. The result is an extremely addictive combination that often leads to heart issues. As Meth speeds up the heart, Xanax slows it down. This can lead to heart arrythmias, which can then lead to potentially fatal heart failure.
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.
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Side Effects Of Meth Addiction And Long
Long-term use of meth can cause significant damage to the brain and the cells that make dopamine as well as to the nerve cells containing serotonin. The Drug Enforcement Administration warns that chronic and prolonged meth exposure can damage as many as half of the dopamine-producing cells in the brain and potentially even more of the serotonin-containing nerve cells.
Individuals who use meth long-term can have severe cognitive and emotional issues, including:
- Aggressive behaviors
- Trouble with verbal learning and memory
- Violent outbursts
- Movement, motor, and coordination issues
- Mood disturbances
- Visual and auditory hallucinations
Skin sores and infections from picking, tooth decay and meth mouth, significant and unhealthy weight loss, and an increased risk for contracting an infectious or sexually transmitted disease are common side effects of methamphetamine addiction. People who regularly inject the drug may suffer from collapsed veins and a higher risk for contracting HIV/AIDS or hepatitis. Snorting meth can damage sinus cavities and nasal passages, and lead to chronic nosebleeds and/or a perpetual runny nose. Smoking meth may lead to respiratory damage and lung complications.
Methamphetamine And Premature Aging
Abusing meth frequently causes people to age beyond their years. A person may look haggard as their skin becomes leathery and takes on a grey cast. As an individuals skin loses its elasticity, they may have more wrinkles than a person typically should at their age.
Meth has also been linked to the development of certain diseases that are associated with aging, including coronary artery atherosclerosis, pulmonary fibrosis, and liver steatosis . Recent research has found that meth can cause cellular aging and inflammation, factors that may contribute to these problems.
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Psychological Signs Of Abuse
Meth is associated with a host of different psychological side effects. When meth is used, there is an initial feeling of euphoria due to this drugs ability to increase levels of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is one of the main chemical messengers in the brains reward system. Drugs, such as meth, that activate the brains reward circuitry have a high potential for addiction in general.
But dopamine has functions in the brain other than pleasure alone. Dopamine is also involved in memory and learning ability. Ongoing meth abuse will continually flood the brain with dopamine, which over time, will create an imbalance in the brains natural dopamine levels and dopamine-involved operations. Consequently, in the long-term, those who abuse meth may experience memory problems, an inability to learn new motor skills and other tasks, and impaired visual memory.
Known as tweaking, individuals on meth may experience insomnia for 3-15 days. Tweaking may occur as part of a meth binge in which a person continues to use meth to chase the original high. Tweaking can cause psychological side effects, such as paranoia, irritability, and confusion. Tweaking can also lead to rapid eye movements that are easily visible when face to face with the person. In addition, a person who is tweaking may talk in a fast and jumbled manner as well as walk in a jerky motion.
Once in a state of tweaking, a person on meth may be prone to violence and other forms of criminal behavior.
Methamphetamine Heart Damage And Cardiovascular Problems
As a stimulant, meth abuse places great strain on the heart and cardiovascular system. In the least, this could cause a rapid or irregular heartbeat or high blood pressure , however, more serious cardiac dangers of meth exist.
People who abuse meth can have a higher risk of stroke. Even more, the heart damage from meth abuse can be deadly.
Additional cardiac dangers from meth include heart failure and an infection of the heart called endocarditis. Endocarditis occurs when bacteria enter a persons bloodstream after meth is injected.
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Life Of A Methamphetamine Addict
As methamphetamine can change a users personality, there is no standard Day in the Life of a meth Addict. Many people who abuse methamphetamine have reported a complete change in schedule, preferring night to day. This effect causes many users to remain inside during the typical, daylight working hours, and going out at night as they feel more comfortable in the shadows of the night. Users of the drug may notice a more difficult time maintaining their average routine, as their need for the drug begins to consume and overtake their priorities.
The Physical Addiction Vs Psychological Addiction Truth
What people are really referring to when they make this comparison is the distinction between physical withdrawal symptoms that are part of physiological dependence and the addictive process in the brain. There’s no doubt that some substances, like alcohol, opiates, and the likes, leave long term users with horrible withdrawal symptoms that are terrible to watch, and even worse to go through. In fact, early addiction theories asserted that it was this horrible withdrawal syndrome that made people go back to drugs. This was called the Tolerance-withdrawal addiction theory.
The Tolerance-withdrawal addiction theory fell apart when addictions to substances that didn’t display such withdrawal effects became obvious , and when getting people through the difficult withdrawal proved insufficient to cure their addiction .
In one of my previous posts about marijuana addiction, a reader suggested that since marijuana does not produce horrible withdrawal symptoms, it can not be physically addictive. While withdrawal from marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, nicotine, and numerous other drugs does not result in the stereotypical “opiate-withdrawal-flu-like-syndrome,” there is no doubt that real withdrawal from these substances exists for long term users and it sucks: Fatigue, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, and trouble eating are only some of the symptoms that tend to show up.
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Changes To Brain Structures
Neuroimaging studies of the effects of methamphetamine on the brain have indicated that increased dopamine activity caused by the drug is associated with reduced motor speed and impaired verbal learning. These changes in the brain can take some time for a persons body to adjust to. While in an inpatient addiction treatment program, individuals will have access to the proper care necessary to adjust to a new way of doing everyday activities.
Getting Help For A Methamphetamine Addiction
Methamphetamine addictions can tear apart a persons life and those around them. They quickly take a toll on the psychological and physical well being of an individual leading them to do almost anything for the drug. A methamphetamine addiction center is the most appropriate form of treatment.
Treatment at a private methamphetamine rehab will offer a person the vital support and guidance which they will need. Personalized evaluations, monitored detoxification and daily therapy sessions will help the individual to consider the causes of their addiction and address them in a healthy way. From there they will begin to find appropriate ways to replace addictive behaviors while learning a variety or practical coping skills. In many cases, a person in recovery will continue their healing at a methamphetamine aftercare facility.
At Siam Rehab Thailand, we recognize that meth addiction requires very careful, precise and customized treatment. At any given time, we help no more than 25 people. Private therapy sessions, yoga, healthy meals and special activities are all included in our custom methamphetamine treatment plans. If you or someone you know has an addiction to meth and would like to seek the help of a private rehab center in Thailand, please contact us today.
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Do I Need Health Insurance To Receive This Service
The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.
The Dangers Of A Meth Addiction
Over time and heavy use of methamphetamine, the body reduces the number of dopamine receptors on the surface of cells. Once the body reduces receptors, even if dopamine returns to normal, brain cells cannot sense it. Therefore, they will be unable to feel normal levels of pleasure. Physiological addiction develops at this stage when a person keeps taking meth to function and feel normal.
- Short-term side effects:
Perhaps the most well-known side effect of the drug is meth mouth. Meth mouth involves severe tooth decay, tooth loss, tooth fracture, acid erosion and a number of other problems of the teeth and gums.
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What Support Is There To Help Me Stop Using Methamphetamine
If you decide to cut back or stop after using methamphetamine often, you are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms. Its a good idea to get some help when you do. Counselling and support from a health professional, whnau/family and friends is the best approach to help you to stop methamphetamine use.
- Tell your partner, close friends or family members so they can support you to make the change.
- Contact one of the specialised services that know about how to stop using methamphetamine, such as MethHelp, the Alcohol and Drug Helpline or one of the other support services listed on this page.
- Talk to your doctor. If depression or anxiety is the underlying cause for your drug use, they may prescribe medication for that or to help you sleep during your withdrawal stage. If you have been using other drugs, eg, alcohol or benzodiazepines, tell your doctor as you may need specialist help .
- See a counsellor or therapist to talk to about your methamphetamine use and any other problems in your life that may have led you into using methamphetamine.
Methamphetamine Brain Damage And Neurological Problems
Methamphetamine may cause brain damage that resembles certain dementias, such as Alzheimers disease. Research has also found that people who abused methamphetamine had higher rates of Parkinsons disease.
Abusing methamphetamine may also cause structural changes in the brain that could affect a persons emotional and cognitive functioning. Meth abuse may also harm structures in the brain that are responsible for decision making.
Long-term meth abuse could damage the brains nerve terminals. Though rare, crystal meth may also cause changes in the brains white matter.
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What To Do If Youre Considering Trying Crystal Meth
If you are considering trying crystal meth, you might want to take a step back and ask yourself the following questions:
Why do I want to try crystal meth? Is it because of pressure from friends or family?
- If so, seek advice or help from someone close to you that will not pressure you into using the drug. If such a person does not exist in your life, consider calling a hotline.
What is it that Im gaining from using crystal meth?
- Is it the allure of that initial rush, or are you trying to fill an emotional void in your life?
- If the initial rush is driving your curiosity, you may think about whether that brief feeling of pleasure is worth risking your health, relationships, and career.
- If you are trying to fill a void in your life, you may consider seeking help from a mental health professional. If that sounds like too big of a step, try talking to someone you are close to and trust.
Causes And Risk Factors For Meth Addiction
People try illegal drugs for a number of reasons, mostly involving being dissatisfied with their lives. Other reasons people abuse drugs include fitting in with peers and friends, escaping an unpleasant situation, relief from boredom, to rebel from authority, and to experiment. While methamphetamine use is often used to solve a problem, the drug abuse and consequences become the problem.
Genetic: research has shown that certain individuals have a genetic predisposition to develop a substance abuse problem or addiction. This is especially true for people who have a first-degree relative, such as a parent or sibling, who are addicted to a substance of abuse.
Biological: some researchers have proposed that methamphetamine abuse may be the result of lower levels of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that has a large effect on the pleasure feelings we receive from seeing our children or eating a great meal. This biological makeup could make people who abuse methamphetamines desire the euphoric feelings caused by increased levels of dopamine released by methamphetamine use.
Psychological: as many mental illnesses and other conditions can cause a decrease in feelings of happiness, many turn to substance abuse as a means to control their symptoms. In addition, methamphetamine, like other drugs of abuse, leads to the disruption of normal levels of dopamine in the brain, so that over time a methamphetamine user is unable to feel pleasure without using meth.
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