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.
Is There Treatment For Ice Addiction And Dependence
There a lot of people who are addicted to crystal meth, and some of them never make it to treatment. That doesnt mean they wouldnt try if given the chance. Its possible that some of them never ask for help due to fear of rejection, or because of the guilt and shame they feel. And theres a huge scope of crystal meth use in the United States.
According to NIDA, in 2012 approximately 1.2 million people reported using methamphetamine in the past year. Not all of these people ever overdosed or developed an addiction, for that matter. Some of them didnt need rehab to quit, but a lot of them didsometimes its just a safer route to go.
With the right inpatient treatment, theres hope for a full recovery and drug-free life. Choosing to go to rehab can save your life, or the life of a person you care about, and theres a treatment program that suits nearly everybody.
Signs And Symptoms Of Meth Addiction
Methamphetamine is an extremely powerful stimulant that causes both short and long-term effects. Short-term effects of meth use include:
- Intense rush
- Extreme increase in physical activities
- Increased body core temperatures
- Increased wakefulness
While not all of the following will be present, the following is a list of the most common and severe long-term effects of methamphetamine abuse:
- Severe depression following a methamphetamine binge
- Wanting to quit or cut down on methamphetamine use without being able to
- Increased sexual activity
- Avoiding hobbies and activities that were once considered pleasurable
- Legal problems
- Preoccupation with chasing the next high
- Pulling away from friends and family
- Engaging in unsafe activities
- Molecular and functional changes in the brain
- Inability of body to repair damaged tissues
- Cardiac arrhythmias
- Insomnia, especially during a methamphetamine binge
- Constriction of the blood vessels in the body
- Respiratory problems
- Loss of elasticity of the skin
- Meth Mouth
- Paranoia, which can be permanent
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The Nazi Method Of Cooking Meth
The Nazi method, named such because it was used by the German government during World War II, is less commonly called the Birch reduction method.
The Nazi method combines ephedrine or pseudoephedrine with two additional ingredients: a liquefied fertilizer and a metalLithiumextracted from lithium batteries. The chemical reaction turning ephedrine and pseudoephedrine into meth is the essential step with more steps involved beforeand afterthe essential chemical reaction.
The 3x Lithium strips are frequently gotten by cutting open Energizer AA Lithium batteries. A quick online search reveals a variety of instructional advices and videos on how to cut open the batteries, and safely store the Lithium strip until needed for meth manufacture. The dark irony of these instructions is the safety advices and warnings from the instruction authors to avoid sparks, and to avoid touching the Lithium strip with ones bare hands. The real and deadly danger of manufacturing and using Lithium-containing meth compared to sparking seems lost on the authors, the cookersand the users.
Unsure Where To Start Take Our Substance Abuse Self
Take our free, 5-minute substance abuse self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with substance abuse. This evaluation consists of 11 yes or no questions that are designed to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of a substance use disorder. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result. Please be aware that this evaluation is not a substitute for advice from a medical doctor.
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How Is Meth Made Ingredients And Cutting Processes
Methamphetamine is a very potent central nervous system stimulant substance originally developed in the 1800s. The medicinal uses of the drug were related to its very strong stimulant effects, but with the advent of the Controlled Substances Act passed in 1970, its medicinal use has been significantly reduced and the drug is now better recognized as a significant drug of abuse.
The United States Drug Enforcement Administration still recognizes that methamphetamine has medicinal value, although it is an extremely dangerous drug. It is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance, indicating that methamphetamine has some medical utility, but also significant potential for abuse and is very likely to produce physical dependence in people who use it over time. Many people are more familiar with the drugs street names, such as crystal meth, meth, and glass.
Have you lost control of your meth use? Answer a few brief questions to find out if you need help. Complete our free and confidential addiction questionnaire today.
Other Possible Signs Of Iv Drug Use
Its important that you consider all the other possible signs of addiction to meth or other IV drugs. Those who use IV drugs will often wear clothing designed to hide infection sites.
During the summer months, many people look forward to wearing tank tops and shorts to beat the heat. Those with an IV drug addiction frequently do not wear the same clothing because they risk showing signs. They might wear long pants that reach down to their ankles and shirts with long sleeves that cover their arms even in the middle of a hot day.
Sudden Weight Loss
Sudden and quick weight loss is another sign of IV drug use. Drugs such as meth and heroin provide more energy than normal, resulting in staying up for hours and even days at a time during a binge. The extra energy received from the drugs burns calories resulting in losing a significant amount of weight. You might find that a close friend or family member suddenly lost a large amount of weight within a few months. Sometimes the weight loss can result in people looking like skin and bones and/or have heads that appear too large for their bodies.
Another sign to look for is a change in appetite, which often goes along with a change in sleep patterns. Drugs can cause major changes in eating, drinking and sleeping patterns. They may only want to watch television or spend time with other people who also use. Addiction can also result in spending long hours awake and alert.
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Heroin For Pain Relief
Heroin does relieve physical pain, just like prescription opioids. One recent study concluded that 80% of people who report having an addiction to heroin began by taking prescription painkillers.6
The governments response to the opioid epidemic has made prescription opioids much harder to get. So, more people are turning to heroin for pain relief. Many places report that its now cheaper and easier to get illegal heroin than getting legal prescription painkillers.
Dabbing: What It Is Who Is Doing It And Why It Is A Problem
Dabbing, what it is, who is doing it, and why it is a problem may be mysteries to you. The word dabbing refers to a complicated way of inhaling marijuana. However, if youre worried about your kids experimenting with marijuana, dabbing probably wont be their first exposure to it. For one thing, a simple joint is far more likely to make it into your teens hands than all of the equipment needed to do a dab. Still, its wise to be aware of the current trends so that you can talk to your teen about it with ease.
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Side Effects Of Smoking Heroin
Smoking heroin can rapidly lead to addiction and many people who start out smoking the drug move on to injecting it. Tolerance to heroin builds quickly, diminishing the effects and also increasing the risk of an overdose.
The main difference in the side effects of smoking and injecting heroin is that smoking avoids some of the side effects that are specific to injecting, such as needle-associated infections and damage to the blood vessels while smoking heroin can cause serious lung and respiratory side effects.
The most significant side effect of smoking heroin is death. As tolerance to heroin develops, people seek and require more of the drug to achieve the drugs original effect, increasing their risk of overdosing. Like other opioids, heroin suppresses the brains drive to breathe, so when too much is used the person stops breathing and dies.
Smoking heroin shares the usual side effects of heroin use. Heroin purchased on the street can be cut with other chemicals. This process dilutes the heroin so that there is no way a buyer knows how pure it is or exactly what chemicals are in it. People can have negative reactions to these chemicals. For instance, smoking heroin can cause serious asthma attacks. Much more concerning, however, is that heroin smoking can cause a rapid, premature onset of the debilitating lung disease emphysema.
Some Synthetic Drugs Made From Battery Acid
At the beginning of the month the Kansas Bureau of Investigation released a statement about the emerging use of synthetic drugs. Synthetic or “designer drugs” have become quite popular amongst teens and readily available at tobacco shops, drug paraphernalia shops and even convenience stores.
Kansas Law enforcement is warning the public about a new synthetic drug.
At the beginning of June the Kansas Bureau of Investigation released a statement about the emerging use of synthetic drugs, particularly U-47700. While the report acknowledges that opioids and heroin are the main contributors to the drug overdose epidemic, U-47700 is eight times more potent than morphine.
While KBI has issued a warning about U-47700, the most common synthetic drug is K-2 or a form of marijuana sold as herbal incense. In 2010 Missouri became the fifth state to ban it.
Diane McEnaney, a certified reciprocal alcohol and drug counselor at Serenity Counseling, said she got into the profession because she had been involved with substance abuse in her family.
A door opened for me to get into substance abuse treatment and I took it, she said. I felt like it was a real gift.
A synthetic drug is any drug that is made or chemically based and not organic. Herbs and all forms of chemicals, said McEnaney.
In 2015, according to the American Association of Poison Control received 7,794 calls about synthetic drugs in the United States.
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Other Objects That Might Indicate Drug Abuse
Some common objects while not used directly to smoke, inject, or snort drugs may also be found among the belongings of those who are using drugs. These may include:1
- Breath fresheners: These are often used to cover up the odor of smoke. These may include mouthwash, oral sprays, or lozenges.
- Eye drops and sunglasses: These are used to hide bloodshot eyes and dilated pupils that may be signs of drug use.
- Empty lipstick or felt-tip marker casings, glass vials, candy wrappers or bags of candy, makeup bags, and plastic baggies: All these items are sometimes used to contain, carry, or hide drugs.
Finding items that indicate someone you love may be using drugs can be disturbing. However, it can also provide an opportunity to help that person sooner rather than later. Early intervention and treatment can provide a great opportunity for long-term recovery.
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What Is Meth Made From
Methamphetamine is a synthetic chemical, unlike cocaine, for instance, which comes from a plant.
Meth is commonly manufactured in illegal, hidden laboratories, mixing various forms of amphetamine or derivatives with other chemicals to boost its potency. Common pills for cold remedies are often used as the basis for the production of the drug. The meth cook extracts ingredients from those pills and to increase its strength combines the substance with chemicals such as battery acid, drain cleaner, lantern fuel and antifreeze.
These dangerous chemicals are potentially explosive and because the meth cooks are drug users themselves and disoriented, they are often severely burned and disfigured or killed when their preparations explode. Such accidents endanger others in nearby homes or buildings.
The illegal laboratories create a lot of toxic waste as wellthe production of one pound of methamphetamine produces five pounds of waste. People exposed to this waste material can become poisoned and sick.
Welfare money was not enough to pay for our meth habit and support our son so we turned our rented home into a meth lab. We stored the toxic chemicals in our refrigerator not knowing that the toxins would permeate the other food in the icebox.
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Theft Of Car Batteries May Fuel Meth Production
Police across middle Tennessee are warning about an increasing trend with ties to meth production.
Police in Spring Hill and Clarksville say they’ve been investigating several car battery thefts.
On Tuesday, Spring Hill Police released photos from a theft this year at the local Walmart, and Clarksville Police say victims have reported 120 car batteries there, in just the last three months.
Packard’s Service Center in Donelson says they were hit by battery thieves back in June, who stole six batteries.
Police say car batteries can be used in the production of meth, or thieves can sell the batteries for as little as $5 apiece.
Rolling Papers And Cigars
Rolling papers are usually used with marijuana. These days, cigarettes are typically already rolled, so theres little need for most people who smoke tobacco to use rolling papers. However, marijuana often comes loose, requiring it to be packed into something for smoking. Marijuana smoked in rolling paper is called a joint.2 When a joint is rolled with tobacco, its called a spliff.3
Another object used to smoke marijuana is a cigar. Marijuana rolled into a cigar is called a blunt.2 In many cases, the user will buy cheap cigars/cigarellos to hollow out and fill with marijuana.4
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Neurotoxic Effects That Damage The Dendrites Of The Neurons
A number of these neurotoxic effects lead to significant damage in the dendrites of neurons. The dendrites of neurons are the receiving portions of the neurons that receive the chemical singles from other neurons. This damage prevents the neurons from communicating effectively and can affect a number of cognitive and motor functions.
Take Our Substance Abuse Self
Take our free, 5-minute substance abuse self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with substance abuse. The evaluation consists of 10 yes or no questions that are intended to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of a substance use disorder. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result.
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How Can Meth Users/cookers Get Help
In addition to the dangers associated with meth production, ongoing use of meth is harmful to users and often leads to addiction. According to NIDA, meth use is linked to numerous consequences, including increased risk of HIV and hepatitis from shared needles, and risky behaviors like unprotected sex. Meth use can also lead to:
- Tooth decay
- Violent behavior
- Problems with learning and memory due to brain damage
Because meth users experience withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, fatigue and severe depression when they stop using the drug, it is often difficult to give up the habit, and professional intervention is necessary.
Meth users can seek professional help by contacting a local drug and alcohol treatment provider and making an appointment. Providers that offer cognitive behavioral therapy or motivational programs tend to be viable options for meth addiction. With cognitive behavioral therapy, meth users can learn new ways of coping so they can avoid drug use. Motivational programs also provide rewards for staying abstinent from meth, which can incentivize the treatment process.
If you or a loved one is suffering from meth addiction and a co-occurring mental illness, The Recovery Village offers comprehensive treatment services to address both conditions. Contact us today to begin a life that is free from the devastating consequences of meth use.