Effects Of Meth Addiction
If its clear that youre addicted to meth, its time to arrange for treatment. After all, spending even one more day addicted to this dangerous drug can affect your health. The physical and psychological effects of meth could not only hurt you, but they could also be deadly.
While some of the short-term effects may feel pleasant at firstlike euphoria and more energythere are also negative effects that you might not notice while youre high. They include decreased appetite, faster breathing, faster heartbeat, and higher body temperature.
The long-term effects are even worse for your health. They often include:
- Memory loss
Youll also have intense cravings for the drug, and you might even have suicidal thoughts. But when you choose a treatment center like Bedrock Recovery Center for the detox and treatment you need, youll have a caring, experienced team to support you. Shortly after you begin your stay here, your symptoms will subside and youll start to see why treatment is the right path for you.
So if youre ready to quit your dependence on meth, come to Bedrock Recovery Center for help. We have a variety of treatment options available to you as soon as you decide to get sober. Contact us today to learn more about what we offer!
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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.
How Heroin Addiction Starts
Sadly, heroin abuse and overdose deaths have reached all-time highs in the last decade. This increase in heroin abuse is linked to the opioid epidemic associated with prescription pain relievers. People who struggle with addiction rarely begin with heroin. Circumstances may have led to their addiction to prescription opioid pain relievers. Being addicted to prescription pain medication, be it Vicodin or OxyContin, is not a convenient addiction, as it requires a physicians prescription and usually costs a lot of money to obtain. When it becomes impossible to get a prescription for pain relievers, there is a quick and significant transition from pain pills to heroin use. Regardless of how the addiction started, this desperation leads individuals to seek relief. When their drug of choice is no longer accessible and they being to withdraw, they may turn to heroin. Heroin is a cheaper option that is easier to obtain and produces similar effects on the users brain and body.
NIDA explains that most people who use heroin report that they first misused prescription opioids, but it is a small percentage of people who switch to heroin. The number of people misusing prescription drugs is so high, that even a small percentage translates to hundreds of thousands of heroin users. Other statistics reveal that heroin users began drug use with heroin. In fact, some research has informed that about one-third of heroin users in treatment simply started with heroin.
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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.
How Can A Methamphetamine Overdose Be Treated
Because methamphetamine overdose often leads to a stroke, heart attack, or organ problems, first responders and emergency room doctors try to treat the overdose by treating these conditions, with the intent of:
- restoring blood flow to the affected part of the brain
- restoring blood flow to the heart
- treating the organ problems
Yes, methamphetamine is highly addictive. When people stop taking it, withdrawal symptoms can include:
- intense drug cravings
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Physical Signs Of Meth Addiction
When a family member is addicted to meth, they will show obvious signs of physical decline such as:
- Extreme weight loss
Further evaluation by doctors might reveal underlying health problems. These include hypertension, a weakened immune system, and damage to the heart, liver, kidney, lungs, nerves, and blood vessels particularly in the brain.
While overdose and death can happen to anyone who misuses meth, they are more prevalent in people who are addicted.
How Do People Use Methamphetamine
People can take methamphetamine by:
- injecting the powder that has been dissolved in water/alcohol
Because the “high” from the drug both starts and fades quickly, people often take repeated doses in a “binge and crash” pattern. In some cases, people take methamphetamine in a form of binging known as a “run,” giving up food and sleep while continuing to take the drug every few hours for up to several days.
Why Is Methamphetamine So Addictive
Methamphetamine is a powerful, highly addictive stimulant that affects your central nervous system. It causes rapid release of dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline producing enhanced feelings of energy, mood and libido . You have feelings of increased confidence, alertness and wellbeing or euphoria . This lasts for around 6 hours. But, the high is followed by a comedown, which can last for days. You can feel much worse than before you took the drug. It can be hard to sleep and you may feel exhausted. You may also get headaches and dizziness, paranoia, hallucinations , confusion, and feel irritable and down.
Because of this, people often take more methamphetamine to feel better. This can lead to a repetitive cycle of use, in which you use larger and more frequent amounts of methamphetamine. This makes methamphetamine easy to become addicted to.
Spillover Effect In Trout
For their research, Horký and colleagues dosed 60 captive-bred brown trout with methamphetamine-laced water for two months, while keeping another group of 60 control trout in a drug-free tank. To simulate wild conditions, the researchers ensured that the drug levels matched the meth levels other researchers have documented just downstream of wastewater treatment plants in Czechia and Slovakia.
In the first few days after being removed from the methamphetamine tank, the fish moved around less, which the team interpreted as stress from drug withdrawal. Analysis of brain tissue showed that the fish that moved the least had the most methamphetamine in their brains.
The researchers also gave the trout from both groups a choice to enter one of two streams of water: one with methamphetamine and one without. The meth-exposed trout preferred to swim in the meth-laced water, particularly in the four days after their drug supply stopped. Over time, the study trouts preference for methamphetamine declined to match those of the control fisha clear sign of addiction withdrawal, Horký says.
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What Is Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine, or meth for short, is a highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system. Even though methamphetamine was originally taken as a decongestant, antidepressant, and weight loss aid, in 1971 the Drug Enforcement Administration classified methamphetamine as a Schedule II substance. This means that methamphetamine has a recognized medical use but also has a high potential for addiction and abuse.
Doctors use prescription methamphetamine, often sold under the brand name Desoxyn, to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder , narcolepsy, and obesity. Desoxyn, which has been approved by the FDA, can help boost attention, reduce impulsive and hyperactive behavior, curb appetite, and boost metabolism. To help prevent methamphetamine abuse and addiction, most doctors prescribe Desoxyn for short-term use. Additionally, most of the prescriptions are non-refillable. Unfortunately, this hasnt stopped people from using methamphetamine illegally.
When used recreationally, methamphetamine is commonly referred to as Chalk, Crank, Crystal, Fire, Glass, Go Fast, Ice, Speed, and Tina. Usually, recreational users smoke, snort, inject or take methamphetamine orally. Illicit methamphetamine typically comes in 2 forms: powder and rock.
Meth Effects And Abuse
Any illicit use of Methamphetamine qualifies as abuse. Similar to Crack Cocaine, Meth produces a rush when smoked or injected this is caused by an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and pleasure-inducing neurotransmitters in the brain. When Meth is snorted, it creates a euphoric sensation but not a rush. The rush from injection produces the strongest effects and can last up to 30 minutes. After the initial rush, people using the drug experience a steady high that can last anywhere from 8 to 24 hours depending on the mode of consumption. Injecting Meth produces a stronger high than smoking or snorting it, but the effects wear off more quickly this way. Meth users are known to stay up for multiple days in a row due to binge use.
Some of the most common effects of Meth include:
- Weight loss
Skin sores and infections from picking, tooth decay and meth mouth, and increased risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease are other common consequences of habitual Meth use. People who regularly inject the drug may also suffer from collapsed veins and are at a higher risk of contracting blood-borne pathogenic diseases such as HIV/AIDS or hepatitis due to shared needles.
Top 10 Rehab Questions
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Drug Rehab Can Help Families Come Together
When drug busts reveal children living with poor sanitation or little supervision, they are often put into foster homes. The meth addicted parent needs time to go to drug rehab, possibly do jail time, restore their finances, and so on.
Many parents want to be reunited with their children, but getting into recovery from a meth addiction is hard work. It may take a long time before they restore their lives enough to be a responsible parent.
Drug treatment is so important, especially with a meth addiction. Meth does some awful things to your brain, body, and emotions. A meth addict may relapse and need several rounds of drug treatment before their life is stabilized. In most cases, parents and children want to get back together. However, children often need counseling and support for the difficult life they did not choose for themselves.
Signs Of Meth Addiction And How To Help A Loved One
Meth addiction can destroy lives, and the earlier you find and treat it, the less damage it can do. Heres how to notice possible meth addiction in a loved one.
Over 21.5 million Americans struggle with some kind of substance abuse and/or addiction. Addiction is classified as a disease, and for good reason. It affects your mental, emotional, and physical health in intense and permanent ways.
Not only does it affect the person struggling with addiction, but it severely impacts those around them. Studies show that families and close friends of addicts have disrupted relationships, attachment issues, emotional chaos, financial troubles, and have an increased risk of developing a substance abuse disorder as well.
So if you suspect that a loved one is struggling with an addiction, it makes sense that you want to do everything you can to help, especially if you suspect hard drug use like a meth addiction.
The earlier you can identify signs of meth use and abuse, the better. Early treatment of meth addiction means less long-lasting damage for your loved one.
Keep reading to learn 8 of the common signs of meth addiction, and what you can do to help.
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What Does Meth Feel Like
As a stimulant, meth increases activity in certain areas of the brain, and functions of the central nervous system are heightened as a result. For example, heart rate, body temperature, respiration, and blood pressure all rise under the influence of meth. Energy, attention, focus, pleasure, and excitement are enhanced as well, as chemical messengers in the brain, such as dopamine, are increased by the interaction of meth. Elevated levels of dopamine cause the intense high that is associated with meth, and the desire to recreate this feeling makes the drug extremely addictive.
When someone is taking meth, they are alert and energized, and can stay awake for long periods of time. When meth wears off, however, a significant crash generally occurs, leaving individuals feeling fatigued, lethargic, hungry, depressed, and anxious. As a result, meth is commonly taken in a binge pattern, often called a run, where small amounts of meth are taken every few hours for a couple days to prolong the high. This pattern of abuse can more quickly lead to drug dependence and addiction.
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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Helping Individuals Overcome Some Of The Most Addictive Drugs
Here at Meta Addiction Treatment, we believe that all individuals can live a drug-free life. We also believe that recovering from addiction doesnt have to mean pausing your entire life. Our outpatient addiction treatment programs can help individuals overcome methamphetamine addiction while maintaining aspects of their daily lives. Our recovery services include:
- A partial hospitalization program , our highest level of care.
- An intensive outpatient program designed for individuals who have completed our Partial Hospitalization Program or an equivalent outpatient treatment program at another provider and are ready to continue their recovery.
- An outpatient program designed for individuals who have completed higher levels of outpatient addiction treatment either at Meta Addiction Treatment or another accredited provider.
As part of our treatment, we provide clinical services such as cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, case management, peer support, and nutritional counseling.
You or a loved one dont have to continue living life addicted to methamphetamine. Let us help empower and equip you to take charge of your recovery. Contact us today to speak to one of our recovery experts.
Signs Of Meth Addiction
So now you know just how dangerous this drug is. If you suspect your loved one is using meth, youre probably scared right now. Look for these 8 common signs to see if your suspicions are correct.
Remember that not all users show the same symptoms, and just because someone has these symptoms, it doesnt mean theyre a meth addict. These are just some general guidelines that can help you if youre worried about your loved one.
Other Faqs About Meth
In most cases, methamphetamine is in the form of a crystalline white powder. The powder has no odor, it tastes bitter, and it dissolves in water easily. There may be other colors as well including brown, pink, or yellow-gray. Crystal meth, on the other hand, comes as clear crystals that look like ice.
Methamphetamine affects a number of the brains neurotransmitters, but the most affected is dopamine or the pleasure neurotransmitter. When triggered, dopamine sends pleasure signals to various parts of the body and brain and is then stored for later use. When a person uses meth, an excess of dopamine is released into the brain causing users to feel an excess of pleasure or a high. Unlike normal brain functionality, the dopamine released is not recycled and stored for later, which in turn overstimulates the brain. Instead, it remains in the body until the high is replaced with the crash of unpleasant feelings. In order to replicate that feeling and avoid the crash, users will want more of the drug at higher doses.