Crystal Meth Detox

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General Information About Crystal Meth

Methamphetamine, known simply as meth, crystal, or ice, is a highly addictive stimulant that often appears in a white, odorless crystalline powder with a bitter taste. Meth can be smoked, snorted, injected, or taken orally. Smoking and injecting provides the fastest delivery method to the brain, leading to intense euphoria.

In 2012, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 1.2 million people in the U.S. (about 0.4% of the nation’s population) used meth. The average age of users was just 19.7 years old. While the national trend shows a decline in meth use, meth abuse and addiction is variable with higher concentrations in the West and Midwest. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, methamphetamine ranked first in treatment admissions in San Diego and Hawaii, second in San Francisco, and third in Phoenix and Denver.

Symptoms of Crystal Meth Addiction

While many blame a person’s character, morals, and willpower in addiction, people forget the truly potent chemical power of drugs. Meth, for instance, is designed specifically to flood the brain with an excessive amount of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in motivation, reward, pleasure, and motor functions. Over time, the brain adapts by producing less dopamine, reducing its impact and the user’s ability to enjoy things that used to bring pleasure. The reduced dopamine production forces the user to keep using meth to bring dopamine levels back to normal. It’s a vicious cycle of trying to maintain normal chemical balances.

  • Dramatic weight loss or decreased appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Twitching, facial tics, and jerky movements
  • Obsessive picking at hair and skin

  • Frequently borrowing money, selling personal possessions, or stealing
  • Psychotic behavior
  • Preoccupation with using, obtaining, and recovering from meth use
  • Legal, financial, and relationship problems brought on by meth abuse

  • Deep depression
  • Anxiety
  • Increased sleeping
  • Decreased energy
  • Increased appetite

  • Suicidal ideation
  • An inability to feel pleasure
  • Teeth grinding
  • General irritability

Effects of Meth Use

Meth’s main effect is a powerful rush accompanied by general feelings of confidence and energy. This rush is caused by a flood of dopamine in the brain and is often what gets people addicted from the beginning.

Meth also has a powerful effect on the mind, leading to mood swings, anxiety, and paranoia.

Taking even small amounts of the drug can result in a wide range of effects, including:

  • Increased breathing
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased wakefulness
  • Increased body heat
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased physical activity
  • Increased heart rate
  • Irregular heartbeat

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Dangers of Crystal Meth Use

As meth’s high is so short, users often require frequent doses, creating a cycle of binging and crashing that ultimately leads to addiction. Extended use of meth leads to an array of physical and mental health issues. Some long-term dangers of meth abuse include:

  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Insomnia
  • Memory loss
  • Symptoms of psychosis, including paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations, and delusions (commonly the sensation of insects crawling under skin)

  • Chemical changes to the brain, particularly in areas centering around motor skills and verbal learning
  • A rise in body temperature that can be so high that it could cause a user to pass out or even die
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Skin sores caused by scratching
  • Severe dental issues

Complications of Crystal Meth Use

Meth’s true problems come with extensive use. Meth triggers dependency faster than nearly any other type of drug. Such a potent addiction can shift a person’s state of mind, forcing them to do and say hurtful things, behave out of character, and push away those closest to them.

Being so reckless puts you at risk of a wide variety of problems, including:

  • HIV, hepatitis B and C, and other blood-borne diseases contracted by sharing needles
  • Erratic, reckless, violent behavior
  • Altered judgment
  • An increased risk of Parkinson’s disease

Medical Intervention for Meth Addiction

Medical Intervention 

As meth is one of the most addictive drugs, recovering from meth abuse often requires a steady mix of therapy and medication. While there isn’t an approved medication designed to completely cure meth addiction, there are many medicines that can help to curb cravings or otherwise help in the recovery process.

Crystal meth detox symptoms can be eased through medical intervention. Some common medications used in the treatment of meth abuse include:

  • Paroxetine – An antidepressant that can help to reduce meth cravings
  • Wellbutrin – An antidepressant effective that is primarily effective in reducing meth addiction in low to moderate users and curbing cue-induced cravings
  • Remeron – An antidepressant that releases several brain chemicals, including dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, to decrease meth use
  • Provigil – A stimulant that can help ease withdrawal symptoms, improve cognitive function, and treat sleep disorders


Meth Addiction Recovery

Meth detox treatment is essential to your recovery, and it often leads directly into longer programs, such as inpatient or outpatient meth addiction rehab programs designed to give you the tools, personnel, and motivation to stay clean and sober for the rest of your life. Entering a detoxification facility with trained professionals is the best way to set yourself up for a healthy and full recovery.

If you think you or a loved one is addicted to meth or may fall victim to addiction, Meth rehab and detoxification in an inpatient program that combines behavioral therapy and medication-assisted treatment may be the right treatment plan option for you. Depending on the treatment provider, these live-in residential treatment programs can provide cognitive behavioral therapy, individual counseling and individualized treatment plans (which may provide more care and comfort for those with mental illness or mental health disorders), as well as aftercare programs that give you your best shot at avoiding relapse and lead to a sober life.


How to Find the Right Crystal Meth Detox Facility for You

Georgia Drug Detox is dedicated to helping you find and select a detox program that fits your personal needs and gets you on track for recovery. It is important to complete your detox surrounded by supportive professionals who specialize in treating your specific addition, not just addiction in general. Contact us today at (678) 771-6411 and we will walk you through the process today.

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