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