Meth Addiction: How Treatment Saves Lives

Heart racing, running through the streets, convinced the cops are chasing…  Sometimes the cops are actually chasing.  These are the realities of a meth addict.  Living a speed-addicted life is full of dangers, risks and physical ailments. Methamphetamine use and addiction can be deadly.  Treatment for this insidious addiction saves lives. To find a treatment program that fits your needs, call 800-654-0987.

What is Meth?

Methamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant.  It is created in illegal, clandestine laboratories using chemicals readily available in local pharmacies.  On the street it is often called “crystal meth” due to its quartz-like appearance.  It can be taken orally, smoked, crushed into a powder and snorted, or injected.

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How Does Meth Affect the Brain?

Methamphetamine is a potent chemical compound causing the brain to dump loads of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine into neural channels.  Feeling of euphoria, alertness and increased libido are the initial effects of the drug.  Methamphetamine abuse causes neurotoxic effects as follows:

Meth Addiction

Addiction treatment gives you the coping skills to live life without meth.

  • Severely depleted dopamine levels
  • Loss of grey matter
  • Smaller hippocampus
  • White matter hypertrophy
  • Shape changes in the corpus colossi

How Does Meth Affect the Body?

Because methamphetamine is a stimulant, it affects the body’s systems in a variety of ways.  Essentially, all of the reactions in the body are accelerated.  Meth users may experience many of the following symptoms:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Body temperature irregularities
  • Muscle tremors
  • Mood swings
  • Paranoia

Dangers of Meth Abuse

The dangers of long-term meth abuse are well-documented.  Serious weight loss, severe dental issues and skin issues are classic signs of methamphetamine abuse.  Meth abusers also engage in high risk behaviors and are at greater risk of acquiring HIV and Hepatitis B and C. Many have died from methamphetamine addiction.  With an overdose, cardiac arrest or stroke generally cause death.

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Withdrawal Symptoms for Meth

Getting clean from meth addiction can be difficult.  Because the body has adapted to ongoing stimulation, there are many withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting.  Knowing what to expect and seeking assistance in advance can help users experience greater success when trying to quit.  Meth addicts can expect the following withdrawal symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Suicidal Thoughts

Is Inpatient Treatment Better for Methamphetamine Addicts?

Treatment Options

There is no happy ending with continued meth use.  While there is currently no pharmacological therapy available specifically for treatment in methamphetamine addiction, seeking medical advice and help from a specialty treatment team is critical to effectively kicking the habit.  Because of the manner in which the drug skews brain chemistry, antidepressants, antianxiety medications and mood stabilizers may be necessary to level brain chemicals.  Further, mental and emotional treatment is necessary for recovery, as well.  Outpatient and inpatient therapy should be sought for long-term meth users.

Long-Term Recovery

Once a meth abuser is free from the horrible cycle of drug abuse, the journey has only just begun.  Drug cravings, mental obsession and emotional swings are continuing challenges.  Learning to react in positive ways to the challenges of life is the most important factor for long-term recovery.  Developing a network of ongoing support sets the stage for an amazing journey into a drug-free life. We can help you begin your addiction recovery; call 800-654-0987 today.

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Resources

Barr, A. M., Panenka, W. J., MacEwan, G. W., Thornton, A. E., Lang, D. J., Honer, W. G., & Lecomte, T. (2006, September). The need for speed: An update on methamphetamine addiction. Retrieved November 06, 2016, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1557685/

Karila, L., Weinstein, A., Aubin, H., Benyamina, A., Reynaud, M., & Batki, S. L. (2010, June). Pharmacological approaches to methamphetamine dependence: A focused review. Retrieved November 06, 2016, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2883750/

METHAMPHETAMINE | C10H15N – PubChem. (2016). Retrieved November 06, 2016, from https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/methamphetamine#section=Top

H. (2014). Methamphetamine. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Retrieved November 06, 2016, from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/methamphetamine