Addiction, in general, has a way of changing the way a person thinks and behaves. Meth addictions in particular can exert a tremendous toll on a person’s ability to reason and make good decisions. With meth addiction causing extensive damage to brain and body functions over time, it takes just as much time (and more) to restore a person back to normal.
Meth addiction rehab programs specialize in dealing with the physical and behavioral effects of meth while helping recovering addicts rebuild their lives. Without the medical care and supports provided through meth addiction rehab, most addicts stand little chance of walking away from the addiction.
Meth, also known as methamphetamine, works as a powerful central nervous system stimulant. Once in the system, meth speeds up a person’s heart rate, metabolism, cognitive processes as well as other major bodily functions. The “rush” or “high” experienced from doing meth accounts for why users take to the drug so readily, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Over time, these effects wear down bodily processes as well as the body’s organs and tissues.
A meth “high” lasts only a few minutes, which accounts for much of the drug’s addictive potential. In an effort to prolong or re-experience meth’s effects, users often take multiple doses at a time, commonly known as binging. Once a person starts engaging in binging behaviors, the need for meth addiction rehab becomes more and more apparent as various physical and behavioral changes start to develop.
Unless a person is completely removed the “drug scene,” ongoing drug cravings and distressing withdrawal effects will soon drive him or her back to using again. Meth addiction rehab offers recovering addicts the space and time needed to get off the drug and start work on the recovery process.
According to the University of Maryland, meth effects target the brain’s dopamine and serotonin chemical functions, both of which regulate essential processes throughout the brain. Elevated dopamine and serotonin levels account for the initial “high” that comes from ingesting meth. Soon thereafter, these brain chemical levels fall considerably below normal levels. These low chemical levels bring on feelings of depression, jitteriness and intense cravings for more of the drug.
Any attempts to reduce dosage amounts or stop using altogether will bring on seemingly unbearable withdrawal effects. Meth addiction rehab programs offer medication therapies designed to help relieve withdrawal symptoms. As brain functions have undergone considerable damage at this point, the odds of making it passed the withdrawal stage without meth addiction help are extremely low.
With each successive dose of meth, the brain’s structures and chemical functions undergo further damage. Without meth addiction help, extensive brain damage will result from ongoing drug use. A disruption in chemical processes not only offsets vital bodily processes, but also psychological and emotional functions.
Long-term meth use can drive users to go for days without sleep or proper nutrition. Over time, behavioral effects from meth use may take the form of:
- Impulsive behavior
- Violent outbursts
- Paranoid thinking
Someone trying to stop using will experience the above symptoms times ten in the absence of the meth, making it that much harder to stay off the drug.
The treatment benefits available through meth addiction help give recovering addicts a real chance at overcoming meth addiction.