Methamphetamine is an extremely potent, habit-forming drug that can cause many issues for someone, whether that person is addicted or not. Once you become addicted to meth though, intense substance abuse treatment will be needed for you to recover. The longer you go without treatment, the worse things will get. Ask yourself now: do I have an addiction to meth?
Statistics of Meth Addiction
It it important to understand exactly how potent and addictive methamphetamine is. According to the NCSACW, in 2002, “the number of past month methamphetamine users who met the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM IV) criteria for substance abuse or dependence in the past year” sat at 164,000 or 27.5 percent. The number “increased” from 27.5 to 346,000 or 59.3 percent after only two more years.
Meth users also “have a higher frequency of use” than cocaine users, according to NCSACW. They also “report feeling less ‘addicted’ than cocaine users.” This is obviously dangerous as many meth users may not realize how bad their situations are. When one is not aware of one’s own addiction, it is harder to be convinced to start treatment and to stick with it.
How Do I Know if I Have a Meth Addiction?
It isn’t easy to ask yourself whether or not you have become addicted to meth. What is important is that you are considering the possibility. Meth is a highly dangerous drug that is even reported to “have neurotoxic (brain-damaging) effects, destroying brain cells that contain dopamine and serotonin” (CESAR). These effects are not always quickly reversible and can last for a while, even after the person stops using meth.
Consider the following questions. Ask yourself each one, and answer honestly.
- Do you take meth every day?
- Do you feel that the effects of the drug are not as strong as they once were?
- Do you still take it anyway, out of habit or to avoid withdrawal symptoms?
- Do you often feel nervous, irritable, or paranoid?
- Have you had violent outbursts that you did not experience before doing meth?
- Have you experienced hallucinations?
- Has more than one friend, family member, or person you know approached you about your use of meth and its negative effects on you?
- Do you become angry or aggressive when someone brings up your meth use?
- Have you experienced any of the following after starting to take meth:
- Unhealthy skin, paleness, and/or sores
- “Extreme weight loss” (NIDA)
- Psychotic behavior
- “Severe dental problems”
- Do you use meth in a binge-crash pattern, taking the drug for several days straight and staying awake and then finally stopping to crash for a few days?
- Has meth been the cause of several issues in your life in the past year, including relationship, work, school, family, or legal problems?
- Do you believe yourself incapable of quitting meth?
The NCDPS states, “It’s too easy to get addicted to meth.” While “some addicts report that they became hooked the first time they used meth,” others may be less likely to admit it. But there is no doubt that meth is highly addictive. And if you answered yes to the questions above, you are more than likely already addicted to the drug.