Methamphetamine is a highly addictive substance. Understand the risks of meth addiction and find treatment options.
Methamphetamine was developed early in the 20th century based on amphetamine, its parent drug. Methamphetamine is an addictive stimulant that can be easily dissolved into a drink from its original off-white powder form. Methamphetamine targets the central nervous system (CNS) affecting several areas of the brain and is classified as a Schedule II stimulant which means it is legal with a non-refillable prescription. Abuse of methamphetamines can lead to meth addiction.
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Based on the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health roughly 0.6% or 1.6 million people have used methamphetamine within the year (1). Roughly half of those from the 1.6 million had used the substance in the last month. From 2016 to 2017 there was an estimated 40% increase in people age 12 and older who had a methamphetamine use disorder. Meth addiction is spread across the US; however, due to the increased availability of methamphetamine in the western and midwestern regions of the US, the majority of law enforcement agencies from those regions have described methamphetamine and meth addiction as one of their greatest worries.
More meth addiction facts
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The signs of meth addiction can be both physical and physiological. Meth addiction symptoms and signs can include:
After experiencing crystal meth addiction for a prolonged period it can grow increasingly difficult to maintain the same high. As a result, a user can experience “tweaking” a type of meth addict behavior resulting in anxiety and insomnia that can last up to 15 days once the user is unable to reach the previous high.
Aside from the physical and physiological signs, meth paraphernalia can indicate someone is using meth. Meth can be ingested in multiple ways but each way needs equipment to do so. Meth paraphernalia can include glass pipes, needles, rolled-up dollar bills, cut straws, little baggies, and or tourniquets.
If you are experiencing or noticing any of these signs and want to find help please contact us today over the phone or through our website to learn more about what we can do for you.
In some cases combining drugs such as stimulants and opioids together (commonly referred to as ‘speedball’) may result in amplifying the effects of each drug while reducing the negative effects of the drug. This is often very appealing for the user; however, it comes with a higher negative health risk.
It is common for those with meth addiction to combine heroin (an opioid) and meth (a stimulant). Heroin and meth combined result in an intense euphoria rush, increased respiratory rate, increased heart rate, and relaxation and release of inhibitions. It also can result in a rapidly changing heart rate and respiration rate which can cause arrhythmias, heart failure, or stroke (5). The combination of meth and heroin is especially dangerous as users often take higher doses of heroin to maintain the dual high since heroin has a shorter life than meth. The increased amount of heroin in the body often takes the body by shock leading to a heroin overdose.
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The short-term effects of meth can result in damaged blood vessels to the brain and sinus damage depending on the injection method. Other types of physical short-term effects from meth addiction include (6):
Meth addicts may also experience psychological short-term effects including:
If you or someone you know is experiencing several of these effects and want to make a change but need help please contact us through our website or give us a call now.
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The long-term health risks of meth addiction range from brain damage and depression to deadly health conditions from heart attacks to strokes. Meth addicts also run the risk of causing severe destruction of tissues in their nose if sniffed, major lung damage if inhaled, and infectious diseases if injected. In the long-term, the physical health risks also include (6):
In the long-term, the physiological health risks of meth addiction include:
Behavioral therapies including both cognitive-behavioral and contingency management have proven to be effective meth addiction treatments. A common framework that includes behavioral therapies is called the Matrix Model. The Matrix Model is used to help stimulate abusers such as addicts looking for meth addiction help and recovery. The Matrix Model combines cognitive-behavioral therapy, family education, self-help participation, 12-step programs, social support groups, and many other best practices to create a comprehensive meth addiction recovery program.
There are currently some medications available to help aid in the meth addiction and recovery process but as of now they are only a secondary treatment used to support other types of treatments. One current meth addiction treatment medication is called naltrexone and bupropion. Naltrexone is injected for an extended-release while bupropion is taken as a daily pill (7).
If you are looking for meth addiction treatment centers we are here to help. At Arista Recover we offer treatment and resources to help you overcome your meth addiction. Contact us now through our website or via phone to learn more about how we can help you find long-term recovery from meth addiction.
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The best combination for meth recovery is detox and rehab. Most people who go through detox without following it with rehab are just as likely to use meth again as those who never went through detox (8). If you are serious about making a change, the combination of detox and rehab is your best option.
Yes! With the right personal motivation and supporting environment, those you love can recover through the right combination of detox and rehab. However, just because someone has recovered does not mean they will not need the ongoing support to remain clean.
Recovering from meth addiction takes around 6 months. The five stages include withdrawal stage (also known as detox, days 0-15), honeymoon stage (days 16-45), the wall stage (days 46-120), adjustment stage (days 121-180), maintenance stage (also known as resolution, days 181 and onward).
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*This is a self-assessment. Your results are not a proper diagnosis. Please consult your doctor for a clinical diagnosis and full evaluation.