Understanding meth addiction: General facts, addiction signs, and treatment
Methamphetamine is an illegal narcotic that leads to terrible repercussions. Worse than buying something forbidden by law is developing a meth addiction. People suffering meth misuse experience severe health impacts, such as brain and internal organs damage, teeth loss, etc. Moreover, many people also suffer from financial troubles, legal concerns, and strained relationships due to the prolonged usage of meth.
Recognizing the signs of misuse and obtaining proper treatment is critical for overcoming the dependence. In this article, we describe meth addiction in general, including what causes the beginning of meth usage in the first place.
We will also describe a few popular treatments to achieve the long-lasting recovery. There is no one cure for addiction, but individuals might learn about approaches to recognize triggers and counter them to suppress the urge to use the drug.
Understanding meth and its repercussions
Methamphetamine is an addictive narcotic that people develop a dependency on. It influences the central nervous system, creating pleasant effects forming a habit. It has a similar molecular structure to amphetamine but has a stronger effect, which is detrimental to health when utilized more. The narcotic can be found as pills, powder, and crystals (hence the name crystal meth). People can sniff it in, smoke it, take a pill, and even inject it as an intravenous drug.
The narcotic creates a surge of happy sensations and an enhanced sense of pleasure by increasing the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine. The dopamine spike triggers alterations in the brain. Such alterations lead to dependence and compulsive drug-seeking behavior.
Moreover, a narcotic has several detrimental health impacts. Immediate consequences include high blood pressure and rapid breathing.
However, the continuing consequences are much more dangerous, including heart, brain, liver, kidney, and other organ damage. Prolonged intake can also result in serious psychological issues, which develop mainly because of the usage of the narcotic.
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As one assumes, people often seek the usage of the narcotic to get pleasurable feelings caused by dopamine increase. Overall, there are the following immediate effects:
- Euphoria and generally feeling “high”
- Increased heartbeat and blood pressure
- Appetite suppression
- Breathing quickly
- Dilated pupils
- Increased alertness and sense of disturbance
- The rise of temperature
- Tremors and twitching muscles
- Agitation and anxiety
Apart from getting pleasurable feelings, the person also feels some unpleasant sensations caused by a future drop in dopamine. The substance also has lasting ramifications on the body and mind:
- Mood disorders, like depression and anxiety.
- Brain damage includes memory loss, cognitive impairment, and negative changes in brain structure and function.
- Dental issues, such as “meth mouth,” which means tooth decay, missing teeth, gum disease, enamel loss, and other similar problems caused by frequent usage.
- Infections and skin sores.
- Chronic respiratory issues.
- A higher risk of cardiovascular illnesses.
- Damage to internal organs.
- Paranoia, delusions, and hallucinations are examples of psychotic symptoms.
- Dependence and eventual addiction.
It’s worth mentioning these outcomes depend on usage longevity. While some results are immediate, others occur later. Sometimes the results depend on the individual situation, but the increased dosage and frequent usage of such a drug typically lead to the most severe consequences.
Common reasons for intaking the narcotic
People fall into meth addiction due to different reasons. Some individuals live in environments where drugs are common, and others develop dependence because of personal issues. Some of the most prevalent reasons why people intake it are as follows:
- To feel euphoria or the so-called “high.” It can cause great emotions of joy, vitality, and confidence in some people, making it highly addictive.
- To self-medicate mental health problems. It can momentarily suppress several mental issues and disorders, such as depression, anxiety, etc. Unfortunately, it also exacerbates these conditions, even without frequent narcotics usage.
- To avoid peer pressure. Some people intake it because they are pressured by friends or social groups who use the narcotic.
- To lose excess weight. Since it suppresses appetite, some people use it to lose weight.
- To deal with stress or interpersonal drama. Some select meth to cope with stress, trauma, or other adversities in their lives.
- To improve performance. Some people, such as students, athletes, or professionals who need to stay attentive and focused for long periods of time, may take it to boost their physical or mental performance.
It is critical to understand that taking this narcotic can have major ramifications on one’s physical and mental health. Moreover, even utilizing it once leads to future misuse, dependency, and various other undesirable results.
Meth abuse signs and symptoms
Meth abuse has several groups of indicators that help people closeby (and sometimes addicts themselves) to realize there is a problem. It’s possible to categorize meth addiction symptoms into three big groups:
Some of the easiest signs to spot are behavioral ones. However, physical symptoms indicate when the person is taking the narcotic, so it’s possible to understand that the person may be developing a dependency.
Thus, it is advised to start a conversation or organize an intervention. Let’s see what the most common indicators are that the individual is abusing the narcotic.
Some of these indicators, like dilated pupils or muscle twitches, are visible to people around the addict. Others are known to the individual taking the narcotic. Here are all the symptoms:
- Dilated pupils
- Muscle twitches or tremors
- High heart rate
- Dry mouth
- An increased body temperature, even fever
- Weight reduction
- Dental issues, like tooth decay and loss
- Infections or sores on the skin
- Problems with the lungs causing heavy breathing
These physical indicators differ based on the individual and the frequency and duration of narcotic usage.
The behavioral changes typically mean the following:
- Isolation or social disengagement, compared to former interests and behaviors.
- Change of sleeping (insomnia, sleeping during the day while staying awake at night) or eating habits (loss of appetite).
- Increased drug-seeking behavior leads to reckless decisions and endangers the addict’s life.
- Loss of interest in personal hygiene.
- Risky or impulsive behaviors.
- Problems or disputes in relationships.
- Financial or legal issues.
The dosage, frequency of usage, and longevity impact how the person behaves. The individual may showcase some or most of these symptoms.
Some of the most common psychological changes include:
- Panic or anxiety attacks
- Agitation or increased irritability
- Delusions or hallucinations
- Frequent mood changes
- Apathy or depression
- Suspicion or paranoia
- Suicide attempts or suicidal behavior
It’s crucial to try to talk to someone you suspect is developing or having a meth dependence. The best option is to consult a professional to ensure the individual realizes the problem and willingly goes to rehab.
Popular treatment options
Meth abuse treatment is a difficult and multifaceted process that requires a comprehensive approach to address the root causes of addiction. Treatment should begin with an assessment of the individual’s mental and physical condition, as well as their family, social, and environmental circumstances. The goal of treatment is to help the individual develop healthier coping skills and behaviors to prevent relapse.
Meth addiction is difficult to cure due to the narcotic’s high addictiveness and a variety of physical, behavioral, and psychological impacts. Luckily, various therapies are available to assist people in overcoming misuse and achieving lasting recovery. The most effective meth addiction treatment options include:
- Medications. There are no pills to treat dependence at the moment. However, specific meds may ease withdrawal ramifications or co-occurring mental illnesses to facilitate recovery.
- Behavioral treatments. Behavioral therapies assist individuals in learning coping skills. It’s easier to identify triggers and high-risk environments or situations and develop solid routines and behaviors to fight addiction.
- Inpatient or outpatient therapy. It includes detox from meth and medical care (inpatient), counseling, plus learning relapse prevention strategies (outpatient).
- Group therapy. Some groups like NA or SMART provide individuals with a supportive community and a structured program to maintain recovery.
Typically, a professional helps with determining the best strategy. A combination of the mentioned approaches usually shows the best-lasting results.
This can be a difficult journey, but you don’t have to go it alone. Let us be your guide and provide all the support you need to regain control of your life and begin the path to recovery.
Find your path to recovery with Eco Sober House
Dependency on meth is a severe problem with terrible repercussions for individuals and their families. It’s a chronic illness which has a negative impact on the person, their nearest and dearest, health, and overall life. People may overcome meth addiction and achieve lasting recovery with the correct therapy and support.
Seeking assistance in fighting meth addiction is a challenging but necessary step toward recovery. Eco Sober House is a facility providing support for those fighting dependence behaviors. Eco Sober House offers clients the resources, information, tools, and support they require to achieve lasting recovery. It offers the best way to start life from scratch without harmful habits. Together with professionals and other residents, individuals are able to achieve outstanding results in their fight against addiction.
Finding a meth addiction treatment program in Massachusetts or any other state is possible. Eco Sober Houses professionals provide comprehensive recovery support, focusing on individual strengths and building a foundation for a drug-free future. The help from experienced and skilled individuals and an understanding of living without falling back to former patterns guarantee lasting sobriety.