Meth Addiction and Abuse
There is recovery from meth addiction and abuse with detox and drug rehabilitation
For individuals who struggle with meth addiction and abuse, we have good news. There is help available to recover from the compulsion to keep taking this drug. You do not have to spend another day under the dark cloud of methamphetamine addiction.
Meth, or methamphetamine, is a potent and highly addictive stimulant that is classified as a Schedule II controlled narcotic in the U.S. Because of meth’s high abuse and addiction potential, the drug is only available by prescription in non-refillable quantities. The drug has been used as a treatment for Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the past to improve focus, but it is hardly ever prescribed today. Some of the effects of meth include:
- Increased energy
- Increased concentration
- Rapid heart rate
- Elevated blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat
- Trouble sleeping
- Decreased appetite
There are specific signs of meth addiction behavior. Meth can be smoked, injected, snorted or eaten, and it produces an intense “rush” in the user for just a few minutes. To keep the feeling of the rush extended, the addict has to keep taking the drug. This causes the addict to “binge and crash” on the drug. Some addicts will “run” with the drug, which means that they continually take the drug for a few days, without eating, in an attempt to maintain the rush. These behaviors of meth use can result in the addict becoming violent or psychotic when the euphoria wears off and they are crashing. Chronic meth abusers can become homicidal or suicidal.
Meth abuse creates insomnia and anxiety, and this may cause an addict to become edgy, violent or exhibit psychotic behavior. Many meth addicts become self-absorbed and fixated on themselves and on getting their drug. They also experience mood swings, delusions of power, hyperactivity and exhibit repetitive behavior. Another meth addiction behavior is paranoia, and the addict will become suspicious of other people and want to stay sheltered instead of exposing themselves to others. And sadly, statistics show that many meth addicts were physically or sexually abused as children and they may become abusive themselves.
Meth addicts may develop acne or painful sores on their body that they may scratch, itch or pick at, and this may be a sign of meth addiction called “crank bugs”. Other signs of meth addiction can include:
- “Meth mouth” which is severe jaw-clenching when the addict is high. This can result in cracked teeth, dental decay and loss.
- Meth addiction and abuse may increase the progression of HIV/AIDs.
- Dry mouth is a sign of meth addiction and most addicts will chew gum or drink a lot of water to remedy this.
- Extreme weight loss.
- Meth abuse may cause premature childbirth delivery.
- Meth adversely affects the brain and may impair memory and emotional responses.
- Meth addiction and abuse may cause damage to many organs of the body including the brain, liver, kidneys, heart, lungs and more.
- Meth causes addicts to sweat and have a foul body odor similar to cat urine, which is caused by the drug and comes out of the addict’s pores.
- Kidney, liver or lung damage are other signs of meth addiction.
- Hallucinations, panic, psychoses, convulsions and seizures can all occur from addiction and abuse.
Meth has many street names, which include Tina, ice, speed, tweak, glass and Chrissy. Meth produces a false sense of well-being and strength in an addict because the drug creates feelings of euphoria and well-being and also increased energy. For this reason many meth addicts push their body much harder than it can withstand. The long-term abuse of meth on the body has many adverse effects such as damaged blood vessels in the brain that can cause stroke, irregular heartbeat, cardiovascular failure or death. The long-term effects of ice on the body can also cause permanent brain and heart damage, respiratory and tissue damage, infectious diseases, malnutrition, depression and mental disorders similar to Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy and stroke.
Effective treatments for meth addiction and abuse are cognitive-behavioral and contingency management interventions. One example is the Matrix model, which is a comprehensive sixteen week treatment program that incorporates individual and family counseling, behavioral therapy, 12-step support, drug testing and encouragement in participating in non-drug related activities. If you have a meth addiction and abuse problem you should contact a certified drug rehab center today and begin recovery treatment.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the White Sands Treatment Center at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.