Methamphetamine, known by most people as simply “Meth,” is one of the United States’ most addictive drugs, with many first-time users finding it habit-forming almost straight away.
Meth statistics make for pretty somber reading:
The feelings of confidence, alertness, and euphoria it induces have a powerful, all-consuming effect on the reward system of the brain.
This rush of dopamine is also far higher than what the brain naturally produces, meaning it’s highly likely to cause binging and abuse with cravings overshadowing a person’s life.
That’s why beating a meth addiction is so difficult, because the brain’s reward system completely takes over, which impairs the user’s normal decision-making.
But you don’t have to go through this alone.
At Inspire Malibu, our dedicated team offers a highly effective meth addiction treatment program. In the past few years, we have seen a big increase in the number of meth users at our treatment facility, and many of them are co-dependent on meth and opioids or heroin.
We utilize the most effective treatment plans to break the physical and psychological dependency on meth so our clients can return to a sober life, free from the need to keep using.
Meth is the shortened, slang name for methamphetamine. It’s produced both illegally and legally.
Legally, methamphetamine is used under the brand name, Desoxyn or Methedrine, and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for patients who are obese or prescribed for others with severe attention deficit disorder that haven’t found success using traditional medications or treatments.
Illegally, meth is taken orally, is injected, or can be snorted.
In its illegal form, meth tends to be an odorless white powder. It is also available as crystal meth, which is a smokeable version that is highly potent and is made up of small crystals that have a bluish-white appearance.
Meth carries various different street names, including redneck cocaine, crank, crystal, ice, and glass.
Meth abuse occurs when someone illegally uses the drug. When injected or smoked, it produces a “rush,” which is caused by the release of dopamine – a neurotransmitter that provides the user with a sense of satisfaction or achievement.
This is one of the reasons why meth users often experience talkativeness, hyperactivity, elation, loss of appetite, alertness, and empathy.
The initial rush may last 30 minutes but the sense of a “high” can continue for four to 12 hours. Injecting the drug causes a greater high, but one that wears off much quicker.
The intense effects of the high, combined with affordable prices on the street, are often what lead people to start binging on meth.
Many will take the drug continually over the course of several days so they are constantly high. But as the user’s tolerance increases, they physically require more of the drug to achieve the same effect, and higher doses are needed to get high. This is known as “chasing the dragon.”
Unfortunately, over time, the brain’s dopamine receptors are destroyed through meth use, which means the user is unable to experience any pleasure other than through meth use. They are not capable of being happy or leading a normal life with the drug.
When this occurs, Meth becomes the user’s primary focus.
Family, friends, and work take a back seat as the natural impulse to enjoy and succeed in these areas is dominated by meth use.
Rehabilitation and treatment can offer reform if caught early enough, but if meth use continues to go unchecked, permanent cognitive impairment may occur.
While meth has many psychological effects, there are also a number of physical ones.
Here are some of the warning signs of meth addiction:
Psychologically, meth severely impacts the brain’s chemistry, causing a number of changes in behavior. When dependence continues to addiction, it causes structural and functional changes in the brain.
Often, users will experience severe paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, and mood swings that cause aggressive behavior.
Because meth is a powerful stimulant, many users often engage in impulsive or risky behavior.
To treat an addiction to meth, a comprehensive course of detoxification is required as the first step. This involves the process to remove the toxic effects of meth from the user’s body, to return to a healthy state.
A medical detox program is the safest way to do this, with 24-hour support and close monitoring of the patient taking place until the withdrawal symptoms start to subside.
The symptoms experienced during meth withdrawal will vary from person to person but common ones include:
These symptoms tend to peak after 7 to 10 days, but the long-lasting effects can possibly be felt for up to a month.
However, after this time, most users will begin to feel better, although they may still experience periods of depression alongside cravings.
Following detox, patients will continue their recovery in an addiction treatment rehab center. Successful treatment will include a combination of individual and group therapies with the goal of finding the underlying causes of use.
At Inspire Malibu, we offer a complete and comprehensive detox and treatment program for users with an addiction to meth, as well as a combination or meth and other substances, such as heroin and opioids.
Not all treatment centers provide detox AND treatment, but our program is unique in that it offers both within the same program, supervised by board-certified addiction specialists.
Some of the treatment therapies we use in our non 12 step treatment facility include:
Meth addiction can be extremely difficult overcome, especially alone, but with professional help and management, successful recovery is possible for everyone.
For more information about our Meth Addiction Treatment and Detox Program, call us toll-free at 800-444-1838.