What are methamphetamines?

To understand Methamphetamine addiction, you should first under stand methamphetamines. The chemical n-methyl-1-phenyl-propan-2-amine is called methamphetamine, methylamphetamine, or desoxyephedrine. The shortened name is simply ‘meth’. When it is in its crystalline form, the drug is called crystal meth, ice, Tina, glass Ice, crank or Crystal. Methamphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant. Crystal meth can be smoked, snorted or injected to provide a lasting high that makes the user feel invincible, upbeat, energetic and euphoric.

The drug is cheap to make and is sometimes called a bathtub drug because there are a number of chemicals that are combined together to create meth. Meth is manufactured using a number of chemicals including ephedrine or pseudoephedrine in conjunction with various other components such as alcohol, cold tablets, lithium batteries and a range of other ingredients.

How is Methamphetamine Abused?

Each method of meth use has a different effect on the user and the amount of time that the drug is active will change slightly from one method of use to the next.

How each method of methamphetamine use will affect the user:

  • Smoking meth – leads to a fast uptake of the drug into the brain and can amplify the addiction potential
  • Injecting meth – leads to an intense rush or flash of a high that is described as a pleasurable state which typically only lasts a few minutes
  • Snorting or Oral Consumption of Meth – leads to a less intense rush that lasts anywhere from 5 to twenty minutes and can linger

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Methamphetamine Addiction

Methamphetamine is a very powerful, dangerous drug. It only takes one time to end up with a methamphetamine addiction. Why is it so addicting?

  • First, it makes you feel like it has improved you and your whole life immensely. It has you believing that you are a much better person than you were before taking it. It makes you feel happy, euphoric as if life is perfect
  • Then you become convinced you that you don’t need anyone or anything else other than meth. Nothing is more important than it.You will very quickly be spending more and more time focusing on the drug until it is your only concern
  • At this time it starts to alienate you from your friends and family. There is no room for them in your new and improved and you don’t really have time to think about them anyways. You’ll be so preoccupied and detached from your feelings that you may even be somewhat glad that everyone you know is staying away
  • Now you are no longer in control and still believe that you could quit doing it at any given time. In your mind, there is no connection between meth and the fact that you’ve lost your job or the reason you’ve lost your family and friends
  • By now, your body has become dependent so when you do try to stop doing it, you can’t because your body is unable to function. At this point, you need meth just to just get through the day normally
  • Now the body is not functioning properly and neither is your mind. At this point, nothing will make you feel good or even semi-normal. The little things in life you used to enjoy, like taking your kids to school, mowing the lawn, calling a friend or relative, no longer brings you pleasure
  • You are not alone. The United States government reported in 2008 that approximately 13 million people over the age of 12 have used methamphetamine—and 529,000 of those are regular users

Signs of Methamphetamine Addiction

There are many warning signs that a person may end up with a methamphetamine addiction. The physical appearance of a person using methamphetamines or with a methamphetamine addiction may provide some clues:

  • Skin picking: methamphetamine addicts obsessively pick at their skin. The marks left by this picking looks similar to an extreme case of acne, leaving open sores on the face
  • Skin crawling: meth addicts also complain about having crawling skin, a disorder known as formication
  • Tooth decay: Another common sign is tooth loss or tooth decay, referred to as meth mouth
  • Hair loss: due to the lack of nutrients in the addict’s body and the dangerous chemicals they ingest, hair breakage frequently occur
  • Track or needle marks: addicts that use meth through a needle will have these marks on the arms, legs, hands, feet or neck
  • Euphoric states: followed by fatigue or depression
  • Respiratory problems: this is common is those who smoke meth
  • Sinus infections: found in users who snort meth
  • A cough or hoarse voices: from smoking methamphetamine
  • Paranoia: that seemingly doesn’t go away
  • Hallucinations
  • Anger or irritability
  • Hostility or aggressiveness

What are you risking with a methamphetamine addiction?

Short-Term Effects of methamphetamine addiction:

  • erratic behavior
  • violent behavior
  • suppressed appetite
  • poor sleeping or insomnia
  • mood swings
  • unpredictable behavior
  • tremors convulsions
  • high blood pressure
  • increased heart rate
  • suicidal thoughts
  • anxiety
  • paranoia

Long Term Effects of Methamphetamine Addiction Include:

  • brain damage that is similar to Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease
  • coma
  • stroke
  • death
  • meth mouth (rotten teeth)
  • hallucinations
  • sores on the body
  • boils or infections on the skin
  • permanent psychosis that may include paranoia
  • weight loss
  • repetitive motor activity such as a neurological disorder
  • changes in the structure and functioning abilities of the brain
  • memory loss
  • permanent aggressive, violent behaviors or outbreaks

Methamphetamine Withdrawal

There are two phases of methamphetamine withdrawal.

1. The Acute Phase (the first week to 10 days)

  • Irritability
  • Intense drug cravings
  • Mood swings
  • Depression (an inability to feel pleasure, sadness etc.)
  • Sleeping problems
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Fatigue
  • An inability to concentrate
  • Aches and pains

2. The Protracted Phase (for many weeks or months after the completion of the acute phase)

  • Cravings
  • Problems with thinking and memory
  • Sleeping problems
  • Depression

A Recovery Plan

First things first. Clear the cloud in your head at a detox or a detoxification center. Revive Wellness and Detox can help you find a detox center to help you through your methamphetamine addiction. Call now for help!

Attending a drug rehabilitation center is detrimental to your recovery. When it comes to a methamphetamine recovery, therapy is essential. Revive Recovery will place you in the drug treatment center that will best fit your needs. Call today for help getting into a rehabilitation center.

The most effective methods of treatment for methamphetamine addiction include behavioral therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. These methods of treatment will help the patient to combine new thoughts with their behaviors and help to control their outbursts, cravings and decisions.

  • Behavioral therapy – Changing behaviors that would once trigger the use of drugs into productive, healthy behaviors.
  • Individual counseling – This is a safe place for the addict to get help for their addiction without having to worry about the thoughts of others.This allows a safe place to talk about potential causes of the addiction such as past or present physical abuse or trauma.

When completing a drug treatment program for methamphetamine addiction, you should leave there with an after plan! Many people go into a halfway house following their rehabilitation. Call Revive Wellness and Detox, we offer a full continuum of care from Detoxification, treatment, intensive outpatient treatment (IOP), to halfway housing/ sober living and outpatient treatment.

Revive Wellness and Detox doesn’t only put you in detox, treatment, and sober living, we also help you get involved and active with an accountability group, church group, or a 12 step group. We don’t want to see you get caught up in the vicious addiction cycle. Our main goal is your success!

For more information on methamphetamine addiction, click here.