Meth usage should not be taken lightly or brushed off easily. This stimulant is incredibly addictive, so much so that a one-time use could have someone hooked for life. However, this doesn’t mean that signs of meth addiction are impossible to overlook. With CNV Detox behind you, there’s a chance to overcome addiction and live a life of stability and comfortability.
Methamphetamine is a powerful and addictive central nervous system stimulant made with amphetamine and other chemicals. To the surprise of many, this substance was formerly used for decongestion and weight loss; it came in the form of pills and injections and was legally available to U.S. citizens. However, those who used it wound up using it strictly for its effects, which led the FDA to restrict the substance.
As a result of individuals abusing and becoming addicted to methamphetamine, it was classified as a schedule II substance in 1970. What many are most familiar with nowadays is the illegal forms of methamphetamine, known as meth and crystal meth. Meth typically comes in a white powder, but sometimes it can be yellow or brown. The substance can also be dissolved as a liquid to be injected.
When someone uses meth, their first time using could lead to immediate signs of meth addiction. This is mostly because of the dopamine rush it gives to the brain. Dopamine is a chemical transmitter that travels to and stimulates the pleasure center of the brain. This chemical is also responsible for motivation and rewarding the mind.
The brain normally produces much less dopamine than meth does. This is a problem because if anything produces more than a natural level of dopamine, the brain becomes dependent. This is what primarily causes individuals to use meth even though they’re aware of how bad it is for them.
Those who abuse meth are most often using throughout the day, over several days. This means that they’re high over a long period, which often ends up with someone developing a tolerance. When the tolerance has developed, it becomes more and more difficult to achieve the same high. What doesn’t help is that meth is extremely affordable, making people become addicted quicker than they should be.
Becoming addicted to meth is dangerous. Of course, when people start, they don’t anticipate becoming addicted, nor do they probably want to be. However, when someone starts taking meth, it becomes difficult to stop due to the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms it produces. Withdrawal from meth includes the following:
There isn’t just one kind of meth, so yes, there are different forms. It’s all derivative of methylphenidate. Crystal meth is a kind of meth that is clear or blue and has the appearance of crystals. These crystals are usually smoked, unlike the forms previously mentioned which could be ingested, snorted, or injected.
Structurally, meth and crystal meth are different, but chemically, they’re the same thing. There are also different names for meth, some of which include:
Meth will sometimes be cut with other substances so that less of the drug will be used up. This is done for cost reasons as well as maintaining supply and demand. As far as what exactly is used to cut meth is concerned, it is sometimes cut with prescription medication; this could mean anything from antidepressants to opioids. Cutting with something as intense as opioids could increase the chances of relapse.
When meth is distributed, it typically comes from illegal labs or is imported. As far as where it’s made is concerned, meth is usually cooked in a home. This is typically done on a stovetop. This, however, isn’t the only place meth is cooked.
Meth can also be cooked in cartel-owned labs, a big step up from the home-cooked remedy. These labs usually carry expensive professional equipment that allows the drug to be produced in greater amounts. When this happens, not only does more meth get made, but the quality of it increases greatly.
Some short-term effects of meth include:
The thing about illicit substances is that any use is considered abuse due to their intense effects and addictive nature. When someone uses meth, a rush comes over the user (similar to the rush someone receives from crack cocaine) for a good half hour. This typically happens when meth is smoked or injected. When it’s snorted, individuals experience an intense high; a euphoric sensation comes over the user, but there’s no rush like there is when it is smoked or injected.
Directly following this rush, a high sets in and lasts anywhere between eight and 24 hours. When someone injects meth, it lasts longer than when it is smoked or snorted. This could lead someone to feel the need for more once the high wears off, and this could lead to binge use, which leads to tolerance, which leads to signs of meth addiction.
Along with short-term highs, there are also long-term effects of meth use. Some of these include:
As previously mentioned, meth is usually cut with other substances like opioids or anti-depressants. This is done so that someone can experience a much stronger high. Some of the most common combinations of meth and other substances include:
No illicit substance is worth the potential danger that looms over it. Some people believe that nothing bad will happen to them and that others just experience freak accidents; others couldn’t care less about what happens. As a result, it has cost the US government millions of dollars as well as developing a substance use disorder. Meth use is responsible for the following:
When it comes to being addicted to meth, it’s no question that treatment is the only thing that will help. While quitting cold turkey may work for some, very few do it successfully; the margins are razor-thin in terms of success rate. This is why those who show signs of meth addiction must seek the help they need. Some treatment options include the following:
Lasting anywhere between 28 days and six months, inpatient residential treatment is a more intense method of care, meant for those who suffer from more intense substance use disorders. Those who participate receive 24/7 supervision from professional medical staff and attend therapy throughout the week.
Outpatient treatment is a method of care for those who suffer from milder substance use disorders. It is also used in cases where individuals who finish inpatient treatment still require care for their addiction. Lasting anywhere from 3 months to over a year, outpatient treatment offers individuals 10 to 12 hours of weekly therapy. This rehab option allows individuals to attend treatment throughout the week at their convenience while residing in the comfort of their own homes.
At CNV Detox, we offer both non-medical detox and medication-assisted treatment (MAT). MAT helps individuals fight off the symptoms of drug withdrawal, and in the case of meth addiction particularly this is a huge help. Coming off of drugs is hard, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. With MAT, we provide each patient with the medication they need to curb their withdrawal symptoms while they are coming off of meth use.
Meth is a highly addictive substance of abuse, and as such, it’s difficult to quit. The drug comes with its short- and long-term baggage, but that doesn’t mean you have to carry it alone. At CNV Detox, we value treating individuals for their addiction in a way that shows them we’re walking alongside them and care for their progress. It’s very difficult to break a physical and psychological dependence on a drug of any kind, but it’s not impossible. If you or a loved one are showing signs of meth addiction and would like to explore your options, contact us today.