meth addiction

Methamphetamine Addiction

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive and habit forming substance that takes over the lives of its users. Its effect is so great that it changes physiological components in a user’s brain so that pleasure is only felt when methamphetamines are administered. These dramatic effects can take place in even first time users, making this toxic drug one of the most harmful chemicals on this planet. The drug is sold in a variety of forms including powder, crystal, and liquid. Because of the array of forms, there are also a few methods to administering meth to the body including swallowing, snorting, smoking, or injecting. Since this drug is illegally made and sold on the streets, it has many forms of identification. Common street names for methamphetamine include:

  • Crystal
  • Speed
  • Glass
  • Ice
  • Crank
  • Tina

Signs and Symptoms of Methamphetamine Addiction

Methamphetamine, or meth, is known as the most dangerous drug on the planet. This is because it is incredibly easy to attain and can even be made out of products you might find in your home. Those that use meth do so because of the increased sense of euphoria upon its presence in the body. When it is first administered, the user feels a rushed sense of this euphoria that is overwhelming. Each use after the first is a chase to feel that first desired effect. After about ten minutes after administering the drug, the rush dies down and the user feels a high that lasts about 8 hours. During this time, the user will feel energized, without appetite, and delusional confidence. Continued use leads to a variety of short and long-term side effects that are the worst known side effects of any illicit drug. Symptoms of methamphetamine addiction may include:

  • Legal issues related to drug use
  • Increased spouts of energy
  • Avoidance of responsibilities
  • Sleeplessness
  • Paranoia, psychosis, and hallucinations
  • Denying the use of drugs
  • Strained close relationships
  • Skin sores
  • Thinning hair
  • Rotting teeth
  • Malnutrition
  • Infertility
  • Death

The Binge Meth User

The euphoric tendencies of meth are due to the fact the drug increases the amount of dopamine released by the brain. Dopamine is the naturally produced “feel good” drug in the body that helps to regulate moods. Regular meth use will cause the brain to be depleted of its dopamine, leaving a user feeling extremely low and depressed. Usually, when the user feels down, they administer the drug again to stop the withdrawal effects. Upon the end of the binge, even administering more meth to the body will not provide a high, since dopamine has been depleted. The meth user then goes into a stage frequently recognized a “tweaking”. During this time, a user will not act like their normal self and may display violent behavior. A common hallucination that involves the feeling of bugs crawling under the skin is a frequently described by tweaking meth users. Some even try to remove the bugs from their skin, unintentionally damaging their own bodies. The binge user will stay awake for days on end until the eventual inevitable collapse and remain unconscious for several hours as the body attempts to repair itself from extreme malnourishment, abuse, and neglect. During the state of unconsciousness, a meth user will not awake for anything, even to use the bathroom. The crash can last up to three days, and upon awakening the meth user is extremely drained in all aspects. This drained feeling can last up to two weeks, so usually the meth user will use again to feel better.

Treatment for Meth Addiction

Treatment for methamphetamine is possible with the resilience and determination of the recovering individual and our professional staff at FHE Health. Those recovering from addiction to methamphetamines are offered medical detox, residential and outpatient rehabilitation programs, sober skill development education, cognitive fitness therapy, and sober living services post-treatment. We understand that each individual addicted to methamphetamines will have their own needs and requirements, so we come up with a personalized detail-oriented plan for each patient. This ensures a higher success rate for those that have finished methamphetamine treatment and strive to live a life free from addiction.

Meth Withdrawal and Medical Detox

To begin treatment for methamphetamine addiction, the first thing to do is to get rid of the drug from the body. This process is called detox, and withdrawal is the symptoms that come with a drug detox. Withdrawing from meth is no easy pill to swallow, but thankfully, it is not a very dangerous process. Still, medical detox is suggested for detoxing from meth since it gives an individual the medical attention that he or she may need. Additionally, medical detox allows for the administering of medications that may help with withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms from detoxing off of meth can last months after the last use. Undoubtedly, the worst stage of withdrawal is the first ten days of detox. During these days the recovering individual will experience:

  • Irritability
  • Cravings
  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Exhaust
  • Paranoia

Other Services at FHE for Meth Addiction

Recovery is not only about refraining from drug use, it is about redefining the self and discovering a new way of life. Treatment for an addiction to methamphetamine at FHE Health will include individualized and group therapy to determine the underlying causes of addiction. Once the underlying causes of addiction are recognized, behaviors that are derived from these forces will be easier to identify in everyday life. Skills like self-awareness will be implemented so that after treatment, a recovering individual will be able to fight off cravings and triggers that otherwise would lead to unwanted drug use and behaviors. Additionally, family therapy is implemented because the addicted individual is not the only person suffering from addiction. These therapy sessions give the family of an addicted individual the chance to discover their own emotions, as well as be educated about addiction.

Upon graduating from the program, each individual has the opportunity to enroll for living in a gender-specific sober living home. This provides a safe environment with the same goals for sobriety as addiction treatment. Instead of rushing back to the old patterns in life that could encourage old negative behaviors, sober living homes provide the option to perform daily tasks as well as work on recovery goals. Support is a factor in the chance for an individual’s success during recovery from a meth addiction, and these gender-specific homes provide just that. Women and men in our homes are encouraged to attend meetings, get jobs, plan careers, and participate in community activities. Additionally, any service that is provided to the individuals administered into our treatment programs are offered to our alumni. Our alumni opportunities ensure that the family at FHE Health will be yours forever.

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