Methamphetamine is a popular street substance. The relatively low cost, and the extreme sense of invincibility and energy are why its use is so prevalent. It is also very dangerous and addictive. Many people who use meth develop serious health problems, dental issues, and legal challenges. Severe substance use dependence is a problem that many people face. Still, meth can be one of the more addictive substances, which means it is much harder to quit without help. Professional treatment can assist people who become addicted to meth and need support, including detox, treatment, and beyond.
Learn About Meth
Meth gives the user extraordinary energy and hyper focus. They may stay awake for days on end and eat little to no food. The psycho-stimulants are known to cause people to experience euphoria, hyper-stimulation, motivation, increased heart rate, loss of appetite, and increasingly bizarre or violent behavior. As with all street drugs, users have no idea what other toxic or poisonous chemicals may be present.
People who use methamphetamine long-term suffer the effects of physical and neurological damage. Over time, it is too much to handle, and the stress on a bodily system begins to shut it down. This includes:
- Damage to the liver, heart, lungs, brain, and every other organ.
- Severe weight loss.
- Tooth decay and oral health issues, including abscesses and dangerous infections.
- Confusion or apathy about life and acting without regard to consequence.
- Psychosis, erratic behavior, or paranoia.
- Long-term emotional health risks and complications from depression.
How Meth is Addictive
Even with all the known side effects, it is essential to know why meth is addictive for people. The after-effects tend to lead people to want more. When the substance wears off, the feelings of euphoria, excitement, and well-being fade to less desirable emotions. To not feel paranoia and depression, the person has to use more to feel better and avoid an increasingly painful reality, leading to a cycle of use and abuse. Addiction has set in when the brain and body crave more of the substance to feel the same effects and keep the good feelings. Most people inject the substance directly into the bloodstream, meaning the full effects take place within seconds of administration. This “rush” helps a person feel the thrill, but there is also a massive crash afterward.
Many people become addicted to methamphetamine after their first exposure to the drug. The flood of dopamine is responsible for the rush people feel, and the sensation is hard to stop wanting to replicate. Those overwhelming feelings of excitement and pleasure offer a unique sense of release and relief that is easy to achieve. Many people become addicted to meth because of the way it increases the ability to function short-term. Before long-term damage is apparent, many people become addicted. The more a person uses meth, the less common euphoric effects become. They may use higher and higher doses to relive the first experience. Tolerance is building during this time, and the brain and body are tolerating higher and higher levels of dopamine and methamphetamine. They attempt to regulate the number of hormones and neurotransmitters produced so the body can function. This helps people maintain a level of homeostasis through down-regulation. Dopamine receptors back down from the bombardment of dopamine. If dopamine gets too low, the body receives feelings of withdrawal, including depression, apathy, and more serious psychological issues.
Methamphetamine withdrawal does not cause as many physical withdrawal symptoms as drugs like opioids. Many physical symptoms such as overeating, irritability, anxiety, lack of feeling pleasure, and lack of motivation can cause stress on the body during withdrawal. These symptoms may last anywhere from a week to several months. The key is to get support from medical professionals, addiction professionals, and supportive therapy practitioners. These experts can help even out the intense feelings, which, in turn, supports a better recovery overall.
Meth is a substance whose use comes with considerable risk. There are few rewards to using it since there is no medicinal use for meth. There are cases of meth addiction from first-time use, leading to long term consequences, including death. When using this drug, it is vital to know all the possible side effects and issues that may arise. If someone knows a loved one with a substance use disorder, there is help available for that person if they reach out. No matter how long they’ve been using, there is healing on the other side. Finding help and support are crucial to healing in recovery.