What is Meth?
- 1 What is Meth?
- 2 How is Meth Used?
- 3 How Does Meth Affect the Body?
- 4 Signs of Meth Overdose
- 5 Understanding Meth Addiction
- 6 Risk Factors Associated with Meth Addiction
- 7 Meth Detox Near Me: Addiction Treatment Methods
- 8 Meth Withdrawal Symptoms
- 9 Crystal Meth Medical Detox Near Me
- 10 Mental Health and Drug Abuse
- 11 Find a Meth Addiction Treatment Program Near Me, Here!
Methamphetamine (meth) is a highly addictive stimulant drug, and is currently considered a Schedule II controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This means that, while it poses a high risk for abuse, it can be medically used under certain FDA-approved circumstances. This drug may also be referred to as crystal methamphetamine, or crystal meth. You likely already are familiar with the drug, if you are looking for a ‘meth detox near me.’
Meth is very similar in its makeup to other amphetamines, such as Adderall, which is generally used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). However, because of its high risk for abuse, meth is rarely prescribed by doctors today.
How is Meth Used?
There are various ways in which individuals may engage in abusing crystal meth. These may include swallowing, snorting, injecting, or smoking this substance. These methods may produce different effects, thus prompting individuals to frequently increase or otherwise adjust their usual dosage. Many meth users may also switch their method of consumption in order to experience a different high, or use it more often.
When smoking or injecting meth, its effects can be felt more quickly and more intensely than if an individual were to snort or swallow this substance. When using oral or nasal methods of ingestion, this can produce a much less intense high, but can last for up to half a day.
This often leads to individuals engaging in drug-binging over multiple days in an attempt to maintain their high. However, this behavior is typically what makes it so hard for them to regain control over their drug problem, thus opening them up to developing a potential addiction.
How Does Meth Affect the Body?
Crystal meth predominantly affects the central nervous system, increasing dopamine levels in the parts of the brain associated with an individual’s motivation and reward systems. This may cause individuals to experience a boost in energy, as well as make them more sociable.
However, while meth users may experience a brief euphoric sensation from this drug, the crash that comes after this high can be extremely unpleasant. During this period, individuals may find themselves feeling depressed or irritable; feelings, of which, may cause them to continue abusing meth.
Long-term repeated meth abuse can result in an inability to experience pleasure without this substance. This serves as a large factor in most individual’s ultimate development of a meth addiction. Furthermore, habitual crystal meth use can experience a number of other negative side effects, including those that are both short-term and long-term in nature.
There are several short-term side effects that can result from the use of crystal meth, of which usually take place during the high period; or relatively soon after. These may include:
- Rapid heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat
- Extreme increase in energy or physical activity
- Increased body temperature
- Increased wakefulness
- Loss of appetite
While not necessarily life-threatening, if not properly addressed and managed, these side effects can be quite uncomfortable, and may require medical treatment should they worsen.
For those struggling with a crystal meth addiction, there may be several long-term side effects that come with this condition. Many of these symptoms will require immediate medical attention, and may even become life-threatening if not properly addressed. These may include:
- Anxiety and depression.
- Cardiovascular issues, including heart attack, abnormal heartbeat or heart palpitations, and cardiac arrest.
- Permanent damage caused to brain cells.
- Rapid and drastic weight loss, which may lead to malnutrition.
- Increased risk of stroke and Parkinson’s disease.
- Lung complications, including chronic coughing, bronchitis, and increased risk of developing pneumonia in people who smoke meth.
- Severe dental problems, including gum disease, tooth decay, and loss of teeth (also referred to as “meth mouth”).
- Loss of memory.
- Mood swings.
- Nasal irritation, nosebleeds, and perforated septum for those who snort meth.
- Skin sores (usually from excessive itching).
- Track marks from injecting meth, as well as an increased risk of contracting HIV and hepatitis.
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep.
- Increased violent or aggressive behavior.
Signs of Meth Overdose
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), overdose deaths resulting from crystal meth nearly tripled in the United States between the years of 2015 and 2019 alone. Thus, this substance serves as one of the leading contributors to the overdose crisis currently rocking the country; a problem only made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.
If an individual suspects that someone they know may have a methamphetamine use disorder, or if they are struggling with this addiction themselves, it can be crucial to know how to recognize the signs of crystal meth overdose.
In the face of the ever-growing drug epidemic currently wracking the nation, knowing when an individual may need emergency medical help can be pivotal in reducing these death rates. Signs that an individual may be overdosing on meth include:
- Having difficulty breathing.
- Experiencing chest pain or confusion, which can be signs of a heart attack or stroke.
- Having seizures.
- Having abnormally high or low blood pressure.
- Experiencing a sudden and drastic increase in body temperature.
- Peeing less or having very dark urine, which may be signs of kidney failure.
- Experiencing extreme stomach pain.
- Experiencing sudden changes in personality or alertness.
- Losing consciousness.
- Suddenly becoming very hyper or aggressive.
- Experiencing paranoia or extreme panic.
Understanding Meth Addiction
With the extreme increase in dopamine levels that is produced by crystal meth, an addiction to this drug does not take long to develop. For many meth users, they may find it hard or impossible to experience happiness or pleasure without the use of this substance.
What many people do not realize is that addiction is a complex disease, and one that is rarely ever the result of an individual’s desire to cause harm to themselves or others. Rather, whether in the case of a crystal meth addiction or otherwise, these disorders usually result from engaging in substance abuse as a form of self-medicating. This may be in regard to a number of factors, including:
- Difficult environmental conditions
- Economic factors
- Mental health disorders
- Social pressure or isolation
- Past traumatic or stressful experiences
This, of course, can make overcoming a substance use disorder incredibly difficult, especially if individuals do not have either access to or the means of seeking out a professional meth addiction treatment program. Thus, even if these individuals do want to become sober, it may appear to be easier for them to remain attached to their methamphetamine addiction.
Risk Factors Associated with Meth Addiction
There are several factors associated with an increased risk of developing a drug or alcohol dependency, and knowing these signs can be particularly helpful in avoiding and preventing these habits.
Some of these risk factors may include biological factors or environmental factors. However, while some individuals may certainly have a greater risk of developing a substance dependency, what many people do not realize is that anyone can develop an addiction.
Simply being considered stable and secure (whether this is financially, mentally, or otherwise) does not make someone immune to addiction. Thus, it is always recommended to just be proactive and avoid using addictive substances altogether.
Biological Risk Factors
Some biological risk factors associated with an increased risk of addiction include:
- Genetics. Individuals with a family history of addiction, while not inherently destined to repeat these habits, maybe at a greater risk of developing them at some point in their lives.
- Stage of Development. Early engagement in drug abuse may cause individuals to be more likely to continue these behaviors into adulthood. Furthermore, as their brains and bodies are still developing, teens who abuse substances may be at greater risk of causing irreversible changes and/or damage to their brains.
- Tolerance Levels. As people have different tolerance levels to certain substances, some individuals may require fewer interactions with a specific drug in order to develop an addiction to it.
- Mental Health Disorders. Mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, or other behavioral disorders can increase an individual’s likelihood of engaging in substance abuse.
- Gender. Drugs can affect male and female bodies in different ways, and these individuals often engage in substance abuse for different reasons. For example, women are more likely to form an addiction through self-medicating with drugs or alcohol. Men, on the other hand, may begin using socially, gradually developing an addiction in the process. However, this is a general observation, and may not apply to everyone.
- Ethnicity. Predominantly due to difficult socio-cultural conditions surrounding it, such as disproportionate access to addiction treatment programs and resources, ethnicity can be a contributing factor to an individual’s risk for addiction.
Environmental Risk Factors
Negative environmental conditions can also increase an individual’s likelihood of developing an addiction, and may include factors such as:
- Home Environment. An unstable home, usually involving either an absence of or overbearing parental involvement in a child’s life, can significantly increase their likelihood of developing an addiction, whether during adolescence or later in adulthood.
- Drug Availability. Having easy accessibility to illicit substances, whether at home, at school, or in one’s community, can be a significant risk factor for a person’s engagement in substance abuse.
- Increased Stress. Individuals who have dealt with considerable stress or experienced traumatic events, such as being exposed to violence, abuse, or financial insecurity, may have an increased risk of developing an addiction.
- Peer and Social Pressures. Being surrounded by individuals who practice poor habits, such as substance abuse, can create a level of pressure for someone to mimic these behaviors as a means of gaining social acceptance.
- Academic Factors. Students who are exposed to significant pressures regarding their academic performance, or who attend a school with limited drug education resources, may be more prone to engaging in substance abuse.
Meth Detox Near Me: Addiction Treatment Methods
There are several different meth addiction treatment methods available today, with each of these varying in their level of effectiveness, depending on a person’s individual needs and addiction history.
Most crystal meth addiction treatment centers, as well as most substance abuse treatment centers in general, will adhere to a Continuum of Care (COC) approach. This typically involves a process in which individuals will progress through seven levels of care in addiction treatment, which are as follows:
- Residential Treatment.
- Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP).
- Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP).
- Outpatient Treatment.
- Aftercare Programs.
For most individuals with a crystal meth addiction, they may benefit from seeking treatment for their drug use at a residential meth rehab center. However, an inpatient program may require a greater time commitment than some people may be able to give. In these cases, outpatient programs may better serve these individual’s meth treatment needs.
Of course, recovery from substance addiction is often a trial-and-error process. Thus, some individuals may need to experiment for a bit before discovering which treatment options work best for them. In fact, former meth users found that combining one or more professional substance abuse treatment methods with other services, such as behavioral therapy treatment, was most effective in their addiction recovery process.
Speaking with a professional treatment provider or other clinical professional may also help individuals to further narrow down what addiction treatment programs will work best for them.
Meth Withdrawal Symptoms
There are several side effects associated with crystal meth withdrawal, of which can be particularly difficult or uncomfortable to deal with. For many individuals who have previously abused meth, these symptoms served as their biggest risk for relapse.
This is why most people, regardless of the type of substance abuse disorder they are struggling with, are highly encouraged to seek treatment in a controlled and / or clinical environment. In the case of crystal meth users, it is strongly recommended that they participate in a professional meth addiction treatment program.
Physical Withdrawal Symptoms
When it comes to the physical symptoms of meth withdrawal, these can be particularly impairing for many individuals. In fact, these physical side effects are a significant reason as to why many people choose to recover in a residential treatment facility.
With the regular monitoring and clinical supervision a professional meth addiction treatment program can provide, individuals may feel more secure in their recovery process. Furthermore, they are able to receive external interventions should they begin to express signs of relapse.
Some of the physical symptoms associated with meth withdrawal may include:
- Muscle pains and spasms
- Increase in or loss of appetite
- Intense drug cravings
- Irregular sleep
Mental Withdrawal Symptoms
As with many forms of addiction, crystal meth abuse often causes significant, and sometimes irreversible, changes to an individual’s brain. Thus, when attempting to overcome a dependency on this substance, the resulting chemical imbalance can produce a number of side effects, including:
- Cognitive impairments
- Suicidal ideations
- Inability to feel pleasure
Crystal Meth Medical Detox Near Me
When participating in a crystal meth addiction treatment program, this will likely include a medically supervised detox process. These can be beneficial for individuals attempting to overcome any form of drug abuse, but are considerably helpful for meth addiction treatment.
Most residential rehab centers will offer these detox treatment programs as a part of their approach to addiction treatment, as several forms of drug use can have extremely difficult withdrawal periods. Thus, as the meth withdrawal process can be particularly intense, individuals can greatly benefit from the constant medical supervision and support these detox programs provide.
When participating in this type of meth addiction treatment program, individuals will likely be provided with an individualized treatment plan and diet. Furthermore, they may be given controlled medications designed to help prevent and manage particularly intense symptoms. This can not only help them comfortably recover from substance abuse, but may also decrease their risk of relapse.
Mental Health and Drug Abuse
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), it is quite common for individuals to struggle with a simultaneous mental health and substance use disorder (co-occurring disorders).
This is often because, as discussed, individuals will use substances (such as crystal meth) as a means of self-medicating negative emotions and uncomfortable feelings. Thus, effective treatment for meth addiction will likely include the combination of mental health treatment services that can identify and address the underlying causes of this drug abuse.
A few examples of these therapeutic services may include:
- Counseling services, including family therapy, individual therapy, or group therapy sessions.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which can help provide individuals with coping skills and self-soothing techniques for difficult situations.
Find a Meth Addiction Treatment Program Near Me, Here!
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction and are ready to start seeking out treatment options, know that help IS available. Here at Find Addiction Rehabs, we understand that finding an addiction center that can meet your personal care needs can be difficult; but that’s why we are here.
With our hotline available 24/7, one of our representatives is available at all times to provide the substance abuse treatment support and resources you need. Or, you can search for rehab treatment options in your area with our free and easy-to-use drug and alcohol rehab directory.
Whether assisting you in locating a meth rehab treatment center, or a treatment program for any other type of addiction, we are here to help. So make the right choice and call today, so that we can get you started on a path to rediscovering a happy, healthy, and sober life!
Edward lives and works in South Florida and has been a part of its recovery community for many years. With a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Massachusetts, he works to help Find Addiction Rehabs as both a writer and marketer. Edward loves to share his passion for the field through writing about addiction topics, effective treatment for addiction, and behavioral health as a whole. Alongside personal experience, Edward has deep connections to the mental health treatment industry, having worked as a medical office manager for a psychiatric consortium for many years.