Methamphetamine (meth) is a dangerously addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system and users can become addicted to it after just one use. People suffering from meth addiction generally have a combination of physical and mental dependence, making it incredibly difficult to stop using.
Over time and with consistent use, meth addicts can require greater quantities to produce the same high. Meth addiction can quickly make living a normal life extremely difficult, as many meth users resort to drug-seeking behaviors early on.
If you or a loved one are suffering from the crushing effects of meth use, you are not alone. Users need professional treatment for meth addiction, and AION Health Group can help.
What is Meth Addiction?
Meth is extremely fast-acting and floods a user’s brain with the neurotransmitter, dopamine—the “feel good” hormone. This surge in dopamine changes the brain’s reward system over time, causing drug-seeking behavior to replicate those same feelings and to avoid an uncomfortable comedown.
If you’ve seen photos of meth users, it’s clear that meth addiction has a detrimental impact and can seep into every aspect of a user’s life. Not only does meth damage a user’s body physically, but it can also cause serious psychological problems. If you are addicted to meth or suspect a loved one is, please know you are not alone. AION Health Group can help you break the chains of addiction.
What Is Meth?
Meth is a synthetic drug, widely known by users for its intense effects and high. However, methamphetamine wasn’t always used as an illegal drug. It was first synthesized in Japan in the late 1800s and later used during World War II to keep soldiers awake. Eventually, meth was incorporated into treatment for narcolepsy, asthma, and weight loss, until it became outlawed in the United States in 1970.
Nowadays, meth is created in illegal labs, where people mix specific types of cold medicine (pseudoephedrine) and a gamut of other toxic chemicals to produce a chemical substance that looks like a white powder or clear crystal-like substance (crystal meth).
Most users are first introduced to meth through social settings, like night clubs and bars, and quickly become addicted. Once a user is in the throes of meth addiction, some report going on binges where they don’t sleep or eat for days on end and continue getting high.
Meth can be smoked, snorted, injected, or ingested (pill form); however, smoking and injecting methamphetamine intravenously causes an immediate high. Some common street names for meth are:
Meth Addiction Statistics
Crystal meth addiction is more common than you might think, and it can affect people from all walks of life. A 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that almost 1.6 million people used meth that year – that’s 0.6% of our overall population.
Additionally, an estimated 964,000 people 12 and older had a meth addiction that resulted in health problems, disability, and abandonment of responsibilities at school, home, or work.
It’s vital to address the fact that users are becoming younger and younger and highlight the danger that addiction early in life can have – including the detrimental social, emotional, physical, and economic effects.
No matter the age, it’s important to remember that you or your loved one is never alone in this difficult battle against meth. With professional help, you can overcome an addiction and experience long-term recovery.
Signs of Meth Addiction
Meth addiction is very serious, and users will often dramatically alter their daily lives around achieving their next high. Most addicts develop a physical dependence on meth, as it alters and damages the chemistry of the brain over time. As with any physical dependence, meth addicts will start noticing withdrawal symptoms once they stop. Keep an eye out for the following meth addiction signs:
- Engaging in dangerous sexual behavior
- Erratic or violent behavior
- Extreme alertness
- Loss of job, familial ties, custody of children, etc.
- Loss of appetite
- Staying awake for prolonged periods
- Weight loss
While there can be other meth addiction symptoms, the ones mentioned above are some most commonly seen.
Meth Withdrawal Symptoms
Meth is a potent stimulant, so withdrawal can be a difficult process physically and psychologically as the body has become dependent on a drug that produces feelings of euphoria and hyperactivity. Meth addicts may try multiple times to quit, only to find the comedown is too uncomfortable to deal with and ramp up their meth addiction again.
It takes about 24 hours before a user starts experiencing withdrawal symptoms. The first week is typically the most difficult, but by week two, a user may feel significant relief from withdrawal symptoms. Residual psychological symptoms can last indefinitely and need to be monitored by medical professionals because meth addicts can suffer from anxiety, depression, and psychosis. Symptoms of withdrawal can include but are not limited to:
- Bloodshot, itchy eyes
- Increased appetite
- Intense meth cravings
- Suicidal thoughts
No one deserves to undergo withdrawal alone, which is why it’s vital to seek professional help to get your life back on track. With the right support, you can successfully withdrawal from meth, and AION Health Group can help.
Meth Addiction Treatment
At AION Health Group, we offer patients a comprehensive approach when it comes to addiction recovery. Patients can choose from a wide range of treatment programs.
Northlake Recovery offers partial hospitalization addiction treatment plans, along with outpatient detox, intensive outpatient, and MAT therapy (medically assisted treatment). Northlake Recovery takes a comprehensive approach to addiction treatment, and one-on-one support provides patients with the individualized care, treatment, and counseling they require for a successful recovery.
Northlake Recovery treatment center offers customized MAT treatment to manage withdrawal symptoms due to alcohol and drug addiction. With a primary focus on detoxification, patients can start a recovery journey with a clean slate.
Northlake Recovery provides an abstinence-based recovery program* with personalized care while integrating exciting and proven-to-work activities that support a positive patient outcome. Aside from award-winning support, “Gold Seal” Joint Commission Accreditation, and hundreds of wonderful patient testimonials, Northlake Recovery also offers a total-wellness approach that includes fitness, nutrition, psychological and medical support, as well as alternative pain management techniques.
Contact AION Health Group Today
AION Health Group is an evidence-based group of recovery centers offering holistic-focused treatment for drug addiction, and each center aims to provide patients with total healing and long-term recovery. Every day, we help patients overcome addiction with comprehensive and personalized recovery plans that combine our evidence-based and adventure-focused treatment modalities.
Meth addiction can result in serious, lasting medical problems and even death. If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction and are ready to receive the support you need to start a new life, then call us today at 888-912-2454 or contact us online for round-the-clock help. Our qualified and compassionate Admissions team is here when you’re ready. You do not have to suffer any longer. Let AION Health Group help today.
*Abstinence-based recovery means patients will not receive medical comfort while detoxing.