Long-term methamphetamine use can destroy a person’s body and mind. It is challenging to overcome methamphetamine addiction alone, but individualized substance abuse treatment programs are available to help. For instance, at Vertava Health, we are proud to provide a personalized meth addiction treatment program to each client. Overall, remember that options are available to you for methamphetamine treatment. Contact 888.601.8693 to learn about our meth addiction treatment program today.
What Is Meth?
Methamphetamine is a highly potent central nervous system stimulant, also referred to as meth, crystal meth, ice, or glass. Methamphetamine is a derivative of amphetamine, a central nervous system stimulant, with long-lasting effects. Amphetamine is also known as speed or uppers.
Originally derived from amphetamine in 1919, methamphetamine began as a nasal decongestant in bronchial inhalers.
In the 60s and 70s, amphetamine was popular with college students, truck drivers, and athletes who used it to stay awake and increase endurance. The drug was later outlawed in the U.S. as part of the Drug Use Regulation Control Act of 1970.
In the 1980s, amphetamine’s key chemical, Phenyl-2-propanone, was put under federal control to be regulated. This pushed users of amphetamine to search for a similar, comparable chemical replacement. As a result, the discovery was made that the ephedrine ingredient found in over-the-counter cold remedies produces methamphetamine, a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder better known as crystal meth, and it is twice as potent.
Unlike other hard illegal drugs such as cocaine and heroin, crystal meth can be made from household products, like:
- Alcohol (isopropyl or rubbing)
- Anhydrous ammonia (fertilizer)
- Ether (engine starter)
- Hydrochloric acid (pool supply)
- Iodine (flakes or crystal)
- Kitty litter
- Because of this ease in access to the principal chemical ingredients from simple household items, meth labs are prevalent in each state in the country today.
Today, methamphetamine is a Schedule II drug and is often labeled a club drug. Schedule II drugs have a high potential for misuse that can lead to severe physical or psychological dependence.
How Is Meth Consumed?
Methamphetamine is taken orally, smoked, snorted, or dissolved in water or alcohol and injected. Smoking or injecting the drug delivers it very quickly to the brain, where it produces an immediate, intense euphoria. These drug effects generally last from six to eight hours but can last up to twenty-four hours.
Meth Use Signs and Symptoms of Use
There are some signs and symptoms that may indicate someone is abusing methamphetamine. Due to how meth interacts with the brain, a person using and misusing meth may experience immediate and delayed effects.
Signs that someone is under the influence of meth can include:
- Euphoria and energy spike
- Increased physical activity
- Increased blood pressure and breathing rate
- Dangerously high body temperature
- Loss of appetite
People who are misusing meth for the first time may not experience most or any of these symptoms. The high they experience will cause them to be very active, hyper-alert, and euphoric between six and 12 hours after use. The first high is often the most pleasurable, which can compel people to seek the same experience as their first high and quickly result in an addiction.
Long-Term Effects of Meth Use
Long-term effects of methamphetamine can appear during or after use. These effects may include:
- Brain damage similar to Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease
- Prolonged episodes of anxiety, paranoia, and insomnia
- Weakened immune system
- Cracked teeth
- Sores, skin infections, and acne
- Increased chance of stroke, heart attack, lung disease, kidney damage, and liver damage
- Increased likelihood of risky behaviors
If someone is behaving in an abnormal way, they may be suffering from a methamphetamine substance use disorder.
Dangers of Crystal Meth Misuse
In addition to being physically addictive, methamphetamine can also be highly psychologically addictive. While under the influence of meth, some people may experience bursts of energy, talkativeness, and excitement.
The most dangerous effect of methamphetamine misuse may happen when someone has not been able to sleep for three to 15 days and becomes irritable and paranoid.
In this excited state, people are able to go for hours, even days, without wanting sleep or food. People who are tweaking also crave more methamphetamine but find it difficult to achieve the original high.
This can cause the individual to become irritated and act in unstable and unpredictable ways. Due to the unpredictability of their behavior, they have an increased risk of participating in domestic disputes, impulsive crimes, and car accidents.
It is also possible for someone to overdose on meth. An overdose happens when someone has absorbed too much methamphetamine for their body to process at one time, causing a toxic reaction that may result in serious, potentially lethal symptoms or death. Symptoms of methamphetamine overdose can include stroke, heart attack, and damage to internal organs.
Co-Occurring Disorders and Meth Addiction
It is possible for individuals suffering from addiction to methamphetamines to experience co-occurring disorders. These typically come in the form of an undertreated or undiagnosed mental health disorder, which can include:
- Depressive disorders
- Anxiety disorders
- Bipolar disorders
- Conduct disorders
- Antisocial personality disorder
All symptoms experienced must be discussed with a medical health professional. In many cases, someone enters treatment with an undiagnosed mental health disorder. If it remains undiagnosed, their chances of relapsing may increase because the root cause of their addictive behavior has not been appropriately addressed.
Enroll in a Meth Addiction Treatment Program at Vertava Health
There is hope for those addicted to meth. Experts say that a long-term cognitive therapy approach is necessary. However, a patient often needs to go to a rehab facility far from the habits, people, and lifestyle that they have become accustomed to. Because the meth high is one of pure euphoria, a client may experience a harsh return to reality that is quite painful to manage. Therefore, meth addiction relapse can be common and is hard to resist if the client stays close to their dealers and other people who use drugs.
Treatment for methamphetamine addiction is available and can help individuals build a better future. The treatment will vary depending on an individual’s needs and circumstances. Detox, often the first stage of recovery, may occur more smoothly in a medically-supervised setting, where experienced medical staff can help monitor an addicted individual’s symptoms. Withdrawing from meth can be an extremely uncomfortable process.
The risk of relapse is higher during detox and withdrawal. Having the support offered with an inpatient treatment program could be the difference between a successful recovery and an unsuccessful one.
Therapy that takes place during an inpatient treatment program often follows detox. In therapy and inpatient treatment, a person will have access to a supportive environment and learn about maintaining a life free from addiction and substance use.
Vertava Health specializes in meth addiction treatment and provides the right campus environment. At our meth addiction treatment program, a client can reawaken to the world, learn how and why they have become addicted to crystal meth, and begin to rediscover how to live a new and sober life.
Find an Effective Meth Addiction Treatment Program at Vertava Health
Vertava Health provides all levels of addiction recovery care in a comfortable and safe environment. Our campuses offer the perfect place to reflect, learn, change, and thrive. Our meth addiction treatment programs are tailored to each client and overseen by dedicated addiction recovery professionals–from our admissions specialists to licensed counselors and medical staff.
At Vertava Health, you can expect:
- An outstanding clinical program
- Comfortable and clean accommodations
- Recreational activities
- Exercise facilities
- Medical care and supervision
- Nutritious meals
- Plenty of fresh air and sunshine
To learn more, call 888.601.8693 today.