Table of Contents
- What is Meth?
- Statistics About Meth Addiction
- Genetic Factors That Can Cause Meth Addiction
- Meth Addiction Signs and Symptoms
- Effects of Meth Addiction
What is Meth?
Meth is a man-made, highly addictive stimulant. Meth is made out of various forms of amphetamine and toxic chemicals that one can find around a typical American household, although meth is typically made in illegal, hidden laboratories. Because people can easily make meth out of cold medication and household cleaning items, meth is, unfortunately, a popular drug to abuse.
There are two main forms of meth, crystal meth and regular meth, that’s a powder-like substance. Crystal meth is the purest form of meth. Another name for crystal meth is ice.
Crystal meth looks the way it sounds, like an opaque crystal. People usually use crystal meth by smoking it with a small glass pipe, swallowing it, snorting it, or injecting it. The regular powder form of meth can also be snorted, swallowed, smoked, injected, etc. Individuals can also dissolve the powder form of meth in their drinks.
Using meth causes the brain to release dopamine. Dopamine is one of the human hormones that make us feel good and happy. As a result, individuals usually feel a sense of happiness after using meth. Unfortunately, though, continuously using meth causes the brain to lose all of its sense of dopamine. As a result, chronic meth users start to need their meth use just to feel good at all.
Statistics About Meth Addiction
Approximately 1.4 million people in the United States use and abuse methamphetamine, and the number is only steadily increasing. This is because meth is becoming more than just a drug that’s used in old rural communities. In fact, meth is now being used in clubs and is one of the most misused hard drugs in the country. As a result, more people use meth right now than cocaine and heroin combined.
Causes for Meth Addiction
No one knows the exact reason for meth addiction. As a result, researchers believe that there is a combination of factors that cause methamphetamine use disorder and other hard drugs. Some of these factors include genetics, environmental factors, psychological, and biological factors.
Genetic Factors That Can Cause Meth Addiction
Genetic factors that can contribute to a person developing a meth addiction include any parent or close relative that has previously suffered from a substance addiction of any kind. Having a close relative that has suffered from substance use disorder can contribute to you developing a meth abuse addiction because you may receive many of the behavioral traits from that close relative that often causes people to start abusing substances in the first place. Having close relatives around that have suffered from substance addictions before also opens the door to you learning behaviors that can cause you to easily develop a meth addiction.
Meth Addiction Signs and Symptoms
Environmental Factors That Can Cause Meth Addiction
Individuals may develop meth addictions simply due to growing up in stressful and toxic environments that cause them to feel the need to abuse substances to cope. For example, people that grow up in low-income households where abuse and constant arguing is taking place are more likely to abuse substances such as meth than those who grow up well-off in peaceful households. Growing up with people and in environments in which others are abusing substances also makes it more likely for a person to start abusing a substance like meth.
Psychological Factors That Can Cause Meth Addiction
One of the main catalysts for abusing substances is mental health issues. Thus, one of the main psychological factors that can cause a person to develop an addiction to drug use is struggling with behavioral health issues such as depression or anxiety that make a person feel the need to use meth to cope. Co-occurring disorders (addiction occurring alongside other mental health disorders) are common in people with drug addictions.
Biological Factors That Can Cause Meth Addiction
Once an individual starts using meth, it doesn’t take that long before that person starts developing methamphetamine addiction to function. Once an individual develops meth dependency, he or she can’t minimize or discontinue his or her use of meth without feeling withdrawal symptoms. As a result, such a person usually continues to abuse more and more meth until he or she starts experiencing chemical changes in his or her brain. Once individuals develop chemical changes in their brains due to meth, those people have officially developed meth addictions.
There are various meth addiction signs and symptoms. These signs and symptoms of meth addiction vary and are usually physical, behavioral, or psychological.
Physical Meth Addiction Signs and Symptoms
- Increased meth tolerance
- Open sores
- Hair loss
- Aging/wrinkling skin and body
- Decreased bodily blood flow
- Liver Damage
- Extreme rise in body temperature
Behavioral Meth Addiction Signs and Symptoms
- Financial issues
- Change in social circle
- Not keeping up with life responsibilities
- Lying, cheating, and stealing
- Exhibiting risky behavior
- Not sleeping
- Being violent
Psychological Meth Addiction Signs and Symptoms
- Extreme nervousness
- Disorganized thoughts
- Thinking there are bugs on you at all times
- Suffering from mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety
Effects of Meth Addiction
Once a person develops a meth addiction, it doesn’t take long before it ruins that person’s life. This is because of how addictive meth is. As a result, people that suffer from meth addiction often become homeless, jobless, and lack purpose.
People that suffer from meth addiction and do not attend rehab to treat it also often lose everything that they care about. This includes their relationships with their family and friends, their money, and even their mental sanity. This is because people that suffer from meth addiction start to spend all of their time and money using meth or trying to get more meth to use, which has long-term effects. Thus, they neglect their responsibilities and real-life relationships.
Before people with meth addictions know it, they start to look as broken on the outside as they are on the inside. It is this brokenness that often causes people that suffer from meth addiction to lose any sense of personal hygiene. In fact, it isn’t an uncommon side effect for people that suffer from meth addiction to have missing teeth.
Continuously abusing meth even causes negative effects on the physical health of people. For example, many people with meth addictions struggle with heart issues and experience things such as psychosis, seizures, heart attacks, and strokes. Others may experience seizures. Some people may abuse meth to the point of it causing them to die.
To overcome addiction to methamphetamine use, individuals must first attend meth detox. Detoxification is the process of ridding all toxic substances from one’s body. In this case, that toxic substance is primarily meth.
To successfully complete meth detox, individuals must tamper their use of meth until they get to the point where they no longer are using any meth, nor do they have any meth left in their systems. Stimulant withdrawal is typically less physically dangerous than withdrawal from some other substances, such as alcohol, opioids, and sedatives.
While detoxing from meth, people will likely start experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. To ensure that people receive the healthcare that they need while detoxing from meth, they must attend medical detox.
Medical detox is detox in a facility that has doctors and medical staff on standby monitoring the entire detox process. By attending medical detox with doctors and medical staff on standby, individuals can be prescribed medications to help them manage their meth withdrawal symptoms and cravings. That way, people can safely complete meth detox and enter meth addiction treatment.
Meth Addiction Treatment
Like any form of substance abuse treatment plan, there are various different types of meth rehab programs. Individuals with severe meth addictions should attend inpatient treatment or residential meth addiction treatment centers. That way, they can receive 24/7 care and monitoring in a structured and intensive environment.
A good alternative to inpatient forms of addiction treatment option for people who want to receive intensive care without having to live in rehab facilities 24/7 is partial hospitalization program (PHP) treatment. PHP treatment is intensive rehab that occurs five to eight hours a day, five to seven days a week. When not in rehab, though, PHP patients can live in their own homes and tend to their normal lives.
People with more moderate-level meth addictions can attend intensive outpatient treatment programs (IOP). IOPs require their patients to attend rehab for around three to four hours a day, a few days a week.
Individuals with mild-level meth addictions or people that just want to brush up on their addiction treatment should enter standard outpatient program (OP) treatment. This is because OPs only require their patients to attend rehab for around a couple of hours a day, once or twice a week.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a treatment for relapse prevention by increasing awareness of high-risk situations, developing coping skills, changing harmful behaviors, and managing cravings.
The Matrix Model incorporates group therapy, individual therapy, family therapy, education, encouragement to participate in 12-step meetings, drug testing, and positive reinforcement of desirable behaviors such as avoiding substance use and attending treatment.
Receive Meth Addiction Treatment at Live Free Recovery
One ideal rehab facility to receive meth addiction treatment at Live Free Recovery. This is because here at Live Free Recovery, we offer our patients a full continuum of care that treats a wide variety of substance addictions, including meth addiction. Here at Live Free Recovery, we even offer our patients sober living homes that they can stay in as they transition from drug abuse treatment and recovery back into regular society.
Located in beautiful New Hampshire, Live Free Recovery is in the perfect, peaceful setting in that one can overcome a meth addiction. To learn more about Live Free Recovery and the different effective treatment programs and services that we offer, contact us today! We would love to hear from you.