Types of Addiction
Meth Addiction Treatment
Recovery from meth addiction is possible, and GateHouse is ready to stand by your side. For individuals who are ready to overcome their meth addiction, we offer a personal approach that is based on proven methodologies. We give you the tools needed to build a strong recovery by promoting personal responsibility and accountability. We are personally invested in our clients’ recovery process, and putting people first has always been the bedrock of our treatment philosophy. Reach out today, and find out how GateHouse can help.
What is Meth Addiction
Meth or Methamphetamines is a powerful stimulant drug that is completely man-made, it can be made with household items or ingredients from your local pharmacy. Meth is a Schedule II substance, meaning meth is considered dangerous, has a high potential for abuse, with use can potentially lead to severe psychological and/or physical dependence. While very rarely prescribed for medical purposes methamphetamines are highly addictive and if use is stopped abruptly there are withdrawal symptoms, a sign of meth addiction.
History of Meth
Methamphetamines were developed in Japan in 1919. The powder was water soluble meaning it could be injected. This wasn’t very relevant until WWII when meth was given to soldiers to help increase their stamina and to keep them awake for extended periods of time. After the war had ended there was a spike in abuse. In the 1950s meth was prescribed as a diet aid and antidepressant medication. It was also abused as a nonmedical stimulant across schools and workforces. Meth abuse continued in across America relatively unregulated for the next 20 years.
In the 1970s the US government had made meth illegal for almost all uses and started regulating the chemicals required to make it. Methamphetamines were moved to a Schedule II drug. Over the past decade, meth addiction has spiked resulting in rehab centers to compensate for the higher demand for meth addiction treatment.
Common Street Names for Methamphetamines:
Physiology and Side Effects of Meth Abuse
Meth is processed through the central nervous system (CNS) and the brain of the user. In small medicinal doses, meth improves concentration, focus and concentration ability. It is also used in cases of extreme obesity to decrease appetite and people struggling with narcolepsy. When methamphetamines are abused, it takes the medical attributes and increases them to the point of damaging the user. Meth makes the brain release levels of dopamine not meant to be released, inciting the rush a user feels and it inhibits the brain from reabsorbing dopamine as it’s supposed to. When the dopamine cannot be adequately reabsorbed it stays in the brain and disrupts the natural progression of how chemicals react in the brain.
With repeated use of meth, a tolerance is built, and more of the drug is needed to produce the desired effect. Side effects of meth abuse can include:
- Loss of appetite
- Significant weight loss
- Mood swings
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Unpredictable behavior
- Repetitive obsessive behaviors (tweaking)
- Psychotic symptoms (tweaking)
Understanding Meth Addiction
When Meth is abused it gives users an extremely intense euphoria, making the user feel extremely confident and elated. Over time, repeated use of meth it causes the brain to stop producing the natural chemicals that give us pleasure, this causes the user to only feel pleasure or even happy when they are using meth. Long-term repeated meth abuse can cause anhedonia which is the inability or very reduced ability to experience joy. This intense depression that accompanies a binge or a high with meth causes users to get stuck in the cycle of abuse.
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Meth Quick Facts
- Meth is chemically similar to amphetamines (a medication used to treat ADHD) such as Adderall or Ritalin
- Has a high abuse rate
- Ingredients used to manufacture meth are highly flammable and corrosive
- It can be swallowed, smoked, snorted, and injected
- Use can permanently damage the user’s brain
- Meth is typically used in a “binge and crash” pattern
Signs of Meth Abuse
While signs of meth abuse are exhibited differently in each person, some of the more common symptoms can include:
Mood swings, depression, paranoia, agitation, euphoria, intense anxiety, restlessness, unprecedented anger and/or rage
Lying, drug-seeking behavior, risky sexual activity, repetitive meaningless tasks, irregular sleep patterns, changes in appetite, withdrawal from usual social circles, violence, declining work or school performance
Heavy sweating, tremors, twitching, dry mouth, uncontrollable jaw clenching, dull scaly skin, insomnia, significant weight loss, dilated pupils, skin scabs, open sores, rotting teeth