Methamphetamine is a derivative of amphetamine, a potent central nervous system (CNS) stimulator. Methamphetamine, or meth, crystal meth, crystal, and crank, is illegally produced in meth labs and sold as a recreational drug. Meth is so highly addictive that some users can develop an addiction after one use. Meth increases activity in areas of the brain that heighten central nervous system functions such as breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. Chemical messengers in the brain, particularly dopamine, are dramatically increased by meth, resulting in enhanced energy, focus, attention, excitement, and pleasure. This increase of dopamine causes the intense high, and the desire to recreate that high causes the addiction. Quitting without professional meth addiction treatment is rarely possible.
Gulf Breeze Recovery offers comprehensive, holistic meth addiction treatment that addresses the physical, psychological, and emotional dependency on meth. Contact our team today at 833.551.2304 to learn how we can help you or a loved one break the cycle of meth addiction once and for all.
Signs and Symptoms of Meth Addiction
Meth can be used in several different ways. Typically, it is smoked, but it can also be injected, swallowed, snorted, or inserted into the rectum, known as “booty bumping.” Making meth requires using toxic chemicals that remain in the finished product. Smoking meth exposes the mouth to these chemicals, eroding teeth and gums, a condition known as “meth mouth,” the most obvious indicator of meth addiction.
Because it is so highly addictive, meth use can quickly escalate to dependency and then addiction. The physical and psychological effects of meth addiction are often more apparent than with other substances and can include:
- Extreme weight loss
- Intense itching resulting in scabs and sores
- Anxiety and paranoia
- Confusion and hallucinations
- Violent outbursts
- Inability to sleep, often for several days
- Tics, hyperactivity, and being jumpy
Other physical signs to watch out for include persistent vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive sweating. Individuals might also demonstrate obsessive or repetitive behaviors such as constant grooming or reorganizing their belongings. Meth addiction poses a high risk for overdose. This is especially true when used with alcohol or other drugs, which it commonly is.
Meth Has Long-Term Impacts on Physical and Psychological Well-Being
Studies on the prolonged use of meth reveal that it causes significant changes to areas of the brain that regulate emotion and memory. Its long-term use is associated with impaired verbal learning, memory loss, reduced coordination, motor speed, and problem-solving ability. Other significant long-term effects of meth abuse can include the following:
- Increased tolerance, making the user need larger and more frequent doses to achieve the desired effects
- Increased risk of accidental overdose or death
- The inability of the brain to feel pleasure is called anhedonia
- Dangerously high blood pressure, increasing the risk of stroke or heart attack
- Psychosis resulting in hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia
- Vision loss
- Mood disturbances, including unpredictable violence
Malnutrition is also common and contributes to overall poor health. For individuals who complete meth addiction detox and subsequent treatment, the effects of meth addiction can begin to reverse after a year or so of sobriety. Unfortunately, for some, the changes within the brain are permanent. The longer meth addiction goes untreated; the more likely its effects will be lasting.
Reach Out to Gulf Breeze Recovery for Meth Addiction Treatment
Recovery from substance use disorders is complex and can be challenging. This is particularly true with meth. Many individuals who struggle with meth use also have co-occurring mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, or personality disorders, complicating the recovery process.
At Gulf Breeze Recovery, we believe that everyone has the potential to recover from substance use disorders and dual diagnoses. Our location on the Gulf of Mexico in Florida provides the perfect backdrop for therapeutic healing, growth, and recovery. We use a comprehensive approach to recovery that includes evidence-based and holistic treatment modalities designed to foster physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual healing from addiction and mental health disorders.
Reach out to the Gulf Breeze Recovery team today at 833.551.2304 to discover your options for effective holistic healing and recovery.