Methamphetamines are stimulant drugs that can be smoked, snorted, injected, or swallowed in pill form. Like other stimulant drugs, such as cocaine, meth creates feelings of pleasure in the brain. Because it can be injected, meth puts users at higher risk of contracting a contagious blood disease like HIV or Hepatitis B or C. Furthermore, meth overdose often leads to stroke, heart attack, or organ problems, all of which can result in death.
Meth is commonly associated with insomnia, as the perceived positive effects of the drug are short-lived. Consequently leading users to binge the drug for days at a time, without sleep or food.
In reality, it can take only one or two times for a person to use meth and become dependent. Thus, the drug is highly addictive and can be incredibly difficult to quit using. The withdrawal symptoms are physically and mentally uncomfortable, causing a person’s behavior to become erratic or aggressive. Analogous to cocaine, methamphetamine increases the production of dopamine in the brain. Eventually, if the person becomes a habitual meth user, the brain will adjust to the influx of dopamine, rewiring the brain chemistry. As a result, withdrawing from meth drastically reduces the dopamine levels in the brain, which can result in severe depression. Although, individuals can receive proper medication and supervision in medical detox to decrease the risk involved with meth withdrawal. After detox, the rehabilitation can start in a residential inpatient program.
Short-term effects of meth use may include (NIDA):
- Increased wakefulness/physical activity
- Decreased appetite
- Faster breathing
- Rapid and/or irregular heartbeat
- Increased blood pressure and body temperature
Long-term effects of meth use may include (NIDA):
- Extreme weight loss
- Severe dental problems (“meth mouth”)
- Risk of HIV/Hepatitis C
- Intense itching
- Sleep problems
- Violent behavior
Should I seek treatment for meth addiction?
Signs of a meth problem may include:
- Tooth decay/loss (signs of “meth mouth”)
- Binging meth
- Planning activities around meth use
- Engaging in other high-risk behaviors
- Intense scratching
- Weight loss
- Continuing to use despite negative effects
- Withdrawal symptoms and/or cravings
If you recognize any of these signs in yourself or others, you may have a meth problem and require medical help to safely detox.
Inpatient addiction treatment, beginning with medical detox, is an individual’s best chance at avoiding relapse. Some of the uncomfortable symptoms of meth withdrawal include fatigue, agitation, and paranoia. Ordinarily, symptoms last somewhere between one and three weeks. In rare cases, the withdrawal may last a month or more. Specifically, if meth was used in high doses for an extended period of time. Individuals trying to quit using the drug should be monitored 24/7, because a number of psychotic symptoms, like delusions and hallucinations, can be experienced. In particular, these symptoms pose a threat to the person’s safety. Medications available in detox like antidepressants can also help ease the depression. Additionally, weaker stimulants can supplant meth to relieve symptoms like agitation and irregular sleep patterns.
Meth withdrawal symptoms may include (NIDA):
- Severe depression
- Intense cravings
What happens after medical detox?
Following medical detox at Royal Life Centers, guests begin a comprehensive, collaborative approach to substance abuse treatment designed to support physical and mental wellness. Above all, we promote a lasting, sober lifestyle. Our addiction specialists, from our therapists and case managers to our facility staff, are dedicated to providing the best care and support. Our holistic, evidence-based approach to psychotherapy incorporates individual and group sessions and activity, movement, and adventure therapies into one program that treats mind, body, and spirit.
Guests may begin their recovery journey in our residential inpatient program and continue with us through PHP, IOP, OP, and sober living at our grad housing residences. At Royal Life Centers, the guest is always our top priority, and we consistently do all we can to effect lasting change, that they might continue to lead healthy, sober lives long after they have left our care.
If you or a loved one has a meth addiction, or any substance use disorder, please reach out to us about your detox and treatment options. Royal Life Centers admissions staff are available 24/7 to answer your questions and address your concerns Because We Care.