Methamphetamine is a very addictive stimulant drug. Meth can boost mood, increase feelings of well-being, increase energy, and make you more alert—but it also has dangerous effects. Over time users begin to feel incredibly paranoid or begin to act dissociative. Meth addiction can often cause varying levels of drug induced psychosis if the user has been binging on the substance.
Meth is a man-made, white, bitter-tasting powder. It is sometimes made into a white pill or a shiny, white or clear rock. Most of the meth used in the United States comes from “superlabs”—big illegal laboratories that make the drug in large quantities. It can also be made in small labs using cheap, over-the-counter ingredients such as pseudo-ephedrine, which is common in cold medicines. Other chemicals, such as muriatic acid and battery acid, are also involved in making methamphetamine.
Some of the effects of crystal meth addiction in the user can cause euphoria, and increased awareness, such as cocaine. Meth can have many other effects on an addict however. These include:
- Feeling very awake and active
- Fast heart rate and irregular heartbeat
- Higher blood pressure
- Higher body temperature
- Increased risk for HIV/AIDS or hepatitis (a liver disease) from unsafe sex and shared needles
Effects of Long-Term Use
Continued methamphetamine use may cause effects that last for a long time, even after a person quits using the drug. These effects include:
- Anxiety and confusion
- Problems sleeping
- Mood swings
- Violent behavior
- Psychosis (hearing, seeing, or feeling things that are not there)
- Skin sores caused by scratching
- Severe weight loss
- Severe dental problems, known as “meth mouth”
- Problems with thinking, emotion, and memory
Getting Help For Meth Addiction Recovery
Getting help for Meth addiction can be a very stressful and exhausting process. Due to the intense addictive properties of the drug it can take a lot of willingness from the user to finally reach out for help. Whether you or your loved one are seeking help in finding the right treatment facility, we are here to help.
Treatment for methamphetamine abuse or addiction depends upon several factors, including the age and gender of the patient, the length and severity of the patient’s drug problems, and the presence of any co-occurring disorders such as past trauma, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or other mental disorders.
Treatment for meth abuse or addiction may include the following therapies and techniques:
- Individual therapy
- Group IOP therapy
- Implementation of a 12-Step Program such as AA, NA, CA or CMA
- Relapse-prevention instruction
The length of treatment programs is also an important factor in the recovery of methamphetamine addicts. Methamphetamine users may have a tendency to quickly drop out of treatment programs, but those who continue to along the path of treatment can achieve long-term drug free recovery. One of the best strategies to assure that this won’t happen is to first have the patient go to a detox facility where they can receive supervised medical care in a safe and comfortable environment, followed by a 3- to 6-month program either in an inpatient or residential treatment setting. While in treatment it is highly recommended that the addict start attending 12-Step meetings in conjunction with therapy through an IOP facility.
Treatment programs also utilize strategies to prevent relapse, such as drug education, family and group therapies, and self-help groups. In these groups users must learn to identify behaviors and situations that put them at high risk for using methamphetamine. This creates a structure that allows the patient to become actively involved in their recovery and will help to prevent relapse.
How We Can Help
The Northern Arizona Center for Addiction is fully licensed and equipped to treat users suffering from methamphetamine addiction. If your life has spiraled out of control and you need to reach out for help, we are here to take your call. Our goal for clients is to provide them with the right tools and the correct information so they can go out into the world as confident, honest, and hardworking individuals.
We know that no two people are the same, which is why we offer individualized treatment plans for all of our clients. If you are sick of your life and are in need of help, contact us today.