Meth, short for methamphetamine, is a highly addictive drug. It is a synthetic stimulant that affects the body’s central nervous system. Meth addiction is serious and requires intervention as soon as possible. Meth addiction is characterized by several stages and extremes. Meth addiction frequently presents with a bench and crash pattern. The drug can be taken in many ways, such as orally, snorted, smoking, or injection. The onset of withdrawal and health complications is rapid.
Addiction to methamphetamine occurs because of the increased amounts of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is naturally involved in motivation, reward, motor function, and the experience of pleasure. The drug can produce an immediate and intense euphoria, especially when smoked or injected. However, the pleasure also fades quickly, which results in a characteristic binge and crash pattern.
The side effects of abusing this drug are as follows:
Other effects may include permanent damage to the blood vessels in the heart and brain, liver, kidney, and lung damage, depression, psychosis, extreme confusion and exhaustion, and tooth decay.
Withdrawal is unpleasant, as it is with most drugs. Fortunately, withdrawal from meth generally isn’t as dangerous as some other types of drugs. However, it does require close monitoring from trained medical professionals. Symptoms include night sweats, irritability, weight gain, cravings, anxiety, decreased energy, and deep depression.
According to eight 2012 study published in the journal Addiction, methamphetamine addicts have a relapse rate of 88 percent. This is true for individuals who have already attended rehab and for those who have not yet sought treatment. Those who went to rehab had slightly higher success rates of staying clean after three years.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, roughly 10,000,000 people in the US have tried the drug at least once. The same source indicates that young adults, with an average age of first trying the drug at approximately 21 years, are much more likely to use meth than teens or other age groups.
Alcohol and methamphetamine are highly addictive drugs that are frequently combined for more intense effects. A study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence in 2014 found that while drinking in general leads to an increase in meth use, binge drinking in particular leads people to use meth.
One of the reasons why people use these drugs together is for their combined effects. These effects are often different than what is produced when taking each drug separately. In the short term, meth can reduce feelings of intoxication and someone who is consuming alcohol. Alcohol can lower the intensity of sleep issues often found in meth users.
Treatment may involve behavioral therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy. Other options include family education, behavioral therapy, and individual counseling. While there is currently no specific pharmacological treatment for this addiction, antidepressants can help.
Don’t wait to reach out for help—Drug Rehab Centers Albany is there for addicts who are seeking treatment or their families. Contact today at (518) 626-8505.