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Meth Addiction Symptoms

Meth is a strong and highly addictive drug that deeply affects both a user’s brain and body. It produces intense and euphoric feelings that many people chase after their first initial dose. This is what leads to addiction.

Knowing the signs and symptoms of meth addiction is important, as you can recognize whether you or a loved one are in need of meth addiction treatment. It is never too late to get help in order to regain control of your life and live a happy and healthy future understanding meth addiction.

Understanding Meth and Drug Abuse

Methamphetamine, also known as meth, is a powerful drug that works by affecting the central nervous system. The drug can be smoked, snorted, or injected, and is typically taken in the form of crystal meth, a manmade stimulant that causes an intense and euphoric high.

Methamphetamine abuse is increasing worldwide and is now considered to be one of the world’s most abused drugs. While the first feelings of euphoria are pleasurable, if a person continues to abuse meth, they are likely to develop a dependence where they are unable to stop taking the drug.

Crystal meth is the most potent and pure form of methamphetamine and is known as a ‘club drug’. It is often taken in a crash or binge manner that causes a person to abuse the drug over long periods to chase the initial high first experienced. Once the meth binge is over, the crashing feeling from the euphoric high, alongside withdrawal symptoms, will be experienced, therefore encouraging further meth use in an attempt to get rid of these feelings.

The euphoric rush experienced by those who abuse meth is caused by the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of pleasure. Meth use is regarded as being more dangerous than other known stimulants. Much of the drug remains in the body and brain after use. The meth that remains then destroys the brain cell synapses related to dopamine and in turn causes mood disturbances and dependence.

In addition, prolonged and chronic meth use comes with a range of risk factors. Methamphetamine can eventually alter the brain’s chemistry which affects the ability of a user to feel pleasure without meth use. When it comes to drug use, there are a variety of behavioral and physical symptoms. Signs of meth use can deeply affect a user’s body and brain. However, with the right help and support from a treatment center, you can work through this to begin your recovery journey.

Side Effects of Meth

After taking meth, the effects can be felt from 8 to 24 hours, a lot longer than many other substances. This is why if a person is partaking in a meth binge, they will usually stay awake for several days in a row. Alongside the euphoric high, during this period of time a person may also experience:

  • Anxiety
  • Increased heart rate
  • Suppressed appetite
  • Aggression
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Chest pain
  • Flushed skin
  • Muscle twitching

Signs and Symptoms of Meth Abuse

One of the first symptoms of meth addiction is key changes in a person’s life regarding their priorities. Meth deeply affects how a person thinks and addiction is categorized as a mental disorder and is recognized as the inability to control drug use despite negative consequences to a person’s life.

Meth soon becomes a major life priority and a person experiences a sudden loss of interest in things they once considered important. The longer someone partakes in drug abuse, the more important it becomes to their life, resulting in the neglect of other aspects of their life, whether this is relationships, work, or hobbies.

Unfortunately, substance abuse is often only recognized once it reaches the stage of addiction. This is why it is important to familiarize yourself with the symptoms and warning signs of methamphetamine use in order to seek treatment as soon as possible. If you suspect someone you know is abusing meth, then look out for the range of physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms that they may be presenting.

Physical Symptoms

The most obvious way to tell if someone is partaking in methamphetamine abuse is the drug’s ability to cause drastic changes in their physical appearance. These changes can happen even after a short period of time of the abuse. The physical signs include:

  • Rotting teeth
  • Inflamed gums (meth mouth)
  • Skin abrasions
  • Drastic weight loss
  • Hair thinning
  • Red eyes
  • Twitching
  • Convulsions
  • Intense scratching
  • Seizures
  • Heart attack
  • Organ failure

Other physical signs of meth use include increased libido, which exposes a person to a risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. Meth has been recognized as stimulating sexual arousal within users and increasing the level of adrenaline. This combined with lower inhibitions could possibly result in people engaging in sexual encounters without using protection, therefore increasing the risk of developing sexually transmitted diseases.

Psychological Symptoms

One of the most obvious signs of methamphetamine use is ‘tweaking’. This is an extreme change of mood where a person will experience extreme anxiety and/ or insomnia for around 3 – 15 days. Tweaking occurs when a person cannot reach a euphoric high after meth abuse, typically at the end of a binge. Tweaking can cause a person to experience intense mood swings, paranoia, and hallucinations which can, in turn, cause a person to partake in sometimes violent or criminal behavior.

Heightening and quick changes in mood are also signs of meth use. This includes:

  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Paranoia
  • Violent outbursts
  • Anxiety

As we have discussed, meth increases levels of dopamine found within the brain. Therefore, prolonged meth abuse can create imbalances in natural dopamine levels; long term this can affect a person’s memory and ability to learn new motor skills.

Behavioral Symptoms

If someone is partaking in meth abuse, then they will be sure to have meth paraphernalia. There is a range of ways that meth can be taken: snorted, smoked, or injected. Paraphernalia that may be found includes:

  • Needles
  • Glass pipes
  • Aluminum foil
  • Small plastic baggies
  • Empty ink pens, cut straws

Someone who is abusing meth will try and hide these items; however, if you do find any of the items listed above, then it is an indicator that it is time for the person using meth to receive treatment.

Addiction to any substance can cause many problems in an individual’s life. The level of self-involvement can cause relationship problems, issues with obligations, and overall negative consequences to a person’s life. These are the key behavioral signs of addiction.

It is important to always remember that there is a range of treatment options that can help someone no matter at what stage of addiction they are. The sooner treatment is received the better, as this can help someone get back on track with their lives, physically, psychologically, and socially.

Substance Abuse Treatment

There is a range of treatment centers that offer substance abuse treatment no matter what stage of addiction you are at. Recovery is possible even in the most severe cases of methamphetamine addiction.

The effects of meth on the body and brain can be life-changing, but treatment addresses the addiction at hand as well as co-occurring mental illnesses.

The treatment options for methamphetamine use vary depending on the severity of the addiction; however, it is recognized that a drug rehab that offers behavioral therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy alongside contingency management intervention has been the most effective.

The first step in substance abuse treatment is detox. This is where the body gets rid of any toxins left from the drugs and where withdrawal symptoms will typically be felt. The safest way to detox is a medical detox as it allows for an individual to receive support to aid in managing undesirable withdrawal symptoms.

Once detox is complete, it is likely you will undergo some form of therapy to help deal with the addiction.

Addiction Treatment at Empowered Recovery

Meth addiction can really take its toll on your life. We understand that the treatment process can seem daunting, but our experienced and compassionate team is ready to help you move forward and start your recovery journey.

We offer customized treatment plans to ensure that clients and their family members are empowered to regain control of their lives. This ensures that we are working with each client’s unique needs to begin mental, physical, and emotional healing.

Addiction treatment at Empowered Recovery offers top-tier medical support to help you overcome addiction and maintain long-term abstinence. We offer a range of treatment options that deal with the addiction and any co-occurring disorders that may be present. Some forms of therapy that may be a part of your treatment include:

  • Behavioral therapy
  • Complementary therapy
  • Experimental therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Individual therapy

Contact us today to find out more.

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