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What are Methamphetamine’s
Methamphetamine, also known as crystal meth or meth, is a powerful stimulant which can be smoked, injected, snorted, or swallowed. Meth boosts your mood, increases awareness and alertness, and raises your energy level. Meth has become an extremely popular drug, especially among teens, and can be created in homemade labs, using common, household chemicals. The average meth high lasts between 4-12 hours, and methamphetamines are incredibly addicting. With the drug’s rising popularity, experts have identified some clear signs and symptoms of addiction, based in part on how the drug reacts with the body.
- Since meth is a powerful stimulant, users may not sleep for long periods of time. Meth users may stay up for days on end, and then suffer from a hard “crash” as the drug begins to leave his or her body.
- Meth affects a user’s brain chemistry, altering the pleasure center of the brain and triggering feelings of aggression, paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions. Meth users are vulnerable to irrational and risky behavior, and may seem anxious, paranoid, nervous and aggressive.
- An increased sex drive, coupled with a higher tolerance for risk may cause a meth user to engage in high risk sexual activity, which has long term medical consequences, including an increased risk of Hepatitis, HIV/AIDs and other STDs.
- Many meth users complain of “bugs” crawling underneath the surface of their skin. This feeling often leads the user to “pick” at the imaginary bugs, causing sores and scabbing on their face and bodies. These sore and cuts are prone to infection and take longer to heal.
- Habitual meth users may display OCD type behavior, like compulsive hand washing and/or increased fidgeting.
- Meth increases a user’s body temperature.
- Meth users may talk and chatter constantly.
- Since meth is stimulant, many users report a severe loss of appetite. A meth user may not eat for an extended period of time, and lose a significant amount of weight. Meth users often look gaunt and drawn, and their unhealthy diet will outwardly effect their skin and hair.
- Meth wreaks havoc on the internal systems of the body, so users may appear sweaty, have a racing pulse and high blood pressure and dilated pupils.
- One of the most common and easy to spot signs of meth addiction is “meth mouth”. Since methamphetamine use dries up the salvia in the user’s mouth, his or her teeth may turn brown and begin to rot.
Damage to the Body and Brain from Meth Addiction
Long term damage from meth use and abuse include increased heart rate, high blood pressure, increased risk of stroke from damaged blood vessels in the brain, and an increased risk of liver, kidney, and lung damage. Meth users also have higher rates of short term memory loss, extreme mood swings, and an inability to comprehend abstract concepts and ideas.
A recent survey indicated that one out of every 33 teens has tried meth. The drug is cheap, accessible, and offers a long lasting high. Once the signs and symptoms of meth addiction have been recognized, withdrawal is the standard for rehab, often done in tandem with treatment for depression and other mental illnesses. Meth has one of the highest relapse rates of any stimulant, but early intervention is key to a successful recovery.
Meth Addiction Help and Treatment
If you or someone you know is struggling with meth addiction, call to connect with a treatment program that can help you. Call for a free confidential assessment at 866-644-7911.