Meth abuse was prevalent in the United States during the 1980's but since its popularity had died down. Now the drug has unfortunately returned with a fury. This is very likely because meth, which is short for Crystal Methamphetamine, is a very alluring drug; it is used socially and boasts confidence in the user. Meth is a big party drug and is seen quite often in raves and clubs.
Meth abuse resembles other physical effects of stimulant abuse. Those who use meth do not sleep very often, do not eat very often, and have a lot of energy. These are the things that draw meth to many people for the desired results. While these are the physical effects that are prominent on the outside, on the inside the meth abuse is also causing high blood pressure, an irregular and rapid heartbeat.
Meth abuse, especially long term, beats up the human body in countless ways. It is very common for meth users to lose a lot of weight quite quickly, teeth deteriorate, hence the term "meth mouth," many people become violent, suffer from mood disorders and anxiety, paranoia, and delusions.
Most of the meth that is abused is made in illegal "mom and pop" labs across the country posing not only a danger to the users but also to the surrounding communities as well. These labs can be just about anywhere from inside a hotel room to a barn in the country. Once the drug is on the streets users will normally snort, inject, or smoke meth. Meth abuse is more prevalent in the Midwest and Western states.
The ingredients that are used to make meth can be commonly found in most hardware stores, which just amplify the problem. Medications that can be purchased at any drug store which contain ephedrine, antifreeze, drain cleaners, fuel for lanterns, and battery acids pretty much sum up all that is needed to stock a meth lab. Commonly, chemical agents are added to the base of ephedrine to make meth.
Because meth makes the user not require much, if any, sleep, it boosts energy levels, and helps people lose weight meth abuse is more common in young women, students, athletes, and people that work extended or double shifts at work. Factor that in with the fact that meth is more affordable than many other stimulants and is usually easier to get a hold of; this explains why meth abuse is so common.
If you suspect that someone you know might be suffering from meth abuse you should understand that they need help immediately. Some things that may help you is to look for signs of anxiousness, edginess, nonstop talking, extreme highs and lows in mood, irritability, aggressive behavior, severe depression, a lack of interest in things that they once enjoyed, sleep problems, and behaviors such as pulling out hair or picking at the skin.
It doesn't take long for meth abuse to surface because this drug presents the same "hook in the jaw" that other drugs that easily cause addiction do. Initially the user feels great and when the buzz is gone they no longer feel great but want the feeling again, so they continue to use. Meth stifles the way that dopamine is produced which results in a chemical imbalance that further feeds addiction.
Withdrawals from meth abuse include symptoms such as cravings, depression, extreme tiredness, insomnia, tremors, sweating, intense irritability, palpitations, and often hyperventilation. These symptoms can vary based on length of meth abuse and how much was being used. Treatment for meth addiction is very difficult because until all meth has been eliminated from the system most meth addicts will resist treatment.
It takes a very long time for an addict to recover from meth abuse and it absolutely cannot be done alone. The brain literally has to heal and goes through some unpleasant changes…sometimes brain damage is involved. A meth addict might be depressed for quite some time and lack finding any pleasure from life.
Because meth is so powerful, it often causes a plethora of problems that often seem to arise rather quickly. Many times these are the necessary stepping-stones that will get the individual to enter treatment. The most common reason for meth addicts to seek treatment is legal troubles.
The difference between treating Methamphetamine and other drugs is the length of time that meth remains present in the system, which can be up to a year but no less than six months. There is no doubt that meth addiction is difficult to treat because of the way that it affects the chemicals in the brain. With proper treatment and diligence meth addiction can be broken and the individual can go on to lead a healthy and sober life without drugs.
Call Genesis House at 1-800-737-0933 to begin your journey in recovery. Our client-centered approach is based on the recognition that every client is an expert on his or her self, and by encouraging him or her to participate in treatment planning and the creation of goals, we are addressing each client's individual needs.