Meth Abuse and Addiction
Methamphetamine or “meth” is a neurotoxin sold as a mind-altering and stimulant drug. Meth is manufactured in illegal labs and is highly addictive. Street names for meth include “speed”, “ice”, “glass” and “crystal”.
How people become addicted to Methamphetamine
Meth addiction is now the largest pandemic gripping the United States. As of 2012, there were 1.2 million meth abusers in the United States. Meth is widely used by people to obtain an immediate and very intense rush of energy. People often use it as an appetite suppressant in order to lose weight, as an aphrodisiac, to increase their productivity, or simply to alter their mood. No matter why an individual uses meth, he or she experiences a euphoric feeling caused by an abnormally high release of dopamine in the brain. These highs make feeling happy, or even normal, impossible while the individual is sober. During such a depression, an individual often craves and obsesses over meth so he or she can be ‘happy’ again. For this reason, meth users develop extreme addictions.
Signs of Meth Abuse
Early signs of meth use include severe weight loss, insomnia (wakefulness), hypersomnia (deep sleep), excessive sweating, and agitation. Continued use of meth dries out the body’s membranes, making skin, gums, and sinus dry out, and extended use causes obsessive behavior, unending energy, and hallucinations. These symptoms combined make meth users pick at their skin to the point of bleeding, grind their teeth until they fall out and have a jaw that collapses inward. They become irresponsible, paranoid, and violent to the point of harming others as well as themselves.
Help for Meth Abuse and Addiction
Addiction to meth can be one of the hardest things to overcome. The body becomes so dependant on the drug that withdrawal symptoms last for months. One of the most important factors to conquering a meth addiction is the right kind of support. If you know someone battling a meth addiction, resist the temptation to ‘help’ by lending money or getting him or her out of trouble. These can be some of the worst things you can do. Both you and the person with the addiction need to acknowledge the severity of the abuse and seek professional help.
Today, many addiction treatment centers, like Bradford Health Services, have programs designed to deal specifically with methamphetamine addiction. Close friends and family members assist their loved one get out of the damaging cycle of addiction through intervention services. Once enrolled in a program, patients receive extensive counseling that gets to the root of their abuse and learn how to live a meth-free life. Therapy with other people addicted to meth allow individuals to learn from each other, such as how to manage cravings and avoid relapse triggers.
It takes a long time to be free of meth’s grip on someone’s life. The right treatment program can be the difference between a fulfilling life and relapse. Whether you are unable to stop using meth or are watching your loved one wither away, prevent meth from from destroying your life. People addicted to meth can turn their lives around. Call now.