Detoxing from methamphetamine
Leaving behind a methamphetamine addiction can be difficult. In many situations, meth detox seems like a scary thing to undergo. However, detox sets the stage for long-term recovery. Going for meth detoxification at a facility offers you the best chance of starting your recovery off on the right foot.
Read on to discover what you might now know about meth detox and why you shouldn’t be afraid of committing to recovery.
What is meth?
Methamphetamine, commonly called meth, is a powerful stimulant that’s highly addictive. Meth can be smoked, snorted, injected, or swallowed — sometimes even dissolved in water and injected into a vein. It’s also known as crystal meth or ice. Meth is highly addictive because it causes a rush of adrenaline (epinephrine) and dopamine — two hormones associated with pleasure — when you take it.
The production, possession, and consumption of crystal meth are illegal as it is a schedule II controlled substance. There is huge potential for drug abuse and drug addiction when it comes to meth.
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The dangers of meth abuse
Methamphetamine is a powerful central nervous system stimulant that affects chemicals in the brain related to pleasure and movement. Meth influences the brain chemistry to release high levels of dopamine, which produces intense euphoria and decreased appetite along with other unpleasant effects such as paranoia, anxiety, and aggression.
Meth use has been linked to increased risk for stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, psychosis, and violent behavior as well as infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS due to needle sharing among users who inject the drug intravenously (IV). Long-term use of methamphetamine can increase the risk of developing depression and changes in your brain structure similar to those seen after prolonged cocaine use.
Meth aside, substance abuse is a serious problem that can affect anyone from any background or socioeconomic status. While some people may think it’s just a phase that some people go through, it’s actually much more than that. It can affect every aspect of your life, including your physical health and mental well-being. This can lead to an array of problems that we will explore momentarily.
What are the Symptoms of meth addiction
The effects of meth addiction can be felt immediately after use, but they’re short-lived. As with other stimulants like cocaine or amphetamines, meth causes your heart rate and blood pressure to rise suddenly and dramatically. The effects can last anywhere from four to eight hours depending on the amount taken and how often it’s used.
The following are some of the more common signs of meth addiction:
- A strong desire to use more meth than usual — or being unable to control your urge to use it
- Drug cravings — sometimes known as “the shakes” — that are difficult to ignore
- Restlessness or agitation when trying to quit using meth
- Withdrawal symptoms when not using
- Nausea or vomiting if you stop taking the drug
- Extreme fatigue
- Mood swings
- Sleep disturbances
The effects of meth use on the body
The effects of meth abuse include increased energy, talkativeness, and sex drive. Other effects include dry mouth, loss of appetite and weight loss, nausea and vomiting, headache, blurred vision and dizziness, insomnia, and irritability.
Long-term meth use can lead to agitation, paranoia, and hallucinations. In some cases, users may feel that bugs are crawling on their skin (formication), and this can lead them to engage in scratching until they bleed or break the skin. This can result in infection and scars due to picking at spots on their bodies where they feel bugs crawling on them.
Methamphetamine use can also cause cardiovascular problems such as stroke or heart attack; high blood pressure; kidney damage; liver damage; lung damage; nerve damage (neuropathy); muscle breakdown (rhabdomyolysis); brain swelling (cerebral edema); brain damage (encephalopathy); and death due to overdose or heart failure resulting from high body temperature brought on by overheating caused by the drug’s effects.
How prolonged meth use affects your life
The truth is that extensive meth use can result in large deficits in your life. Drug abuse, across the board, results in damage to your social life, finances, relationships, mental health, your body and can even result in legal consequences.
Meth users often become socially isolated. They may stop going out, or be reluctant to interact with others because they are afraid they will get caught using drugs or end up in jail. They may also be paranoid and suspicious of other people, which can make it difficult for them to form relationships with others.
How damage from meth multiplies over time
You could lose interest in pursuing your passions and goals in life. Your interests shift from those things that were important before you began abusing methamphetamine toward drugs themselves — getting high, finding more drugs and money for them, dealing with legal issues related to drug possession or trafficking, etc. If you’re working toward a degree or career path, this may mean that you stop going to school or neglecting important responsibilities at work so that you can spend more time getting high instead of focusing on achieving personal goals like these.
People struggling with meth use often report feeling as if they have lost all sense of self-worth and value as human beings. They feel like no one cares about them anymore, so why should they care about themselves? They may feel like their lives have no meaning anymore, which sometimes leads them to think that suicide is their only option for escaping from their troubles and pain.
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The risk factors for meth addiction
There are several factors that can make someone predisposed to substance abuse in general. These are known as risk factors. Falling into one or more of these categories can dramatically increase the likelihood and possibility that you may struggle with drug abuse to some degree.
Genetic Risks of Stimulant Addiction
If you have a parent or sibling who has abused drugs or alcohol in the past, you’re at greater risk of developing a substance use disorder yourself. This is because some people inherit certain genes that make them more likely to become addicted to drugs. This genetic link is strong and is not acknowledged half as much as it should be. This also applies to factors like neurodivergency. Persons who have ADHD are at risk of struggling with substance use as their brains do not generate dopamine in adequate amounts. Some turn to drugs as a means of trying to self-medicate for their brain’s deficiency.
Environmental Risks for Meth Misuse
This plays a huge role in being a risk factor. Whether you’re surrounded by persons engaging in habitual drug use or experience a lot of peer pressure around drug use, the truth is that where you are and what you’re surrounded by can have a profound effect on your habits. Studies have shown that low-income communities that are marginalized and struggling have exponentially higher rates of substance use and addiction problems than comparatively higher-income communities.
Mental Health and Meth Abuse
Our life circumstances can have a profound effect on our mental health. Mental illnesses like depression and anxiety are huge risk factors for substance use. Persons who also suffer from illnesses like borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder and even post-traumatic stress disorder are all at risk of falling into substance abuse.
The difficulty of meth withdrawal symptoms
Meth withdrawal symptoms can be horrendously difficult to navigate. To be fair, when it comes to substance abuse, most substances have a difficult period of withdrawal. The symptoms of meth withdrawal are similar to those for other stimulants, such as cocaine and amphetamine, but they tend to be more extreme and last longer.
People struggling with an addiction to methamphetamine often experience irritability, anxiety and insomnia during early withdrawal from the drug. As the effects of the drug wear off, a depressed mood can develop, along with fatigue and difficulty concentrating on tasks.
The symptoms of methamphetamine withdrawal are a result of the brain having gotten accustomed to the effect of the drug and struggling with its absence. The period of initial withdrawal as you detox from meth can be the trickiest as the physical symptoms are the strongest at this point and this is when many people relapse. At this point the cycle restarts.
Quitting meth: Why treatment programs matter
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has found that professional treatment programs can be effective in helping people overcome their addictions to methamphetamines. These programs provide clients with the tools and treatment options they need to stay clean and sober after exiting the program.
These services are designed specifically for people who want to stop using meth completely so they can lead healthier lives without drugs or alcohol in their systems. The medical professionals who provide these services will help you learn about what meth does for your body and mind, help unravel the underlying mental illnesses that may have led you to the habit, as well as teach you how to avoid temptation so you don’t relapse after treatment ends.
The necessity of a medically supervised meth detox
A medically supervised detox is required for effective meth addiction rehabilitation because it helps to reduce the severity of the meth withdrawal symptoms that come with the detox process.
During a medical detox, a medical professional will closely monitor your condition, while at a detox facility to ensure that you’re safe during this process and keep an eye out for any medical complications that may arise as a result of the withdrawal process.
The meth withdrawal timeline varies from person to person but in general, statistics provide some rough conclusions. Meth withdrawal symptoms can occur anywhere from 12 to 72 hours after the last use, depending on how much meth was taken and how frequently the user used it. It’s important to note that not all people experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using meth; there are also those who experience little to no symptoms at all during their first few days of sobriety.
The process of addiction treatment for meth
The process of rehabilitation for meth addiction at a professional treatment facility is a long and difficult road. It is best to start with a thorough assessment and diagnosis from an experienced medical professional, who will be able to determine the extent of any damage caused by meth use.
The most popular method of treatment involves inpatient care where the patient lives at the facility during treatment. This type of treatment offers 24-hour medical supervision by experienced professionals who provide all necessary medical care as well as counseling, therapy and other services needed by recovering addicts.
Outpatient treatment also exists and allows clients to continue living at home while attending regular sessions with counselors at their local drug treatment center or hospital emergency room clinic on an outpatient basis. Outpatient rehabilitation allows clients more freedom than inpatient care does but still provides them with 24-hour supervision and a support system from their counselors when needed.
Behavioral Therapies for Meth Users
Therapy is one of the most effective ways to treat addiction and learn how to live in a sober environment. It is arguable that here is where you truly begin recovery. There are many different types of therapy that can be used during your stay in a rehabilitation center, but there are two main types: individual therapy and group therapy.
Individual therapy involves one-on-one meetings between you and your therapist so they can get to know you better and understand what it is like living with an addiction. This type of therapy allows you to discuss any issues or problems that may be affecting your recovery process while also giving your therapist an opportunity to help guide you through those problems in the acute phase of your recovery. During these sessions, they may ask you questions about yourself or offer advice on how they think they can help improve your situation. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most common frameworks used.
Further treatment comes in the form of aftercare as peer and support groups. These can be invaluable in providing a sense of community to those struggling with deep isolation.
Immediate Placement for Meth Addiction Treatment
Long-term recovery at Emerald Isle Health and Recovery
Meth addiction treatment can be the critical tool to pull you back from a truly life-threatening habit. Don’t take the chance. Reach out to us at Emerald Isle Health and Recovery today and get started on the road to reclaiming your life from the grips of meth abuse.
Reach out for a confidential call today – our expert team is standing by to help you on the road to recovery and a new life!