Methamphetamine, also known as meth, is a stimulant that has been growing in popularity nationwide since the 1990s. Meth is a highly addictive stimulant that can result in meth withdrawal symptoms or, worse, meth overdose. Our Clearbrook rehab locations offer treatment for meth addiction to help patients find their sobriety from addiction. Whether someone is struggling with pill, powder, or crystal meth addiction, our Northeast addictions treatment centers are here to help.
Why Do People Do Meth?
Methamphetamine, commonly referred to as meth, is a potent central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that can affect the brain and body in numerous ways. While there are many reasons why people may use meth, the main ones are to experience a euphoric high, improve concentration, and escape from emotional problems. However, it’s important to note that its use is associated with significant health risks and legal consequences.
Some common reasons why people use meth include:
- Euphoria: Methamphetamine can induce intense feelings of euphoria and pleasure. This is often a primary motivation for use, as individuals seek this powerful high.
- Increased energy and alertness: Methamphetamine can also increase energy levels and alertness, which is why some people use it to stay awake and alert for long periods, such as during work or school.
- Appetite suppression: Because it is a stimulant, meth can also act as an appetite depressant, which can lead some individuals to use it as a weight loss aid.
- Enhanced focus and concentration: Similar to how it increases energy and alertness, meth can improve focus and concentration, as well, making it appealing to people looking to enhance their cognitive performance.
- Emotional escape: Some individuals use meth as a way to escape from emotional or psychological issues, at least temporarily. For these individuals, it may provide a temporary escape from stress, anxiety, or emotional pain.
- Social and recreational use: Methamphetamine is often used recreationally, such as in party or club settings, because users may perceive it as a way to enhance social interactions and have a heightened sense of pleasure.
- Peer pressure: Peer pressure or influence from friends who use meth can lead individuals to use the drug.
- Addiction: Unfortunately, many people initially experiment with meth and become addicted due to its high potential for abuse and dependence. Once addicted, the compulsion to use the drug can be overwhelming, even if the user is aware of the negative consequences.
We must emphasize crucial that methamphetamine abuse is associated with numerous adverse health effects, including addiction, cardiovascular problems, dental issues (often referred to as “meth mouth“), cognitive impairment, and mental health issues. Meth abuse can also lead to legal troubles because it is illegal for recreational use in many countries.
Seeking professional help is critical for those looking to overcome addiction and its associated challenges. Fortunately, meth addiction rehab and support are available for individuals struggling with methamphetamine use at our Northeast rehab locations.
What Does Meth Do to the Brain?
Meth is a drug that acts on the central nervous system in the brain, causing an increased release of dopamine, serotonin, and other “feel-good” chemicals. These chemical increases result in a brief but intense high, reinforcing the repeated use of meth.
The short-term effect of meth use is a short high that includes feelings of alertness, well-being, and euphoria, along with decreased appetite. The high is brief, and soon, users crash, often feeling the opposite of the high of the drug.
After the high, users experience a low that includes fatigue, depression, and even suicidality. Using too much methamphetamine can result in meth overdose. Symptoms of meth overdose include stroke, kidney failure, or even heart attack. The striking lows and chemically manipulative factors of meth use make meth and crystal meth addiction difficult to treat, but sobriety is possible with the help of our professional meth addiction treatment centers.
Why Is Meth So Addictive?
Meth is addictive because of its impact on the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin in the brain. When someone ingests meth, the activity of these chemicals increases, inducing an intense high marked by euphoria and a sensation of pleasure.
Below is more on the key reasons why meth is addictive:
- Dopamine release: As we previously mentioned, methamphetamine significantly increases the release of dopamine in the brain, a chemical associated with feelings of pleasure and reward. The surge in dopamine levels induced by meth creates intense euphoria and reinforces drug-seeking behavior.
- Rapid onset of effects: Methamphetamine is typically smoked, snorted, injected, or ingested, allowing it to be rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and cause a quick onset of effects. This immediate gratification reinforces drug-seeking behavior.
- Long-lasting effects: Meth has a relatively long duration of action compared to many other drugs. This means its pleasurable effects can last for hours, leading individuals to use it in a binge pattern to sustain the high, which increases the likelihood of addiction.
- Neuroplasticity: Long-term meth use can lead to changes in the brain’s structure and function, a phenomenon known as neuroplasticity. These changes can alter the brain’s reward and motivation pathways, making it difficult for users to experience pleasure from non-drug activities. As a result, they may continuously turn to meth to experience pleasure.
- Tolerance and withdrawal: Over time, the brain adapts to the presence of methamphetamine, leading to tolerance. This means that users require higher doses to achieve the same effects, which can lead to increased use. When meth is not used, withdrawal symptoms can be severe, including depression, anxiety, fatigue, and intense drug cravings, all of which may lead the individual to continue using meth to avoid discomfort.
- Craving and compulsion: Methamphetamine can create intense drug cravings and a compulsive urge to use, even when individuals are aware of the negative consequences.
- Negative reinforcement: Meth can temporarily alleviate negative emotions and stress, which is why users may take the drug as a coping mechanism to escape from emotional pain or distress, reinforcing the cycle of addiction.
- Loss of control: As addiction progresses, individuals often lose control over their drug use despite wanting to quit or cut down. This loss of control is a key feature of addiction.
- Environmental and social factors: Peer pressure, access to the drug, and exposure to drug-related cues in one’s environment can also contribute to addiction.
Methamphetamine’s addictive nature is an interplay of neurochemical, psychological, and environmental factors. Once addicted, breaking free from dependence can be extremely challenging and often requires comprehensive methamphetamine rehab, including behavioral therapy, counseling, and support to address the physical and psychological aspects of addiction.
Warning Signs of Meth Use
Identifying the warning signs of meth addiction can be crucial for early intervention and rehab for meth. It’s important to approach this situation with sensitivity and without making assumptions, as some signs may have other explanations.
Here are some common signs of methamphetamine abuse:
- Severe weight loss: A sudden drop in weight, although the individual hasn’t been exercising or dieting.
- Dilated pupils: Pupils appear larger than normal.
- Decaying teeth: Also known as “meth mouth.” Methamphetamine is acidic. The larger amount or prolonged use of meth can create extensive tooth decay. This is also caused by a person’s lack of hygiene.
- Lack of hygiene: When a person is addicted to drugs, especially meth, personal hygiene is usually the last on their list of things they need to take care of. Their entire life centers around feeling the rush that meth creates.
- Obsessive and borderline psychotic behavior: Meth can cause someone to behave obsessively, such as continuously picking at skin or hair. Furthermore, after being awake for long periods, a meth addict can become paranoid, believing that people are out to get them or that they are being watched, primarily by the police and/or government. Eventually, hallucinations set in, causing them to hear or see things that are not there.
- Hyperactivity: The person is abnormally hyper.
- Erratic sleep patterns: Staying awake for days and/or weeks at a time.
- Extreme fluctuation in energy: One minute, the person is extremely hyper, and the next, they are depressed and exhausted.
- Erratic movements: Twitching, jerking of hands, arms, and legs, facial tics, and animated mannerisms.
It’s important to approach someone who you suspect to be abusing meth with compassion and concern. Encourage them to seek professional meth treatment and support them in their recovery. Remember that addiction is a complex disease, and recovery often requires time, patience, and comprehensive support.
Finding Meth Detox Near Me
As with any drug, withdrawals can occur while treating meth or crystal meth addiction. In addition to these challenges, finding compassionate and effective detox support can be challenging. Fortunately, Clearbrook has crystal meth rehab centers that offer detox in two locations: Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, to extend our support to more communities. Both of our meth treatment centers are equipped to treat withdrawal symptoms with our medically monitored detox services.
Common meth withdrawal symptoms include:
- Depression and anxiety
- Dry mouth
- Feeling unmotivated
- Intense cravings for more meth
- Low energy levels
- Muscle spasms
- Severe depression
- Sleep disturbances
Methamphetamine withdrawal symptoms are less intense than the symptoms of continued meth use, which include hallucinations, suicidality, stroke, heart attack, and aggression. Over time, drug use will rob users of their mental health, their happiness, and their futures. Ultimately, for people in this situation, getting sober is key to having a healthy and fulfilling life.
If you’re searching for safe and effective treatment for meth withdrawal, our addiction treatment facilities can help. Clearbrook offers drug-specific detoxification at our Massachusetts rehab and Pennsylvania rehab, allowing us to extend our services to more people.
Finding a Meth Rehab Near Me
After completing medical detox at either of our methamphetamine treatment centers, patients will address other factors of their substance use disorders with the support of our addiction specialists and therapists. Because our treatment for meth addiction is offered on a residential level of care, clients are offered services such as individualized counseling, group therapy, 12-step philosophies, and more in a supportive setting that provides 24-hour care.
We make recovery from meth addiction possible. For more information about our addiction treatment in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, contact Clearbrook Treatment Centers today.