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7 Facts about Meth Addiction

Meth is one of the most addictive substances whose addiction sets in faster than that of other drugs. Methamphetamine can also make a user develop a near-instant tolerance. Unfortunately, the use of this drug is increasing as more people mistakenly believe that it enhances life experiences and fun.

At first, a person experiences a good feelings rush when they use meth. However, this is followed by an edgy feeling, over excitement, and sometimes feeling afraid or angry. Once the body gets used to having this drug, its absence causes withdrawal symptoms like feeling depressed. Meth addiction can also lead to problems like broken teeth, emotional problems, and severe itching.

The effects of quitting the use of this drug without professional help can be gruesome. That’s because meth is a powerful drug that alters how the brain and the body of the user works. For instance, this drug can speed up many body functions. Users are also at the risk of conditions like heart attack, hyperthermia, and stroke. It is such health consequences of continued use of meth that necessitate seeking help from dual diagnosis treatment centers. Here are more facts about crystal meth addiction treatment that you should know.

1. Crystal Methamphetamine is a Popular Drug among Young People

The risk of using meth is high among middle school, high school, and college students. This can be attributed to the fact that meth triggers intense concentration, focus, and hallucination. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 0.6% of eight graders, 0.7% of tenth graders, and 1.2% of twelfth graders use meth. 0.3% of persons aged between 12 and 17 years have used meth and 3.3% of those aged between 18 and 25 years have also used it at least once.

2. Meth Addiction Can Cause Chronic and Acute Overdose

Use of meth increases the risk of sudden overdose. High doses of meth can cause stroke, overheating, and kidney failure. These are some of the side effects of meth that can be fatal. If you or a loved one experiences them, immediate health care should be sought.

Repeated or chronic use of meth can cause overdose. That’s because meth tends to remain active in the body system longer than most stimulants, including cocaine. Its effects include delusions that can last more than 15 hours. Chronic use of meth can lead to build up of the drug in the body and eventually cause more serious side effects. Meth comes with batches whose purity varies and this increases the chances of meth overdose. Meth overdose is one of the major causes of emergencies calls to meth treatment facilities.

3. Meth Addiction Can Harm Other People Too

Many people think they are the only ones affected by their addiction. However, meth addiction can affect other people too. For instance, the use of crystal meth can expose other people to harmful secondhand smoke. This can cause lung problems especially among young children. Chemical contamination, neglect, and abuse can lead to explosion of a meth lab. The booby traps that meth labs’ owners set and the dangers associated with regular police raids can also hurt even non-users.

4. Meth Addiction Can Cause Permanent Brain Damage

Methamphetamine works by increasing dopamine level in the brain. Dopamine plays a role in body movements, reinforcement of behavioral rewards, and motivation. The ability of this drug to release dopamine at higher amounts into the brain’s reward areas reinforces the drug-taking behavior of the user. This makes the user want to use more of it repeatedly.

Eventually, meth can alter the user’s brain function and structure permanently. This increases the chances of developing brain diseases like the Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. This might be too late to seek methamphetamine treatment because doctors are yet to know whether such brain damage is reversible.

5. Meth Addiction Can Cause Malnutrition

Crystal methamphetamine suppresses appetite while increasing energy. This makes the user eat poorly or fail to eat. After some time, poor eating or failure to eat leads to serious malnutrition, weight loss, and eating disorders. Unexplained, rapid weight loss is actually one of the major signs of meth abuse. If meth addiction is not treated, malnutrition leads to muscle weakness, dizziness, muscle mass loss, and eventual permanent disability. According to the Drug Abuse Warning Network, more than 100,000 people sought emergency department’s treatment for meth abuse in 2011.

6. Meth Addiction Can Cause Psychosis and Behavioral Problems

Continued use of meth is associated with behavioral problems. Some of these problems are very dangerous. For instance, a person that abuses crystal meth can have a prolonged time of experiencing severe and unpredictable behaviors, irritability, paranoia, and violent outbursts.

A common trend among gay meth users is “speedballing”. This entails mixing sedatives with uppers or drugs that have opposite effects. The effect of this habit can throw the body system into chaos.

Meth withdrawal causes psychosis that is treated with antipsychotics. Its symptoms include anxiety, suicidal tendencies, and depression. Withdrawal symptoms are particularly a major reason to seek help of a meth addiction rehab when a person decides to quit.

7. Meth Crystals Can Have Toxic Chemicals

Crystal methamphetamine is among the synthetic drugs that are very easy to make. That’s why crystal meth is a common street drug. People have set up meth labs in hotels, cars, apartments, homes, and campgrounds, among other places. This drug can easily be made from toxic chemicals like lighter fluid, liquid drain cleaner, battery acid, brake fluid, and lye. Majority of these chemicals are dangerous to even touch, leave alone to inject, breathe, eat, smoke, or snort. It’s therefore unfortunate that these are the same chemicals that people ingest when they use meth.

Meth addiction can cause a myriad of emotional, physical, behavioral, and social issues. Unless treatment for meth addiction is sought, the addict focuses on getting this drug and using it. That means recovering from meth addiction as well as other activities in the life of the addicted person take the backseat. Their unpredictable mood swings make their interpersonal relationships to suffer. A person can shirk their regular obligations and responsibilities consistently. Work and school outputs drop. Poor grades, unemployment, and financial strain set in. Eventually, they can end up being homeless. Health problems can crop up as well.

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