Methamphetamines, also known as “meth,” are extremely addictive stimulants known for giving users a boost in energy and power. There are genetic, brain chemistry, environmental factors, and psychological reasons why an individual might be drawn to use meth.
At Grace Counseling, we have expert medical professionals who know how to handle the challenges of meth addiction. Meth addiction recovery is possible, and early intervention makes a vast difference. Patients who aim to reclaim their lives should reach out for assistance today.
Learning to Recognize Meth Addiction
There are many signs of meth addiction. Possible signs of meth abuse include:
- Increased paranoia
- Increased secretiveness
- Unusual bursts of energy
- Awake at odd hours
- Extreme loss of appetite
- Drastic loss of weight
- Sores or scars from skin-picking
- Burn marks on lips or fingers
- Extreme moods swings
- Increased aggression
- Dental issues (aka. “meth mouth”)
In a medical setting, methamphetamine variants can be safely prescribed to manage symptoms of Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and sleep disorders like narcolepsy. Street meth contains highly toxic chemicals such as:
- lighter fluid
- battery acid
- drain cleaner
- paint thinner
- rubbing alcohol
- engine cleaner
Meth can come in the form of an odorless white powder or crystal form. The substance provides a rush in the body and brain’s response to a massive acute dose of dopamine and serotonin.
How Addiction Occurs
Dopamine and serotonin are often referred to as “happy hormones.” Dopamine is associated with pleasurable sensations and is involved in learning, memory, motor system function. Serotonin helps regulate mood and is a factor in sleep, appetite, digestion. The effects of meth can last up to twelve hours at a time. Withdrawal symptoms result in what is known as a “crash.” Meth abuse develops into addiction as a result of a binge/crash pattern of use.
Repeated use of such an addictive substance results in a tolerance. Addicts quickly need more meth to attain the desired effect. Chronic use results in difficulty finding pleasure elsewhere. This increases the cycle of abuse.
Because meth is such a dangerous and addictive substance, it’s essential to stop the cycle of abuse as early as possible. Long-term use results in irreversible health problems and mental decay. Meth is known to cause tooth loss, organ failure, heart problems, permanent memory loss. Meth can also cause uncontrollable mood swings and aggressive outbursts. Those who use meth for a long time can lose the ability to comprehend abstract thoughts like those who have Alzheimer’s and dementia.
What are the Early Signs of Meth Addiction?
It’s important to know the early signs of meth abuse to detect addiction early. Three common signs include:
- Unusual increase in energy: Individuals who are abusing meth will often show increased energy, euphoria, and excitement for abnormal periods of time. You may also notice signs of insomnia or sleeplessness. Meth often prevents users from sleeping and causes feelings of alertness associated with being jittery, nervous, and restless.
- Rapid Weight Loss: Meth abuse is associated with loss of appetite, which leads to weight loss. This is because stimulants like meth are appetite suppressants. Meth users tend to go on binges, taking drugs repeatedly for days or weeks without stopping, which results in fast weight loss and poor nutrition. Meth addicts can develop eating disorders as a co-occurring issue.
- Intense Mood Swings: The cycle of meth use results in mood instability. Addicts go from full of energy and euphoric to anxious, angry, and aggressive.
Other signs of meth addiction include high levels of paranoia. Addicts often show physical symptoms like scratching at their skin or displaying involuntary tics or twitchy movements.
Discover How Grace Counseling Can Help Treat Meth Addiction
A high-quality treatment program might be the change you need to return to a stable lifestyle. Meth withdrawal symptoms can be severe, and effects like paranoia can last up to a year even while undergoing care. It’s essential to maintain medical, emotional, and psychological support to avoid relapse.
If you or your loved one show signs of meth addiction, reach out to Grace Counseling today for an assessment. A highly-trained medical expert can assist you in discussing treatment options. 844.564.0712, or contact us online!