Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment
Methamphetamine or “meth” is a powerful, highly addictive stimulant drug. It also goes by meth, crystal, crystal meth, ice, and batu. Meth takes the form of a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water. Users consume the drug by smoking into the lungs, snorting into the nasal cavity, or injected into the veins. Those who abuse methamphetamine often need a meth rehab center to treat the underlying issues that motivate self-destructive behaviors. When individuals develop an addiction, they need methamphetamine addiction treatment. During treatment, a variety of addiction therapy services will help make recovery a reality.
Methamphetamine is a “neurotoxin” and as such is destructive to nerve tissue. Scientific research shows us that methamphetamine abuse causes extensive neurological damage across the Central Nervous System. Methamphetamine-related nerve damage is commonly associated with persistent forms of cognitive impairment. The greatest impact on brain function is observed as weakness in mental skills and more specifically as deficits in attention, memory, and learning.
Methamphetamine is also classified as a “psychomotor stimulant” because it increases physiological activity. Meth abuse causes hyper-alertness, over-confidence, talkativeness, increased activity, decreased appetite, and euphoria. Methamphetamine differs from its parent drug amphetamine in that, at comparable doses, much greater amounts of methamphetamine gets into the brain, making it a much more potent drug than amphetamine.
Methamphetamine and other stimulant drugs tend to increase libido, which means that methamphetamine abuse is often associated with risky sexual behavior. Paradoxically, long-term methamphetamine abuse is often associated with decreased sexual function, especially in men.
Methamphetamine abuse results in many destructive side effects, including aggression, violent behavior, paranoia, insomnia, and addiction. High dose abusers often display mood disturbances, mistrust psychotic behavior, auditory hallucinations, and delusions.
Methamphetamine produces intoxication by causing a buildup of dopamine across the synapse cleft. The more dopamine that builds up the more dopamine available for postsynaptic receptors. The dopamine absorbed by postsynaptic receptors increases the overall drug effects which are typically intense pleasure or euphoria, but also drug craving. Uncomfortable and often dangerous withdrawal symptoms can be managed at a medical detox center, ensuring safety while each individual begins their recovery
Methamphetamine’s addiction liability refers to its tendency to produce addiction. The likelihood that methamphetamine abuse will lead to addiction is linked to the speed with which methamphetamine gets into the brain, the amount of dopamine produced, and the reliability that methamphetamine will produce a drug effect. In the case of methamphetamine, we know it crosses the blood-brain barrier very quickly, produces copious amounts of dopamine, and works nearly 100% of the time. This means that methamphetamine abuse is very likely to lead to addiction.
Crystal Meth Addiction
Meth addiction is defined as compulsive drug seeking and using behaviors, despite harmful personal consequences. In all cases of habitual methamphetamine addiction, the body builds up a tolerance to both methamphetamines and to dopamine. Over time, a methamphetamine addict must use larger and larger amounts of methamphetamine to achieve the same intensity of the drug’s effect. This is known as methamphetamine tolerance.
Men and women suffering from methamphetamine toxicity can become extremely agitated, impulsive, irrational, paranoid, and psychotic. Toxicity can lead to a person behaving in an uncontrolled, aggressive, and/or violent manner.
Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment
Meth addiction treatment is very complex and must be different for each patient. Mental health disorders are frequently present among meth abusers, which makes the need for dual diagnosis treatment more important. A common problem is that meth addicts tend to receive misdiagnoses. Treatment providers must determine if the current mental health issue is a result of drugs or not, and the severity and duration of any mental health needs. Oftentimes, prolonged detoxification is necessary in order to make an accurate diagnosis.
Things to look for when treating meth addiction:
- Meth abusers often exhibit anxiousness, nervousness, incessant talking, extreme moodiness and irritability, and repetitious behaviors – such as picking at skin, pulling out hair, sleep disturbances, false sense of confidence or power, aggressive or violent behavior, disinterest in previously enjoyed activities, and severe depression.
- A person on methamphetamine, during the ‘tweaking’ stage, can be identified by looking at their eyes. Their eyes will jerk back and forth while they look out of the corner of their eyes. Nystagmus, or the uncontrolled and repetitive shifting of the eyes will create vision issues while also suggesting an addiction.
- The chronic meth abuser tends to lack nourishment with a gaunt appearance, poor hygiene, and bad teeth. Chronic abusers are often violent and suffer rapid mood swings; with behavior going from friendly to hostile in seconds.
- If a crystal meth abuser takes a lethal dose of crystal methamphetamine, the heart rate rapidly increases and the user suffers a heart attack or stroke. The only overt sign of a crystal meth overdose is an abnormally high temperature.
Categories of Methamphetamine Users
- Naive or experimental users
- Irregular users that participate in social settings
- Binge users who use moderate to large amounts
- Daily or chronic users
Glossary: Methamphetamine Terms
- Amphetamine: Amphetamine (C9H13N) is a Central Nervous System stimulant and appetite suppressant.
- Methamphetamine: Methamphetamine (C10H15N) is an extremely addictive stimulant drug that is chemically similar to amphetamine.
- Methamphetamine Addiction: Tenacious and compulsive seeking or using of methamphetamine despite harmful consequences.
- Synapse cleft: The microscopic space, approximately 10-20 nm wide, that separates the presynaptic neuron, or axon, and the postsynaptic cell, or dendrite. Nerve impulses experience transmissions across the synapse cleft by neurotransmitters such as dopamine.
Help through Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment
Stop putting your life at risk struggling with addiction. Find methamphetamine addiction treatment today. Contact LA Detox now at (866) 932-8563 to learn about your addiction treatment program options.