Methamphetamine is a powerful, highly addictive stimulant that impacts an individual’s central nervous system.
It can be swallowed in pill form, injected intravenously, snorted, or smoked. Depending on its chemical structure, it can appear as small crystals or a bitter, pink or beige powder. Once it reaches an individual’s bloodstream, the fast-acting effects take hold; this can cause them to take larger quantities more frequently as their tolerance and dependence on methamphetamine increases.
At Laguna Shores Recovery, we offer substance use treatment while addressing mental health disorders. Our methamphetamine rehabilitation program offers customized, evidence-based, and holistic therapies that help our clients take back control of their lives.
The use of methamphetamine is on the rise, so knowing the risks and treatment options is more critical than ever. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported that over two million individuals ages 12 and older use methamphetamine annually, and about 500 individuals try methamphetamine for the first time each day.
How Methamphetamine Works
Methamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant, meaning it speeds up processes within. This system is responsible for controlling essential body functions, making methamphetamine use even more dangerous.
An individual feels the euphoric effects of methamphetamine the moment it hits their bloodstream. This feeling of being high stems from an increased level of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that sends messages to the body like movement, motivation, and reward. It’s often called the “feel-good chemical” or “happy hormone” because of the pleasure it produces.
Once the stimulant wears off, and methamphetamine use is halted, an individual is likely to crash from its inebriating effects, causing a deep sleep for days after consumption. When this happens, serotonin and dopamine are depleted, creating intense anxiety and depression.
Short-Term Effects of Methamphetamine
Taking methamphetamine in any amount will leave its user experiencing short-term side effects, which quickly turn into long-term side effects over continued and chronic use. Short-term side effects of methamphetamine use include:
- Increased wakefulness and physical activity
- Decreased appetite
- Disturbed sleep patterns
- Aggressive, erratic, or violent behavior
- Rapid breathing
- Fast and irregular heartbeat
- Increased blood pressure and body temperature
Long-Term Effects of Methamphetamine
When taken over long periods of time in higher doses, this substance leaves harmful and sometimes fatal long-term physiological effects on the body. Additionally, tolerance and dependence build over time to deadly doses.
Long-term side effects of sustained methamphetamine use include, but are not limited to:
- Weight loss
- Severe dental issues
- Intense itching — or the sensation of phantom bugs — that leads to open sores on the skin
- Increased anxiety
- Heightened confusion
- Memory loss
- Sleeping disturbances and insomnia
- Premature osteoporosis
- Paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions
- Changes in the brain’s dopamine system, impairing verbal learning and coordination
- Changes in the brain structure, impairing emotional and cognitive functioning
- Increased chance of experiencing conditions such as HIV, AIDS, and Hepatitis
Even with appropriate drug addiction treatment for methamphetamine, many of the long-term effects do not go away. Chronic use leads to physical and chemical changes in brain structure that impair cognitive, emotional, and physiological functioning.
Signs of Methamphetamine Addiction
After first taking methamphetamine — regardless of the reason why — an individual can become addicted very quickly. Signs that you or a loved one may be struggling with methamphetamine addiction may include:
- Increased anxiety and depression
- Extreme fatigue
- Changes in behavior and mood irregularities
- Intense drug cravings when not using methamphetamine
- Inability to resist the use of methamphetamine, despite harm being done to the body and relationships
Treatment for Methamphetamine Addiction
Without appropriate treatment for methamphetamine addiction, the outcome can be fatal. Thankfully there are rehab centers, such as Laguna Shores Recovery, that specialize in holistic, comprehensive, and evidence-based drug addiction treatment.
Treatment and recovery from methamphetamine addiction begin with medical detox under medical supervision. Here, withdrawal symptoms can be managed and made as comfortable as possible before treatment. Many individuals enter residential treatment after medically-supervised detox. Next, various therapies and programs are employed to meet their individual needs, goals, and place in recovery.
Common types of treatment found in residential rehab treatment centers include:
- Twelve-Step Programs are peer-run community and support systems, like Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous (AA and NA).
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a type of therapy where individuals learn to identify problematic thought patterns leading to mental health disorders and how to change the core beliefs they have about themselves, others, and the world.
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is a type of therapy where individuals learn healthy coping mechanisms for managing stressful situations and emotions.
- Individual Therapy is conducted with trained clinicians and helps clients in reaching their goals and overcoming addiction and mental disorders.
- Group Therapy is where individuals are guided in a group setting by a therapist and get to learn from and be supported by the healing power of community.
- Experiential Therapies involve mind-body treatments, such as yoga, mediation, or adventure therapies.
- Life Skills Classes include courses anywhere from learning to manage finances, how to practice self-care, and building job skills.
Not all treatment programs and residential rehab centers are created the same. Treatment at Laguna Shores Recovery not only offers comprehensive, evidence-based, and holistic treatment programs but is also customized to meet the specific needs of each individual who enters our facility.
Recovery from methamphetamine addiction is possible with the appropriate, evidence-based, and holistic substance abuse treatment. To learn more about treatment options, call Laguna Shores Recovery today at (954) 329-1118.