Commonly known as “crystal meth,” “tweak,” “glass,” “speed” or “ice,” methamphetamine is one of the most addictive drugs in the world. A powerful central nervous system (CNS) stimulant, methamphetamine increases activity and talkativeness, reduces appetite and creates a euphoric sense of well-being.
Meth can take the form of a white, odorless, bitter crystalline powder that dissolves in water and alcohol. Listed as a Schedule II substance under the United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances, Meth can also be used medicinally. Methamphetamine HCL is distributed under the brand name Desoxyn to treat Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy and severe obesity. Although it is of higher quality and lower than its illegally produced counterpart, it still poses the same side effects.
Despite knowing the deadly side effects and psychological detriments, people still abuse methamphetamine for the following reasons:
- The rush
- The high – wherein a user feels aggressively smarter. A high can last from 4-16 hours
- For rapid and dramatic weight loss
- An escapist act of desperation or diversion from intense traumatic or dire circumstances or events
Symptoms of Meth abuse
Meth is similar to amphetamine, but is more potent. Commonly used as a recreational drug, meth as a drug can be abused by snorting (inhaling through the nose), smoking or injecting and sometimes, even orally.
Some of the common symptoms of meth abuse are:
- Meth-induced psychosis
- “Meth mouth”
- Crank bugs – a hallucination
- Moderate to severe high blood pressure
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Overactive thyroid
- Increased activity and alertness, insomnia
- Severe anxiety, tension or agitation
- Repressed appetite
- Elevated body temperature
- Feelings of superiority and elevated confidence
Meth abuse can also lead to the development of some severe side-effects such as:
- Neglecting personal hygiene
- Skin changes: shadowy eyes, pale/grey skin, acne-type sores, dry or itchy skin, dermatitis around the mouth
- Severe nail biting, nose bleeds
- Aggressive, violent, overly energetic or rambling behavior
- Irritability and moodiness, with sudden depressive states
- Picking at skin or hair, causing sores that don’t seem to heal
- Wakefulness that lasts for days, or perhaps more than a week
Effects of Meth abuse
Significant changes in the brain are caused due to meth abuse. Neuroimaging studies have demonstrated alterations in the activity of the dopamine system that are associated with reduced motor speed and impaired verbal learning.
Studies in chronic methamphetamine abusers have also revealed severe structural and functional changes in areas of the brain associated with emotion and memory, which may account for many emotional and cognitive problems observed in chronic methamphetamine abusers.
Methamphetamine abuse has also been shown to have negative effects on non-neural brain cells called microglia. These cells help maintain brain health by protecting the brain from infectious elements and by removing damaged neurons. However, too much activity of the microglial cells can assault the healthy neurons instead.
A study using brain imaging found more than double the levels of microglial cells in former methamphetamine abusers compared to people with no history of methamphetamine abuse, which could explain some of the neurotoxic effects of methamphetamine.
Treatment for Meth Abuse
Meth abuse is responsible for countless ruined lives, but it’s never too late to turn things around. Mission Recovery is here to help you from the very first phone call until after the recovery process. The methamphetamine detox programs provide a controlled, supervised and safe space for patients apprehensive about treatment for crystal methamphetamine withdrawal. The meth detox centers by Mission Recovery are run by a team of qualified medical staff.
What makes Mission Recovery a leader in meth treatment programs is its utilization of cognitive therapies and brain restoration to holistically rehabilitate an individual from the inside out. Other methamphetamine treatment centers address the external symptoms without helping the individual recover from mental issues that fuel addiction.