Understanding Meth Abuse

What is Meth Abuse?

Meth is one of the most addictive substances in the United States. Many people have reported getting addicted to meth in as little as one use. The feelings of euphoria, alertness and confidence that result from use have a powerful effect on the brain reward system.

The rush of dopamine from meth abuse is much higher than the natural amount of dopamine produced in the brain. This reinforces the behavior of abuse and likelihood of binging. After the reward system is rewired, the cravings for meth often take over a person’s life.

Overcoming a meth addiction is difficult because the drug hijacks the brain reward system, impairing healthy decision-making. An addiction treatment program can help meth users break their physical and psychological dependence on the drug. Please call us now for help finding treatment.

Understanding Meth

Meth is the slang term for methamphetamine. The drug is produced both legally and illegally. The legal form of methamphetamine, approved by the Food and Drug Administration under the brand name Desoxyn, is prescribed for patients with severe attention deficit disorder and obesity where other treatments have been ineffective.

Crystal meth is a potent, smokeable version of meth that consists of small, bluish-white crystals. Street names for meth include:

  • Glass
  • Ice
  • Crystal
  • Crank
  • Redneck cocaine

Meth Effects and Abuse

Any illicit use of methamphetamines qualifies as abuse. Similar to crack cocaine, meth and crystal meth produce a “rush” when smoked or injected; this is caused by an increase in heart rate, blood pressure and pleasure-inducing neurotransmitters in the brain. The rush produces the strongest effects and can last up to 30 minutes.

After the rush, people using meth experience a steady high that can last anywhere from four to 12 hours. The duration of this high depends on the mode of consumption. Injecting meth produces a stronger high than smoking or snorting, but the effects wear off more quickly.

The effects of meth include:

  • Elation
  • Empathy
  • Hyperactivity
  • Alertness
  • Talkativeness
  • Loss of appetite

These effects, along with the drug’s affordability, can lead people to binge use. Many who use meth take the drug over a period of several days, staying perpetually high throughout this time. Eventually, the meth doesn’t produce the same effects, and the person using it needs higher doses to get high.

Therapy for a Meth Addiction

When an individual has completed detox, They will move to the therapy phase of Treatment.

Therapy has a number of aims: to show clients how they can cope with the temptation to use meth in times of stress or boredom with daily life; to help them understand the thought and behavioral patterns that brought them to the point of using meth; and to show them how they can learn better, healthier thought and behavioral patterns, in order to lead productive and fulfilling lives without the need of drugs like meth.

A former drug addict, and now a drug and alcohol intervention counselor, tells PBS that therapy shows individuals how they can forgive themselves and come to

once they reach that point (with the careful guidance of a therapist), they are in a position where they can learn how to take control of their lives again.

Fox News reports that in some counties, meth has become even more popular than cocaine. Meth can lead to psychosis and brain damage. It can shatter lives. But there is hope, and complete recovery is possible. With proper treatment, individuals can leave meth behind and achieve healthy, balanced lives.