More than one million Americans used methamphetamines last year. Also known as meth or crystal meth, methamphetamine is a stimulant that can wreak havoc on the central nervous system. Explore the signs of meth abuse, how addiction develops, and how to overcome an addiction to meth at Serenity Lodge.
The Immediate Effects of Meth Abuse
Users can consume meth in a number of ways. Meth can be smoked and inhaled, swallowed in pill form, snorted or even injected. The high from meth comes on rapidly, but it also fades rapidly. That leads many people to use meth repeatedly for hours or even days at a time.
While meth abuse generates euphoria, it can also cause a variety of unpleasant side effects. Meth tends to decrease appetite right away, and it can also cause an irregular heartbeat. Meth also tends to raise blood pressure and body temperature within minutes of consumption.
Long-Term Symptoms of Meth Use
While the immediate symptoms of meth abuse are worrying, the long-term symptoms are even worse. Meth is often made in small batches, and the ingredients can vary from one batch to the next. Either way, however, meth contains caustic and dangerous chemicals such as drain cleaner or battery acid. It’s no surprise that such toxic ingredients lead to serious health problems over time.
One of the more obvious signs of meth abuse is meth mouth. The chemicals in meth wear away the enamel on teeth, causing them to rot and decay at a rapid pace. Meth also impacts the brain, often changing the way that people think, process information or store memories.
Meth can also cause people to scratch their skin. This, especially when combined with meth injections, can result in serious skin infections or abscesses. Meth can also lead to psychological symptoms, with anxiety, depression, and paranoia being the most common.
How an Addiction to Meth Can Develop
Using meth physically changes the amount of dopamine in the brain. When you use meth, the brain is flooded with dopamine, and the brain responds by craving more of the drug. At the most basic physical level, this is how people become addicted to meth.
However, there are also plenty of individual factors that can contribute to the development of drug addictions. People with a history of trauma, mental illnesses, or family members who struggle with addiction are more likely to become dependent on drugs like meth. Substance abuse at a young age also tends to increase the chance of developing an addiction later in life.
Understanding the Recovery Process
Struggling with meth abuse can feel overwhelming, but there is a route to recovery. For most people, the process starts with some form of detox. The meth withdrawal period typically lasts from one to two weeks for most individuals.
After detox, individuals can embark on the rehabilitation part of the recovery process. Through a range of therapies, you can explore the root causes of addiction and create custom ways to fight back against relapse in the future.
Overcoming Addiction at Serenity Lodge
At Serenity Lodge, our caring and compassionate staff is ready to help Guests fight back against meth addiction. To achieve lifelong recovery, we offer comprehensive addiction treatment programs that tackle the physical, psychological and behavioral issues related to the disease. Our approaches include:
- 12-Step program meetings
- Dual diagnosis support
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Talk therapy
- Holistic therapies like fitness, yoga, and nutrition
Meth abuse can be serious, but help is available. At Serenity Lodge in California, men and women can fight back against addiction and find lasting results. Call 866-379-4365 and learn more about the best route to recovery for you or for a loved one that needs help.