Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment

The statistics surrounding methamphetamine usage and abuse has been on a steady decline over the past few years. However, despite the decrease in the overall number of meth abusers, studies show that the illicit drug is becoming more popular with today’s youth.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health or NSDUH, the average first use of methamphetamine averaged between 8 to 22 years old. Meth-related casualties account for over 100,000 cases in 2011.

Considering the statistics, there is no denying how urgent the meth problem is across the United States. Needless to say, it is important to be informed about the dangers of this prevalent drug.

Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment

What is methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine or meth is a type of stimulant that is similar to amphetamine – only stronger and more potent. Methamphetamine was first produced in crystalline powder form in 1919.

It was not until World War II that the drug reached peak popularity. Both sides of the war used methamphetamine in order to keep their soldiers awake during long sieges. Japanese kamikaze pilots used meth before undergoing suicide missions.

Meth did not fade into obscurity after the war. In fact, in the 1950s the highly addictive drug was used to lose weight or treat depression.

``I took an apartment near the state university, where I discovered both crystal methamphetamine and conceptual art. Either one of these things is dangerous, but in combination, they have the potential to destroy entire civilizations.” ― David Sedaris, Me Talk Pretty One Day

Why is methamphetamine so addictive?

The scourge of methamphetamine is very concerning because the drug can be highly addictive. Meth users are unable to shake off the habit mainly due to how it interferes and tinkers with their brain chemistry.

Methamphetamine is known to increase levels of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine, otherwise known as the feel-good chemical, is a substance that is responsible for the experience of pleasure. Meth highs only last a few minutes. The euphoric sensation is often followed by a steep crash that can sometimes debilitate the user. In order to chase the pleasurable feeling, meth abusers are known to go on binges with increasing severity.

“It was the hardest boyfriend I ever had to break up with `{`referring to crystal methamphetamines`}`” ― Fergie

What are the symptoms of methamphetamine dependency?

Continued use of methamphetamine causes severe physical and psychological damage. The addiction can be severe enough that the addict retreats from society in favor of using the drug. Short-term effects include:

  • Psychosis
  • Nausea
  • Erratic and sometimes violent behavior
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hallucinations
  • Irritability
  • Seizures

Long-term use of methamphetamines can result in irreversible physiological harm such as:

  • Brain damage
  • Malnutrition
  • Breathing problems
  • Confusion and Apathy
  • Permanent heart damage
  • Tooth Decay
  • Depression

What are the available methamphetamine treatments?

Substance abusers have several methamphetamine treatment options to choose from. Usually, an effective meth treatment program is a combination of therapy and medication.

  • Medication – Treating a meth abuser involves helping them deal with withdrawal symptoms.  Withdrawal can be a very difficult time for a person who is trying to wean off of a substance.  Symptoms may include anxiety, intense drug cravings, fatigue, and depression.  Needless to say, some severe cases require the use of prescription medication as meth withdrawal treatment.
  • Talk Therapy – Dealing with meth addiction takes more than abstaining from the addictive drug itself.  As such, therapy is advised in order to keep a recovering addict from relapsing.  Meth treatment centers provide the option between inpatient and outpatient care.  The type of treatment and the length of the duration of the program depends on the severity of the condition.

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