Statistics show that roughly 12 million U.S. individuals have given methamphetamine a try and there are roughly four million habitual users of the drug. The majority of those habitual users are students and young adults.
What Exactly Is Methamphetamine?
Also known as meth, ice, glass and crystal, methamphetamine is a synthetic stimulant that is incredibly powerful. It is often cooked in a clandestine lab using various ingredients that include ether, methanol, reactive metals, ammonia and numerous other chemicals. The process of making this drug can give off various toxins that are very dangerous and extremely flammable.
Meth can be smoked, snorted or injected. It is believed that the drug has the ability to release dopamine into the brain allowing users to experience a false sense of euphoria, heightened arousal and an extreme adrenaline rush. Due to the fact that methamphetamine is a stimulant, the drug can cause users to stay awake for days at a time. Eventually, however, users will crash due to the extended period of time without adequate sleep.
Methamphetamine Misuse Signs and Symptoms
When a user takes meth in extremely high doses, it can result in a rapid heart rate, heart arrhythmia, anxiety, aggression, insomnia, paranoia, violent mood swings, delusions and hallucinations. Some people even experience psychotic breaks. One common sign of extreme, habitual meth use is called meth mouth. This particular sign is actually caused more by the lack of personal hygiene, lack of adequate sleep, poor nutrition, and dehydration rather than the side effects from the meth itself.
Once a user develops a habit and craving for the meth, life becomes all about getting more of the drugs and making lifestyle choices that may not have been made prior to getting hooked on the drug. Users will often exchange sexual favors in order to get meth, steal needles from or share needles with other users, etc. These behaviors are responsible for the increase of infectious diseases, such as HIV and IDS, Hepatitis, STDs, etc. among methamphetamine users.
Detox Treatment and Making Lifestyle Changes
With discontinuing methamphetamine, there aren’t really any withdrawal symptoms. This is true even for extended and heavy use. However, there are serious health implications for heavy users. There is also physical dependency that must be dealt with. Regardless medical detox may not necessarily be required. For meth users who are looking to overcome their habit permanently, it is important to learn to make long-term changes to their lifestyle. It can help to enroll in a life rebuilding program that can help teach you how to do this. We offer medical detox treatment and behavioral programs like this at Shadow Mountain Recovery. We can help you understand that your meth habit is a choice and that you can learn to make different choices with a little bit of guidance toward new habits. While you may have once thought you were powerless over your drug problems and choices, we can help you see that this is simply not true. You are a strong person and you can decide to make a change in your life and to continue that change for the rest of your life. We can help you make the decision to lead a drug-free life from here on out.