Author: Gary Jackson

Meth Addiction: Symptoms, Getting Help, Detox, Treatment, and More

Meth is typically a white pill or powder that doesn’t have a smell but tastes bitter. Crystal methamphetamine usually looks like glass chunks or shiny bluish-white rocks. If crystal meth comes as more of a powder, it’ll have a bitter taste like other kinds of meth. “For heroin users, there’s methadone, there’s suboxone. I just wonder why we haven’t researched [treatments for] this drug yet,” she says.

  • Scientists in the early 20th century developed it in an effort to improve the medication amphetamine.
  • It is not indicative of a character defect or moral shortcoming and a person cannot manage the condition through sheer willpower.
  • The treatment regimen in the trial combined two medications that have been studied separately for treating methamphetamine addiction with limited success.
  • This new medical treatment strategy arrives at a time when addiction to methamphetamines has come roaring back, fueled by cheap imports from Mexico.

With treatment, understanding, and a good support network, it is possible for a person to recover from meth addiction. Treatment focuses on relieving withdrawal symptoms and behavioral therapies that help a person identify and manage situations and behaviors that may have led to them using meth. When diagnosing an SUD, a doctor may physically examine someone and discuss their medical history with them. A healthcare professional may wish to screen for psychiatric symptoms in order to rule out other disorders with similar symptoms. They may also discuss a person’s history of substance use with them. It may take some time for your brain to restore its dopamine circuits when you stop using meth.

Crystal Meth FAQs

This change in behavior is known as meth addiction, or methamphetamine use disorder. Physically, meth addiction can lead to irreversible damage to the brain and other areas of the body. Those who abuse meth are at an increased risk of having a heart attack or a stroke as a direct result of their drug abuse. If someone you love is abusing meth, and cannot or will not stop on their own, it may be time to seek professional help. If they are in denial about their harmful behavior, you may want to set up an intervention with an addiction specialist and gather their close friends and family members. This person may also be aware they are addicted but are unable to stop despite trying to ween back their dosage.

meth addiction

Volkow says one theory is that naltrexone reduced physiological cravings for meth, while buproprion’s “antidepressant effects” eased the anxiety people experience when they stop using. Unless treated, that emotional distress can trigger a relapse. Crystal meth addiction leads to some of the most severe consequences of any other drug on the market or on the streets today. One of the largest and fastest growing epidemics in the nation that is crippling Americans at an alarmingly fast rate is crystal meth addiction. It is estimated that more than 1.5 million people are addicted to crystal meth in the United States alone, and this number seems to be growing. There are some promising medical treatments for meth addiction currently in development.

Everything You Need to Know About Meth

Inpatient treatment allows for close medical oversight, in a safe environment that can prevent triggers, and relapse from occurring. Alongside inpatient treatment, patients can also be involved in therapy programs to help address the underlying causes of their addiction, such problems with their mental health. The longer someone takes meth, and the higher the dosage, the more severely dependent on the drug they are likely to be. A high level of dependence means that withdrawal will be difficult.

But if you choose to use meth, there are steps you can take to make your experience safer. You probably won’t be able to tell if the drug you take has dangerous stuff in it, so try to buy meth from someone you trust. Almost 2.5 million people in the U.S. aged 12 or older say they use meth every year. In general, people use it a little less often than other stimulants such as cocaine.

Drugs & Supplements

In most cases, abstinence from meth abuse for at least two years can lead to the reversal of many of the negative physical signs of methamphetamine abuse but not all. Meth produces an intense high that comes on and fades quickly. Coming down can cause difficult emotional and physical symptoms, such as depression and insomnia. As a result, meth addiction often follows a pattern of bingeing on the drug for several days at a time, followed by a crash. The American Journal on Addictions published studies showing that around 40 percent of people seeking treatment for methamphetamine abuse also reported struggling with anxiety.

meth addiction

Mood and anxiety disorders and drug abuse co-occur at rates as high as 50 percent, NIDA publishes. Alcohol could potentially boost the effects of meth by heightening its euphoric effects. But it may also lead you to feel more anxious and agitated — not to mention increase your risk of alcohol poisoning or overdose. You may not feel alcohol’s effects as you typically would, so you might drink more alcohol than your body can process. Martinez, who has been in recovery for two years, now works with a Washington, D.C.-based group called HIPS helping others with meth addiction. She says when she started her recovery, it was hard in part because there were no medical treatments to help with cravings and withdrawal.

The Dangers of Crystal Methamphetamine

Withdrawal symptoms are optimally managed through a medical detox regime like that provided in a comprehensive treatment program. People who regularly inject the drug may suffer from collapsed veins and a higher risk for contracting HIV/AIDS or hepatitis. Snorting meth can damage sinus cavities and nasal passages, and lead to chronic nosebleeds and/or a perpetual runny nose. Smoking meth may lead to respiratory damage and lung complications.

  • A high level of dependence means that withdrawal will be difficult.
  • Although an intervention may motivate your loved one to seek treatment for an addiction, it could also have the opposite effect.
  • Volkow says one theory is that naltrexone reduced physiological cravings for meth, while buproprion’s “antidepressant effects” eased the anxiety people experience when they stop using.