Methamphetamine, street name “crystal meth”, is a synthetically produced illegal substance which is highly addictive to even first time users. Usually, the active ingredient is derived from cold and flu medications found at over-the-counter pharmacies which include pseudoephedrine. While much of the U.S.’s crystal meth is made in Mexico and transported to our country, much of the meth commonly sold on the streets is made by individuals in their homes. It’s a crystal-like substance (hence the name) that can be snorted, smoked, or injected. The euphoric high this extremely addictive drug produces can last up to 12 hours. So, it’s often that individuals continue to use meth after their first dose and don’t quit until they get help. However, treatment can help individuals addicted to meth to gain sobriety and live a fulfilling life of recovery.
What is Crystal Meth?
This stimulant is typically sold on the streets in a white, crystal-like form. It can be snorted, injected, smoked and even swallowed orally. Effects of this substance include feelings of wellbeing, excitement, a boost of energy, sleeplessness, heightened confidence, and a decreased appetite. Contrary to other illegal stimulants like cocaine, the effects of this drug can last up to a day, leading to drastic lifestyles of binging and crashing for most users.
How the body Responds the use of Crystal Meth
Just like other stimulants, meth affects the body’s natural reward system. Dopamine, a natural chemical produced by the brain to reward us for natural and survivalist behaviors, is what’s affected by meth use. Basically, meth binds to dopamine synapses which work to recycle dopamine once neurons have already signaled the brain. Because the dopamine is not recycled when meth is present, users experience extreme surges of dopamine, resulting in the euphoric effects of the drug.
Crystal Meth Addiction
Methamphetamine is one of the most addictive substance on this planet. That’s because people get hooked after just one use. However, in just a few uses, individuals can start to experience tolerance. Tolerance is when the brain starts to recognize the presence of a drug and requires more of it to produce the desired effects. So, when tolerance forms, users have to take more meth. Tolerance to meth is usually a sign of physical dependence. This is the term used when the body adapts to the presence of a drug and doesn’t function properly without it. In turn, when dependent individuals don’t use meth, they experience withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms can help families and friends of meth users to identify addiction. Meth withdrawal typically entails headaches, lack of sleep, lethargy, reduced cognition, and aches and pains.
Help with Crystal Meth Addiction with Treatment
If you or a loved one is addicted to meth, it may seem like there is no way out. Typically, those addicted to methamphetamine live an addictive lifestyle for years without hope for recovery. Unfortunately, many dealing with long-term addiction to meth experience horrific side effects like mouth rot, lung disease, psychosis, strokes, incurable heart and blood vessel damage, body sores, and severe depression.
However, there IS hope for those struggling with both short and long-term addiction to meth. And, it can be found by utilizing individualized treatment programs offered by Simple Path Recovery. To talk to an addiction specialist about getting help for a meth addiction, contact us today!