Although methamphetamine availability and use decreased about ten years ago due to changes in laws surrounding meth precursors, the drug is starting to make a comeback. Also called by a variety of street names, methamphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant that can destroy a person’s life in a very short period of time. Similar to other serious drugs, many people have reported becoming hooked on it after the first use.
What was once commonly produced in clandestine mobile labs, the newer forms of meth come from large labs primarily in Mexico and then get shipped throughout the country. The drug is often snorted or smoked, and many addicts inject it as well. Most meth users ingest the drug in binges, where they will use it repeatedly and stay awake for several days in a row, and then crash and sleep for a couple days straight. Then, after a (very) short period of sobriety they are back at it again.
Effects of Methamphetamine Use
People who use meth for longer periods of time typically experience insomnia, anxiety, loss of appetite and drastic changes in mood and behavior. They can also display psychotic symptoms such as extreme paranoia, hallucinations and the feeling that bugs are crawling under their skin. This is why many heavy meth users have sores all over their skin, because the constantly pick and scratch to get the “bugs.”
While chronic methamphetamine use can cause serious damage to a person’s brain, scans have shown that after prolonged abstinence people can begin to heal and regenerate. However, even short-term use can have harmful effects on a person’s heart, lungs and brain due to the toxicity of the drug and the chemicals used to make it.
As with other drugs, users can expose themselves to diseases such as HIV and hepatitis, both through needle sharing and increased risky sexual behavior while under the influence of the drug.
Meth Addiction Treatment
Right now there are hundreds of thousands of methamphetamine users in the United States who are in need of help. The good news is that there are effective treatments available. People are able to fully recover from methamphetamine addiction every day.
Contact us to find out what kids of successful treatment programs are available to help you or your loved one.