Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant that has become widely used as a recreational drug. Discovered in 1893, methamphetamine (often called “meth,” “crystal meth,” and “speed”) also has legitimate medical applications; for this reason, it is classified in the U.S. as a Schedule II drug. Methamphetamine hydrochloride tablets—available under the trade name Desoxyn—are occasionally prescribed to treat obesity and ADHD. However, these uses are extremely limited. Most of the meth used in the U.S. is illicit and highly addictive. People who use meth often become addicted to the drug and can use the help of a meth addiction treatment program to get sober.
At BlueCrest Recovery in Woodland Park, NJ, we have substance abuse treatment programs that help our clients overcome the isolation, shame, and trap of drug dependence. With a holistic approach to evidence-based therapies, we are able to keep our clients engaged and fulfilled while they learn the skills that will help them stay sober for life. If you or a loved one struggles with meth, don’t wait to get help. Learn more about our meth addiction treatment program by calling 888.292.9652 today.
How Is Meth Used?
Meth can be administered through injection (intravenous, intramuscular, or subcutaneous), smoking, snorting, swallowing, or insertion as a suppository. Smoking is the most common method of administration among recreational users, although intravenous injection is known to produce the fastest effects on the human body. Users typically experience a “high” that lasts up to 16 hours.
Whether used recreationally or for medicinal purposes, meth is highly addictive. Medical professionals are expected to exercise extreme caution when prescribing it to patients and only when alternative treatments have proven ineffective.
Meth Signs and Symptoms
Methamphetamine has euphoric properties. Users often report increased energy and mental alertness, sometimes to the point of grandiosity, as well as diminished appetite. It also has aphrodisiac effects, with users often able to retain a high level of sexual interest and performance for extended periods of time.
Meth is associated with a variety of unpleasant physical side effects, including the following:
- Excessive perspiration (diaphoresis) – Meth drastically affects the body’s temperature regulation and perspiration processes, causing people to sweat excessively.
- High or low blood pressure – Using meth can have a major impact on heart function, which can lead to dangerously high or low blood pressure.
- Muscle spasms and cramps – Since the drug affects nerve and heart function, it can cause muscles to spasm and cramp as the body tries to adjust to the artificial energy created in the body.
- Dizziness – Users often feel lightheaded or dizzy during and after the meth high since the brain is scrambling to process the drug.
- Tremors and twitching – Increased energy capacity in the body leads to involuntary movements like twitching or shaking.
- Meth mouth – Over time, meth severely decays teeth. People who chronically use meth are often missing one or more teeth. The remaining teeth are usually in poor health and may be discolored, misshapen, or visibly degrading.
- Formication – Like other involuntary movements and physical responses, the body sometimes produces the feeling of crawling insects in meth users. This feeling, in turn, can cause increased anxiety and paranoia.
Long-term use of meth is associated with an increased incidence of anxiety, depression, and psychosis. Some users begin to experience seizures. High-risk sexual behavior is common as well, which accounts for the heightened prevalence of sexually transmitted infections among meth users.
Effects on the Brain
Long-term speed addiction can have lasting—sometimes permanent—adverse effects on the human brain. Meth acts as a strong stimulant on the serotonin and dopamine systems of the central nervous system (CNS). Serotonin and dopamine are neurotransmitters responsible for a variety of functions in the human body, including the regulation of psychological states.
With continued abuse of meth, the user can experience chronic mood disorders connected to the disruption of normal neurotransmitter processes. Many users become prone to chronic irritability and aggressive behavior. In addition, long-term meth use puts the abuser at increased risk of a cerebral hemorrhage.
Meth Addiction Treatment in New Jersey
Recognition is the first step toward recovering from meth addiction. The next step is finding the right drug treatment programs.
If you or someone close to you suffers from substance abuse problems, it’s important to seek professional help as soon as possible. Meth addiction treatment requires a holistic approach that confronts the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of recovery. From medically supervised withdrawals to intensive outpatient counseling, it involves a team of professionals and evidence-based approaches.
At BlueCrest Recovery Center, we provide a safe and comfortable rehab in New Jersey for those who are seeking meth addiction help. Our meth addiction treatment program includes physical, spiritual, and behavioral care. Contact us at 888.292.9652 as soon as possible to give yourself or your loved one a chance at a new life.