Overview of Meth Addiction
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.
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 from 4 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)
- High or low blood pressure
- Muscle spasms and cramps
- Tremors and twitching
- “Meth mouth” (severely decayed teeth)
- Formication (sensation of insects crawling on skin)
Long-term use of meth is associated with 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 STIs among meth users.
Effects in 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 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 approach to meth addiction treatment includes physical, spiritual, and behavioral care. Contact us as soon as possible to give yourself or your loved on a chance at a new life.