Methamphetamine is also known as meth, speed, ice, blue, crystal, and goes by many other terms. This substance is very powerful and addictive. It creates a similar high as cocaine but it lasts for much longer. It takes the shape of a white, bitter-tasting, odourless crystalline powder that can easily be dissolved in alcohol or water. It can be swallowed, snorted, smoked or injected. Methamphetamines can increase talkativeness, activity, decrease appetite and can produce a sense of well-being and euphoria that can instantly hook people to it.

Because meth is so cheap, easy to make, and readily available, many treatment centers are overwhelmed with individuals who have become addicted to the increased energy levels and feelings of invincibility that the drug produces. Because of the many positive feelings produced by methamphetamine use, clinical intervention is often the first step in meth addiction treatment and recovery.

The Signs and Symptoms of Methamphetamine Use

Methamphetamines can take a large physical and psychological toll on the body and the rest of ones life. Some view it as one of the most dangerous drugs on the market. There are a number of warning signs, symptoms and consequences that accompany the use of methamphetamines.

  1. Loss of interest in life: Like most addictions an individual who is struggling with substance abuse losses interest in other areas of their life that were once important to them. This includes their work, career goals, relationships, hobbies, and health all take a back seat to getting and using meth. When one first starts to use meth they may try to hide it but the longer they use it the more active a role it takes in their life. Meth changes how on feels and thinks and can change from a recreational drug to ones major life priority in a short amount of time.
  1. Behavioural and Physical Symptoms: There a number of physical and behavioural symptoms that accompany meth use including: hyperactivity, paranoia, twitching, jerky movements, facial ticks, dialated pupils, rapid eye movement, skin sores, sudden and noticeable weight loss, extreme weight loss, reduced appetite, burns particularly on the fingers and lips, rotting teeth, erratic sleep patterns, agitation, mood swings and outbursts,
  1. “Tweaking”: Tweaking is a long period of time usually 3-15 days of anxiety and insomnia. This often occurs at the end of a drug binge when the person can no longer achieve a high or rush any longer. The extended use of the drug has depleted the body. Tweaking can have a number of psychological consequences including irritability, confusion, paranoia and a desperate need to use again. Those in this phase of their drug addiction are prone to violent behaviour and may experience paranoia and hallucinations.
  1. The Crash: This phase of methamphetamine use is when someone is deprived of the dopamine the meth was previously supplying which causes extreme exhaustion. A crash can last from 1-3 days and is characterized by extended periods of sleep, depression, and intense drug cravings.
  1. Long Term Consequences: Long term abuse of methamphetamines can result in a number of negative consequences on top of the devastating effects of an addiction. There are changes in brain structure and function that impact memory, motor skills and create deficits in ones thinking. Ones overall brain health along with physical and mental health will deteriorate resulting in mood disorders, psychosis, and aggressive and violent behaviour. Sever dental problems along with damage to ones internal organs. Methamphetamine use is also linked to an increase chance of getting hepatitis, HIV/AID, Parkinson’s, and other related disorders and diseases.

Methamphetamines were developed in the early 20th century in connection to amphetamines that were originally used for nasal decongestants and bronchial inhalers. In the USA it is classified as a Schedule II stimulant which means it can still be medically prescribed. It is medically used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). People who are using it illegally could be self-medicating as it could help with their possibly undiagnosed ADHD symptoms. Although the amount prescribed is far lower than was is being misused. Methamphetamines have also been used in short-term weight loss treatments.

women at treatment center

Meth is Dangerous and Highly Addictive

Methamphetamine dangers: extremely popular and incredibly dangerous, largely because of the chemicals that go into the drug. The major components are ephedrine and amphetamines that are mixed with other chemicals and substances, such as drain cleaner, antifreeze, battery acid, and lamp fuel. But not only is meth full of poisons, it also creates a high and desire to binge that can last several weeks, and this can result in life-threatening dehydration, malnutrition, and weight loss.

An addict who reaches the tweaking phase, which comes at the end of a binge, is faced with feelings of emptiness and cravings, cannot sleep, experiences hallucinations and delusions, can dissociate from reality, and can become psychotic and violent.

women laying grass after treatment for meth addiction
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Methamphetamine addiction: When assessing someone for meth addiction, it’s important to look at several factors and ask some serious questions, such as:

  • Are the person’s relationships failing because of meth use?
  • Has the person lost his or her job, or been kicked out of school, because of meth?
  • How much time and money does the person spend trying to obtain the drug, and is it causing financial difficulties?
  • Has the person had run-ins with the law because of meth?
  • Does the person understand the consequences of abuse and continue to use it?

On top of poisoning your mind and body with toxic doses of chemicals, abuse also affects your social and personal life, and can result in problems at work and school, being evicted, and losing all your friends. When addicts hit rock bottom and realize they’ve lost everything, they often turn to meth addiction treatment centers to regain control.

If you find yourself at this stage of your addiction, your best chances of success are to seek help from a meth addiction treatment facility that has the knowledge and experience you need to kick the habit and reclaim your health and your life.

Methamphetamine Detox, Withdrawal, and Recovery

Treatment for meth addiction starts with drug detox, moves into withdrawal, and with the proper program, ends with successful and long-term recovery. The detox period, in which the body is allowed to flush the drug from its system, is followed by the withdrawal period, which is characterized by depression, lack of energy, cravings, the inability to experience pleasure, and suicidal tendencies. Without the help and supervision of an effective addiction treatment facility, over 90 percent of maddicts will return to using.

The most successful treatments for addiction are cognitive and behavioral modification therapies that focus on assessing the root of your addiction, finding alternative methods of coping with stress and problems, learning to live a fulfilling life when you’re sober, and changing your drug-related patterns of behavior. And at Beachway, we also provide 12-step programs, support groups, group therapy, and family counseling to guarantee your addiction treatment is as successful as possible.

The first few months of recovery will be the hardest but we are more resilient then we know and our brains have the ability to heal. It’s important to have a strong support network and to develop healthy habits such as exercise to aid healing and recovery. It is important to seek professional help such as therapy and support groups to create a recovery plan.

Call today at 877-284-0353 to speak with one of our addiction experts.


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