Methamphetamine Addiction Recover the Life You Deserve

Methamphetamine Addiction

A Quick History of Meth

Amphetamine was first synthesized in a German chemical lab in the late 19th Century. A few decades later, Japanese scientists developed a process for making methamphetamine, which was much more potent and easier to produce.

During World War II, German soldiers used meth so they could fight longer and stay alert without rest. Some soldiers who used the drug could go without sleep for days at a time. However, the soldiers reported feeling exhausted for days after the drug wore off. In some cases, the soldiers became violent and attacked members of their own units.

By the 1950s, legal methamphetamine was readily available to everyday Americans as an inhaler and in tablet form. It was widely prescribed for depression and obesity and commonly used by athletes, students, and long-haul truck drivers.

To fight growing meth abuse and addiction, the United States banned the use of injectable meth in 1970 with the Controlled Substances Act. Today, doctors can still legally prescribe methamphetamine for ADHD and severe obesity, though it is rarely used in this capacity. Most meth consumed in the U.S. today is used illegally.

If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction to methamphetamine, call SOBA New Jersey today to learn how we can help you.

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What is Meth?

Methamphetamine or just “meth” is an illegal psychostimulant that is highly addictive and damaging to the body. Meth is illegally made using a mixture of harmful ingredients, such as household cleaners, forms of amphetamine, and cold remedy ingredients. One of the many reasons why meth is so dangerous is that it can be made with any number of other chemicals, such as drain cleaner and antifreeze.

Street names for crystal meth include the following and more:

  • Ice
  • Glass
  • Crank
  • Wash
  • Cotton candy
  • Tweak

How is Meth Used & Abused?

Most people smoke meth in a glass pipe, but users can also snort, inject, or ingest it. Smoking or injecting methamphetamine speeds up the release of the drug into the body and is also more addictive, so these are the two most common ways it is used. If a loved one might be using meth, then you will need to keep an eye out for drug paraphernalia like pipes and syringes.

Effects of Meth Use

Methamphetamine is a stimulant, so it immediately gives the user increased energy and alertness, followed by a painful or agonizing crash. The effects of meth tend to last about 6 to 8 hours, but they can go as long as 24 hours depending on the individual’s genetic makeup, the amount taken, and the frequency of use. People recovering from meth addiction often share how they enjoyed the rush of positive feelings in the beginning. As they continued to use meth, however, their lives and their health fell apart.

A large or potent dose of meth can cause immediate cardiorespiratory complications, including heart failure or seizures. Call 911 if someone is overdosing on meth and let the dispatcher know that meth was used.

Neurological & Behavioral Effects

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that those who chronically abuse meth may suffer complications with motor skills, memory, emotion, and cognitive learning. Additionally, long-term meth use and addiction leads to depression, social isolation, delusions, and altered perceptions of reality. For some people, methamphetamine leads to extreme anxiety and paranoia. People can have insomnia for days and may experience suicidal or homicidal thoughts. Depending on how much meth they use, some people may behave erratically or violently.

Some of the most common cognitive effects of long-term meth use include:

  • Addiction
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Erratic or violent behavior
  • Hallucinations
  • Insomnia
  • Memory loss
  • Obsessive behaviors
  • Paranoia
  • Reduced learning and motor skills

Physical Effects

Meth addicts commonly experience serious physical side effects. These side effects include significant, rapid weight loss and loss of appetite. People may age very rapidly because of tissue and bone loss. They may have body sores from constantly picking at their skin. Meth use can cause damage to the heart, brain, and blood vessels which may lead to stroke, heart disease, coma, and cardiac arrest. Users can also develop rapid heart rates and irregular heartbeats.

Some of the many physical effects of long-term meth use include:

  • Brain damage
  • Damage to liver, kidneys, and lungs
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Skin sores
  • Tissue and bone loss
  • Tooth decay and gum disease (“meth mouth”)
  • Damage to blood vessels resulting in stroke, heart disease, coma, and cardiac arrest

What is Meth Addiction?

Methamphetamine addiction is a disease that is characterized by an uncontrollable urge to use the substance again and again. Among health and addiction specialists, meth is notorious for being capable of triggering severe addiction in just one dose. Like any other disease, though, meth addiction is treatable. Those struggling with meth abuse and addiction can recover and lead healthy, happy lives if they get the right treatments.

Signs of Meth Addiction

Meth addiction can often manifest in three different ways:

  • Physical signs: Liver issues, sores and acne all over the face, hypertension, rotted teeth, frequent itching, droopy skin, and miscolored eyes.
  • Psychological signs: Paranoia, irritability, confusion, obsession with meth, depression, and anxiety.
  • Social signs: Increased engagement in unsafe behaviors, isolation from anyone who doesn’t use meth, and committing crimes to get more meth.

Meth Addiction Can Be Fought

At SOBA New Jersey, we provide a comprehensive range of treatments and therapies for those suffering from all types of drug addictions, including meth addiction. Our New Jersey meth addiction treatment programs are highly customizable and typically include a combination of medical detox, residential rehab, and outpatient treatment. Our intensive and integrated approach is designed to help individuals safely detox from methamphetamines, learn to recognize and avoid triggers, and develop the skills they need to prevent relapse.

Our admissions team is available 24/7. Give us a call now at (888) 229-7989 and take the first step toward recovery.

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