Methamphetamines are a class of drugs that takes many forms, from pills and powders to a crystalline, glass-like substance called “crystal meth.” Regardless of the form it takes, it is an incredibly dangerous and addictive substance. Meth addiction profoundly affects an individual’s physical and mental health.
Overcoming an addiction to meth is difficult, but it is always possible. Likewise, it is vital to understand that no one is ever “too addicted,” nor is it ever “too late” to pursue professional treatment. Becoming familiar with the signs of meth use and the resources available for treatment can empower each individual to take their first, profound step toward a healthy, sober future.
What Are Methamphetamines?
Methamphetamines, or “meth,” is a dangerous stimulant drug. Stimulants override the central nervous system to produce heightened arousal and awareness. Methamphetamines were originally developed as a nasal decongestant, but due to their intense and long-term health effects, their medical use has drastically decreased. Now, the medical use of meth is incredibly narrowed and highly regulated, only prescribed at a doctor’s discretion in limited amounts. However, its potency and associated euphoric effects have made it popular on the illicit market, despite the negative consequences that can result from its use.
According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from 2015-2018, about 1.6 million adults across the United States reported past-year methamphetamine use. This statistic shows how incredibly common meth use is across the country. Identifying the signs and symptoms of meth use is crucial for helping individuals recognize the need for treatment and pursue effective treatment to overcome an addiction to meth.
Warning Signs of Meth Use and Addiction
Addiction affects each individual in a personal way, and no two recovery journeys will be identical. However, there are several common warning signs that an individual may exhibit if they are using meth and/or have an addiction. Properly identifying meth use is the first step toward encouraging treatment for a loved one to live a healthier life.
Physical Warning Signs
Some of the common physical symptoms that can result from the use of meth include:
- A sudden drastic increase in energy
- Increased talkativeness
- Scratching or picking at skin
- Irregular, increased heartbeat
- Increased or heavy breathing
- Difficulty regulating body temperature
- Decrease in personal hygiene routines
- Damage to teeth (meth mouth)
- Decreased appetite or sudden loss of weight
Mental and Emotional Warning Signs
The use of meth can also produce several consequences for an individual’s mental and emotional health. Some of these warning signs include:
- Increased irritability, anger, or frustration
- Mood swings
- Difficulty focusing
- Racing thoughts or ideas
Each of these symptoms can be incredibly difficult to navigate. Continued use of methamphetamines can lead to worsening mental and physical health consequences, such as:
- Increased risk-taking behaviors
- Increased chance of stroke and heart attacks
- Increased damage to the immune system
- Increased risk of overdose and death
Professional treatment to overcome meth addiction is essential. Likewise, it is important to understand that attempting to detox at home alone can be dangerous. Committing to a professional detox and recovery program provides the necessary structure and resources to begin an effective and lasting journey to sobriety.
Pursuing Professional Treatment
There is nothing easy about overcoming an addiction to meth. Similarly, recovery will be filled with several personal challenges. The resources available at dedicated, professional treatment facilities are necessary to overcome an addiction to meth. Access to medical detox programs can ensure that an individual is able to process and cease their use of meth in a safe and supportive environment. Detox also offers around-the-clock support and medical assistance from professionals to effectively navigate uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
This resource can provide direction, physical and emotional care, and medication when necessary to help process intense symptoms while working to establish sobriety. Nutrition, therapeutic treatment, and more are all core parts of recovery. Professional treatment facilities are necessary to begin this journey with the most pertinent support possible.
Recovery Is Personal
For treatment and recovery to be effective, they must be personalized. Customizing treatment plans to fit personal needs and goals is crucial. Recovery requires more than ceasing the use of methamphetamines. Rather, it is a wholly transformative experience. Addressing the underlying mental health disorders, stresses, and any other factors that inform a person’s use of meth is necessary to create a new, healthy lifestyle.
Personalizing time in residential treatment or intensive outpatient programs is also important. This ensures that strategies and perspectives are individualized to effectively process urges and cravings while preventing relapse at any stage of recovery.
Lastly, access to a dedicated recovery community can provide immeasurable benefits for those overcoming their use of meth. Addiction is a very isolating experience, and dedicated recovery programs can surround an individual with understanding and sympathetic peers that can help an individual feel accepted and understood in their journey. Breaking through feelings of isolation and creating a new, supportive social group in sobriety is instrumental for healthy, sustained sobriety.
Addiction to methamphetamines presents a unique challenge to overcome. We at Buena Vista Recovery can help. We understand the difficult nature of overcoming an addiction to meth, and we are prepared to create a personal approach to your recovery plan to create the most effective personal practices. From detox and inpatient care to ongoing outpatient support, we are committed to the entire continuum of care, scaffolding pertinent skills through each step of your journey. We address not only the need to cease the use of meth, but also address the underlying stresses and mental health needs of each individual for a transformative and informed recovery. For more information on how we can help you, call us at (480) 741-9414.