Meth Addiction: How Do People Become Addicted to Meth?

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November 28, 2022

Meth Addiction: How Do People Become Addicted to Meth?

Crystal methamphetamine, which people commonly shorten to “crystal meth” or simply “meth” is a form of methamphetamine that resembles fragments of bluish-white crystal or glass. According to evidence from early clinical trials, anti-methamphetamine monoclonal antibodies may reduce and slow the effects of meth in the brain. There are some promising medical treatments for meth addiction currently in development. CM interventions for meth addiction typically offer incentives for continued abstinence.

The drug is so strong that just a few extra grains of powder can send someone into a life-threatening overdose. In the first nine months of 2023, the northern California city saw 692 people die of overdoses, more than in the entire year of 2022, according to new data reported by the city’s medical examiner. The city is on track to see more than 800 deaths this year, topping its highest year ever, 2020, when it saw 720. Someone addicted to meth or other drugs will not only lie and mislead people, but they may manipulate them.

What It’s Like to Be High on Meth

The goal of treatment is to help you lead a healthy life without using meth. Treatment may also address other underlying conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or anxiety. Research has shown that methamphetamine withdrawal follows a predictable pattern. Ongoing meth use can lead to mild to severe withdrawal symptoms once you stop taking the drug.

You experience mental and physical effects (withdrawal) if you stop taking the drug. Usually, users smoke crystal meth with a small glass pipe, but they may also swallow it, snort it, or inject it into a vein. People say they have a quick rush of euphoria shortly after using it. It can damage your body and cause severe psychological problems. Methamphetamine overdose is a toxic, potentially life threatening reaction to the drug.

What to know about meth addiction

Users of crystal meth report initially feeling euphoric, experiencing an intense, long-lasting rush after the first use. This is because methamphetamine floods the brain with dopamine, the feel-good chemical responsible for pleasure, reward and motivation. Blood pressure spikes, thoughts race, users often have to keep moving even though they’re accomplishing nothing. The medically correct term for drug addiction is substance use disorder (SUD). However, it is important to note that although meth use does physically alter the brain, there is a difference between physical dependence and addiction. The best method for treating co-occurring disorders is considered to be simultaneous and integrated care for both disorders.

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Methamphetamine is an addictive drug that has energizing (stimulant) effects. As a powder, it can be snorted or dissolved in water and injected. The powerful rush people get from using meth causes many to get hooked right from the start.

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It may take some time for your brain to restore its dopamine circuits when you stop using meth. So, the cognitive abilities that don’t rely much on dopamine will likely recover first. Mental health symptoms like paranoia and delusions may take longer to disappear. Government data detailed in Moher’s report reveals a sharp increase in the number of drug poisoning deaths in Alberta — from 13.2 per 100,000 person years in 2016 to 40.7 in the first six months of 2023. Now, Ciccarone, Friedman and others have identified a new, hugely troubling fourth wave, as more and more deaths involve users who have mixed methamphetamine with their fentanyl use.

  • During the Vietnam War, amphetamine, nicknamed “pep pills,” was issued to American soldiers to “increase alertness” during lengthy jungle expeditions.
  • “When she was high, which was almost always, she had to be on the computer — diddling with programs to make them run faster, ordering freebies on the Internet,” writes Singer.
  • If you’d like to stop using meth, you have options for confidential support and treatment.
  • According to evidence from early clinical trials, anti-methamphetamine monoclonal antibodies may reduce and slow the effects of meth in the brain.
  • But on the West Coast, where the deadly synthetic didn’t saturate the market until around 2019, the numbers are still climbing rapidly.

The body can quickly become dependent on the chemicals, leading to methamphetamine addiction. Since the treatment involves abstaining from the drug, the person may experience withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue, severe depression, anxiety, psychosis, and intense cravings for the drug during the detox process. The American Journal on Addictions published studies showing that around 40 percent of people seeking treatment for methamphetamine abuse also reported struggling with anxiety.

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Treatment focuses on relieving withdrawal symptoms and behavioral therapies that help a person identify and manage situations and behaviors that may have led to them using meth. Some are related to your environment and life experiences, such as having friends who use drugs. When you take a drug, certain genetic factors can increase your risk of developing an addiction.Regular drug use changes your brain chemistry, affecting how you experience pleasure. This can make it difficult to simply stop using the drug once you’ve started. Dependence refers to a physical state in which your body is dependent on the drug. With drug dependence, you need more and more of the substance to achieve the same effect (tolerance).

These strategies can assist those in recovery to maintain abstinence. If you have experienced a relapse, please contact a meth hotline. An admissions representative will offer advice and walk you through your options for additional rehab treatment. Many individuals recovering from meth addiction continue to work on their sobriety after rehab. They attend 12-step meetings such as Crystal Meth Anonymous, where they communicate with others in recovery and learn ways to avoid triggers and manage cravings. There are some tell-tale signs of meth addiction that you may be able to spot right away or which may become more prevalent as time goes on.

Physical effects

During this stage of meth recovery, individuals are particularly vulnerable to relapse. They also find little pleasure in life and experience low energy, difficulty concentrating, irritability and insomnia. Unless you or someone you love has been addicted to meth and you have lived in a world of hell that meth addiction causes, it is difficult to grasp the magnitude of the struggle caused by meth fully. Crystal meth addiction leads to some of the most severe consequences of any other drug on the market or on the streets today. Crystal meth is often considered a party drug as its stimulant properties can keep partiers up and energetic for hours, or even days, without sleep. In spite of tighter drug laws in the United States, meth is still inexpensive and easy to find.

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