Methamphetamine Addiction and Rehabilitation

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Last Edited: February 3, 2022
Patricia Howard, LMFT, CADC
Clinically Reviewed
Andrew Lancaster, LPC, MAC
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and certified by an addiction professional.

Dangers of Meth Abuse

Meth is a highly addictive stimulant and Schedule II drug that has ruined millions of lives. An addiction to Methamphetamine forms quickly, as well as physical and psychological damage. In fact, it is so addicting that for some, one use is all it takes to begin the cravings. Continuous use of Meth leads to an increased tolerance, requiring one to use more to attain the same “high” as before, leading many to adopt a “binge-and-crash” method of using.

Meth, also known as Crystal Meth, contains harmful toxins and is itself a neurotoxic substance. It is often made in homemade labs that use hazardous materials, along with the ingredients. Not only do these chemicals harm the user, but they can also contaminate anything around the labs, such as air or water in the area.

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While Methamphetamine has some uses in medicine, to treat Attention Deficit Disorder and obesity, it is almost never used in the medical field. That is because of how detrimental the effects associated with its use are, so Meth is almost exclusively used illicitly as a recreational drug.

Street Names for Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine is a highly regulated substance. It is illegal to possess, produce, distribute or sell Meth and so people who handle and use this drug have many nicknames for it. Crystal, Chalk, Ice, Crank, Tweak, Blue, Belly, Speed, White Cross, Glass.

Effects of Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine is known as a party drug due to its ability to keep users awake and active. It is a stimulant and causes hyperactivity, accelerated heart rate, high body temperature, sweating, blood pressure irregularities, rapid breathing, and more. Unfortunately, there are many adverse side effects that come from using Meth. For starters, cravings and tolerance levels increase after the first use, causing the user to constantly seek more and more. Sleep and eating patterns are disrupted as well, which leads to a significant amount of weight loss and emaciation. Paranoia and anxiety are also common to see in people who abuse Meth. Hallucinations are quite frequent, with the feeling of insects crawling under the skin which leads many to pick at their skin.

How to Tell If a Loved One is Abusing Methamphetamines

It can be hard to know when a friend or loved one is abusing Meth early on. Substance abuse often grows in severity over time. It’s important to understand and recognize the signs of Methamphetamine abuse if you want to determine whether he or she is using this drug. There will be smaller signs at first; if the abuse continues long enough, there will be obvious red flags that would worry anyone. Here are a few that you can look out for:

A loved one may appear irritable and agitated, which is due to the comedown from Meth. Your loved one’s sleeping patterns will be irregular, quickly crashing after using, needing longer periods of rest, which may cause him or her to be perpetually tired.

If someone you love is abusing Meth, his or her eating habits will change. Your loved one will appear thin and malnourished from the lack of eating. This is because, as with most stimulants, Meth use causes an increased metabolism and reduced appetite.

One of the biggest signs of Meth abuse is a disinterest in or neglect of responsibilities and hobbies. Your loved one may start showing up late, or stop showing up at all to classes or work. He or she may stop attending family events and other activities.

Find Out More About Methamphetamine Abuse

Meth abuse acts quickly and can take someone’s life in the snap of the fingers. The body and brain begin to adjust at the start of the first use, creating a craving for it that continues. Unless professional assistance is sought out, Meth abuse can and will lead to a full-blown dependency. Remember: no one is a lost cause regarding recovery. With the right treatment and enough effort, there is a happier and healthier life waiting for you.

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