Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine or meth is one of the most addictive drugs. It is a powerful central nervous system (CNS) stimulant, which, when used in moderation, makes the users behave erratically, reduces appetite, increases talkativeness, alertness and energy levels, and creates a false sense of euphoric well-being and confidence. When used in heavier doses, it can cause heart attacks, seizures, anxiety, insomnia, overdose, and death. This is the reason why the United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances classifies it as a Schedule II drug.

Also known as “crystal meth”, “meth”, “glass”, “speed”, “ice” or “tweak”, it is available as a white, odorless, bitter crystalline powder. It is used for recreational purposes and can be taken orally by dissolving it in either water or alcohol. It can also be snorted, smoked, or injected.

Distributed under the brand name Desoxyn, meth is also used medically to treat narcolepsy, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and severe obesity. Though used for medical purposes, one cannot ignore the side effects that it causes and people who abuse it need to undergo a comprehensive substance abuse treatment to counter its effects.

Despite knowing the side effects of meth usage, people still use it for the following reasons:

  • The rush of euphoric feeling
  • For rapid and dramatic weight loss
  • A high that can last between 4 to 16 hours.
  • Self-medicate depression, anxiety or to deal with traumatic events

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Methamphetamine

Symptoms of Meth Abuse

Similar to amphetamine and phenethylamine, meth is a more purified and thus potent form of the drug. Though the abuse of the drug would affect people differently, the most common symptoms signaling its use include:

  • Meth mouth, a condition characterized by poor dental health, severe tooth decay and gum disease causing the teeth to break or fall out. As meth itself is acidic, its use results in dry mouth, and stained, blackened, and rotting teeth.
  • Meth induced psychosis including delusions, losing touch with reality, hallucinations, and aggressive behavior.
  • Glaucoma, a condition of increased pressure inside the eyeball, causing gradual vision loss.
  • Moderate to high blood pressure
  • Increased body temperature
  • Overactive thyroid glands
  • Anxiety and agitation
  • Irregular heartbeats

Apart from these, severe side effects include:

  • Shadowy, pale or grey, dry and itchy skin with acne-type sores
  • Irritability and moodiness interspersed by depressive episodes
  • Picking at skin or hair causing sores
  • Wakefulness that lasts for weeks
  • Dermatitis around the mouth
  • Neglected personal hygiene
  • Nosebleeds
  • Bitten nails

Effects of Meth Use

Meth use leads to permanent changes in the brain leading to reduced motor skills and impaired verbal learning. Past research has also shown that meth users experience structural and functional changes in the brain areas related to memory and emotion, accounting for cognitive and emotional problems.

Additionally, chronic meth use is also known to adversely affect the microglia. These are non-neural brain cells that protect the brain from infections and maintain its health by removing damaged neurons. However, overactive microglial cells tend to attack healthy neurons also causing permanent brain damage. Brain imaging of chronic meth users has shown double the amount of microglial cells in meth users compared to people with no history of meth use. This explains the neurotoxic effects of the drug.

Treatment for Meth Addiction

The foremost step in meth addiction treatment is detoxification. The meth detox program at Invictus Health Group’s drug addiction treatment center allows the user to taper the use of meth under controlled and supervised environment. Our medical team administers suitable medications to help the body flush out meth toxins, while simultaneously fortifying the body with vitamins and minerals. This is important as meth use is associated with rapid weight loss due to repressed appetite. A person from the drug recovery team gives company to the patient 24/7 during their detox, in case the patient wants to talk and discuss their feelings of depression, anxiety, or frustration or the patient needs medical intervention during the withdrawal phase.

Meth withdrawal is one of the toughest detox programs. This is because a meth user loses touch with reality, making them either downplay the severity of their symptoms or overstate their rehab experience. One of the most effective methods to combat this is to introduce family members and/or loved ones to help encourage them through the process, something that Invictus Health Group fully supports.

Why Choose Invictus Health Group?

A leader in meth addiction treatment, Invictus Health Group’s behavioral health centers understand that dealing with only external symptoms of meth addition can never result in lasting recovery or sobriety. For complete recovery from meth addiction, patients need to undergo a holistic treatment plan, comprising cognitive therapies and brain restoration techniques.

In cases, where a mental disorder is also involved, intervention plans need to address both the mental illness and the addiction simultaneously. We offer residential treatment for severe cases and use evidence-based and holistic treatment modalities to help patients achieve a lasting recovery.

We are committed to providing substance abuse treatment that is suited to patients’ needs to ensure long-lasting drug recovery. The basis of the most serious issues are implementation of ill coping mechanisms or responses to severe trauma, psychological distress and/or genetic predisposition. Invictus Health Group understands that the downward spiral is unique for each person in need of rehabilitation. Thus, we offer multiple tracks of recovery specific to the manifestations of the said addiction or mental disorder.

In case you or a loved one are battling an addiction to meth, call our 24/7 helpline 866-548-0190 to get details on how we can help you overcome your addiction. You can also chat online with a representative for further assistance.

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