Methamphetamine is an extremely powerful and highly addictive stimulant drug. While drugs such as opioids, heroin and other prescription medications garner a lot of the headlines, meth use and addiction continues to be a major health issue in the United States. According to information provided in the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 1.5 million people in the United States aged 12 and older are currently addicted to meth.
Not only does methamphetamine ravage the body and mind of those who use it, but it also ravages their soul—and many in the grips of meth addiction feel lost and broken.
This article takes a closer look at meth, the symptoms of meth abuse as well as the long-term consequences of meth use. Most importantly, you will learn where you can find meth addiction treatment in Southern California. Call Christians Drug Rehab today if you are struggling with methamphetamine addiction and are looking for help. Our California faith-based addiction programs can help restore your body, mind, and soul.
Meth is a powerful synthetic stimulant that affects the central nervous system. Known on the street as ice, crystal, and glass, methamphetamine is created in clandestine labs using a variety of ingredients that are both extremely toxic and corrosive. Common ingredients include methanol, ether, ammonia, and lye. The process of making meth is highly dangerous due to its active ingredients’ toxicity and reactivity.
The drug can be administered in a variety of ways. Meth can be injected, snorted, and smoked. When the drug crosses the blood/brain barrier, it releases very high levels of dopamine throughout the brain. Users experience euphoria, a prolonged adrenaline rush as well as an increased sense of arousal.
The most obvious long-term effect of meth use is the development of an addiction to meth. Over time, people will need to take more of the drug to achieve the pleasurable effects they desire. Eventually, users will have difficulty feeling any pleasure from the drug-taking and take meth to function on a daily basis. If users stop taking meth, they will experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and fatigue. To avoid feeling withdrawals, they will resume meth use.
Other long-term effects include significant anxiety, confusion, insomnia, mood disturbances, and violent behavior. Long-term meth use also includes paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions. With chronic use, meth alters the brain structures involved in emotion regulation and decision-making. As a result, meth users have great difficulty in changing habitual behaviors making meth addiction challenging to treat.
The signs of meth abuse don’t necessarily fall into a “catch-all” category. The signs of abuse physically, psychologically, and in one’s behavior. It is important to look at each component and the common signs associated with each:
The physical signs of meth addiction are very pronounced and often grotesque. Common physical signs include:
One unique physical sign is a condition known as meth mouth. This shocking condition is characterized by the appearance of rotted or blackened teeth that eventually fall out. The underlying cause of meth mouth is the combination of the extreme acidity of the drug combined with poor oral hygiene of the user.
Another tell-tale physical sign is the appearance of open sores or lesions on the skin. Meth use also causes users to develop rough and scaly skin, which makes them look older than their actual age. This is due to the drug accelerating the production of fats called ceramides. Ceramides slow down the aging process and help the skin retain moisture.
As stated earlier in the article, methamphetamine release enormous amounts of dopamine in the brain. When users get in the vicious cycle of meth use, they will experience a wide variety of psychological symptoms, including the following:
Additional psychological signs of methamphetamine abuse include:
One of the most common behavioral signs of meth abuse is the increase in impulsive and high-risk behaviors. These may include being sexually promiscuous, driving under the influence, and other thrill-seeking behaviors. Long-term meth use also leads to aggressive behaviors, which causes relationship issues with significant others, children, family members, and friends.
People with meth addiction engage in secretive behavior and live in isolation. Continual meth usage can be very expensive, and people may have depleted all their income resources. As a result, they resort to stealing money or property from others to obtain methamphetamine. Additionally, those who engage in meth abuse have difficulty holding a job. As a result, meth addicts are chronically unemployed or underemployed.
When someone is addicted to meth, a common question loved ones ask is if their loved one can overdose on methamphetamine. With too much meth in one’s system, people will nod out and lose consciousness. Meth overdoses can also occur if other substances are involved, such as cocaine. No matter the underlying cause, people in the grips of meth addiction must find meth addiction treatment to address this serious issue.
You have many treatment choices if you or a family member needs help with meth addiction. While there are many options for meth addiction treatment in Southern California, you must carefully weigh your options. You must find a facility that features Christian-based treatment programs, expert care, and different levels of care that are customized to fit your needs. Treatments should include solid faith-based support and programs if you are Christian and hold strong Christian beliefs.
Christians Drug Rehab is a top-tier Christian rehab and treatment facility offering effective programs that feature Christ-centered values. Our unique faith-based treatment facility features pastoral counseling, mentorship, and substance abuse and mental illness treatment programs. The experienced and compassionate staff at Christians Drug Rehab will work with you in healing your body, mind, and spirit, and will also help you restore your relationships with family and Christ.
Start your healing right now and call Christians Drug Rehab.