At The Villa Treatment Center, we understand that methamphetamines are one of the most dangerous drugs on the street. Similar to many other stimulants, the way methamphetamines affect you depends on many factors:
- Age and body weight
- Repeated use
- If there has been long term methamphetamine use
- The method of meth use
- The environment you’re in
- Pre-existing medical conditions
- If other drugs were being used
Methamphetamine use is widespread across all areas, ages, and socioeconomic levels. While it can occasionally be used medically, it is most commonly used as a party drug. With the intense energy it creates and the heightened feelings of pleasure and confidence, this high is enough to continually hook many individuals into seeking that feeling.
- The History of Methamphetamines
- What are Methamphetamines?
- How Does Methamphetamine Affect The Brain?
- Is Methamphetamine Addictive?
- How Is Methamphetamine Addiction Treated?
The History of Methamphetamines
In the past, illegal methamphetamine use was closely associated with biker gangs and other party cultures in the 1960s. However, the recent discovery of cheap ways to manufacture, from over-the-counter cough medications to motor oil, and the availability of methamphetamines has led to a rise in use among a variety of people. Nowadays, methamphetamine users include young individuals at nightclubs and stimulant users looking for chemically similar stimulants.
Methamphetamine use makes people feel alert, energetic, confident, and talkative. When on meth, users feel little need for food or sleep. On the other hand, users can also experience unwanted effects from irregular heartbeat, dry mouth, skin sores, severe tooth decay, increased blood pressure, violent behavior, and irritability. Chronic methamphetamine use can result in paranoid delusions, hallucinations, aggressive behavior, and violence.
The Villa Treatment Center can answer any questions about our methamphetamine drug and alcohol treatment programs.
What are Methamphetamines?
Methamphetamine is a highly addictive amphetamine-producing stimulant that affects the central nervous system. In 1893, a chemist created it from a chemically similar stimulant—initially synthesized to treat narcolepsy, asthma, and obesity. During World War II, certain nations used it to keep soldiers awake. Later on, similar to other stimulants, methamphetamine was prescribed for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), such as Adderall and Ritolin.
After the war and even after methamphetamine was outlawed in the United States, street methamphetamine use increased. Methamphetamine looks like glass fragments or shiny white rocks. According to the United States Drug Enforcement Agency lists many street names for meth:
- & more.
Along with the different names, users have different ways of using methamphetamine. Users often smoke it in a small glass pipe, snort, or inject the drug. Smoking and injecting are the two fastest ways for the user to feel the intense high, making the drug more addictive and dangerous.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is part of our addiction treatment services
How Does Methamphetamine Affect The Brain and Body?
Methamphetamine substance abuse is a drug that alters the brain structure. Methamphetamine affects the dopamine levels in the reward areas. This includes the users’ rewarding behaviors, sleep, mood like violent behaviors, and motivational incentives. In addition to the brain effects, meth use also affects the body’s central nervous system from body movement, physical activity, and body temperature.
Other long term methamphetamine use adverse effects are:
- Meth mouth
- Dangerously high body temperature
- Intense itching
- Irregular heartbeat
- Heart attack
- Mental illness
Despite the adverse long-term health effects, the drug’s ability to rapidly release dopamine in reward areas of the brain reinforces drug-taking behavior. This can lead to an increased risk of bad decision-making and methamphetamine overdose.
If you, a friend, or a family member has a problem with methamphetamine and wants help, talk to someone you trust and find a treatment facility. The Villa Treatment center is available and has many options to help people get better.
For behavioral therapies, contact The Villa Treatment center in Santa Monica Hills.
Is Methamphetamine Addictive?
Anyone can become addicted to methamphetamine. Like all drugs, there is no way to predict who will become addicted. The best way to ensure not getting addicted is not to use methamphetamine. Methamphetamine, crystal meth, and speed are all extremely addictive. Chronic methamphetamine addiction causes profound changes in the brain, including paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions.
Over a long period of drug use, users gain tolerance and need to take high doses to feel the same effects experienced at the beginning of their use. Searching for the first high can result in methamphetamine overdose. When users stop taking methamphetamine, they may experience withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms include:
- severe depression
- intense drug craving
If you or a loved one is experiencing addiction to methamphetamine and wants help in the recovery process, call The Villa Treatment Center. We can help in ending methamphetamine addiction.
How Is Methamphetamine Addiction Treated?
Unlike Heroin and other drugs, there is no approved medication to treat methamphetamine addiction. Standard effective treatments for methamphetamine are behavioral therapies, such as:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy- this therapy helps patients recognize, avoid, and cope with the situations likely to trigger drug use.
- Motivational incentives- which use vouchers or small rewards to encourage patients to remain drug-free
Due to the difficulty for individuals to overcome this strong addiction, we encourage familial support to help individuals develop a strong support system. At The Villa Treatment Center, we acknowledge a strong foundation is best for long-term recovery. We also educate family members to understand meth addiction and help their loved ones work through the hard times without relapsing.
Beyond treatment centers, research continues towards the development of medicines and other treatments to treat methamphetamine use. Like all addictions, people can and do recover from methamphetamine addiction. If you or someone you know is ready to become free from addiction, contact The Villa Treatment Center for a new beginning.