Methamphetamine is an addictive stimulant drug that directly affects the nervous system. Its effects appear almost immediately after use, and even a single episode of use can lead to addiction. The drug’s euphoric effects are incredibly short-lived, but other natural rewards can trigger craving long after withdrawal symptoms subside. This is part of the reason why methamphetamine addiction is one of the most difficult drug addictions to beat.
If you or someone close to you is abusing meth, it is vital that you get professional help. Reach out to Northpoint Washington at 425.437.3298 today to learn more about our methamphetamine addiction treatment programs and substance abuse treatment in Edmonds, WA.
What Is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine is a type of stimulant drug that is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obesity, and narcolepsy. It may also be prescribed off-label for depression and fatigue. Methamphetamine, or meth, is often manufactured in home laboratories and can be smoked, snorted, injected intravenously (into a vein), or taken orally. The drug causes a rush of pleasure-producing chemicals to the brain and blocks the reabsorption of those chemicals, so that the pleasurable feeling can last up to 12 hours. The initial euphoric effects are often followed by feelings of restlessness, anxiety, paranoia, anger, and depression. According to the Department of Justice, “Methamphetamine is not a typical recreational drug.”
Methamphetamine is often used with other drugs that have similar effects (e.g., cocaine). The more frequently methamphetamine is taken, the greater the potential for addiction.
Signs And Symptoms Of Meth Abuse And Addiction
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that methamphetamine abusers exhibit symptoms that are very similar to those of patients who are diagnosed with ADHD. The list of signs and symptoms may include:
- Intense focus on completing a task or playing video games, known as “tweaking”
- Extreme feelings of restlessness
- Long periods of wakefulness that last for days at a time
- Flashbacks, where the abuser thinks about and uses meth again
- Paranoia, in which the abuser becomes suspicious of others and is afraid of being watched
Hallucinations, in which the abuser hears or sees things that do not exist
- Psychosis, in which the abuser experiences severe and often terrifying delusions and impaired judgment
The most common route of methamphetamine abuse is inhalation. Users may take the drug by smoking or snorting it; some inject it intravenously. The effects of smoked methamphetamine are felt immediately, as opposed to other routes of administration, which can delay up to two minutes before a “rush” is achieved. Injecting meth speeds up the euphoric effect from approximately 10-15 seconds to two minutes.
Methamphetamine abusers who binge on the drug for several days at a time can experience severe paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, and even psychotic episodes. A meth abuser may suffer from cardiac arrest or fatal stroke due to changes in blood pressure and an increased heart rate. Long-term methamphetamine abuse has been associated with extreme weight loss. Many abusers lose their teeth due to rotting of the teeth and gums.
The Importance of Inpatient Addiction Treatment for Methamphetamine Use
An inpatient addiction treatment program like the one at Northpoint Washington is a good choice for a methamphetamine user who wants to stop using meth immediately. Inpatient treatment can be beneficial because it allows the individual struggling with addiction to have more personalized attention from therapists and medical professionals, 24-hour access to support groups, and around-the-clock care.
During an inpatient stay at a rehab like Northpoint Washington, an individual will be monitored closely and take part in a personalized recovery plan. The therapy sessions at inpatient care facilities are led by addiction treatment professionals who understand the specific needs of the recovering methamphetamine abuser. In many cases, these therapy sessions focus on issues such as family communication, work or school performance, healthy social interactions, and avoiding old associates who use meth or other drugs.
Learn More About Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment at Northpoint Washington
When you suffer from an addiction to a drug like methamphetamine, it’s normal to feel as though you’re going to be suffering from it forever. You may have heard that methamphetamine is a difficult addiction to overcome, or perhaps you’ve tried to stop using it on your own, but you weren’t able to be successful. So many others have had the same experience. However, some have been able to stop using methamphetamine very successfully with the right kind of support.
“Once an addict, always an addict” is a myth. And with the proper type of treatment, you too can kick your methamphetamine addiction for good.
At Northpoint Washington, we’ve had the privilege to help countless people overcome their methamphetamine addictions. We understand how difficult it can be, but we have the tools you need to be victorious over this addiction. If you would like to learn more about how we can assist you, reach out to us at 425.437.3298 right away. You can also fill out our online form and allow us to get back to you.