What is Methamphetamine?

Although it is often prescribed for legitimate medical purposes by trained physicians for conditions such as ADD and ADHD, the powerful brain stimulant Methamphetamine is one of today’s most abused and addictive illegal drugs. It is driving a huge proportion of today’s drug crime, and it is devastating countless lives.

Also known by the street names of crystal meth, crank, and speed, methamphetamine is an extremely powerful and highly addictive drug that has destroyed millions of lives globally. It is a dangerous street drug that may come as a pill or a white powder that looks like glass fragments or shiny, bluish-white “rocks” of different sizes. It is usually crushed and snorted or smoked, or dissolved in water or alcohol and injected.

Users often take repeated doses in a “binge and crash” pattern because the “high” from the drug both starts and fades quickly. Some take methamphetamine in a form of binging known as a “run”, giving up food and sleep while continuing to take the drug every few hours for up to several days. The drug releases high levels of dopamine to the reward areas of the brain, making the user addicted and to continuously repeat the experience.

According to the National Vital Statistics Report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of fatal overdoses involving meth has more than tripled between 2011 and 2016. They also reported that the use of this drug for most age groups is on the rise between 2016-2018. Its rapid surge is due to its availability and inexpensiveness which makes it easy to acquire, and potency which makes it extremely addictive even at its first use. It has affected not only the lives of the users but also the lives of their innocent family members.

Meth Side Effects

Methamphetamine brings life-changing consequences of its use, possession or sale. Aside from dealing with legal ramifications, users suffer a rapid downward course psychologically, medically, and socially. Here are some side effects listed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) that rob someone of his/her future:

Short-term Effects

  • Increased wakefulness and physical activity
  • Decreased appetite
  • Faster breathing
  • Rapid and/or irregular heartbeat
  • Increase blood pressure and temperature
  • Disturbed sleep patterns
  • Nausea
  • Bizarre, erratic, aggressive, irritable, or violent behaviour

Long-term Effects

There are many damaging, long-term health effects because of chronic meth use, even when users stop taking meth, such as:

  • Extreme weight loss
  • Addiction
  • Severe dental problems (“meth mouth”)
  • Intense itching, leading to skin sores from scratching
  • Anxiety
  • Changes in brain structure and function
  • Permanent damage to the heart and brain
  • High blood pressure leading to heart attacks, strokes, and death
  • Liver, kidney, and lung damage
  • Anxiety, confusion, or insomnia
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Sleeping problems
  • Violent behavior
  • Paranoia—extreme and unreasonable distrust of others
  • Hallucinations—sensations and images that seem real though they aren’t

Other Health-Related Issues

  1. Pregnancy: premature delivery; separation of the placenta from the uterus; low birth weight; lethargy; heart and brain problems
  2. Risk of HIV, hepatitis, and other infectious diseases from shared needles.

Methamphetamine does not only affect the health of the users but it also threatens communities, causes new waves of crime, unemployment, child neglect or abuse, and other social ills.

Treatment for Meth Addiction

There is still hope for meth addicts. Recovery from methamphetamine addiction is immensely possible as long as users are provided access to effective treatments that address the multitude of medical and personal problems resulting from their long-term use of the drug.

The good news is that methamphetamine misuse can be prevented and addiction to the drug can be treated with behavioural therapies and support from loved ones, and others in the Recovery Community also on their own roads to Recovery.

We are here to help!

Meth Addiction can be treated. At First Step Recovery Center in Victorville, CA, we are here to empower our clients on a lifetime journey of upward improvement in every area of life, including family, relationships, citizenship, and personal spiritual growth. It is our mission in the First Step Recovery Center to help our clients be able to achieve and maintain full recovery from the physical, psychological, social and spiritual ravages caused by Meth Addiction.

Call us today at (760) 780-1237, and at First Step Recovery Center, and we can begin a complete evaluation of you or your loved one. We will help you look at your life and your triggers and traumas, and we will help you find a treatment program that works best for you. We will help you take the First Step to your Recovery.