Meth is a powerful and highly addictive drug. The drug is pervasive: in 2020, about 2.6 million people reported using meth within the last 12 months. To make matters worse, overdose deaths involving methamphetamine use have steadily risen along with overdose deaths involving opioids. This article will explain why meth is so addictive and the dangers that are associated with this addiction.
What is meth?
“Meth” is short for methamphetamine, which is a powerful stimulant that affects the nervous system. In terms of its chemical structure, it’s similar to amphetamine, which is a drug used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy.
Crystal meth is a form of the drug that looks like small shards of shiny ice or glass. It is colorless and odorless. Crystal meth typically has a higher purity level than other forms of meth. This means that the physiological effects of using crystal meth can be longer-lasting and more intense than other forms of the drug.
Meth can be taken in multiple different ways. It can be smoked, swallowed in a pill, snorted, or dissolved in liquid and injected into the bloodstream.
How does meth affect the brain?
Once meth enters the body, it starts working very quickly. It increases the amount of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a natural chemical that is responsible for the good feelings you get when you accomplish something, eat tasty food, or exercise.
Dopamine naturally occurs in our brains and it is a part of our brain’s reward system. Since this hormone gives us a sense of pleasure, the satisfying feeling it offers can be a powerful motivating force.
This is one of the reasons meth is so addictive: it causes an intense, short-lived high followed by a long crash. The crash leaves users feeling tired, anxious, and depressed. They often turn to meth again because they know that they can use the drug again to get back to those good feelings.
Meth users often experience psychosis, which is a condition where the person loses contact with reality.
Meth use can lead to changes in the brain that persist long after someone stops using the drug. These changes can include problems with memory and attention, as well as mood swings and aggression. These issues can not always be reversed, which is another reason why meth is such a horrible drug.
How does meth affect the body?
Meth doesn’t only affect the brain and change its chemistry. It also can have devastating effects on a person’s body.
Some of the dangers associated with meth use include:
– increased heart rate and blood pressure
– damage to blood vessels in the brain, which can lead to stroke
– damage to the liver, kidneys, and lungs
– permanent damage to teeth (meth mouth)
– weight loss and malnutrition
– skin sores from picking at the skin (meth mites)
Why is meth so addictive?
Methamphetamine is one of the most addictive drugs available. In fact, meth addiction is one of the hardest addictions to overcome. This is because of the ways that it affects your brain that we mentioned earlier.
As the dopamine high starts to wear off, meth users start to crash which makes them seek out the drug in order to get another high. But each use alters brain chemistry in such a way that it takes more and more meth to get the same high. This creates a downward spiral where addicts start ingesting extreme amounts of the drug chasing a high that they can never quite reach.
Another reason meth is so addictive is that it’s relatively cheap and easy to get. Methamphetamine is made from chemicals that can be easy for criminals to obtain. That means that it’s relatively simple for drug dealers to make the drug themselves. The fact that meth is often readily available to those who use it makes it hard to avoid and easy to become addicted.
Meth addiction treatment
Since quitting meth use is difficult, the first step in treating meth addiction is often to seek professional help. Although medication-assisted treatment is not an option for meth addiction, healthcare and mental health professionals can be present to help manage withdrawal symptoms.
When it comes to withdrawal symptoms from meth, they are much more mental than physical. Patients can experience insomnia and extreme anxiety. The harsh reality is that some people never mentally recover from meth use.
Addiction treatment involves behavioral health therapy. Addiction counseling can help people fighting meth addiction identify where these problems stem from so that they can manage their cravings and desires. Cognitive behavioral therapy may also be used to help patients “rewire” their brains and stop unhealthy patterns.
Addiction treatment at Isaiah House
Isaiah House is a faith-based drug treatment center that has helped thousands of men and women break free from the grip of addiction. We have dozens of stories of people who have battled addiction and achieved recovery.
As horrible as meth addiction is, recovery is possible. We focus on a holistic approach to recovery that addresses the mental, physical, social, financial, educational and spiritual aspects of addiction.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction to methamphetamine, reach out to us today. We would love to help you take the first step toward recovery.