Meth, also called methamphetamine or crystal meth, has a history of various legal uses including an alertness aid for soldiers in World War II, an appetite suppressant, an antidepressant and an ADHD medication. Meth became a popular recreational stimulant in the 1950s when it was widely available in pill and injectable forms before government regulation. When heavy restrictions were placed on meth by the U.S. government in the 1970s, the eponymous crystalline type became more popular as users and distributors began to “cook” the drug in homemade laboratories. It remains in recreational use today, most often in rural areas where other stimulants are expensive or unavailable. In 2016, approximately 0.7 million Americans over the age of 12 were reported meth users. Methamphetamine remains a Schedule II drug in the U.S. since the brand name Desoxyn is available as a treatment option for severe ADHD or obesity.
What is Meth Addiction?
Stimulants like methamphetamine are highly addictive because they cause a rush of activity in your brain’s pleasure and reward centers, and subsequently leave these centers feeling drained when the drug wears off. Even after your first time using a drug like meth, your body will start to associate being high with feelings of happiness and achievement, and the comedown with depression and exhaustion. Continued use can cause permanent changes to the way that these areas of your brain function, which results in withdrawal symptoms when you are not using meth. You can quickly develop a dependency on meth as you start to rely on continued use to keep these unpleasant symptoms at bay. Dependency transitions into addiction as your drug use becomes compulsive and habitual.
Signs of Meth Addiction
Some common signs of meth addiction include:
- Risky sexual activity
- Skin sores
- Tooth decay and tooth loss (“meth mouth”)
- Lack of appetite or drastic weight loss
- Extended periods of manic energy followed by days of exhaustion
If you or your loved one is abusing or addicted to methamphetamine, contact The Kimberly Center or find an addiction recovery resource near you right away. Meth addiction can happen quickly and can be extremely damaging to your health and even fatal. Treating addiction to prescription methamphetamine or crystal meth should be handled under the supervision of healthcare professionals who can ensure you receive the best care and treatment you need during your recovery.
Treating Meth Addiction
Meth withdrawal and detox are known for being unpleasant and uncomfortable, which contributes to many meth addicts’ inability to stop using the drug on their own. It is best to undergo the detox process in a rehabilitation facility, where medical professionals can monitor your health and make sure that you do not give in to using meth when your withdrawal symptoms become difficult. Some rehabilitation centers can administer medications to make your detox process easier for your brain and body. Over time, though, these medications will need to be replaced by your own willpower and strength to resist relapse. At The Kimberly Center, we emphasize long-term treatment plans like counseling, therapy and support groups to help you maintain your sobriety. The effects of meth use can linger for years after your initial detox period, so you will need a regular program of treatment and a strong support system to keep you on your path to recovery. Our programs can fit your needs, your experience with addiction and your lifestyle so that you will always have The Kimberly Center as a recovery resource. When you choose The Kimberly Center for your meth addiction treatment, your options can include:
Contact The Kimberly Center
The Kimberly Center is proud to provide evidence-based, compassionate addiction treatment for adults in Fort Myers, Florida. We focus on giving you the attention and tools you need to learn to live your life completely substance-free, emphasizing your inner strength and the importance of a strong support system. To learn more about our services and to find out if our programs are right for you or your loved one, contact us today at 855-452- 3683.