After decades of aggressive anti-meth advertising, most people are well-aware of meth’s incredibly detrimental effects. Prolonged meth addiction leads to functional changes in the brain. It also alters the brain’s size, undermines the health and integrity of the bones, and contributes to hair and tooth loss among many other things.
Chronic meth users frequently suffer from paranoia and psychosis. They also have physical problems like lung, kidney, and liver damage. The effects of meth addiction have ruined countless lives. Despite these things, it continues to be one of the most heavily abused drugs in the United States.
This synthetic substance is illegally produced in large and tightly managed laboratories and home labs around the world. Meth is relatively low in cost, easy to acquire, and both physically and psychologically addictive. Take time to learn more about substance abuse treatment in Florida.
What Is Meth?
Meth is a highly addictive stimulant that’s designed to activate key chemical processes throughout the brain. Like many other substances, methamphetamine tampers with the central nervous system (CNS) and its natural reward system. When people use methamphetamine to get high, their brains release a powerful surge of dopamine and other feel-good neurotransmitters. With meth, the results include:
- Heightened alertness
- Increased confidence
- Elevated feelings of pleasure
Before long, however, meth users will quickly begin to experience the ravaging effects of this drug. Absent of good nutrition, chronically dehydrated, and rarely sleeping, long-term meth users suffer from extraordinary dental decay. Tooth loss, skin sores, and a hollow, sunken appearance are among some of the most noticeable signs of prolonged meth use.
Meth Addiction and Abuse
Meth was initially designed to allow people to be able to focus, function, and perform for extended periods of time in ways that weren’t possible without the drug. Although it can be highly effective to many of these ends, these changes in perception and ability always come with tremendous side effects. People start abusing methamphetamine for various reasons.
For instance, a person who struggles with untreated ADHD may enjoy the increased focus that this drug provides. Countless people turn to meth for its ability to stimulate weight loss. As such, many meth addicts also struggle with undiagnosed and untreated eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and body dysmorphic disorder.
Many people fail to recognize meth as being physically addictive. However, people detoxing from meth will likely experience excessive fatigue, increased hunger, and dramatic mood swings.
In fact, the impact that methamphetamine has on the brain and its reward system is a far greater indication of the drug’s addictive properties. After months or even years of abusing methamphetamine, many meth users find that they are unable to feel confident, happy, motivated, or focused without it.
Long-term effects of meth use can be frightening. These can include permanent brain damage on par with that of epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke.
Street Names for Meth
Methamphetamine or meth goes by many names, these include:
- Crystal meth
- No doze
- Rocket fuel
There is a legal form of methamphetamine that doctors prescribe for the treatment of obesity and ADHD. The brand name for this controlled substance is Desoxyn. However, illegal, unregulated facilities produce all other forms of meth.
Side Effects of Meth
The side effects of meth are both widespread and severe. Although facial sores are among meth users, meth itself is rarely the cause. Instead, people often begin picking uncontrollably at their skin due to meth-induced hallucinations. Also known as meth sores, these self-inflicted injuries can open the door to severe, secondary skin infections.
Meth can also ruin the user’s teeth and gums. Often referred to as ”meth mouth,” long-term use can cause tooth decay and gum disease. The signs of meth mouth include blackened or rotting teeth and gum sores.
While increasing energy and alertness, methamphetamine also affects cardiovascular functioning and other basic physiological functions. Even a single-use event can result in dramatic increases in:
- Body temperature
- Heart rate
- Blood pressure
The long-term effects of meth use can be far more dire. Meth use can lead to considerable losses in overall bone density and bone health. Given that meth users have both a heightened sense of pleasure and dramatically lowered inhibitions, meth use often goes hand-in-hand with promiscuous behavior. This leaves users at an elevated risk of contracting sexually transmitted disease.
Treating Meth Addiction
Given that meth is incredibly psychologically addictive, the success rates of self-managed recovery efforts among long-term meth users are low. Most meth addicts relapse within the first one to two weeks of recovery when going cold turkey alone. Therefore, structured inpatient substance abuse treatment always provides the greatest chance at long-term success.
Inpatient meth addiction treatment alleviates the intense feelings of distress that people experience as their brains and bodies relearn how to function without this drug. Inpatient programs additionally remove meth users from toxic environments and harmful relationships so that they can focus entirely on getting well.
During treatment, patients learn new coping strategies for dealing with social stress. They also take part in cognitive behavioral therapy to adopt positive, proactive, and ultimately healthful ways of thinking. In-house addiction treatment includes:
- Group therapy
- Private therapy
- Skill-building workshops and exercises
- Therapeutic and stress management activities
- Medical management of withdrawal symptoms
Treating meth addiction can also include dual diagnosis treatment. This helps those living with undiagnosed depression or other comorbidities. These issues usually contributed to or prolonged their meth use. With dual diagnosis treatment, patients learn safe, sustainable ways for improving their mindsets, maintaining mood balance, and confronting everyday stressors.
Do You Need a Meth Addiction Treatment Program in Panama City, FL
At Recovery Bay, we offer a diverse range of services and therapies for meeting the needs of all our patients. Our multi-pronged meth addiction treatment program promotes improved self-care, personal responsibility, and a reliance upon ongoing recovery support. Get in touch with us to learn more about our inpatient men’s rehab. Get started on the path to recovery today by calling us at 833.991.2955.