What Makes Meth So Addictive?
When the chemicals in Methamphetamine (Meth) enter the bloodstream and travel to the brain, it causes the brain to rapidly release the amount of dopamine, the “feel good” hormone, in the reward centers of the brain. The effects felt are short-term, causing users to ingest Meth repeatedly to feel the effects continuously, leading to Meth addiction.
What Is Meth?
Methamphetamine, commonly shortened to Meth with the street names crystal meth, crystal, tina, or crank, is a highly addictive stimulant drug that comes in a white, odorless crystal form. Meth is among the more common drugs on the street, along with cocaine and heroin. Substance abusers ingest Meth by crushing it into a powder and snorting, heating the crystals and inhaling the smoke, swallowing it whole, or dissolving the liquid in water and injecting it into the bloodstream.
How Meth Affects the Brain
Meth can rapidly enter the brain much faster than other stimulant drugs such as cocaine, which is one of the appeals to chronic drug users. It also floods the brain with molecules of chemical bonding to almost all areas and remains in the system for much longer than other stimulant drugs.
The effects of methamphetamines are short-term but still much longer than cocaine, with the peak lasting around an hour, but the results are felt for several hours after. Users feel a significant increase in wakefulness and physical activity, often unable to be still, and a sense of euphoria and fearlessness. Large amounts, or extended use over time, cause users to feel intense itching on their face and body, leading to sores from scratching, weight loss, and mental decline because the substance significantly reduces appetite and the ability to sleep.
Signs of Meth Addiction
The effects of Meth are strong, and it can be easy to detect if someone has been using Meth, especially after long-term drug abuse. Individuals suffering from meth addiction also begin to display negative behavior associated with the chemical effects on the brain. Signs of addiction include:
- Increases wakefulness
- Excessive talking
- Inability to sit still, constant fidgeting
- Itching and skin sores from constant scratching
- Severe tooth decay from smoking or long-term use
- Decreased Appetite
- Significant weight loss
- Increased Body temperature
- Mood Swings
- Violent behavior
The highly addictive nature of methamphetamine causes long-term effects, and users resort to extreme and often criminal actions to continue buying the expensive drug. Even individuals who are usually good-natured have been known to steal from loved ones to sell the items for drug money after becoming addicted to Meth.
Dangers of Meth Addiction
Long-term use of Meth has extremely adverse mental, physical, emotional, social, and health effects. Meth is an expensive drug, and users cannot maintain daily responsibilities like holding down a job while under the influence, causing them to resort to other means of making money. The way that chemical disrupts the brain’s dopamine system, the center responsible for coordination, memory, and mood stabilization.
The personality of individuals addicted to methamphetamine is often drastically different from their sober character, with substance abusers becoming paranoid, violent, aggressive, and untrustworthy. The need to use it again becomes the most important thing to them, even more so than family or their own children.
The physical effects of crystal meth drug addiction are also severe and detrimental. While under the influence, users feel a complete loss of appetite leading to weight loss and other effects of malnutrition like bone and muscle weakness and hair loss. Meth causes an intense itching feeling, and users will scratch at their skin and face until sores appear. Tooth decay and loss, so common that it is known as “meth mouth,” is seen in those who smoke the drug and damage the nasal canal in those who snort it. Injecting the drug is highly corrosive, and users often run out of places they can inject due to damage to their veins and skin.
Find out about the Meth recovery rate in our blog below:
Drug Rehab for Meth Addiction
While Meth is one of the most highly addictive illegal substances, the meth withdrawal process is not the most extreme, and a future of sobriety is highly possible for methamphetamine substance abusers. Once the system is detoxed from the chemicals of Meth, for about one week, the physical cravings disappear, and those in recovery just have to focus on mental cravings and the habit of using Meth as a coping skill.
Most top-rated drug rehab centers are equipped to help individuals overcome meth addiction. The WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab treatment center offers all levels of care with compassion to those overcoming substance abuse. No matter where you are in your recovery journey, WhiteSands has a place for you. Your treatment plan will be individualized to meet your needs and will contain multiple types of treatment designed to give you the best chance at long-term recovery. The addiction treatments and services offered at WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab treatment centers in Florida are:
- Medical Drug Detox
- Inpatient Rehab
- Residential Rehab
- Outpatient Rehab
- Intensive Outpatient treatment
- Dual Diagnosis Therapy Methods
- Family Therapy
- Relapse Prevention
- Intervention Programs
- Sober Living Programs
- Alternative and Holistic treatments
For more information about our locations, verify your insurance, or begin the admissions process, contact us at anytime. There’s no better time than today to take a chance for the better, and you deserve it.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.