meth addiction

Unique New Approaches to Meth Addiction Treatment

We’ve talked in previous articles about the dangers of meth addiction.

It is a highly addictive drug. Innovation is needed in primary approaches to treatment.

Many of the pharmacological approaches have their own risks and drawbacks.

One risk includes addiction to those very same drugs.

The below strategies are holistic approaches surrounding existing treatments.

Innovative Approaches to Meth Addiction Treatment

Below are a few potential holistic solutions in treating meth addiction. These approaches focus on the health and well-being of the patient.

Yoga

There are many benefits to practicing yoga, one including increased physical fitness.

The main aspect of yoga that has been shown to help recovering addicts from relapsing is meditation.

Meditation has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety in individuals.

Meditation can help a recovering addict by empowering them with the inner strength needed to control their cravings.

Nutrition Therapy

This approach looks toward the patients’ biochemical imbalances for key signifiers of addiction.

They look at factors like adrenal fatigue, stress, nutrient deficiencies, and neurotransmitter imbalances.

This therapy starts with an initial assessment of the recovering addict. It then ends with the creation of a plan to address those imbalances.

Nutritionists argue that these imbalances can act as tipping points to cravings.

Restoring their physical health will help stabilize their mood and reduce those cravings.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture has the potential to be an effective way of reducing withdrawal symptoms. 

There are many types of techniques involving acupuncture. This includes needles varying in thickness and temperature. There are also laser-based “needles” that provide the very same effects.

Acupuncture can help reduce pain in the general population. It can be an excellent supplement for those who experience severe withdrawal symptoms.

Gardening Therapy

Tending a garden can also have a positive impact on recovering addicts.

Being responsible for a physical task like taking care of a garden can help addicts in a few ways.

Gardening requires presence, attention, and patience, which can give patients much needed peace of mind.

It can also help improve concentration and a sense of accomplishment over time.

Pet Therapy

Introducing recovering patients to pets like cats and dogs have their benefits.

Caring for pets gives them a sense of responsibility that can empower them. It also teaches them a form of empathy for another life. Pets also show them much needed love and affection.

This allows them to rediscover their need to nurture and take care of the pets.

Recovering patients who take care of pets report less stress and depressive episodes.

Holistic Approaches As Supplements To Primary Treatment

These approaches help build confidence and reintroduce patients to a normal life.

They’re able to regain their sense of self and identity.

These are all hobbies that can help fill the idle time. It gives them something to focus on, take care of, and accomplish.

The above activities come with a sense of community and belonging. This sense can be difficult to get in a narcotic treatment center.

These approaches supplement primary treatment and recovery strategies. They have the possibility of enhancing the effectiveness of primary treatments.

These are still experimental and not proven to be consistently effective, so take these with a grain of salt.

Increasing Pharmacological Access to At-Risk Populations

The below requires changes to the current healthcare system on the federal level.

Primary care physicians understand this and are pushing for necessary changes.

Methadone Maintenance Therapy in Physician’s Offices

Methadone is one of the most successful drugs used when treating addiction.

Methadone Maintenance Therapy(MMT) is available to those who have completed methadone treatment.

Unfortunately, only narcotic treatment programs can directly prescribe methadone to patients. This bars primary care physicians from prescribing methadone to less severe cases.

As a result, only 20% of those struggling with addiction receive methadone treatment.

Federal law states that physicians can’t prescribe methadone to patients for pain. The problem exists when this prescription involves maintenance/detoxification of opioid-addicted patients.

Physicians would need to register ” as a Narcotic Treatment Program (NTP) with the DEA.

This single restriction for physicians has drastically prevented methadone availability to patients.

On the bright side, there have been pilot programs in certain states that allow physicians to prescribe methadone directly to their patients.

A few of the reported benefits include:

  • Reduced stigma associated with narcotic treatment centers. It is seen as another typical checkup with their doctors
  • Expands overall access to individuals who may need it
  • Allows for a better allocation of resources to those who have more severe symptoms
  • Limits or prevents contact between active users, who might influence meth use.

Another roadblock includes lack of physician support. This includes things like training, support services, and how-to work with MMT patients.

Physicians can help offset the problem of overcrowding at treatment centers. They can also ensure adherence and success post-treatment.

There’s Still Hope

The opioid crisis has gained national and international attention.

The result has been an increase in addiction research and the need for innovation.

Many treatment centers and research labs are looking for innovative approaches in treatment, including crystal meth addiction.

The holistic approaches help empower and normalize recovering addicts.

Successful collaboration between physicians and treatment centers is a much-needed milestone in the fight against meth addiction.

If you or someone you know is currently dealing with a crystal meth addiction, get in touch. We’ll provide them with a welcoming, supportive community to get them back on their feet.

Reference Links

types of meth

Crystal Meth, Glass, and Speed: 3 Different Types of Meth and Their Effects

You feel as though your life is spiraling out of control, and you’re absolutely desperate for relief, no matter how brief.

So, you turn to drugs. Specifically, you experiment with methamphetamine, an illegal stimulant that comes in different, dangerous forms, such as crystal meth, glass and speed.

The reality, though, is that for every good feeling you experience with meth comes a rash of other bad, potentially deadly ones.

Unfortunately, research shows that the use of meth has been surging throughout the United States in recent years, increasing from 3% to 4% of the country’s population from 2010 to 2015.

Here’s a rundown on the three different types of meth and their effects that you should know about.

Three Types of Meth Include Crystal Meth: What Exactly Is It?

This form of meth is a highly addictive and strong drug that impacts your body’s nervous system and can cause serious psychological issues.

This drug is available in a powder form that can be snorted.

This form of meth gets its name from its crystal-like appearance. What makes it so dangerous is that it is highly purified, as extra refining is performed so that impurities are removed from it.

The Feelings You Get from Crystal Meth

The potent rush that individuals experience when using the crystal form of this drug causes many of them to become hooked on it right away.

When you use crystal meth, a chemical known as dopamine floods areas of your brain that are responsible for regulating pleasure feelings. You may also feel energetic and confident.

If you continue to use the drug to experience the rush that comes with it, you’ll eventually develop a tolerance to it. As a result, you’ll need higher doses of meth to experience the high you used to experience with smaller amounts of it.

Unfortunately, the larger your doses of crystal meth are, the greater the risks.

The Effects of Crystal Meth

When you use crystal meth, your pupils will remain large and your eyes may move rapidly. In addition, you’ll feel like you can’t keep still and you’ll become talkative.

People who’ve developed an addiction to meth also typically complain about experiencing withdrawal symptoms if they go days or even hours without using the drug.

These withdrawal symptoms include the following:

  • Feeling violent
  • Feeling depressed
  • Breaking out in cold sweats
  • Experiencing panic attacks
  • Feeling hungry
  • Feeling tired

In addition, meth may drive up your body temperature, thus causing you to pass out. You could even pass away as a result of this.

People may notice a dramatic change in your looks as well. For instance, your skin might become dull and you may start to age quickly. You may also quit caring about your appearance.

You might even develop pimples and sores that are difficult to heal. Other apparent signs that you’re having a problem with meth are rotting, stained and broken teeth.

Additional Crystal Meth Use Signs

One of the most serious side effects of becoming addicted to meth is feeling paranoid.

For example, you might see and hear things that are not actually there. These hallucinations may drive you to hurt other people or yourself. You could also feel like bugs are crawling under or on your skin.

Crystal meth is also dangerous in that it lessens your inhibitions and affects your judgment. For instance, you might be more inclined to practice unsafe sex, thus putting you at greater risk for HIV and AIDS.

Here are some other indicators that you’re struggling with a crystal meth addiction:

  • Dry mouth
  • Constantly picking at your skin or hair
  • Odd sleeping patterns, like going days without sleeping
  • Erratic, jerky movements, including facial tics and twitching
  • Exaggerated or animated mannerisms
  • Appetite and weight loss
  • Mood swings and angry outbursts

You might also find yourself stealing, selling your possessions or asking to borrow money often to support your meth habit.

What Exactly is Glass (Also Known as Ice)?

Crystal meth and glass are often used interchangeably. This is because glass is rock hard and crystal clear, thus resembling crystal meth.

However, the chemical make-up of these two forms of meth are totally different.

Glass is between 90% and 100% meth whose crystalline form resembles rock salt. As a result, it is the most powerful and purest form of meth.

Crystal meth, on the other hand, is a powder with varying purity levels as mentioned earlier.

Glass, which also goes by the names of shabu, ice cream and crank, can be injected when it’s heated. You can also swallow, inhale or smoke it. However, most users smoke it, which provides them with an even greater level of euphoria that they can’t get with snorted crystal meth.

Since glass is a lot purer than crystal meth, it’ll give you a longer high than crystal meth can. In fact, you may still feel high 24 hours after using it. This synthetic drug’s high purity level also makes it far more addictive than crystal meth.

The Effects of Glass

Here are some common side effects of using glass:

  • Psychosis
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Teeth grinding
  • Dilated pupils
  • Meth mouth
  • Meth sores
  • Bacterial infections
  • Malnutrition

If you use too much of this manufactured drug, you could easily overdose and lose your life as a result.

Speed and Its Effects

This is the form of meth that you can typically purchase on the street.

Unlike glass, speed is greasy, powdery and poorly cut. Part of its draw is that it’s a lot cheaper than glass, but that’s because it’s less pure.

In some cases, it’s just 1% meth.

With moderate or low doses of meth, you may experience the following side effects:

  • Hallucinations and paranoia
  • Increased libido, or sex drive
  • Feelings of excitement and happiness
  • Increased motivation
  • Feelings of superiority and power
  • Greater strength
  • Increased talkativeness
  • Quicker reaction times
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Aggression, irritability and hostility
  • Panic, agitation, nervousness and anxiety
  • Repeating simple acts
  • The feeling of being alert and awake
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Shifts in your speech and thinking
  • Uncomfortable itching
  • Increased sweating and body temperature

When it comes to your physical health, you may also experience stomach cramps if you swallow the drug, along with dry mouth and enlarged pupils.

Some particularly serious health effects of speed are a more rapid breathing rate, along with increased blood pressure, heart palpitations and chest pain.

If you consume large doses of speed, you can also experience the following serious issues:

  • Tremors
  • Blurred vision
  • Losing your coordination
  • Breathing irregularly
  • Collapse
  • Stroke
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Rapid heart pounding

If you frequently use heavy doses of this drug, you could also experience hallucinations and paranoid delusions and your behavior may become violent or aggressive.

As this drug’s effects start to wear off, you may feel totally exhausted and lethargic. You could even feel depressed, anxious, tense, restless and irritable.

However, these symptoms typically go away several days after you quit using speed.

Why Meth Addiction Is So Serious

Whether you decide to use crystal meth, glass or speed, the drug can quickly take a toll on your health.

For instance, you may end up suffering from liver and kidney problems, as well as stroke. You may also be more susceptible to Parkinson’s disease.

When you look at the research, the health-related dangers of meth are especially apparent.

Data from 2017 show that the number of people who pursued medical help after taking meth was greater than the sum of people who sought help after consuming alcohol and cannabis combined. This makes it one of the most deadly drugs.

Meth also appears to negatively impact women more than it does men, although researchers aren’t sure why. A little more than 8% of women needed medical help after taking meth compared with nearly 4% of men.

What makes meth addiction particularly troubling is that this drug produces an extremely pleasurable feeling that can dissipate before the drug’s concentration in your blood decreases. As a result, you can easily binge on it.

The severity and length of a meth binge vary among users. However, it’s not uncommon for people to neglect eating or sleeping for several days. After that point, medical treatment might be necessary.

A Glimpse at Meth Treatment

If you are struggling with meth addiction, your loved ones may encourage you to seek treatment. After all, they may be worried about the harm you are doing to yourself.

The reality is that you’re better off getting help now before you get arrested for taking illegal drugs. In this situation, the choice will no longer be in your hands.

Also, since meth can have such a severe impact on your brain as well as other organs long term, it’s critical that you intervene sooner instead of later.

Fortunately, treatment centers and professional interventionists are available that have experience with fighting meth addiction.

Your first step? You’ll need to inquire about the type of coverage available to you through your insurer. Then, you can look for a rehab center and treatment facility that meets the certain criteria that addiction to meth requires.

Meth addiction is among the hardest addictions to beat. Between 30 days and 60 days is required to detox. Then, you’ll need extra time to tackle those underlying issues that resulted in your addiction.

An individualized and comprehensive treatment program that will cover you for the long haul is recommended.

Note that detoxification on its own simply isn’t enough to overcome your meth addiction. It’s paramount that you complete therapy as well to avoid relapse. If a person relapses, they might not get a second chance at kicking their drug habit.

In fact, behavioral therapy is considered to be the most powerful treatment for addiction to meth.

Additional Considerations

Other effective parts of the drug addiction intervention process include family education, the positive reinforcement of activities not related to drugs, drug testing and counseling.

As of now, no particular medications have been approved to be used in meth addiction. However, clinical research is currently in progress that is looking at vaccine or medication use for treating this type of drug addiction.

Also, a drug called bupropion (Wellbutrin), which is prescribed for depression, has been proven to decrease moderate or low meth cravings when used along with behavioral therapy. It’s believed that bupropion prevents the re-uptake of dopamine and norepinephrine in a drug user.

The most important thing, though is that you find a program that has strong inpatient treatment and a solid aftercare component. This will ensure that you have the support you need to transition to healthy, drug-free living.

How We Can Help

We offer top-notch treatment services aimed at helping families to find personalized drug rehab that will accept your insurance.

So many treatment centers are willing to guide you into recovery from the three types of meth discussed above. The question is, how exactly do you choose the best one for your needs?

Our goal is to make the decision much easier for you by providing you with dependable input on various treatment providers.

When you talk to individual rehab centers, you may feel like you’re repeatedly being sold to. This is why many people who are struggling with addiction turn to us before talking to rehab center staff members.

We are dedicated to making sure that you choose a center that will effectively meet your unique needs.

Here is our four-step process. First, we’ll help you to pinpoint a starting point for your treatment. Second, we’ll help to secure intervention services for you.

Third, we’ll work directly with your insurance provider. And finally, we’ll help you to select the best rehab center.

Get in touch with us to find out more about how we can help you to finally break free from the grip of meth addiction and get your life back.

signs of meth use

Is a Loved One on Meth? Signs of Meth Use You Should Never Ignore

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), methamphetamine abuse is on the decline nationwide. Still, in many communities and regions, meth continues to destroy lives and families at an unprecedented rate.

The signs that a friend or family member is using meth is different from signs of any other form of drug abuse. The effects of meth last for hours or even days because the drug drives users to binge.

When someone uses meth, that person’s behavior is dramatically different from the person you know. Users may behave erratically and exhibit signs of anxiety, euphoria, and paranoia.

Some people even become violent as their brains react to the effects of meth. Other may try to cope with the sensitivity and alertness that comes with meth use.

Do you think you see any of these signs of meth use in someone you know and love? While meth use remains uncommon among the population at large, those who do struggle with meth use and addiction need help.

In this article, you will learn what symptoms of meth use look like and how to help your addicted loved one.

The Profile of the Average Meth User

Unlike alcohol or marijuana, methamphetamine comes with a specific profile. This is partially because of the low rates of its use.

The 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) showed that 1.2 million people used methamphetamine in the last year. This includes 440,000 who used it in the previous month.

Thankfully, the number of adolescents reporting meth use dropped significantly from the first survey in 1999. The same report showed that the average age of new users in 2012 was between 19 to 20 years old. Today, young users are more likely between the ages of 18 and 25 years old.

Data also suggests that the majority of those admitted to treatment for methamphetamine use are non-Hispanic white males.

Where in the U.S. Is Meth Use Most Common?

Since the start of the ongoing opioid crisis, meth use has been on the decline. However, in recent years, methamphetamine use resurged in both its old strongholds and new, unlikely places.

In the early 2000s, meth often came from local labs or abroad cartels. Today, some cartels from Mexico bring it across the border for national distribution. In fact, the amount of meth seized in San Diego, Laredo, and Tucson far outweigh meth seized in all other areas of the U.S.

Some states that are now struggling with the meth use include Montana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and even Hawaii.

Meth violations in Montana more than tripled in the five years between 2010 and 2015.

In Oklahoma, the top cause of drug-related deaths is methamphetamine. Oxycodone takes a distant second place.

Law enforcement in South Dakota and Hawaii are both battling against rising rates of meth use.

So, essentially, meth use can happen anywhere. If your friend or loved one has a history of drug use, particularly heroin, then a meth problem may not be far behind.

What Are the Signs of Meth Use?

Meth use has a few tell-tale signs that come in the form of behavioral changes like:

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Sleep loss
  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Appetite loss
  • Weight fluctuations

One of the most recognizable signs of meth use is insomnia and other sleeping problems.

Why Does Meth Cause Sleep Loss?

Staying awake for days at a time is one symptom associated with methamphetamine. But why does it happen?

The primary effect of meth is euphoria. Methamphetamine causes the release of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Releasing these neurotransmitters isn’t a bad thing, and drugs like prescription anti-depressants are designed to do the same thing. However, the effects of meth differ dramatically.

The effects of meth can last for as long as 12 hours, but it varies from person to person.

The High

Upon first injecting, smoking, or snorting meth, the user typically experiences an intense euphoria that lasts only a few minutes. During this period, the user might also experience:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Dilated pupils
  • Thought-blending
  • Sexual stimulation

It’s the first rush that encourages continued use, which can lead to addiction. Because the first high only lasts a few minutes, users find it hard to let it go.

After the Initial High

When those first five minutes pass, the high moves into the second phase. The user still feels euphoria, but it’s less intense. The other effects, like sexual stimulation and hyperactivity, remain the same.

Once the euphoria passes, users want more. This typically leads to binge use. Someone chasing the initial rush of euphoria may continue using meth for days at a time.

As time progresses, users begin “tweaking” for four to 24 hours. The euphoria is gone, but there are still intense physical symptoms. Tweaking usually entails:

  • Anxiety
  • Cravings
  • Paranoia
  • Irritability
  • Hallucinations
  • Scattered thoughts

As this point, a user could be awake for days, which only contributes to the symptoms.

The Crash

After a while, users enter a period known as “the crash.”

A crash lasts from one to three days. Someone crashing will want to continue using meth, but they will also feel physically exhausted.

A period of normalization comes at the end of this cycle. It usually lasts between two to seven days. During normalization, many of the psychological and physiological symptoms subside. However, users still experience cravings— they still want to chase the initial euphoria that comes with the high.

If they don’t use meth again for a while, they begin experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal

The intensity of meth withdrawal can easily lead to relapse.

In a clinical study, researchers found that users experience severe depressive symptoms during meth withdrawal. Though, people experience these symptoms across a broad scale with the average person suffering a mild-moderate level of severity.

Psychosis also occurs during meth withdrawal.

Most of these symptoms subside within a week, but some users may continue to experience cravings for up to five weeks after their last high.

What Are Some Other Signs of Meth Use?

Some of the signs of meth use are social.

Someone who regularly uses meth might experience changes like:

  • Mood swings
  • Angry outbursts
  • Strange sleeping patterns
  • Psychotic or paranoid behavior
  • Lack of care for hygiene or personal appearance
  • Asking to borrow money, stealing, or selling their possessions

These are all signs of meth use, but drug abuse may not always be the cause of these behavioral changes. With this in mind, it is essential to reach out and understand any changes in your loved one’s behavior before jumping to any conclusions about drug abuse.

How to Recognize Meth

Finding the drug itself is the most significant sign that a person is either using or planning to use.

Meth tends to be:

  • Odorless
  • Soluble (i.e., dissolvable)
  • White, clear, or transparent

If you find a bag of white crystalline powder or cloudy crystals that look like ice, then it is likely that you have discovered meth.

It’s also vital to look for signs of any paraphernalia, including:

  • Needles
  • Syringes
  • Razor blades
  • Surgical tubes
  • Pieces of glass
  • Burned spoons
  • Short, cut straws
  • Rolled up paper bills (of money)

Finding both drugs and drug paraphernalia is a pretty definite sign of meth use. If you have found evidence that your loved one has a meth problem, here’s what to do next.

When Someone You Love Is Using Meth

Even if you discover that someone you care about is using meth, it’s important to remember that the chemical properties of meth make it easy to become dependent or even addicted after only a few uses. Meth cravings can last for a month after last use— it’s a difficult drug to beat.

So, don’t judge your loved one. The best thing you can do to help when someone you know is on meth is to listen.

Listening will allow your loved one to open up about the problem— and also about whether or not your loved one wants help.

As you listen, remember that you are there to support your loved one. You can ask questions, but be respectful. The decision to enter rehab is not up to you.

Starting Positive Change

Meth is one of the most challenging drugs to quit. So, if your loved one isn’t immediately ready for rehab, you shouldn’t push.

People have to want to change to make the most of rehab.

Instead, maintain your relationship, but set boundaries that promote safe behavior. Make it clear to your loved one what is and isn’t acceptable. Enforce clear consequences for any broken boundaries.

Also, be sure to avoid enabling any harmful behavior. For example, be very careful about giving money to your loved one if he or she is still actively using meth.

Gather Support from Others

Trying to help a loved one tackle a meth addiction is stressful. The user may need help, but you shouldn’t be the only one to offer love and support.

Get support for both your loved one and yourself. Safety is the most important thing for both the person you’re concerned about and yourself.

Then, when everyone involved is ready, consider holding an intervention to talk to your loved one about giving up meth. It’s a hard drug to kick, but nothing good comes from meth use.

If your loved one decides to get help, look into different treatment options.

Rehab and Treatment Options for Methamphetamine

Treatment for meth addiction can take place in several different settings. Popular methods of care include:

In most cases, treatment begins with detox, which helps manage any lingering withdrawal symptoms. Remember, withdrawal symptoms from meth use tend to last up to one week. Symptoms also vary from person to person. Some may experience depressive symptoms, while others deal with psychotic symptoms.

The difficulty of undergoing detox often lies in dealing with meth cravings, which last up to four weeks after the last dosage.

And, depending on the patient, medically managed withdrawal is sometimes necessary to avoid fatal side effects.

Other types of detox may include:

  • Ambulatory detoxification
  • Medically supervised detox
  • Non-medical residential detox
  • Clinically managed residential detox

Keep in mind that no one form of drug detox is better than another.

What to Look For in an Effective Treatment Program

Getting and staying sober depends on getting the right form of support. Different programs work for different people, and no single treatment works for everyone.

Methamphetamine rehab tends to work best when it includes both cognitive behavioral programs and contingency management interventions.

Some other effective methods include:

  • Drug testing
  • 12-Step support
  • Family education
  • Individual counseling
  • Participation in sober activities

As of right now, there are no medications on the market that aid meth abstinence. However, ongoing trials are working to change that.

Ultimately, support from counselors, friends, and family play the most critical role in a successful recovery from meth addiction.

Meth Addiction Isn’t the End

Methamphetamine is a dangerous and addictive drug that continues to ravage communities in the United States. It is a cheaper alternative to opiates, and its abundance fuels its widespread use.

If you spot signs of meth use in someone you know, it doesn’t mark the end. Willingness to seek treatment and enrolling in an appropriate treatment program will help users get and stay sober.

Are you or your loved one ready to start your recovery? Contact us today to talk to a counselor and initiate an intervention.

meth addiction

How to Quit Meth: What You Can Do to Help End Meth Addiction

If you suspect that someone you care about has fallen prey to meth addiction, we know that it’s easy to feel helpless.

You want to know how you can help them, but you’re not sure the best way to approach them.

You also want to know more about the most common symptoms of meth use, as well as the long-term consequences of abusing this horrific drug. Most of all, you want to understand what it takes to stage an effective intervention, and how to find the right kind of treatment program.

This post will tell you everything you need to know about starting someone on the path to recovery from meth addiction.

Know the Signs of Meth Use

The first thing that you need to understand before you try to assist someone who you suspect is using meth?

The most common symptoms of meth use.

Keep in mind that not every user will display all of these symptoms. Additionally, the intensity of the symptoms will likely vary based on how long they’ve been using, and how much they use.

Still, it helps to have a basic idea of meth symptoms. These usually fall into two categories: emotional and physical.

Meth Mouth: Common Physical Signs of Meth Use

Since the physical signs that someone is a meth addict are often more obvious, let’s take a look at them first.

You’re likely already aware to be on the lookout for what’s commonly referred to as “meth mouth.” In fact, over 95% of meth users have some sort of cavities, and well over half of them have tooth decay that’s been left untreated.

Over 1/4 of meth addicts also have six or more teeth that are completely missing.

Look for teeth that are rotting, severely stained, or even discolored and chipped.

So, why does this happen?

Meth mouth is one of the most common symptoms of meth use because meth itself is acidic.

This means that it can wear down the surface of the teeth quickly. Plus, meth creates a high that causes users to want to chow down on foods and drinks with a high sugar content. Users also frequently clench and grind their teeth, especially if they’re going through withdrawal symptoms.

Plus, the simple fact is that when someone is high, oral hygiene often falls by the wayside.

Other Physical Meth Addiction Symptoms

Meth mouth is far from the only physical sign of a meth addiction.

You may also begin to spot open sores, scars, and lesions on the body of the person you suspect may be a meth addict.

This is because meth actually lowers the levels of blood circulation in the body. In fact, it actually constricts your blood vessels, which can sometimes lead to blood clots. (We’ll talk more about the consequences of meth use later on in this post.)

Over time, it becomes harder for a user’s body to heal itself as it normally would. Plus, the body soon becomes more susceptible to serious skin infections, which makes sores and scarring even more intense.

Of course, meth users also quickly lose a lot of weight. Sadly, the desire to shed a few pounds can sometimes be what leads someone to start using meth in the first place.

Remember that meth, in addition to working as an appetite suppressant, also increases your overall energy levels.

Sadly, meth also seriously ages the people who use it. This is because it actually damages your skin’s overall elasticity level, which can cause you to develop wrinkles and look older.

Finally, you may be familiar with the concept of “tweaking.” These are physical ticks like rapid eye movements and other jerky, uncoordinated and seemingly random movements. In some cases, the meth user may deal with insomnia for several days on end.

You’ll notice that they begin to speak increasingly rapidly, and that sometimes, what they’re saying doesn’t seem to make any sense.

The Emotional Signs of Meth Addiction

Of course, there is a lot more to meth addiction than the physical symptoms alone.

The friends and family members of a meth addict will often notice — and struggle to deal with — the emotional consequences of meth use.

First of all, you may notice that the addict has become extremely paranoid lately. They may accuse you of lying to them, or think that you and other people who love them are “out to get them.” They’ll frequently blame everyone else around them for their addiction and unhappiness.

You should expect for mood swings and the addict’s overall feelings and emotional state to be extreme and, usually, intense. Fits of tears, shouting matches, and sometimes even physical violence can occur.

The meth user frequently makes reckless and impulsive decisions with little regard for how they’ll impact the people around them. They may steal money, prostitute themselves, or do almost anything to get their next fix.

In some cases, the meth user may also socially withdraw. They likely do this because they fear you’ll tell them to get help, when they may not even be ready to admit they have a problem in the first place.

Their social group has likely changed, and the people they spend time with support their use (as they’re often meth addicts themselves.)

The things and people they used to prioritize, even their own children, no longer seem to matter. It’s the emotional side effects that often encourage people to stage an intervention for the addict, as the person they used to know is gone.

Risks of Meth Use

Now that you’re familiar with the signs of meth use, let’s talk about the long-term and immediate risks.

Especially if you’re considering having an intervention for a meth user, knowing these risks — and being realistic with the user about them — is a tool you need to have in your negotiation toolbox.

Users may feel an overwhelming sense of anxiety and depression. This can lead to disorientation and confusion. In some cases, they may experience panic attacks, hallucinations, and even psychosis.

In time, these can develop into mood disorders.

Using meth also puts a person’s reproductive health, and even their future children, at risk.

They’re also at a higher risk of contracting sexually transmitted disease and other infectious diseases. They could fall into a coma, have a stroke or seizure, or suffer from a heart attack at almost any time.

There’s no such thing as “safe” or “moderate” meth use, and you’re at a risk of a potentially fatal overdose every time that you use.

They may also have to deal with liver failure and other forms of organ damage, as meth generates toxins in the body and destroys a person’s healthy muscle tissues.

In some cases, permanent eye and vision damage can also occur.

In short: there are a million reasons to stop using, but none to keep on going.

Now, let’s take a look at what you can do to reach the meth addict in your life.

Preparing an Intervention with a Meth Addict

We know that meth addiction can and does tear families apart, put people behind bars, and ruin countless lives.

Especially given the national Opioid Crisis, more attention than ever before is being given to addiction and what it can do. You want to help the person you love get control over their lives again by asking them to accept help.

Staging an intervention is tricky, but often successful in encouraging many different kinds of addicts to get the help that they need.

However, you have to know how to do it the right way.

First of all, get real with yourself and the other people in the room about the kinds of boundaries you’ll have to impose if the addict doesn’t take the treatment.

You’ll no longer drive them to see their kids, to get their drugs, or to go to work or run errands. They’re not welcome in your home. You won’t lend them money. You won’t even take their calls.

This is hard, but it helps the addict to see what’s at stake, and how their choices have affected the lives of others.

You’ll also need to approach the addict from a place of love, not from a place of anger and judgment. You don’t want to make the addict feel guiltier or more worthless than they already do.

Focus on talking about the good memories and the qualities that make them such a special person who is worthy of getting help. Remind them of the good times, and talk about how you feel their addiction has changed them.

It’s a smart idea to have an addiction counselor or an intervention specialist in the room. They can help you understand what to do if the addict tries to flee the intervention and facilitate the conversation in general.

Finding the Right Treatment Program

If the intervention has gone well, then the meth addict in your life is ready to accept the help.

You just need to make sure you’ve found a treatment program that is the best possible fit for them. You’ll also need to ensure they have support when it comes to a detox program.

Detoxing from Meth

Meth withdrawal can be intense, and when a person starts to get help, detox is usually the first phase of treatment.

Detoxing without supervision or quitting “cold turkey” is incredibly dangerous, not to mention, often unsuccessful. Medically-supervised detoxing ensures that the addict is getting the attention, emotional support, and perhaps even medication that they need.

Plus, it’s hard to know how long the detox process will take, as it varies depending on the intensity of the meth use.

The meth addict needs professional care and supervision during this incredibly challenging time.

The Long-Term Treatment Program

There are countless different kinds of treatment programs for meth addicts in today’s world.

This means that you can find an option that aligns with an addict’s goals, personalities, and even the level of their addiction. Look for treatment programs that will look at the addict as a whole, offering psychological treatment in addition to detox services.

A good program will help them learn how to identify and manage triggers and cravings. It will also address the root causes of addiction, and force the addict to deal with past trauma.

A good program combines both individual and group therapy with specialized classes like art therapy, health and fitness programs, and even outdoor activities and wilderness explorations.

Additionally, especially if the person has been addicted for a long time, family therapy may be the right move for the addict. This means that everyone can learn how they can support the addict in their continued recovery once they leave a treatment program.

Help End Someone’s Meth Addiction Today

We hope that this post has helped you to better understand the signs and symptoms of meth addiction, as well as the long and short-term consequences of using meth.

More than anything, now, you have a stronger grasp on how to help the meth addict in your life.

Staging an intervention and encouraging them to seek treatment can be emotionally challenging, but we know you’ll do whatever you can to help them get control of their life again.

We want to be able to help.

We provide all the resources that you need to understand treatment options.

Get in touch with us today for a confidential assessment, and to learn more about the treatment programs available.

meth addiction

Facts, Symptoms, and Signs of Meth Use

Meth is one of the most addictive substances in the world, and it comes in many forms. The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that roughly 24.7 million people abuse amphetamine-type stimulants, including methamphetamine.

Moreover, the U.S. government found that 13 million Americans over the age of 12 had used meth in the year 2008. Of them, 529,000 were regular users.

The problem isn’t getting any better; it’s getting worse.

Whether you or you know someone is a meth user, now is the time to get help. Keep reading to learn the symptoms, facts, and signs of meth use.

Facts About Meth Addiction

It is important to note that there is a clear distinction between meth and crystal meth.

Methamphetamine is a human-made drug derived from the chemicals n-methyl-1-phenylpropan-2-amine. It’s a highly addictive stimulant similar to amphetamine that directly affects your central nervous system. Some street names for meth include “chalk,” “Tina,” “gak,” and “cranks.”

Unlike crystal meth, meth usually looks like a white crystalline powder. However, it can also come in other colors like pink, yellow-gray, and brown. It’s also important to note that meth in powder form has a bitter taste, has no smell, and dissolves quickly in water.

Crystal meth, on the other hand, is an addictive form of methamphetamine that looks like small shards of glass. Some variations even look like shiny blue-white rocks. These characteristics lend themselves to popular street names like “glass,” “ice,” and “crystal.”

Who Uses Meth?

Studies have shown that the demographics for meth users are pretty vast. In fact, most meth addicts are between the ages of 15 and 40.

It’s also worth noting that many meth users often abuse other drugs as well.

How Meth Affects the Body

Meth has several routes of administration. Most users snort, smoke, or inject it. Others take the drug orally. No matter what form it takes, meth has a powerful effect on the central nervous system and can lead to addiction in as little as a few weeks.

Once meth enters the body, it suppresses the user’s appetite and increases the user’s energy levels. If injected, snorted, or smoked, users will feel the euphoric effects immediately.

When users ingest meth orally, it takes between 15 to 20 minutes for the drug to take effect. The faster the drug is absorbed, the more powerful it is— and the higher the risk of addiction becomes.

The History of Meth

In 1893, Japanese scientist Nagayoshi Nagai developed methamphetamine. It was used in World War II to boost endurance and combat fatigue. Soldiers from all over used it during this time. In fact, the drug made its way to England, America, and even Germany.

After the war, pharmaceutical companies began profiting off of meth as an over-the-counter pill for the general public. As a result, the first meth epidemic began. It started in Japan and spread to the West Coast of the U.S. in the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s.

After this massive wave of meth use, the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 classified all forms of amphetamines as Schedule II drugs. Then, in 1996, Congress passed the Comprehensive Methamphetamine Control Act, which regulated mail order and chemical companies that sold the chemicals that make up meth.

How is Meth Made?

People cook meth using over-the-counter medicines and chemicals commonly found at home. In fact, the easy accessibility of meth ingredients contributes to its high rates of use and addiction.

Basic meth ingredients include:

  • Acetone
  • Lithium
  • Toluene
  • Sulfuric acid
  • Red phosphorous
  • Hydrochloric acid
  • Sodium hydroxide
  • Anhydrous ammonia
  • Ephedrine/Pseudoephedrine

Many of these chemicals are major ingredients in household items. For example, acetone is an ingredient in nail polish remover, anhydrous ammonia is a common ingredient in cleaners and fertilizers, and lithium can be found in normal batteries.

Other chemicals like ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are ingredients in diet pills and cold medicines.

Naturally, some of these meth ingredients are more harmful than others. For example, toluene is so corrosive that it can dissolve rubber, and it is a major ingredient in brake fluid. Red phosphorus from matchboxes and explosives are incredibly flammable. Sulfuric acid, a standard ingredient in most drain cleaners, can burn your skin if you come into direct contact with it.

Obviously, all of these items are extremely dangerous on their own. But when you mix them, they become lethal.

Plus, cooking meth is just as dangerous as using it. If you think you’ve found a meth lab, leave immediately. The volatile materials used to make meth are highly flammable. Meth labs can easily explode.

Factors of Meth Addiction

There are several reasons why people become addicted to meth. Doctors believe the following factors contribute to a high rate of addiction:

Biology

Meth addiction is partly biological. This drug, like many others, causes significant changes in the brain. These changes often make it difficult to experience pleasure naturally. So, in an attempt to regain feelings of euphoria, users abuse the drug at increasingly higher volumes.

Genetics

Genetics also play a role in addiction. If you have family members who struggle with meth addiction, such as siblings or parents, then you are at a higher-than-average risk of developing an addiction as well.

Environment

Even the user’s environment is a factor. Those who grow up in unstable homes are more likely to use drugs. For example, those who struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other forms of past trauma may turn to drug use to cope.

Mental Illness

Overall, addiction is as much psychological as it is physical. It’s not uncommon for those who abuse drugs to also struggle with untreated or undiagnosed mental illnesses. Some even use illegal substances in an effort to self-medicate.

Risks of Meth Addiction

Known symptoms of meth use include anxiety, insomnia, and depression.

Moreover, it’s not uncommon for meth users to experience psychotic symptoms such as violent behavior. These symptoms can also last even after the user has stopped using meth.

This drug severely changes the way your brain functions. It increases the release of dopamine, the brain’s “feel-good” chemical. But, at the same time, it also blocks the brain from absorbing the dopamine that gets released.

As a result, people who have abused or are currently abusing methamphetamine may experience reduced motor skills and impaired verbal skills.

Signs of Meth Use

It’s helpful to recognize the signs of someone abusing meth. If you see someone’s appearance or overall health taking a turn for the worse, it’s a sign that something is wrong.

Meth use can cause premature aging within months of regular use. Users can also lose teeth, a side effect that is commonly called “meth mouth.”

Other signs of meth use include sleeplessness, jitters, decreased appetite, increased breathing rate, or higher-than-normal body temperature.

Convulsions and hypertension are also common in meth users. And, as is the case with cocaine and speed, small amounts of meth can cause rapid or irregular heartbeat. High doses of meth can even cause stroke, heart attack, or organ failure.

Meth also increases libido, which is not necessarily a good thing. In fact, increased risky sexual activity in meth users may result in the contraction of hepatitis or even HIV.

Tweaking

“Tweaking” is another sign of meth abuse. It occurs at the end of a drug binge when the user can no longer feel the euphoric effects and is left with intense cravings.

Users who are “tweaking” may be picking at their skin or hair, causing scabs and bruises. Dilated pupils, rapid eye movements, constantly talking, jerky movements, or unusual outbursts or mood swings are other signs of “tweaking.”

“Tweaking” may cause users to stay awake for days or weeks, which may result in psychosis. Hallucinations are not uncommon, either.

If someone you know is “tweaking,” exercise caution. Meth users are more likely to harm themselves or others during this stage of drug use.

Meth Withdrawal

Admitting to a drug problem isn’t easy for anyone. If you or someone you love needs to stop using methamphetamine, know that it will not be an easy or pleasant process; but it is a necessary one.

Luckily, detoxing from this drug is not particularly risky or dangerous. But that doesn’t mean addicts should try to stop on their own.

To ensure a safe and successful detox, you should always detox in a proper rehab center where trained medical professionals will supervise your recovery.

Signs of a Meth Withdrawal

There are quite a few signs of meth withdrawal. Common symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Cravings
  • Irritability
  • Weight gain
  • Night sweats
  • Teeth grinding
  • Decreased energy
  • Increased appetite
  • Intense depression
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Suicidal ideation or thoughts of self-harm

The more meth you use and the longer you use it for, the harder it is to recover. In fact, it can take as much as two years to fully recover from meth addiction. This is especially true if your meth use has caused long-term damage to your organs.

This is why specialized treatment is so necessary. Professional help will minimize the possibility of relapsing. You’ll need continuous care to get and stay sober.

The sooner you stop using, the sooner you can begin to heal.

Levels of Care for Meth Addiction Treatment

If you’re ready to get help, the first step is to check with your insurance company to see what type of care they’ll cover. This is a vital step.

You don’t want to enter a treatment program only to find out that your insurance company won’t cover the costs. Once you know what your insurance covers, then you can figure out what type of rehab is best for you.

Detoxification

Detox takes anywhere from five to ten days. Usually, the length of time depends on you, your addiction, and the type of treatment center you choose.

Most detox services involve close monitoring. Others utilize medicines to help you detox. In any case, detox is a vital first step in the recovery process.

Inpatient Care

Inpatient care is when you enter a rehab treatment facility and stay there. At an inpatient facility, you’ll be safe and under the supervision of medical professionals who are trained to handle meth addictions.

You’ll receive counseling, participate in group therapy, and do other treatments to assist in the healing process. Overall, inpatient care is a great way to get away from your triggers and focus on yourself and your health.

Partial Hospitalization (PHP) and Intensive Outpatient Care (IOP)

This type of treatment is more or less a hybrid of inpatient and outpatient care. Patients spend their work week at a treatment center to focus on healing. Then, on the weekends, they get to be at home with their families.

Most insurance companies cover this type of rehab for much longer than they would for an inpatient residential program. In fact, intensive outpatient treatments with partial hospitalization are becoming more popular with insurance companies.

Still, it’s important to keep in mind that these types of programs usually don’t offer the same full range of services as an inpatient treatment center would.

Outpatient Care

Outpatient care is a good option for when you need to be at home. This level of care allows you to receive the help you need without staying overnight at the facility. You’d be staying at home in the evenings, surrounded by your friends and family.

During outpatient care, you can continue working to support yourself and your family. You’ll attend scheduled group therapies and address your triggers so you can stay sober.

Get Help for Meth Addiction Today

Meth addiction destroys your brain, your body, and your life. And it doesn’t affect just you— it affects every person you know and care about.

Contact us for more information about meth addiction treatment options.

cost of meth addiction

What Is Your Meth Addiction Costing You?

Did you know that for the price of a steak dinner, you can buy 1/2 gram of meth?

In the average steakhouse, a ribeye costs about $50.00. If you’re not a meat-eater, substitute your favorite meal at a pasta restaurant. You’ll still spend close to what it costs to buy enough meth to get the average addict through only a day or two.

For people who aren’t addicted to meth, it doesn’t typically make sense that anyone would choose meth over a wonderful dinner at a restaurant. But it might not sound strange to you if meth is a big part of your daily existence.

Maybe you’ve never thought about your meth use in comparison to what you’d spend at a good restaurant. Is your mouth watering yet?

If you’re craving a steak or your favorite vegan dish right now, we want to help you understand why using meth might prevent you from enjoying a good meal.

Take a few minutes and learn what you’re really paying to use meth. You’ll be surprised to find out the cost of methamphetamine isn’t just felt in your wallet.

The Cost of Methamphetamines

Any substance use costs money, but the cost to use meth can be huge. Of course, cost depends on the area of the country you live in, but if you’re a casual user, plan on spending roughly $27,000 per year. The addicted user spends $74,000 on meth on average.

These numbers are just what comes out of our wallet. They don’t include what your doctor makes to treat you if you overdose, or what your lawyer pockets if you get into legal trouble.

The financial impact deepens even further for users who get caught with meth in their possession.

Pay for Your Lawyer’s Vacation

The discussion starts with a look at legal fees. Lawyers require retainer fees, which are paid upfront in most cases. Depending on whether you’re charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, you may pay as much as $10,000 for the retainer.

The total dollar amount for legal fees depends on how complex the case is, and how long it takes to fight it.

Due to the huge increase in meth laws at both the federal and state level, penalties are now more severe than ever for people caught with the drug. Depending on the state you live in, the amount you’re caught with and your lawyer’s ability to fight your case successfully, you could:

  • Pay a fine
  • Serve a misdemeanor jail sentence
  • Serve a lengthy prison term for a felony conviction

The costs to fight a legal case can bankrupt an individual, but there are other ways meth users suffer financially.

Treatment Isn’t Cheap

Addiction recovery, in general, is costly, but meth addiction recovery is also an intense and lengthy process, furthering driving up costs.

Treatment starts with a 30 to 60-day detox followed by at least another 30 days of intensive inpatient therapy. Once a user is discharged from inpatient treatment, they should begin outpatient therapy. Length of treatment and cost depends on the severity of the addiction and the type of treatment program chosen.

The cost for treatment ranges from $15,000 to $27,000. Medical insurance may pay for a portion of the bill, but usually, patients are responsible for the rest.

The question of how much you and/or your family can afford to pay for treatment is certainly important, but perhaps even more important is finding a high-quality facility where you receive the best care possible.

The impact on your wallet is significant, but the physical costs are also severe.

Your Body Pays Dearly

No one starts out using drugs to deliberately destroy their body. But the end results of long-term use can alter a user’s ability to live a healthy life.

Unlike some other illicit drugs, meth doesn’t require a long “breaking in” period.

First-time users typically experience an intense pleasure rush. They come back the next time expecting that same ecstatic feeling only to realize they need more of the drug each time they use. The increasing need for more of the drug to get the same initial effect is what makes meth so addictive.

Long-term use hammers away at the user’s brain and cognitive abilities. It also destroys their appearance and their emotional well-being.

The Brain

When someone first uses meth, it releases dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is one of the brain chemicals associated with the experience of pleasure. Long-term use depletes dopamine stores in the brain and also destroys dopamine receptors.

Using meth changes brain chemistry and destroys the area of the brain responsible for pleasure. The drug becomes the body’s traitor and, in some users, the ability to experience any pleasure is destroyed.

Damage to the brain caused by meth can also be permanent.

Some users experience long-term issues including a decline in reasoning, problems with judgment, and a decrease in motor coordination. If that’s not bad enough, meth users exhibit violent behavior caused by an increase in adrenaline.

The fight-or-flight reaction to adrenaline may cause extreme anxiety. Some users are also pushed into a hyper-alert state, which can lead to obsessive and disturbing behaviors and psychological issues.

The Heart

If the damage to your brain isn’t bad enough, consider your heart.

Meth is a stimulant. Stimulants make the heart race and the blood vessels constrict. These two activities can result in heart attacks and strokes.

Cardiac symptoms such as irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, and inflammation of blood vessels close to the brain and in the lining of the heart have doctors concerned about long-term damage caused by meth use.

People who use stimulants, including meth, are at an increased risk for hemorrhagic strokes, which happen as a result of broken blood vessels in the brain. Unfortunately, heart damage and damage to the blood vessels may be permanent even if a meth user is able to stop using.

Meth users pay the price of their addiction physically with damage to the brain and cardiac system.

The Teeth

Damage to teeth from using meth doesn’t only happen in long-term users, but the longer you use, the more damage you cause to your teeth and gums.

It’s common for meth users to have a mouthful of stained and decaying teeth.

Dentists believe that this substantial tooth decay is caused by a combination of drug-induced changes including dry mouth, poor diet, and horrible dental hygiene. Dentists try to treat the resulting cavities and gum disease, but often the damage is so bad that teeth must be extracted.

Meth users also grind their teeth often, which explains the high incidence of cracked and broken teeth.

Long-term meth use wreaks havoc on your teeth, but your skin and hair also take a serious beating.

Skin and Hair

Meth use typically adds several years to a user’s appearance.

Meth destroys tissues and blood vessels, creating an environment where the body has a hard time healing itself. The skin pays the price by becoming dry and dull. Users may also develop acne.

Heavy use makes some users feel like they have bugs crawling under their skin. They react by constantly scratching and picking at their skin in an attempt to get rid of the bugs. Most heavy meth users have sores and scars caused by the constant scratching and also tend to lose hair for the same reason.

Meth use causes sporadic eating patterns resulting in extreme weight loss. Meth users rarely look healthy. Instead, they have a frail and haunted appearance.

Meth Steals Your Social Life

The first thing most people associate with meth use is the high financial cost and negative health effects. Yet associated social issues are just as costly and painful.

Soiled Reputation

People who use meth are often judged not only by society but by their own family and friends. Users fall victim to one of the many myths about addiction. Once labeled, it’s difficult to repair a ruined reputation. As wrong as it is, most users will encounter people who believe that those who abuse drugs are bad people who should get what they deserve.

It’s not difficult to understand why some people may feel this way. After all, addicts often hurt the people who care most about them, and it’s not easy to get over being hurt in this way.

Reputations can be restored and so can relationships, but change takes time and perseverance.

Involvement in Criminal Activity

Meth users don’t always turn to crime. However, because meth can cause a person to use poor judgment, users often find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

When a person is high on meth, they may commit both petty and violent crimes.

By the time a user is involved in the criminal justice system, they’ve likely alienated at least a few people. One of the most unfortunate costs of meth use is the loss of social support at a time when it’s needed the most.

Risky Sexual Behavior

One effect of meth is increased libido. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong or abnormal about feeling sexual desire, meth users sometimes engage in risky sexual behavior due to this dramatic increase in libido.

Users often aren’t careful about who they have sex with, and expose themselves to people who are capable of causing them physical harm.

When considering the cost of crystal meth, you have to consider contracting sexually transmitted diseases, including Hepatitis B & C, as well as HIV.

Problems at Work

When asking the question, “how much does meth cost?,” it is important to look at how meth use affects the user at work.

Meth users have more issues with absenteeism than employees who are not users. Excessive absenteeism usually ends up in termination, putting users in a cycle of frequent job changes. This isn’t just an issue for the user.

Employers feel the high cost of meth through absenteeism, workmen’s compensation claims, and high rates of employee turnover.

Addiction in general spills over into the user’s job life, often resulting in poor morale, job instability, and a negative impact on safety for both the user and fellow workers.

Family Dynamics Suffer

Having an addict in the family is never an easy situation to navigate. Most families feel embarrassed to let others know their family has a problem. It’s never easy to admit a family is broken.

Consider the financial cost of meth to the user and it’s no shock when families become the user’s victim. By the time a user is addicted, they’ve likely lost or at least decreased their source of income. Many users steal from friends and family.

Even if you don’t steal from your family, your meth use still affects the way you relate to them. Meth often causes irrational and sometimes violent behavior. Maybe you’ve physically harmed someone you love or destroyed their personal property. Meth users are not always pleasant to be around, so it’s not unusual for the family to avoid interacting with them when they are using.

The family bears the burden of being broken by addiction.

The Next Generation

If you have children, you’re at risk of passing your addiction down to them.

Most loving parents would never wish it upon their children to experience drug addiction, but children of addicts are at a higher risk of becoming addicts themselves.

Science hasn’t located a specific “addiction gene”, but there are genes that make certain drugs cause intense pleasure, making it harder to quit using drugs and making withdrawal much more unpleasant. These genes can be passed on to future generations.

What children see as normal behavior is powerful as well. If your kids witness you using meth (or any other drug), over time they will perceive using as normal. It takes either you getting help or the child getting out of the environment to allow them to learn that using drugs isn’t normal.

You have the power to break the cycle by taking charge and beginning treatment.

It’s a Disease

Despite the heavy toll meth takes on multiple areas of user’s lives, it’s important to understand that meth addiction is a disease, not simply bad behavior.

Yes, you’ve likely behaved badly and hurt those you love. But consider this: if a friend is diagnosed with diabetes or cancer, do you condemn them and tell them they’re a horrible person? Of course not! Hopefully, you reassure them and encourage them to take care of their health.

Addiction should be viewed just like other diseases. You find help, accept it, and work on getting well.

Are you tired of paying the cost of methamphetamines? If you’re ready to take back your life, let Addiction Treatment Services help. Contact an intervention specialist today!

A Medication to Treat Methamphetamine Addiction?

ibudilasttrialResearchers at UCLA are currently working on what they believe may be a cure for methamphetamine addiction. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is monitoring human tests of the medicine that many believe is a way out for those addicted to methamphetamine. If successful, the medicine may also be the first non-opiate solution for those suffering from heroin and opiate addictions as well.

The drug is called Ibudilast. It works by inhibiting glial cells in the central nervous system. Glial cells have been found to be linked to drug addiction. “When you’re on meth, your whole brain is saying, ‘I need meth.’ If you could block meth from interfering with glial, it would allow the messages that you would like to be sending and receiving to actually get to your brain,” explained Dr. Aimee Swanson.

Researchers were encouraged that Ibudilast was effective when it was administered to 11 meth addicts who were not seeking out treatment for their addiction. Researchers found that the drug appeared to reduce the cravings for methamphetamine and there did not appear to be any safety risks in taking Ibudilast. There are other trials and experiments that need to be done on the drug to ensure its safety and effectiveness, but researchers believe they are on to something.

People suffering from a methamphetamine addiction seek out the help of a drug rehabilitation center to handle their addiction. Counseling, paired with abstinence and medical attention have been the tools used to treat a methamphetamine addiction. With the addition of Ibudilast, some fear that methamphetamine addicts will not seek out treatment to handle their addiction.

Treatment for drug addiction is vital in ensuring that the addict handles the problems in life that caused them to use drugs in the first place. While a drug like Ibudilast may be effective in reducing the cravings, it does not handle the difficulties or situations that led to the addiction or that were caused by the addiction. For maximum effectiveness an addict should enroll in a drug treatment program in addition to taking the medication.

Methamphetamine Use Decreasing in America

methnamesAccording to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the number of past month methamphetamine users decreased between 2006 and 2011, from 731,000 (0.3 percent) to 439,000 (0.2 percent). First-time meth users dropped from 249,000 to 133,000 over that same time period. Both of these statistical declines are good indicators, however, the average age of first-time users went from 22 to just under 18.

Methamphetamine is typically a white powder that is odorless and is taken orally, snorted, smoked or injected.

Methamphetamine is a stimulant that is similar to amphetamine. It has a very high potential for abuse and is classified as a Schedule II drug. Most of the meth that is abused in this country comes from super labs that produce the drug locally or in other countries, but it can also be made in small batches at home through various methods that are extremely hazardous.

Repeated methamphetamine abuse can also lead to addiction, which is often considered a chronic, relapsing disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite the consequences.

Long-term meth abuse has many adverse health effects, including extreme weight loss, severe tooth decay, anxiety, confusion, insomnia, paranoia, and violent behavior. Chronic methamphetamine users can also display a number of psychotic features, including hallucinations of shadow people and bugs that cause them to pick at their skin.

Many of these effects that have been visible by others may have directly attributed to the decrease in use. If you are seeking a treatment program for someone using methamphetamine, contact us today for assistance.