Methamphetamine is a highly addictive synthetic stimulant. The drug can cause intense euphoric feelings and bursts of energy, altering the brain’s function as it does so. Unfortunately, meth users typically develop debilitating addictions that can have severe consequences if left unchecked.

Luckily, there’s hope for those suffering from meth abuse. With the proper meth addiction treatment, it’s possible to overcome the condition for good. Here’s what you need to know about methamphetamine addiction, including how to get help for yourself or a loved one.

Why Is Meth So Addictive?

To uncover what makes meth so addictive, it’s important to understand how it works in the first place. When taken, meth rapidly increases the level of dopamine in the body. The body naturally produces dopamine on its own, often as a reward for satisfying behavior. But when drugs are used to achieve the same effect, the natural dopamine receptors can’t tell the difference.

The absence of drug-induced dopamine can induce a crash once the pleasurable effects have worn off, often causing the user to feel worse than before. Meth users can experience intense cravings as the body searches in vain for more dopamine. Continued use can lead to a meth addiction.

In addition to its addictive tendencies, meth use is so common due to the drug’s widespread availability. It can be taken in various ways, making it ubiquitous in its many forms. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2 million people suffer from a methamphetamine addiction each year, and that number is rising.

Sad woman with hands on face concept image for meth addiction signs

Effects of Long-Term Meth Abuse

Like all substance abuse disorders, taking meth has many harmful side effects. Chronic meth use can lead to long-term effects such as:

  • Intense itching and skin sores
  • Paranoia and hallucinations
  • Mood swings
  • Permanent damage to the brain or heart
  • Damage to the liver, kidneys or lungs
  • High blood pressure
  • Tooth decay
  • Weight loss
  • Depression, anxiety or insomnia
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Confusion
  • Extreme meth cravings
  • Osteoporosis
  • Heart attacks or strokes
  • Aggressive behavior

While some of these symptoms may only cause discomfort, others can lead to serious consequences, such as premature death. Therefore, it’s important to treat meth addiction as soon as the disorder is identified.

How Long Does Methamphetamine Stay in Your System?

Drug abuse affects everyone differently, and meth is no exception. Depending on the person and the form of the drug taken, the initial high may last anywhere from several minutes to several hours. However, other effects can last long after the high has worn off, such as quickened breathing or an increased body temperature.

Those who mix meth with other drugs may experience symptoms differently. For example, alcohol may boost the drug’s effects, though it usually comes with a bigger crash. Other stimulant drugs may induce back-and-forth effects, such as the slowing and quickening of your heart rate.

Are Medications Used in Meth Treatment?

Meth withdrawal symptoms are often extremely intense and difficult to overcome alone. For that reason, medical treatment often involves using medication to manage excruciating symptoms such as cravings and body aches.

However, meth treatment isn’t limited to medication. Most treatment plans involve other methods like cognitive behavioral therapy and support groups. These are particularly useful for developing coping skills that address the root of the drug abuse for a recovery that lasts.

Signs and Symptoms of a Meth Addiction

Methamphetamine use disorder can cause a variety of short-term side effects. While every person may not experience each one, just a handful of signs can indicate substance use disorders. Knowing the signs can help family members identify drug use in loved ones who may be trying to hide it. Some common symptoms include:

  • Sudden bursts of energy or attention
  • Irritability
  • Rapid breathing
  • Decreased appetite
  • High blood pressure or body temperature
  • Nausea
  • Erratic behavior
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Trouble breathing
  • Suicidal ideation

Beyond physical symptoms, meth users might show less interest in hobbies that once excited them or perform poorly at work or school. In many cases, they’ll also withdraw from social situations, including intimate relationships.

Adult male suffering from rapid breathing due to methamphetamine abuse

Does Insurance Cover Meth Addiction Treatment?

While cost might seem like a barrier to drug addiction treatment, this isn’t always the case. Some insurance companies will cover the cost of treating meth addiction to help you or a loved one get the necessary care.

At Olympus Recovery, we’ve streamlined the process of insurance verification. Simply fill out a short form and we’ll do the rest. Once we’ve verified your insurance, we’ll contact you with a quote of benefits so you can start planning your next steps.

Why Choose Olympus Recovery in Delray Beach?

When it comes to treating meth use, the team at Olympus Recovery stands apart from the rest. Our highly specialized team has developed treatment methods that are easily tailored to each patient’s needs. Our team is fully licensed and certified to ensure you receive the best possible treatment. From overcoming withdrawal symptoms to building a support group, we’ll be there every step of the way.

We help patients on every step of their recovery journey with everything from medication-assisted treatment to intensive outpatient programs, Plus, we employ various therapies and healing activities such as eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) and group therapy. Our clients are also given space to heal at our community apartments for a peaceful place to focus on their recovery.

If you or a loved one is struggling with meth addiction, it’s not too late to get help. At our Delray Beach drug rehab, we’re prepared to use every resource to help you overcome substance abuse for good. Call (866) 429-1422 today to take the first step.

Start a new journey!

For immediate help call us confidentially at (866) 305-7134. Our admissions specialists can answer all your questions, and put you on the road to recovery.

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