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Signs, Symptoms & Treatment

Crystal Meth Addiction

An Overview of

Crystal Meth Abuse
in America Today

Methamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant made from amphetamine and other derivative chemicals. Originally prescribed as a decongestant and weight loss aid, methamphetamine was once widely and legally available in tablet and injectable forms throughout the United States. However, a large portion of the population abused these products for the stimulant effects. This abuse effectively prompted the FDA to restrict and regulate the drug as a schedule II controlled substance in 1970. Any use of methamphetamines outside of the explicit directions of your doctor qualifies as abuse.

Methamphetamines are very addictive.  The majority of people who are addicted to methamphetamines use the drug in its illicit forms: meth and crystal meth. Many drug dealers will also “cut” meth with other substances to sell less of the actual drug for the same price and fetch a greater profit margin. In some cases, methamphetamine is cut with prescription medications, ranging from antidepressants to opioids. These additives can be extremely dangerous due to the drug interactions and increases the risk of overdose.

Some of the common street names for meth include: glass, ice, crystal, crank, tweak, and chalk.

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How Does Crystal Meth Addiction Affect Society?

Crystal Meth Facts & Statistics

Crystal Meth is a powerful and highly addictive substance.  It is taken by smoking, swallowing in pill form, snorting or injecting. 

Meth use results in a very quick high followed by a very sudden crash.  The short term effects  include:

  • increased wakefulness and physical activity
  • decreased appetite
  • faster breathing
  • rapid and/or irregular heartbeat
  • increased blood pressure and body temperature 

Long term side effects of methamphetamine abuse are severe, and include:

  • extreme weight loss
  • addiction
  • severe dental problems (“meth mouth”)
  • intense itching, leading to skin sores from scratching
  • anxiety
  • changes in brain structure and function
  • confusion
  • memory loss
  • sleeping problems
  • violent behavior
  • paranoia—extreme and unreasonable distrust of others
  • hallucinations—sensations and images that seem real though they aren’t

Meth overdoses are very common and can lead to a stroke, heart attack, organ problems and even death.  Methamphetamines account for 15% of overdose deaths in America.

When attempting to quit the use of Meth, we recommend the assistance of a medical detox treatment facility.

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A Few Signs Someone is Abusing Crystal Meth

Signs & Symptoms of Methamphetamine Addiction

Meth is a highly addictive stimulant that can cause addiction in as little as one use in some users. This is mainly due to the rush of dopamine produced by the drug. Dopamine is a chemical that’s not only responsible for inducing feelings of pleasure, but also for motivation, memory retention, learning, and reward processing. The rush of dopamine produced by meth is much higher than the natural amount of dopamine that is produced in the brain, which causes people to continue using the drug in order to keep those heightened pleasurable feelings.

Many individuals who use meth take the drug over a period of several days, staying perpetually high throughout this duration of time. This often ends up in the development of a tolerance; after taking the drug for a prolonged period of a time a person will require higher and higher doses to feel the same effects as before. The stimulant effects, along with the drug’s affordability, can lead people to quickly become addicted. It may then become difficult to feel happy when attempting to stop taking meth, and withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, and depression can occur when it wears off. The debilitation of withdrawal reinforces the behavior of abuse and likelihood of binging. After a person’s mind and body have become dependent on the drug, the fear of withdrawal and cravings for meth often take over a person’s life.

Signs that indicate a meth addiction include:

  • Rotting teeth 
  • Intense scratching
  • Thinning body
  • Acne or sores
  • Paranoia
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Problems at school, work, and relationships
  • Stealing/money issues
  • Presence of drug paraphernalia
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How to Quit Abusing Meth

Crystal Meth Addiction Treatment in Los Angeles

There are no approved medications to cure addiction to methamphetamines.  Luckily, there are several therapy methods that have been proven to be helpful in the treatment of crystal meth addiction. One therapy recommended is cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps patients recognize, avoid, and cope with the situations likely to trigger drug use. The second commonly used therapy is motivational incentives, which uses rewards to encourage patients to remain drug-free.

An inpatient treatment center that specializes in treating crystal meth addiction can be very effective in helping individuals kick their habit and live a drug-free life.

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Find Lasting Recovery from meth

Say Goodbye to Crystal Meth at
Our LA Treatment Center

Meth is a highly dangerous and addictive substance. When someone suffers from an addiction to meth, it may seem like they will never be able to regain control over their life again. However, a high quality addiction treatment program like Starbridge Recovery Treatment center in Los Angeles can help meth users break their physical and psychological dependence on the drug.

If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction to methamphetamine, contact the Starbridge Recovery team and learn how we can help you to start on your road to lasting recovery.

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