What Is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine, commonly called meth, is a stimulant drug known for producing rapid highs that end in extreme crashes. Raw meth often appears as a white powdery substance; it can also be distributed or taken as a pill, tablet or crystal. It’s categorized as a stimulant because it releases both dopamine and serotonin, which are neurotransmitters that produce pleasurable effects on the body. When these chemicals occur naturally, they stimulate your brain’s rewards centers and make you feel good. For example, dopamine is often released during exercise, which makes us feel motivated and happy after a workout. These chemicals are addictive because they produce a “high” of pleasurable feelings when they flood the brain, which is why some people become addicted to activities that release them like working out or sex.
Methamphetamine is a versatile drug that can be produced and abused in multiple ways. It can be smoked, injected and popped depending on users’ preference and the form of the drug they purchase. Since this drug is absorbed relatively quickly into the bloodstream and body tissues, the most common form of use is through injection for the fastest high. Injections also provide the longest high, lasting as long as four hours. Since the production of serotonin and dopamine is escalated during the time the high lasts, once it’s over there is an intense amount of fatigue and depression as these chemicals are processed out of your brain’s pathways.
Side Effects of Methamphetamine Abuse and Addiction
The brain is the body’s control center, keeping track of processes including sleep rhythms, heartbeat, hunger and energy levels. Since long-term meth abuse and addiction alter the way the brain functions, it also has an impact on the rest of the body. If you believe that someone you love might be abusing or addicted to meth, there are several common physical signs and behavioral changes that you might notice.
- Hypersomnia and insomnia
- Heart rhythm irregularities and hypertension
- Change in appetite producing severe weight loss
- Erratic behaviors
- Paranoia and depression
- Skin lesions
- Dental decay
- Increased risk of hepatitis and blood-borne illnesses such as HIV
If a loved one begins acting in ways that suggest they might be abusing meth, you should not hesitate to seek help. If you notice a drastic personality change that includes some of the signs of meth abuse or addiction, reach out to a local addiction treatment center or a national help hotline today. For assistance with addiction treatment in the Woodville, Texas area, contact Cypress Lakes Lodge at 409-331-2204 to find out if our programs might be the right fit.
Addiction and Meth
Any drug that alters our perception of the world, particularly those that allow us to feel nothing but pleasure in our brains, will be easy to get addicted to. The sensation of being high tempts those that use mind-altering drugs to feel this way all day, every day. The problem with abuse of meth and similar drugs is that our brains are not equipped to create such high levels of dopamine and serotonin; the hard part for those addicted is that they can never get enough. As their need for these chemicals increases, their brain becomes progressively unable to produce enough of them to satisfy the drug user. They often begin to use more and more of the substance in an attempt to reach the same highs as before — this is known as drug tolerance and is almost always a precursor to addiction.
Once methamphetamine addiction has taken hold, it can become incredibly difficult for the affected person to enjoy other things in life — even activities they used to love. Addiction to a drug like meth results in tangible changes in the brain that cause an addicted person to act, think and feel differently than they normally do. When we use drugs like this, we are just conditioning the brain to need them; but the human mind and body are not meant to be detached from the rest of the world.
Detox and Dual Diagnosis
Over the course of meth abuse and addiction, you become accustomed to having the drug in your body and you reach a point where feeling “normal” requires using the drug. As you begin recovery, you will need to go through a detox period during which your body readjusts to life without meth. This important stage of recovery can be difficult, though, and even dangerous in extreme cases, as your body goes through withdrawal from the drug. The most serious symptoms of meth withdrawal can include:
- Heart attack
- Cold sweats and fever
- Breathing issues
- Sleep disruption
- Uncontrolled shaking
Seeking detox treatment at a recovery center like Cypress Lakes Lodge can ensure that you complete detox without endangering yourself or succumbing to cravings. We offer specialized detox treatments during this important stage of your recovery to keep you safe and comfortable while your body adjusts to life without meth.
We also work with patients to cover any pre-existing conditions and side effects of long-term drug use. These cases are known as dual diagnoses because there is a diagnosis of both substance abuse and a mental health disorder. Our dual diagnosis patients benefit immensely from specialized recovery care that helps them heal from addiction and manage their mental health on a daily basis. Through integrative and innovative therapies, we can help our patients find complete recovery without relapse. Our therapies include:
Mood, Mental Health and Meth Addiction
At Cypress Lakes Lodge, we treat methamphetamine addiction with a holistic approach because we know that abuse of drugs like this can deeply affect the whole person. The changes that occur in the brain and body over the course of methamphetamine addiction can result in deep-seated physical and mental health problems ranging from chronic malnutrition to clinical depression or anxiety. In other cases, traumatic events or preexisting mental health concerns can lead to drug abuse and addiction as a coping mechanism. For example, patients dealing with clinical depression often become addicted to the effects of methamphetamine because it is a quick and seemingly easy way to feel happy.
We know that treating everything related to an addiction, including mental health concerns or traumatic events that led to addiction, is the only way to ensure you can live a life free from relapse. We try to understand what you have been through that led you to seek recovery with us, as well as any events in your past that lead you to drug abuse. It is our goal to give you the tools you need to feel happy and healthy every day without depending on meth.
Contact Cypress Lakes Lodge
The effects of methamphetamine addiction can seep into many aspects of your life. At Cypress Lakes Lodge, we are here to help you root out even the deepest effects drug and alcohol abuse so that you can begin your new life completely substance-free. We offer a full suite of treatment options from detox through outpatient therapy, so when you choose Cypress Lakes Lodge for your addiction treatment we will be here to guide you every step of the way. If you or someone you care about is struggling with addiction and is ready to seek treatment, reach out to us today. Let our beautiful, private facility in Woodville, Texas be your home for rest and recovery. To learn more about our addiction treatment programs, please call us at (409) 331-2204.