Meth Addiction: There’s Great Hope
When basic human needs like food, sex, and thirst are satisfied, our brains release dopamine–stimulating the pleasure center. Meth (methamphetamine) activates that same system, causing a rush of “pleasure” that artificially rewards the user with a prolonged high.
Chasing The High
The first meth high can be intense–and short-lived. As the flood of dopamine recedes from the brain, it results in an emotional crash that causes depression, fear, insomnia, and paranoia. This binge-and-crash cycle can drive users to take more and more of the drug as they seek out the effects of the initial high. This is called “chasing the high”–and results in surprisingly rapid addiction. According to a 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 1.6 million people reported using methamphetamine in the U.S.
The Faces of Meth
Addiction to any drug takes many forms. It can be physical (compulsion), mental (obsession), and even spiritual (self-centeredness).
Meth actually changes the chemistry of your brain, destroying its pleasure centers and making it nearly impossible for you to experience any real pleasure. It can rob you of your health, your looks, your libido, and your ability to perform even life’s simplest tasks.
There are several “faces of meth” that meth addicts hide behind. Some become exceptionally skilled at masking their meth habit. Others get a perverse thrill out of being able to “get away with it.” The “faces of meth” include:
- Loss of appetite
- Nervous twitching
- Grinding of teeth
- Avoiding family and friends
- Blackening of teeth
- Abrasions on skin
- Abnormally high levels of energy
Patterns of Meth Addiction
There are three patterns of meth abuse: low intensity, binge, and high intensity.
- Low-intensity addicts snort meth as a way to suppress their appetite, or as an energy boost.
- Binge users smoke or inject meth and for euphoric rushes. The most dangerous stage of binge usage is tweaking. This is where the addict attempts to “chase the high” by doing more and more meth, although no amount will recreate the high they seek. Tweakers are often paranoid and potentially
- High-intensity abusers, or speed freaks, want to prevent the crash, but due to their increased tolerance they experience declining euphoria each time they ingest meth.
Are you concerned that a loved one might have a meth addiction? Are you a meth user yourself, and worried that you’ve lost control?
We can help. Call us 24/7 toll free at 888-288-2062.
Treatments For Meth Addiction
Long-term meth addiction may cause permanent brain damage that may be irreversible even after usage is stopped.
Are you ready for meth rehab? Or, are you ready to help a loved one with their meth addiction? Today, the most effective treatments for meth addiction have shown to be behavioral therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral interventions. Other treatments include:
- The Matrix Model: A comprehensive 16-week behavioral treatment approach. It combines behavioral therapy, family education, individual counseling, 12-step support, drug testing, and peer support for non-drug-related activities.
- Motivational Incentives for Enhancing Drug Abuse Recovery: An incentive-based method for promoting abstinence.
There is Hope
A recent study by the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, University of California at Davis provides hope for those in recovery, but patience is necessary. The longer you stay in a structured meth rehab program, and remain drug free, the more likely it is that you will recover some important brain functions.
Reach Out Today
There is no shame in seeking treatment for substance abuse. It is not a punishment; it’s a healing solution, and it will get your life back on track. Call us for a completely confidential conversation with someone who can help. A new life awaits. Let’s take that first step together.