Methamphetamine, or meth, is a powerful and addictive stimulant that can cause severe physical and mental health problems. We’re used to seeing memes and TV shows that glorify or make fun of meth to the point that we don’t take it that seriously anymore. Meth is known to cause severe damage to the brain, heart, lungs, teeth, and skin, all while increasing your risk of overdose, infection, and death. Meth addiction can also ruin your relationships, finances, and career, and make you feel hopeless and helpless.
Fortunately, many meth addiction rehab centers in California can offer you the treatment and support you need to overcome your addiction. Meth addiction rehab centers provide a professional level of treatment and care where you, in a safe and comfortable environment, can detox from meth, receive therapy and counseling, and learn new life skills and strategies to cope with and manage cravings.
Our Santa Barbara rehab center can also connect you with various resources and support groups that can help you maintain your sobriety and prevent relapse.
What Is Meth?
Meth is a short name for methamphetamine, which is a powerful and addictive stimulant drug that affects the central nervous system. It can make you feel more awake, alert, and energetic, but it causes serious health problems, such as addiction, overdose, and mental health issues. Meth can be taken in different ways, such as snorting, injecting, or smoking, and it comes in the form of pills, powder, or crystals.
How Common Is Meth Abuse?
Meth abuse is a serious issue in California, as the state has one of the highest rates of meth use and overdose deaths in the country. According to some statistics:
- In 2021, about 0.9% of Californians aged 12 or older reported using meth in the past year, compared to the national average of 0.6%.
- In 2021, California had 114 meth-related seizure incidents, ranking sixth among all states.
- In 2021, meth overdoses killed 1,335 people in California, accounting for 23% of all drug overdose deaths in the state.
How Does Meth Affect The Brain And Body?
Meth is a powerful stimulant drug that can have harmful effects on the brain and body. Meth can cause a surge of dopamine, the chemical in your brain that regulates your happiness and motivation, but over time, meth damages the brain cells that release dopamine, making it harder to feel pleasure or cope with stress. Meth can also affect other parts of the brain, such as the ones that control memory, movement, and emotions. Heavy meth users may experience anxiety, confusion, insomnia, mood swings, and violent behavior with some users developing psychosis, meaning they lose touch with reality and have hallucinations or delusions.
Meth can also physically harm the body in many ways. Meth can increase the heart rate and blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks or strokes. Your blood vessels and organs, such as the liver, kidneys, and lungs can become extremely damaged beyond repair or recovery. Meth can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of infections, and it can cause dental problems, skin sores, weight loss, and premature aging. Meth users who inject the drug are at great risk of contracting diseases from sharing needles, such as HIV or hepatitis.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Meth Addiction?
It is normally very easy to spot someone who has been using meth for even a short time. Some of the common signs and symptoms of meth addiction are:
- Rapid weight loss and loss of appetite
- Tooth and gum decay (also known as “meth mouth”)
- Skin sores and scars from scratching
- Dilated pupils and rapid eye movement
- Increased alertness, energy, and aggression
- Paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions
- Disorganized speech and behavior
- Neglect of personal, professional, or academic responsibilities
- Withdrawal symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, and cravings
What Are The Side Effects Of Meth?
Meth, or methamphetamine, is a powerful and addictive stimulant drug that affects your brain and body. This powerful effect means that it is accompanied by both short-term and long-term side effects.
Short-term effects of meth use include:
- Rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure, and core temperature
- Dilated pupils and rapid eye movement
- Decreased appetite and weight loss
- Tooth decay and gum disease (also known as “meth mouth”)
- Skin sores and scars from scratching
- Anxiety, paranoia, and aggression
- Hallucinations and delusions
- Insomnia and restlessness
Long-term effects of meth use include:
- Addiction and dependence
- Tolerance and withdrawal
- Brain damage and memory loss
- Mood disorders and psychosis
- Heart problems and stroke
- Lung problems and infections
- Kidney and liver damage
- Increased risk of HIV and hepatitis
What Is The Likelihood Of A Meth Overdose Occurring?
Taking too much meth on one go or mixing it with other substances can lead to a meth overdose. The likelihood of a meth overdose depends on several factors, such as the amount and purity of the drug, the method of use, the user’s tolerance, and the presence of other drugs or health problems.
Some of the signs and symptoms of a meth overdose include:
- Chest pain or tightness
- Irregular or rapid heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Difficulty breathing
- Extreme agitation or paranoia
- Hallucinations or delusions
- Loss of consciousness or coma
NOTE: If you suspect someone is overdosing on meth, call 911 immediately and try to keep them calm and awake until help arrives. Do not leave them unattended or allow them to fall asleep. If you have naloxone, a medication that can reverse opioid overdose, administer it as instructed if you know or suspect the person has also taken opioids.
Meth Addiction Treatment
Meth addiction is, unfortunately, becoming more and more common each year, but there are treatments available to help people kick the habit and refrain from relapsing. This treatment for meth addiction may involve a combination of strategies, such as:
- Behavioral therapy. Behavioral therapy works at helping you reduce meth use and treat co-occurring depression and anxiety. It can also help you identify and cope with triggers, change harmful behaviors, and prevent relapse. Some examples of behavioral therapy are cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational incentives, and contingency management.
- Medication. There is no approved medication to treat meth addiction, but some drugs may help with withdrawal symptoms, cravings, or co-occurring mental disorders. Some examples of medications are bupropion, modafinil, naltrexone, and antidepressants.
- Support groups. Support groups can provide you with peer support, education, and fellowship. They can also help you stay motivated, accountable, and sober. Some examples of support groups are 12-step programs, such as Narcotics Anonymous, or non-12-step programs, such as SMART Recovery.
What Are Withdrawal Symptoms Associated With Meth?
Meth is a drug that can make you feel very happy and energetic, but it can also harm your brain and body in many ways. Meth’s highly addictive nature stems from how it makes your brain release a lot of dopamine which makes you very happy and energetic. But when you stop using meth, your brain is left without enough dopamine, causing withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal symptoms are the unpleasant feelings that you experience when you stop taking a drug that you are dependent on. Withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person, but some common ones are:
- Feeling tired, sad, or anxious
- Having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Having mood swings or irritability
- Having cravings for meth
- Having trouble thinking clearly or remembering things
- Having hallucinations or paranoia
- Having physical problems like headaches, nausea, or muscle pain
Withdrawal symptoms can start within a few hours after your last dose of meth and can last for several days or weeks. The first few days are usually the hardest, as your symptoms are more intense and you may feel very depressed or suicidal. After that, your symptoms may get milder, but you may still have cravings or mood changes for a long time.
Withdrawal symptoms can be very hard to cope with, but they are not life-threatening. The danger with withdrawal symptoms is that they can make you more likely to relapse or use other drugs to feel better. That’s why it’s important to get professional help if you want to quit meth. Some treatments can help you manage your withdrawal symptoms and reduce your risk of relapse. You can also get support from other people who understand what you are going through and can encourage you to stay sober.
Help Is Available At Santa Barbra Recovery
Santa Barbra Recovery is a treatment center that strives to help men who are struggling with meth addiction and other mental health issues. We offer different levels of care, such as partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient treatment. We also work with local sober living homes to provide aftercare support.
Contact us today to speak with our admissions team about enrolment or voice any concerns you may have. Our goal is to help men develop the skills and confidence they need to overcome their addiction and live a healthy and fulfilling life.