In 2021, an estimated 1.6 million people (age 12 or older) in the U.S. had a methamphetamine use disorder. That same year, more than 32,000 people died from an overdose involving psychostimulants (primarily methamphetamine). A 2021 study published in JAMA Psychiatry found consistent upward trends in overdose mortality.
What is methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine (also known as meth, crank, ice, tina, or Christina) is a highly addictive stimulant. First developed from amphetamine in the early 1900s, methamphetamine also includes a variety of toxic household substances such as drain cleaner or lighter fluid.
Even in small doses, methamphetamine can increase alertness, attention and respiration, decrease appetite and cause irregular heartbeat or even hyperthermia. Long-term methamphetamine use can cause psychosis (including hallucinations, paranoia or delusions), severe dental problems and weight loss. Research on chronic users of methamphetamine has shown severe structural and functional changes in the brain that negatively impact emotion, cognition and motor skills.
Why is methamphetamine so addictive?
Even when a similar amount of amphetamine and methamphetamine are taken, much more of the methamphetamine enters the brain. Also, methamphetamine can create strong feelings of euphoria because of how it affects the brain’s dopamine, which contributes to its highly addictive nature.
What are some common signs of methamphetamine use?
If a person is using methamphetamine, he or she might exhibit the some of the following:
- Skin sores
- Severe tooth decay
- High-risk behavior
- Being hyper-alert
- Weight loss
What is withdrawal from methamphetamine like?
During withdrawal from methamphetamine, some of the symptoms a person might experience include:
- Tics and muscle spasms
- Depression or anxiety
- Extreme cravings
- Nausea, diarrhea or vomiting
- Hot and cold sweats
Though methamphetamine is highly addictive, recovery is possible. The compassionate, qualified treatment team at First Step Recovery can help you or a loved one break free from methamphetamine addiction. We offer
- medically-supervised detox in a comfortable atmosphere.
- an opportunity to “break away” from the environment in which one is using methamphetamine.
- antianxiety medications and mood stabilizers.
- care with professionals who are knowledgeable about the unique symptoms of methamphetamine addiction (extreme anxiety, paranoia, insomnia, etc.)
Let First Step Recovery help you break free from methamphetamine addiction! Contact us at 330.369.8022!