How addicting is meth? Addiction to methamphetamine can be very challenging to battle due to the fact how the drug interacts with the human brain. Methamphetamine is a stimulant that causes a powerful rush of dopamine, producing intense feelings of euphoria and pleasure.
Although dopamine is naturally present in our brains and plays a vital role, being responsible for feelings of pleasure, higher motivation, and supporting cognitive processes like memory retention and learning new skills, administered in high doses, it causes a very powerful high.
And that's only half of the problem. Because when the effects of the drug are starting to wear off, most meth users experience an intense crush. Meth withdrawal symptoms are severe and can cause extreme nausea, diarrhea, extreme sleepiness or insomnia, depression, and anxiety, amongst many more.
This mechanism is what makes meth such an addictive substance. Many individuals who use meth often end up taking the drug repeatedly over the course of days in order to maintain its effects and mitigate the symptoms of withdrawal. Unfortunately, this pattern of using significantly increases the risks of overdose, as individuals who take the drug in high doses develop a tolerance to it.
This means they need to administer higher doses to keep experiencing the rush meth offers, and that makes them vulnerable to overdosing.
What is meth, and why it poses such a threat?
What Is Meth?
In 1971 The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (USDEA) classified all amphetamines, including meth, as Schedule II controlled substances, pointing to considerable risks associated with meth abuse.
Today, methamphetamine can be found in one medication. Desoxyn can be prescribed to patients to support them in weight loss or to individuals diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AHAD).
Still, meth addiction is prevalent, as many people access the drug through illicit sources. The most popular forms of methamphetamine are meth and crystal meth. The first variant comes in the form of crystalline powder, often in white color, but different alternatives are possible. One can encounter meth in a color yellow, pink, or even brown.
The powder does not have any odor, but it has a bitter taste. The most common drug administration methods include:
It's also quite common to encounter meth that is mixed with other drugs. For example, a popular combination is mixing meth with different opioids. Since this is done under no control from various regulatory bodies, illegally sourced meth poses a great threat to people who use it.
Meth users have little to no control over what they are actually administering, which means it's hard to predict the effects of the drug and their severity. Additionally, these substances are usually highly addictive, creating very strong dependency patterns even after a couple of uses.
The illegal production of meth takes place in what are called "home labs," where a person or a group of people prepares the drug in smaller amounts. Larger amounts of meth that an organized group distributes to the illegal market are usually produced in private laboratories, like cartel "super labs."
Some popular street names used for meth are:
Meth Effects and Abuse Symptoms
The most potent effects of meth are experienced after injecting the drug, as this ensures the quickest absorption of the substance into the bloodstream. Meth that gets injected wears off quicker, too, compared to when it is smoked or snorted.
After taking the drug, an individual may experience the following:
During those binges, individuals may neglect sleep and eating, as meth is known for repressing appetite and triggering insomnia. For this reason, meth abuse, especially in longer intervals of constant use, can lead to severe exhaustion of the organism and organ failure.
Long-term effects of meth use include:
Signs of Meth Addiction
How to know when is the time to intervene or ask for help? There are some behavioral, physical, and psychological symptoms that can point to methamphetamine abuse.
Prolonged meth abuse increases the risk of overdose, which can have severe negative consequences on one's health and quality of life.
How to recognize the signs of meth overdose?
The most common meth abuse symptoms include:
Mixing Meth with Other Drugs
Of course, such practices are very dangerous because they increase the risks of overdosing and bearing some serious and long-term health problems. Polyamorous substance abuse is quite common, unfortunately, so it's crucial to be aware of the risks associated with these types of behavior.
Meth and Alcohol
Mixing meth and alcohol increases the chance of overdosing because meth, working as a stimulant, does a great job of mitigating the sedative effects of alcohol. Typically, this leads to increased alcohol consumption, as an individual under the influence of drugs has to ingest more alcohol to feel its effects.
Substance abuse like this can cause a long list of health-related problems, including but not limited to liver damage, the development of various types of cancers, or psychosis.
Meth and Morphine
Combining methamphetamine with morphine offers a very powerful high. This state can leave a person unable to move and significantly impact their cognitive functions. The risk of overdosing is considerable with meth and morphine drug abuse, and mixing the two should never be attempted.
Meth and Xanax
Meth Abuse Statistics
How addictive is meth? How many people die each year from meth abuse? According to the Centers for Diease Control and Prevention, methamphetamine overdose was the cause of death of approximately 30,000 people in 2021.
National Institute on Drug Abuse claims that by 2021 "more than 16.8 million people aged 12 or older (6.0% of the population) used methamphetamine at least once during their lifetime."
Furthermore, in the same year, around 2.5 million people reported using methamphetamine in the last 12 months.
This just goes to show that stimulant abuse is not a marginal issue, and it greatly affects thousands of people in the US. If you or someone you know is suffering from meth addiction, there are some ways through which you can receive valuable support.
Meth Addiction Treatment - Get Help
Meth addiction recovery is not an easy road. Addiction to methamphetamine creates a strong physical and psychological dependence that is challenging to break on your own. At Miracles Asia, we focus on the holistic approach to your recovery journey, offering you invaluable expertise and a safe space at every step of the way to getting back on your feet and facing your addiction.
Our treatment center, located on the beautiful island of Phuket in Thailand, is a place of tranquility where you can go through one of the most challenging experiences of your life with the full support of an experienced team and individual treatment program that is designed to fit your needs and personal challenges.
Apart from group and individual therapy, our residents can benefit from a variety of different therapeutic activities. Relaxation days, during which you can immerse yourself in the local culture and explore different areas of the island, are an important part of your recovery at Miracles Asia.
Get more information about our residential rehab program and see how you can break free from addiction and get your life back.