Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine

Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine, commonly referred to as “meth,” is a powerful and highly addictive synthetic stimulant that raises activity levels in the central nervous system.

What Are Common Street Names?

Ice, Crystal, Glass, Meth, Speed, Tina, Trash, Chalk, Chicken Feed, Crank

What Does It Look Like?

Regular methamphetamine can be found in either powder or pill form. Crystal meth looks like glass fragments or blueish rocks.

How Is It Used?

Methamphetamine can be swallowed, snorted, injected or smoked.

What Are the Short-Term Effects of Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine makes users feel energized and alert, like cocaine, amphetamines and other stimulants. Though meth users may become more physically active and self-confident, they may also experience unwanted short-term consequences such as overheating, accelerated breathing, high blood pressure, and loss of appetite.

Why Is Methamphetamine Harmful?

Methamphetamine is harmful in both smaller and larger doses, as the brain’s receptors can be significantly damaged after consuming even lower quantities of the drug, leading to memory loss, powerful mood swings, and psychological problems. Meth can cause other serious health issues in higher doses, including organ damage, strokes, heart attacks, tooth decay, and anorexia. As with opioid use, meth use is becoming increasingly common in the United States.

Long-Term Effects of Methamphetamine Abuse

Repeated misuse can lead to methamphetamine addiction and various health problems, such as:

  • Depression
  • Brain damage
  • Liver and kidney damage
  • Malnutrition
  • Severe tooth decay
  • Cardiovascular collapse

 

Recognizing Methamphetamine Addiction

Continued methamphetamine abuse can lead to a neurological dependence on the drug. Meth addiction can cause behavioral and physical changes, such as:

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Paranoia
  • Mood swings
  • Irregular sleep patterns
  • Bizarre, often violent behavior

 

Physical Signs

  • Twitching
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry, itchy skin/acne
  • Diarrhea/constipation

 

What Does a Methamphetamine Overdose Look Like?

An overdose occurs when an individual takes a toxic amount of the drug. Due to methamphetamine’s highly addictive nature, overdoses are common. Because meth directly affects the nervous system and increases heart rate and blood pressure, what that toxic amount is can vary greatly depending on the individual’s health.

Signs of an Overdose
  • Chest pain
  • Severe agitation
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Kidney failure or damage
  • Paranoia
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Heart attack/stroke
  • High body temperature

Individuals who overdose on methamphetamine require immediate medical attention as the symptoms stated above can be life-threatening.

How Do You Treat Methamphetamine Addiction?

Methamphetamine Detox

The first step in recovering from addiction is to discontinue use. While medically monitored detox is not necessary for methamphetamine addiction, abruptly stopping use can lead to severe cravings and serious psychological withdrawal symptoms. To ensure safety and reduce the risk of relapse, it is recommended that individuals be under medical supervision when they stop using.

WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS

  • Fatigue
  • Aggression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Vomiting
  • Flu like symptoms
  • Extreme depression
Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment

Methamphetamine is extremely addictive, and it is therefore important for individuals to participate in a comprehensive treatment plan that includes drug counseling and will provide them with the tools to manage triggers and prevent relapse. Rehabilitation options such as inpatient, residential treatment and outpatient treatment also help individuals address the root cause of their addiction.

HOLISTIC THERAPIES

Because addiction affects the individual as a whole, it is important to incorporate holistic therapies into traditional drug treatment. Doing so helps to foster physical, mental, and spiritual wellness, ultimately better preparing the individual for life after treatment.

Those struggling with methamphetamine addiction can especially benefit from holistic therapies that bolster self-esteem and strengthen physical health. Individuals who used meth as a source of energy can try Cardio and Weightlifting to naturally improve their stamina. Those who relied on meth to provide them with a confidence boost can find a similar but safer alternative through Personal Empowerment. Meth users who experienced decreased appetite and weight loss can learn how to restore their physical health through Nutrition Education.

Men at Mountainside rehab’s gym exercising to battle withdrawal symptoms.

Cardio and Weight Training

Series of endurance workouts and muscle-building exercises to help strengthen your body and improve your overall physical health.

Woman smiling with group of rehab patients engaging in holistic therapy

Personal Empowerment

Dynamic coaching that creates a more positive mindset for the future by helping you gain clarity on your true desired feelings and identify strengths to achieve your goals.

Healthy foods to repair the damage caused by substance abuse.

Nutrition Education

Group designed to create mindful eating habits by exploring the role nutrition plays in recovery. Activities include label reading, food preparation, and food tastings.

For other holistic therapies that help restore total well-being, explore our Wellness page.

Methamphetamines take a rapid toll on your physical and mental health. If you or a loved one is struggling, reach out for help. Our compassionate team of experts is here to help.