Meth Addiction Treatment is Still Necessary
America’s drug epidemic is not limited to opioids. Methamphetamines are a highly addictive and widely abused class of illicit drugs. But they are often overlooked when it comes to addiction awareness and public education. Although all substance abuse requires greater attention, the need for meth addiction treatment usually takes a back seat to more notorious narcotics such as cocaine and heroin.
Meth use is rising throughout America, and addiction to the substance is growing at a rapid pace. Between 2015 and 2018, an estimated 1.6 million U.S. adults aged 18 and above used some methamphetamines.  In 2017, over 1 million Americans used meth within the last year, and around 964,000 people aged 12 and up experienced a methamphetamine use disorder. 
The causes of the growing meth addiction in America can be tied to the same issues impacting the opioid pandemic and other substance abuse. Mental health, lack of education and resources, poverty, and living in a rural area significantly increase someone’s risk of using.
What Is Methamphetamine?
Mostly known as just “meth,” this drug originates from nasal decongestants and inhalers. It produces a deep sense of happiness and elevated mood as well as increased energy and activity. While physicians use the prescription version of methamphetamine called Desoxyn to treat ADHD, the illicit drug crystal meth is more common and accessible.
Meth triggers an overproduction of dopamine, a chemical released from the brain’s reward system responsible for feelings of happiness and pleasure. Permanent damage to the brain, central nervous system, and bodily organs can stem from chronic abuse.
Meth Overdose Statistics
Despite the fact you rarely read about it in the news, methamphetamine hospitalizations and death rates are still skyrocketing. Meth overdoses were four times as high in 2018 than they were in 2011. 
Among adolescents, methamphetamine use is becoming more common, which can negatively affect physical and mental development. Those who start using drugs or alcohol under 18 are also more likely to develop and struggle with substance use disorders throughout adulthood.
Meth is most popular in the West and Midwest regions, which means we need greater awareness and resources to prevent widespread addiction from crippling communities and destroying lives in California.
Recognizing Meth Addiction
As with any drug, people develop an addiction by first experimenting. Meth produces an intense, long-lasting high that makes it enticing for people looking for an escape. Whether taken at a party or in an isolated environment, meth is highly addictive, and use disorders can develop quickly. Warning signs include:
- A rapid change in behavior
- Sudden excessive weight loss
- Hyperactivity and excessive talking
- Reduced appetite and need for sleep
- Increased aggression or nervousness
- Unpredictable mood swings and/or emotional outbursts
- Appearing “jittery” with nervous twitches and jerking movements
One of the significant signs of meth use and addiction that family and friends can watch out for is called “tweaking.” A person coming down from meth will experience insomnia and increased anxiety that can last anywhere from a few days to around two weeks. When a person has “spent” their brain’s ability to maintain a high, they will crash and become more prone to aggression, paranoia, and confusion.
After tweaking, people with meth addiction are likely to crash and sleep heavily for several days. They may also likely display negative symptoms such as depression and intense cravings. Meth addiction treatment is important to help those weather the severe withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
Why It Matters
The side-effects, hospitalizations, and overdoses from meth are affecting a high volume of people with little awareness. Families suffer in silence; friends don’t know who to turn to, and even those with an addiction can feel helplessly unsure where to begin getting treatment.
By improving awareness and creating greater opportunities to receive treatment, organizations can help prevent more people from losing their lives to the devastation of meth addiction.
Seeking Meth Addiction Treatment
A detox center is the first step toward treatment. Withdrawal from meth can lead to nervous system shock that causes a range of dangerous side-effects, including seizures, stroke, and falls from a loss of consciousness. To prevent this experience from being more painful than need is, meth rehabs that offer detox services or detox referrals can provide medical assistance that makes withdrawal easier to cope with.
Meth rehab requires specific treatment and understanding; from treating the physical effects of meth abuse like tooth decay to the underlying mental health factors, a program that is designed to guide meth users out of addiction and into a long-term recovery is crucial.
Clear Life Recovery Can Help
If you or a loved one is suffering, opening up about the problem is the first step. Only when there is agreement about the extent of an issue can people begin to move closer toward the journey of recovery. Contact your local hospital or connect with one of our professional staff members at Clear Life Recovery today.