Meth Addiction in America
Methamphetamine or meth is a highly addictive and powerful stimulant drug. The effects of meth include increasing dopamine levels in the brain to cause an intense “high” while increasing energy, focus, attention, and excitement.
- In 2020, about 2.6 million people reported meth abuse in the past 12 months.
- In that same year, about 0.6% of the population aged 12 or older (about 1.5 million people) had a methamphetamine use disorder in the past 12 months.
- According to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, methamphetamine overdose deaths surged in the U.S. for eight years.
- The same study found the most significant increase among American Indians and Alaska Natives, highlighting an urgent need to develop culturally tailored prevention, drug addiction treatment strategies, and community resources for people in these groups.
For more information on how our addiction treatment programs can help heal drug or alcohol dependence, please give The River Source a call at 866-828-6792.
Recognizing Methamphetamine Addiction
Methamphetamines, also commonly known by the street names “meth,” “crystal meth,” and “crank,” is a powerful stimulant that can be eaten, snorted, injected, or smoked. Psychoactive properties in the drug create a sense of happiness and false confidence, which causes people who try meth to quickly develop meth abuse. The euphoric high experienced by methamphetamine abusers is caused by a surge in dopamine in the brain.
Recognizing methamphetamine addiction is dire because of the serious physical and mental long-term effects meth abuse can cause. Over time, meth abuse destroys dopamine receptors in the brain, causing methamphetamine abusers to not be able to feel pleasure without meth abuse. Some of these areas can be healed over time. However, damage to cognitive abilities may be permanent. Some of the effects of methamphetamine abuse include:
- Anxiety disorder
- Liver damage
- Lung damage
- Lowered immunity
- Skin sores
- Tooth decay, also known as “meth mouth”
- Cognitive problems and memory loss
- Brain damage
Symptoms of Meth Addiction
Often, others will not recognize substance abuse until it reaches the drug addiction phase. However, crystal meth is so highly addictive that a regular drug abuser will quickly slip from abuse to addiction. Some of the physical and psychological symptoms of meth addiction include:
- Thinning and frail body
- Facial acne or sores
- Rotting teeth, also known as “meth mouth”
- Droopy quality of facial skin
- Intense scratching
- Depression and anxiety disorder
- Difficulty sleeping
- Mood disturbances
- Visual and auditory hallucinations
- Aggressive behaviors
- Violent behaviors
- Memory loss and learning problems
- Work, school, or relationship problems
- Antisocial behavior
- Evidence of paraphernalia including baggies, hollowed-out pens, glass tubes, aluminum foil strips, and torch lighters
What Is Meth Rehab Like?
Meth addiction treatment requires comprehensive treatment programs that consist of drug detox, behavioral health treatment, and addiction therapy at a drug rehab. Many choose to start meth use disorder treatment with a drug detox to help them purge their bodies of the drug in a safe environment that can help ease many withdrawal symptoms with medications.
Inpatient treatment may be required if the individual suffers from a chronic and serious meth addiction because it is one of the hardest substance abuse addictions to overcome. Methamphetamine abusers often experience co-occurring disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorder, requiring dual diagnosis treatment to overcome meth addiction effectively. Dual diagnosis programs can treat mental illness and meth addiction simultaneously.
How to Get Help for Meth Addiction for Yourself or a Loved One
The River Source offers comprehensive substance abuse treatment for all types of drug addiction and alcohol addiction. Our continuum of care treatment programs can lay out an effective addiction disorder treatment plan for any substance abuse disorder, no matter how severe. Our treatment programs include holistic, evidence-based addiction treatments to help you achieve long-term sobriety.
If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of meth addiction, do not hesitate to seek help by calling The River Source at 866-828-6792. Our addiction specialists at The River Source are available to guide you through the steps of admission into our drug rehab program.