When it comes to methamphetamine or meth abuse, there are many case studies about it effects on users, including some severe health effects. All these cases convey that methamphetamine is a dangerous drug of abuse, requiring detox and treatment for complete recovery.
A highly addictive drug with potential properties to stimulate central nervous system (CNS), methamphetamine is a Schedule II drug with a high potential for abuse and acceptable medical use. It has recently surpassed cocaine as the stimulant drug of choice and works by increasing the amount of dopamine in the brain. As per recent statistics, in 2016, approximately 667,000 people (aged 12 or above) used meth. However, the number was less for adolescents (aged 12 to 17), approximately around 9000.
Synthesized from inexpensive and easily obtainable household items, methamphetamine comes in both powder and crystal form. It can be taken orally, injected, snorted or smoked. One of the most striking things about meth use is its horrifying effects, including abscesses, blindness, respiratory failure, and kidney failure. It is rampantly used in the United States and other parts of the world because it is inexpensive and easy to make.
Amphetamines are used to relieve sinus congestion and treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, methamphetamine remains one of the most abused stimulants. Crystal meth, also known as “Ice” or “Tweak,” is a psychostimulant of the amphetamine and phenethylamine classes. Although it is listed as a Schedule II substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), meth’s production and consumption remains largely illegal. It is now required to show identification to prove one is 18 years or older to purchase sinus and cold medicine with methamphetamine derivatives.
Because of it being cheaper than its purer version (speed) and its availability in many forms, meth is an ever-present risk among adolescents, especially teens with depression or other mental disorders, and is prone to abuse and addiction. Methamphetamine produces excitatory symptoms and attempting methamphetamine detox treatment in the absence of an expert can lead to symptoms of depression. To make matters worse, the psychoactive effects of meth tends to cause its users to twist the truth, over-report their progress or play down their symptoms. This, along with many other reasons, can make seeking recovery difficult, even if the patient knows that he or she has a problem.
Methamphetamine addiction: signs and symptoms
Even smaller amounts of meth can result in irregular heartbeat, increased wakefulness, increased physical activity, increased blood pressure, rapid breathing and heart rate. When taken in higher amounts, meth can increase the body temperature and cause memory loss, extreme anorexia, heart attack and multiple organ problems caused by overheating.
Following are some of the symptoms of meth addiction:
- Weight loss
- Rotten teeth
- Chest pain
- Delusional parasitosis
- Abdominal pain
Post continued or frequent use, an abrupt reduction in the quantity of consumption or cessation of the drug can cause meth users to experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, including headaches, restlessness, irritation and drug cravings, among others. Considered the first step in meth addiction treatment, medically supervised detoxification treatment at methamphetamine detox centers helps slowly flush the drug out of the system so that individuals can gradually withdraw from the drug.