Methamphetamine is a stimulant drug that shares characteristics with amphetamines. However, because more of the drug reaches the brain with meth than other amphetamines, it is more powerful and far more addictive. Unfortunately, meth is commonly manufactured illegally in pop-up at-home labs and distributed on the streets. About one and a half million Americans over age 12 suffer from a methamphetamine use disorder.
If you are concerned about your use of meth, there are various reasons that this concern is valid. When illegally made and sold, meth is not being prescribed for a specific disorder, and thus any use is misuse. If you have questions about meth, its effects, the risks of taking it, or how to stop, let Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge (PAATC) help. Reach out to us by online form or phone 844.442.8673 to speak to one of our caring professionals in our meth addiction treatment program.
What Is Meth Addiction?
Meth is considered one of the most addictive drugs on the market. The way it interacts with the brain is similar to other drugs such as cocaine and other stimulants. However, it has a rapid cycle and leaves users in bad shape as they seek more and more of the drug to postpone the final crash.
The early pleasant effects of meth are appealing to many. You experience:
- Increased attention
- Euphoria, a combination of happiness and enthusiasm
- A sense of wakeful readiness
- Reduced fatigue and increased mental and physical energy
The high dissipates fairly quickly, and the brain very soon craves more meth to re-experience the effects. People who are already addicted to another drug or alcohol are likely more susceptible to a new addiction, as are those with a mental health disorder.
If you consider yourself at high risk for addiction and have begun experimenting with meth, it is better to seek help as soon as possible. If you show any of the signs of meth addition listed below, it is time to get help.
Signs You Need Help for Meth Addiction
There are noticeable symptoms of full-blown meth addiction and some that are less obvious or not apparent in your day-to-day life. Stay alert to the following and reach out for help if indicated.
Warning signs of a meth use disorder:
- Weight loss that often comes on quickly due to the extreme suppression of appetite
- Scabby skin, sores, and infections that are the result of excoriation (compulsive scratching
- Meth mouth, which refers to damaged and decayed teeth
- Deterioration of the nasal cavities and lining of the nose, which is painful and also results in a chronically runny nose/sniffles
- Signs of rapid, premature aging
- Hair loss, probably due to hair-pulling and scratching
- Paranoia and hallucinations
Can Meth Have an Effect on Your Long-Term Health?
Unfortunately, some of the effects of a meth use disorder continue for months and even years after the drug use ends. Some may never abate. These effects might include:
- Cognitive damage, mostly in verbal processing and motor skills
- Memory deficits
- Emotional dysregulation
- Loss of self-control
- Ongoing psychosis, hallucinations, delusions, paranoia
Get Help at Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge
If you are addicted to meth or any other substance, the time to get help is now. Long-term addiction is harder to treat. That being said, any time you seek help for your drug use is a good time. First, pick up the phone and call 844.442.8673 or complete PAATC’s easy online form to reach someone who can answer questions ranging from “What is meth addiction?” to “How to know when it’s time to get help?” PAATC is ready to get you the help you need. To avoid the lasting effects of meth abuse and addiction, seek the help you need and deserve today.