Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine is an incredibly potent stimulant, and a highly addictive drug that can take over your life.  

Background

Methamphetamine has spread as a party drug or club drug, keeping users up for hour at a time and giving a rush each time it is taken. However, methamphetamine is a highly addictive and dangerous drug. Methamphetamine affects the brain not only as a stimulant, but also releases dopamine and serotonin, two chemicals that regulate mood, appetite, sleep and other functions. As methamphetamine crosses into the brain, the serotonin and dopamine produce an intense rush of euphoria, the most intense part of the high. The intense highs of methamphetamine also come with terrible lows. With the brain depleted from these vital chemicals, the individual is susceptible to depression, agitation and anxiety. These highs and lows are made more intense by repeated use, which helps make methamphetamine so addictive, and withdrawal so difficult. An extended methamphetamine binge can go on for days, as the user chases a high that becomes less intense as the brain’s vital chemicals become more and more depleted. As days pass without sleep, the brain is wracked with withdrawal, yet unable to shut down.

Signs of Abuse

  • Skin picking
  • Hair loss
  • Tooth decay
  • Loss of appetite, weight loss
  • Dilated pupils
  • Heart palpitations, racing pulse
  • Nausea
  • Agitation, odd behavior
  • Panic, psychosis
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures, convulsions
  • Track marks

Symptoms of Withdrawal

Methamphetamine withdrawal is severe. Acute withdrawal symptoms can being in as little as 24 hours. Acute withdrawal can last from 7 days to as long as 21 days. Even once withdrawal has reached sub-acute levels, symptoms can persist for months. Continuing treatment is especially important for long term recovery from an addiction to methamphetamine.

  • Fatigue, lethargy, excessive sleeping
  • Increased appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Repetitive, involuntary movements
  • Depression, thoughts of suicide
  • Apathy, hopelessness
  • Cravings
  • Psychotic symptoms
    • Paranoia
    • Hallucinations
    • Delusions

Paraphernalia

Methamphetamine can be snorted, smoked, taken orally or injected. The way methamphetamine is used can determine how fast and hard it hits you, but each route of administration is addictive.

Injection

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  • Hypodermic needles – used to inject liquefied methamphetamine
  • Spoons or bottle caps – used for cooking meth, liquefying it for injection
  • Shoelaces, rubber hoses, length of string or similar – used to “tie off,” restricting blood flow on one’s limbs to make veins pop out
  • Lighters/ candles – heat source used to melt the drug

Smoking

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  • Tin foil, aluminum cans – used to improvise a way to smoke methamphetamine
  • Glass pipes – used to smoke methamphetamine
  • Lighters, candles – heat source to smoke methamphetamine

Snorting

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  • Rolled dollar bills, cut straws or similar – used for snorting methamphetamine
  • Razor blades, plastic cards or similar – used to cut methamphetamine into “lines” for snorting
  • Small mirrors or glass – surface for snorting of methamphetamine

Detox Process

Amatus Health detox facilities offer medically assisted detox for individuals facing the physical symptoms of methamphetamine withdrawal, as well as inpatient and outpatient therapy programs designed to build the skills for long term recovery. Methamphetamine withdrawal can be a long process. It can take a long time for the body and the brain to heal themselves. Continuing treatment is especially important for recovery from methamphetamine. Because of methamphetamines effects on the brain’s reward pathways, it is important that any co-occurring mental health disorders are considered when implementing a treatment plan. At every level of care, you will have access to trained professionals to help you get clean and stay clean. If you or a loved one is struggling with a methamphetamine addiction, reach out to one of our treatment professionals today.

Further Treatment Options

At Amatus Health we off the full continuum of care, from intensive inpatient programs through a number of outpatient levels of care. We believe, supported by evidence, that a longer stay in treatment sets patients up for a better chance at long term recovery. Every individual who goes through our care gets an individualized treatment plan designed around their needs, to treat the physical, mental and spiritual causes of substance abuse.

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Step 1

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Step 2

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Step 3

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Knowledge Bank

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