Methamphetamine (meth) is a powerful stimulant that has a very high addictive potential. It was originally derived from amphetamine , but unlike amphetamine it has no widely accepted medical use.
A weak prescription form of the drug with the brand name Desoxyn is occasionally prescribed to narcolepsy patients, but for the most part methamphetamine has been outlawed since the U.S. Drug Abuse and Regulation Act of 1970.1
Methamphetamine generally comes in a pill or powder form that can be inhaled or ingested orally, though it can be made into a crystalline form known as crystal meth, which can be smoked or injected. No matter the method of use, methamphetamine has a high potential for abuse and dependency and addiction to it must be professionally treated.
There are quite a few street names for methamphetamine, including "meth," "crystal," "crank," "Tina," "ice" and "speed." In 2015, nearly 897,000 people aged 12 or older were current users of methamphetamine.2
Unless meth is prescribed by a medical professional, its use is illegal in every state. It is a stimulant that affects the central nervous system. Most states have very stiff penalties for the use, possession and production of the drug.
Despite the high risks, people still buy the drug because the effects include a sense of well-being and euphoria. The problem is that after the initial rush, the user's behavior can change wildly. They may become edgy, angry and afraid, and they may begin to experience a rise in body temperature.
Due to this big change in how a person feels, most meth users will continue to use more of the drug, needing a bigger dose each time in order to get the same rush and euphoric feelings. Continued use of larger dosages can lead to dependency, abuse and addiction . It can also lead to some fairly dangerous side effects, some of which can be severe or even fatal. They include:3
Inability to sleep
Increased heart rate
Irregular heart beat
Increase in blood pressure
Help for Addiction
Since the side effects of meth use can be so dangerous, if you suspect that you or someone you know is addicted, you should immediately seek out a methamphetamine rehabilitation program . A proper facility for methamphetamine addicts will provide you with the tools necessary to stop the addiction cycle and learn how to live the rest of your life without meth.
If you are addicted and want to get back to the life you were leading before your addiction, call 1-888-319-2606Who Answers? to find out more about methamphetamine recovery centers that can help you get back on track.
What to Look for in a Methamphetamine Treatment Facility
Having a medical doctor on board is necessary because the detoxification process, which is needed to break physical dependence on the drug, should be overseen by medical professionals. Withdrawal symptoms from meth can be severe, including irritability, anxiety , agitation and even suicidal thoughts. It's important that licensed professionals be on hand to guide patients through these symptoms, so they remain safe and secure throughout the process.
Good methamphetamine treatment programs should be tailored to the individual needs of the addict, because addiction is a very personal experience. No two addicts will have the same needs, so an evaluation of overall health and addiction level should be carried out prior to the first phase of recovery, which is detoxification . Look for methamphetamine rehabilitation centers that help you through detox and then provide you with cognitive behavioral therapy to address the psychological aspects of addiction and the potential for relapse.
Treatment may include individual, group, and family therapy sessions to help determine the underlying causes behind the meth abuse. A person can then learn how to handle temptations in the future in order to prevent future relapse .
Residential and Outpatient Optionsinpatient , or residential, treatment is recommended. In a residential program, you will live in the facility for however long it takes you to recover.
The other option is an outpatient program , which allows a person to work toward recovery from home. Outpatient treatment involves checking in a couple times per week at the treatment facility. Some addicts find the temptation of drug use during the time away from the facility to be too much, which can challenge the recovery progress they have made. Because of this temptation, inpatient treatment is recommended for anyone who has relapsed in the past
Returning to your old life after rehab is a rewarding experience that is not without risks. Once you return home, you may be tempted to begin using again. To avoid relapsing, you should attend any aftercare programs that are available in conjunction with your methamphetamine recovery program. This may include 12-step meetings and group therapy sessions.
. Center for Substance abuse Research. (2013). Methamphetamine .
. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2016). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. SMA 16-4984, NSDUH Series H-51).
. Drug Enforcement Agency. Drug Fact Sheet, Methamphetamine .