How Prevalent Is Meth Use in the United States?
According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health:
- Roughly 2 million people in the United States report using meth at least once in the past year.
- An average of 510 people use meth for the first time each day.
- Roughly 1 million people met the clinical requirements for having methamphetamine use disorder in the United States in 2019 alone.
The Effects of Meth on the Brain
Meth can allow someone to function with very little sleep, and suppress their appetite. There are many ways to abuse meth to achieve some goal, making it all the easier for someone to develop an addiction, even if they only planned on using the drug short term. Methamphetamine is not a medical amphetamine. It has an extreme effect on the body and should never be used in an attempt to diet or stay awake.
Meth’s powerful effect on the brain causes many side effects. Symptoms of meth addiction both on and off the drug include:
- Mood swings
- Weight loss
- Dental health issues
- Hair loss
- Memory loss
- Aggressive behavior
- Difficulty sleeping
The side effects of meth are extremely damaging, and can eventually lead to death. Recovering from meth is a long-term process, and we are here to help.
Long Term Effects of Meth Use:
- Psychosis, this includes:
- Changes in brain function and structure
- Memory loss
- Violent behavior
- Dental issues
- Weight loss
If you or a loved one suffers from meth alcohol addiction, call (678) 737-4430 today. Our supportive team is here to help.
Treating Meth Addiction
The cycle of meth use is hard to break away from, but by no means impossible. Treatment programs have helped countless people remove the drug from their lives once and for all. A key component to treatment is behavioral therapy, wherein patients talk about their experience with drugs, the circumstances that led them to use drugs, and the temptations that make it hard to quit.
During treatment, patients will learn valuable strategies for dealing with cravings. Therapy teaches people healthy ways to deal with stress, anxiety, and depression so that drugs no longer feel like the only answer for these feelings.
After time spent at an inpatient rehab center, patients should continue their therapy through outpatient rehab. Several times a week, patients will have an opportunity to talk about their recovery process and maintain the sense of momentum they gained during inpatient rehab.
In 2011, the American Journal on Addictions published studies revealing that roughly 40% of people being treated for meth abuse struggle with an anxiety disorder. Co-occurring abuse and mental health disorders are very common. It is important that this is taken into consideration when treating a person’s addiction. Addressing anxiety, depression, and other co-occurring disorders greatly reduces the risk of relapse. These conditions often contribute to a person’s temptation to use, so finding healthy ways to handle these issues should be an integral component of any patient’s addiction treatment. That is why we have a dedicated co-occurring disorder treatment program.
You Don’t Have to Fight This Alone
Breaking free from meth addiction is almost impossible to do by yourself. At The Carter Treatment Center, an entire team of compassionate people who have all been affected by addiction is here to help. Our rehabilitation centers are located in Suwanee and Cumming, GA. We also serve the communities of Milton, Canton, Dawsonville, Johns Creek, Roswell, Gwinnett County, and Gainesville.
The way meth affects the brain and body traps people in a cycle that keeps them dependent on the drug to ward of withdrawal symptoms.
Stages of meth use include:
- The rush – Whether injected or smoked, meth has an immediate “rush” effect. This intense phase of heightened awareness and pleasure only lasts for a few minutes but is potent enough to lay the groundwork for an addiction.
- The high – Meth highs last for a long time, anywhere between 4 to 16 hours depending on the purity and amount used. The high phase creates a sense of delusion which can severely alter a person’s mood and behavior.
- The binge – The euphoric high of meth fades away before the drug is fully processed through the body. This leads many users to take the drug several times over a long period of time. Some people have been known to binge for several days and may stop eating and drinking during this time.
- Tweaking – Eventually, meth will stop producing a rush or high no matter how much a person uses it. This will create a feeling of emptiness, craving, and paranoia. Users may enter a dissociative state during this time, feeling completed disconnected from the world.
- The crash – Once a binge has concluded, a crash will occur. This is when the body finally shuts down so that it can recover from the intense amount of drug in the system. This may cause a person to sleep for several days.
- The withdrawal – After waking up from a crash, users will feel nauseated, exhausted, anxious, and depressed. This will lead to a craving for meth, and since the body has had time to recover, it will be possible to get the rush and high sensations from meth again. So the cycle begins all over again.