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Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant drug commonly referred to as meth. It is used by roughly 4% of the population of the U.S., with recent reports showing meth using rising in areas around the country.
- 2012- 440,000 people reported using meth
- 2014- 569,000 people reported using meth
That is a 29% increase in just two years!
- 2014- 3,700 overdose deaths were caused by meth
- 2015- 4,900 overdose deaths were caused by meth
- 2016- 7,700 overdose deaths were caused by meth
Recent statistics indicate that meth is one of the most commonly used drugs in America. This illicit chemical substance is a Schedule II drug, with an elevated potential for:
- Long-term health issues
Using this drug is not only illegal but extremely dangerous for both mental health and physical health. Meth addiction can lead to some very serious organ problems, and can even be fatal. The risks associated with meth addiction only get worse the longer that someone uses it. More damage is done to the organs and the risks of developing other health issues continued to increase.
Meth is a highly addictive drug, and meth addiction can be very difficult to overcome without safe medical detox, professional treatment, and continued support. Due to the risks of meth use, one should not wait to get help. But how do you know someone has a meth addiction?
Here are 11 signs and side effects of meth addiction to watch out for.
Xerostomia, commonly known as dry mouth, is a well-known side-effect of meth addiction. The mouths own saliva contains antibacterial properties that naturally help to maintain oral hygiene. When someone has a chronic dry mouth, less saliva is produced, causing more exposure to bacteria. “Meth mouth” is when dry mouth from meth use causes thing like:
- Gum disease
- Tooth decay
- Tooth loss
Regular issues with oral hygiene such as these may be an indication of frequent meth use.
A common side effect of long-term meth addiction is experiencing hallucinations. This may not mean they are currently under the influence of the drug. Hallucinations are not only visual either. Some people who hallucinate due to meth use experience:
- Disturbing images or people who aren’t there
- Hear phantom sounds and voices
- Smell odors
- Fell phantom sensations
Sometimes the hallucinated sensations can lead to other side effects.
A side effect of meth use is severe itching, which can cause intense scratching that creates huge, red, open sores on the skin. The sores can happen even after the first use. Typically they show up on:
This is because the chemicals used to make meth can dry out the skin. But the itching and scratching fits can also be caused by hallucinations created by the chemicals in the drug. Some users will think there are bugs on, or even beneath their skin.
Meth addiction is frequently connected to aggressive behavior and even bursts of violence. Studies conducted among meth users have determined that:
- 56% of meth uses admit the drug causes them to commit violence
- 59% reported specific violent criminal behaviors, such as robbery and homicide
This powerful stimulant can exaggerate aggression. If you or a loved one exhibits uncharacteristically violent outbursts, it may be a sign of serious meth addiction.
A signature side effect of most stimulants is that they prominently influence the central nervous system, giving an individual an energy boost. Due to the heightened sense of alertness, meth addiction often causes sleep disturbances and insomnia.
Many meth users report to staying awake for several days or even weeks at a time. Eventually, they may experience an intense crash for two or three days between extended periods of intense stimulation.
As meth continues acting on the central nervous system, the stimulant typically makes someone feel more nervous or anxious on a constant basis.
- Evidence shows roughly 75% of meth users have experience anxiety disorders
Anxiety is one of the most commonly reported psychiatric symptoms of people addicted to meth.
Along with the effects of the stimulant on energy levels, meth also influences the part of the brain that controls rational thinking and emotional responses. Once this chemical acts on the brain, it can create an imbalance that causes paranoid thoughts to creep in. Other side-effects of meth can actually make it worse, including:
- Increased Aggression
These various factors can contribute to a growing sense of paranoia, which could be an indication of severe meth use.
Because of the effects of using meth on the brain, the stimulant also causes emotional imbalance. Some studies show:
- 48% of meth users struggle with depression
The imbalance in brain chemicals for altering and controlling a person’s mood can lead to other mental health disorders, including bipolar disorder.
Weakened Immune System
The use of meth has been connected to higher rates of inflammation and cell damage. These side effects cause many meth users to have weakened immune systems. This decreased immunity makes meth addicts more vulnerable to illnesses and diseases. Meth users suffer high rates and are at higher risk of illnesses like:
- Staph infection/MRSA
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
These are a few examples of why someone recovering some meth should seek professional medical treatment.
As mentioned, the potential damage caused by meth only gets worse the longer it is used. Extended meth addiction can damage blood vessels in the brain can cause fatal side effects, including:
Data has also shown meth can decrease gray matter in the brain, which increased the risk of memory problems and Alzheimer’s disease.
Methamphetamine is commonly cut with various chemicals that are very toxic to the body. These toxins put vital organs through a lot of stress, which can lead to organ failure. A very dire sign of meth addiction is organ failure, especially regarding:
- Liver failure
- Kidney failure
Too much meth containing toxins that cannot be properly filtered or processed can cause organs to permanently shut down or cease to function, which can ultimately lead to death.
Meth Addiction Treatment
All the damage caused by meth and the chemicals combined with it should not be underestimated. This is why it is purposely suggested that those trying to recover from meth should seek out a safe medical detox in order to properly diagnose and treat related issues, and avoid further health complications. Look for a professional and personalized program that is right for you.
Beyond the physical harm, comprehensive addiction treatment should include cognitive behavioral therapy and other holistic and innovative treatment options. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, do not wait. Please call toll-free now. We want to help.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Other than a few extra, albeit foul, ingredients used to “cut” the final product, methamphetamine (illegal) and pharmaceutical – that is ‘legal’ – amphetamine are pretty closely related, chemically speaking. In fact, the only difference between the two boils down to one molecule that lets meth cross the blood-brain barrier a little faster, giving it that extra ‘kick.’ After that, meth breaks down fast into dextroamphetamine, the dominant salt in Adderall, which just so happens to be America’s leading ADHD drug and favorite study aid.
There are a whole slew of reasons behind the whole “good” amphetamine versus “bad” methamphetamine but, actual chemistry isn’t one of them. There is very little difference between Adderall and street speed that really comes down to politics and the almighty dollar. As you might have guessed, Big Pharma is mostly to blame.
In the earlier part of the twentieth century, Americans consumed a wide variety of patented amphetamines, from the bestselling Benzedrine, Dexedrine and Dexamyl, not to mention a number of generic versions of the drug. What’s noteworthy is that more than a few of these brands also contained methamphetamine.
The 1960s and the Original Speed Epidemic
Post-war era in America saw a boom in amphetamine use as it was widely marketed to housewives as a way to keep trim while keeping up with all of the grueling housework. Let’s face it, being a housewife is a lot of work, even though still today, it is highly under-valued.
However, also during this time, it became painfully clear that this trend of amphetamine use was causing all kinds of problems. In fact, researchers during the ‘60s concluded that habitual amphetamine use produced a more accurate “model psychosis” than LSD.
It was also during this period, what with the U.S. ‘speed’ market peaking at around four billion pills annually, that the then young field of neuroscience began to understand why pharmaceutical speed was so popular yet so dangerous. In the words of one scholar, “given access to enough amphetamine, any rat, monkey, or man would eventually self-destruct.”
The World Health Organization got involved at this point, given that America’s speed crisis was now at its height, and concluded that the dangers of amphetamine use far outweighed their benefits when it came to general medical practices. Indeed, every industrial nation agreed with the WHO’s assessment, including the United States, therefore changing the laws accordingly. This led to a virtual backlash when it came to speed that was prevalent in critical press, public outrage, and even Congressional hearings that led to the creation of limits on the production, marketing, and sale of amphetamines.
The 1970s and American Speed
By 1970, nearly 10% of American women were using or were dependent on some form of amphetamine, most of whom were prescribed the drug for its weight loss properties.
With all the criticism coming to the forefront, even appearing in the form of exposés in women’s magazines, high-profile hearings ensued. These led to the Controlled Substances Act and the classification of amphetamines as a Schedule II drug, defining it with having a high risk of addiction and potential for abuse. For the first time, federal limits were placed on annual speed production.
As you can imagine, there was quite a lot of industry (Big Pharma) resistance, which, with help from their friends in Congress, have led to the steady loosening in recent years of such restrictions. In fact, industry regulations are now more closely reminiscent of those predating the 1970s.
Current Legal Amphetamine Trends
In his book, on Running Ritalin, Dr. Lawrence Diller states that the use of legal speed has surpassed opiate addiction as the leading reason behind admissions to addiction treatment centers in California.
Currently, one-in-five teenage boys in the U.S. have received an ADHD diagnosis – a clear indication that the prescription amphetamine market is in full swing again – as this number is has nearly doubled since 2008. And the number of prescription speed users arriving at ER rooms and rehab facilities is growing at an alarming rate.
Legal speed in America is now a $10 billion market that accounts for more than four-fifths of the world’s pharmaceutical amphetamine. And, by the end of 2015, America’s speed consumption is projected to rise by another quarter.
What Does It All Mean?
The current speed explosion is eerily familiar. As they say, “history repeats itself” and, along with industry projections, it seems as though America’s new trendy pill will soon recreate the same situation we’ve seen in the past – one that will end just as badly.
Now that legal speed has made its comeback as a treatment for Attention Deficit Disorder, it’s the same epidemic, just with a new twist backed by so-called medical diagnoses. The Journal of Neuroscience published a study in which researchers wrote that amphetamine and methamphetamine, such as crystal meth, are “about equipotent” and “produce qualitatively similar behavioral responses.” Both excite the central nervous system in nearly identical ways. That is, the brain responds the same way whether it’s produced by Big Pharma or your friendly neighborhood ‘cook.’
Substance abuse isn’t limited to illicit drugs like crystal meth; even prescription speed such as Adderall, Ritalin, Vyvanse, or Dexedrine can pose a problem. If you or someone you love is being prescribed amphetamines and you feel that it has become a problem, help is available in the form of addiction specialists who are available to speak with you regarding amphetamine and methamphetamine use. If you’re unsure about what constitutes a problem, give Palm Partners a call at 1-800-951-6135.
Meth and meth houses have recently become a huge epidemic in the state of Tennessee; because of this meth rehab in Tennessee is on the rise and could be the right choice for you. The term meth is short for the word methamphetamine, which is an extremely addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system. Meth causes chattiness, increased activity, practically no appetite, and a general sense of comfort. There are many different street names for meth such as but not limited to: speed, crank, crystal meth, ice and others.
Meth Rehab in Tennessee: Uses for Methamphetamines
There are of course medical uses for methamphetamines, too. There are a small amount of reasons someone would medically need methamphetamines; it can be prescribed for ADHD and certain cases of overeating and being overweight. Off-label uses contain the treatment of narcolepsy and for cases of treatment-resistant sadness. Meth is widely known for being used recreationally and for the anticipated “high” it creates. Along with a rush, the meth users experience extreme alertness and insomnia. Using of meth can cause a lot of health problems and if you overdose you can have a seizure and if you aren’t treated instantly, it can be fatal.
Meth Rehab in Tennessee: Long-term effects
A good reason to seek Meth Rehab in Tennessee is the long-term effects caused by using meth. One of the most harmful effects of meth use is addiction and that usually requires you seek treatment. Long-term meth users can experience paranoia, psychosis, memory loss, mood disorders, severe dental problems, a decrease in weight and hostile or intense behavior. Over the years, meth addiction has increased drastically. The amount of patients seeking treatment for meth use has also gone up.
Meth Rehab in Tennessee: Going through Withdrawal, Detox
Treatment for meth addiction is critical because the withdrawals can be very uncomfortable and can also lead to a hypothetically deadly situation. Once meth addicts end using, they suffer from exhaustion, depression, enlarged appetite, too much sleeping, anxiety, bad temper, headaches, and even thoughts of suicide. The best option for a meth addict who is trying to recover is to go into a detox center and then seek help from meth rehab in Tennessee. In the detox they will make sure to medically supervise you and make sure you are safe and comfortable.
Meth Rehab in Tennessee: Treatment Options
At this time, the most effective meth rehab in Tennessee is to programs that support 12-step fellowships and focus on therapy, group therapy and teaching life skills. When you go into treatment, you will be assigned a therapist and a treatment plan that is directly goaled towards helping keep you sober. They will teach you life skills and help you get used to living life like a responsible functioning member of society again (or for the first time) and also take you to 12-step meetings. You can make connections with people in the rooms and build a support system within your rehab community. A lot of treatment centers also take you out to different activities during the week and weekends to show you how to have fun in sobriety, too. Once you finish in-patient treatment they offer outpatient treatment and recommend you go to a halfway house and meetings. Going to meth rehab in Tennessee could really help change your life and save it. If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction in Tennessee, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.