What is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine or “meth” is a powerful crystal-like substance that is highly addictive and effects our central nervous system. It is also referred to as blue, ice or crystal, among other terms. The only legal use for the drug is to treat obesity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) but is rarely used and only available by prescription. It is a man-made substance that was used during WWII to keep soldiers awake and has also been used to treat depression.
There are many forms of crystal meth including clear, crystal chunks or blue shiny, rocks. It can be smoked from a pipe, snorted, swallowed or injected into our veins. People who use the drug immediately feel a rush and euphoric-like feeling which is why people continue to use it.
It was developed in the early 20^th^ century from its parent drug, amphetamine. It was used as a nasal decongestant and inhalers that treated bronchitis. Some of the symptoms associated with using it today can include:
- Increased activity
- Decreased appetite
- Pleasurable sense of euphoria
- Increased happiness
Because methamphetamine is so much more potent today, it has longer lasting effects and is harder to stop using. It is highly likely to be misused and can cause negative effects to your body when using it.
How Meth is Made
Methamphetamine found in the United States is currently being made in parts of Mexico by transnational criminal organizations (TCOs). It is low in cost and is pure, potent and made in small laboratories from substances that can be found in many household products such as pseudoephedrine, an ingredient found in many cold medications.
Other common chemicals that can be used to produce meth include:
- Anhydrous Ammonia (fertilizer)
- Red phosphorus
- Sulfuric acid
- Sodium hydroxide
- Hydrochloric acid
How Does It Make You Feel?
Meth has a way of getting a person hooked right away by the powerful rush of feelings a person gets right after using the drug. When the drug is used there is an increase of dopamine, a chemical in the brain, causing the person to feel intense pleasure. It also can make the person feel confident, alert and excitable.
People who use the drug quickly begin to become addicted and will do anything possible to obtain it to continue their use. The more a person uses the drug, the higher tolerance they will build up, therefore requiring more of the drug to be used to have the same effects. The higher the dose a person is using the more risk there is.
When using meth, the effects last longer than they do with using cocaine, it’s cheaper to get and you can even make it using common house-hold ingredients. The toxicity of the drug is increased when combined with alcohol, cocaine or opiates.
Chronic abusers may have some side effects that include:
- Mood disorders
- Violent behavior
Along with some side effects there are also long-term effects that may include:
- Changes in brain function
- Increased distractibility
- Memory loss
- Mood disturbances
- Extreme dental problems
- Weight loss
- Thinking and motor impairment
- Aggressive or violent behavior
How It Works
The effects of methamphetamine occur when there is high levels of the chemical, dopamine released to the brain which causes a pleasurable feeling of euphoria. Dopamine is responsible for affecting a person’s pleasure, motivation and motor function. Because of the euphoric feelings, people tend to take more of the drug once the feelings start to wear off so that they can continue feeling the same way. Some people will binge use the drug and avoid food and sleep to keep the feelings going until the drug has completely worn off.
It is a serious, dangerous drug which means that when high amounts are put into the body it makes it more and more toxic to our system. The drug itself remains in the brain for a longer period of time because a larger part of it remains unchanged in the body.
Meth and Detox
Detoxing from meth can cause very unpleasant symptoms which usually causes the person to continue use at home trying to avoid the feelings. A treatment program can have many benefits that will help with the detox process and allow the person to feel more comfortable.
Some common symptoms that may occur during the detox process include:
Because the detox process can be so exhausting, many people who go through it will experience a “crash” period where their body shuts down and they sleep hours or for days at a time.
Detoxing at home can be dangerous because a person can resume using meth after the negative feelings begin, causing them to relapse. It can also cause depression and anxiety, which left untreated can be detrimental to a person’s mental health.
Although, it is possible to detox at home, it is better for your health and well-being to detox away from home. A person is more likely to seek out the drug if they are used to using it in that environment. If they are away from it and in a safe place with people who are there to help, they are more likely to stay sober. It may not be life-threatening to detox at home, but it is necessary to remove the person from the environment in which they have been using meth.
Treatment in Los Angeles
Treatment for meth is out there and can help with the negative symptoms that arise when you stop using the drug. Sometimes you might feel like reaching out for help, while other times, you might want to hole up and use. Going back and forth between the two only perpetuates your continued meth use. And, the longer you use, the closer you get to the end of your life.
Meth treatment in Los Angeles can help. We know how overwhelming it feels to have a meth addiction and to feel like there is no way out or no answer to the problem. But there is treatment available that can get you off meth and get you moving towards a happier, healthier future.
Do not waste any more time. Call Breathe Life Healing Center today.