At Transformations By The Gulf, we understand how methamphetamine addiction can control your life. We tailor individual, an innovative treatment that will address your needs – body, mind, and spirit – so you can get your life back on track. Your individualized drug treatment program might include outpatient detox, individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy and a wide array of adjunct treatment services designed to ensure you receive world-class addiction treatment and achieve sustained recovery.

How Methamphetamine Addiction Can Happen

The number of illegal methamphetamine labs in the country is currently at an all-time high. Known as a “party drug” or “club drug,” the popularity of methamphetamines continues to grow.

Methamphetamine is an addictive central nervous system (CNS) stimulant known as “meth,” “speed,” “uppers,” or “chalk.” It is a white, bitter powder that can be taken orally, snorted, or intravenously injected. Methamphetamine hydrochloride, called “ice” or “crystal meth,” is a clear, crystallized form smoked in a glass pipe or injected. Methamphetamine is closely related to amphetamine, but the effects on the central nervous system are far more damaging.

Methamphetamine can be produced from pseudoephedrine and ephedrine, the active ingredients in many over-the-counter decongestant cold medications. As a result, pharmacies across the country are now enforcing restrictions on the distribution of these medications.

Users can initially experience a “rush” of heightened energy, increased libido, and elevated self-confidence. However, the rush passes quickly, inciting the need to use again. Chronic use can lead to binging, where the abuser goes for days without food or sleep. This vicious cycle can drive one farther and farther away from normal life, as the need to use becomes the primary concern. Eventually, the initial euphoric feelings can be replaced by aggression, irritability, paranoia, and, in some cases, hallucinations.

Neurological and Psychological Effects

Methamphetamine has a neurotoxic effect on brain cells. Once it enters the bloodstream, the drug releases high levels of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, which stimulate the brain cells responsible for our moods and body movements. Eventually, not only is the brain no longer able to produce the same euphoric feeling that the drug has synthetically induced, it interrupts the brain’s production of these neurotransmitters to such a degree that the user experiences involuntary body movements and tremors similar to Parkinson’s disease. If the drug use continues, the effect may be irreversible.

Long-term use can also cause permanent cognitive damage, resulting in a loss of memory and attention span, and may even result in psychotic episodes resembling schizophrenia.

Physical Effects of Methamphetamine

Even using small amounts of methamphetamine can result in symptoms including frenetic physical activity, appetite suppression, hyperthermia, dizziness, insomnia, confusion, anxiety, and palpitations. With increased use, it can damage the kidneys, liver and cardiovascular system, and cause elevated blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, convulsions, and stroke.

The withdrawal symptoms from methamphetamines include severe depression, inability to feel pleasure, extreme fatigue and lack of energy. In addition, the intense craving to use the drug again combined with deep depression can sometimes lead to suicide. Let’s talk- contact us (866) 335-2962