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 / Methamphetamine / How Addictive Is Meth?

How Addictive is Meth?

In the United States, there is a significant issue with addiction. However, there are situations when people view it as an opioid issue and overlook the presence of other drugs. In truth, several substances are responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans each year. Depending on where you live in the United States, methamphetamine (or meth) may (or may not) be a severe issue in your community.


According to research published in JAMA Psychiatry, the number of overdose fatalities using psychoactive substances other than cocaine, primarily methamphetamine, surged by 180 percent among persons under the age of 65 in the United States between 2015 and 2019, reaching 15,489 deaths. According to the researchers, the number of Americans reporting meth use increased by 43 percent over the study period, indicating that increases in methamphetamine addiction, among other substances often overlooked, may contribute to this surge in drug abuse deaths.

What is Crystal Meth?

Meth is an abbreviation for methamphetamines, a stimulant substance. Most people who misuse meth do so to get vitality, escape difficulties, or mask pain and suffering.

 

Methamphetamine is known as "meth," "glass," "shards," "Tina," and "ice" on the street, particularly among people who manufacture, distribute, and use it. However, it is recognized as "crystal meth" among the general public and in the media because methamphetamine resembles shards of glass crystals.

 

The concern is that, depending on how the brain functions, it has the potential to be a very addictive chemical.

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How Addictive is Methamphetamine?

You or a loved one is possibly abusing this substance, and you're asking how to identify whether you are an addict. It would help if you watched for various indicators, both psychological and physical. Remember that if you have already become addicted to meth, or any other drug, you are more likely than not to desire and remain in denial about your addiction. You may need to consult with someone else to get their perspective. The signs and symptoms of meth addiction include:

 

  • Having difficulty falling asleep

  • Diarrhea

  • Talkativeness

  • Constipation

  • Skin that is dry and itchy

  • A rise or fall in your blood pressure

  • Anxiety levels have risen

  • A hazy vision

  • Experiencing dizziness

  • increased alertness and energy

  • Headaches that occur regularly

  • Euphoria

  • Increased physical activity

  • Heightened sexual arousal

  • Reduced concentration and poor memory

  • Psychosis 

  • Suicidal thoughts

  • Increased aggression

 

While you may have found this list helpful, it is conceivable that you may still be unable to quit using methamphetamine despite your efforts. Here are some reasons why meth is so addicting and challenging to stop without expert assistance.

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Medically Reviewed:

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Rolling Hills Recovery Center

Expert Contributor

Dr. Williams presently serves on the board of Directors for two non-profit service organizations. He holds a Master’s degree in Human Services from Lincoln University, Philadelphia, Pa, and a Ph.D. with a concentration in Clinical Psychology from Union Institute and University. In Cincinnati, Ohio. He is licensed to practice addictions counseling in both New Jersey and Connecticut and has a pending application as a practicing Psychologist in New Jersey.

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That “high” is registered in the brain as a "hard-coded" memory.

Usually, when you engage in pleasurable, drug-free activities (such as listening to music, playing video games, having sex, or eating delicious food), your brain releases tiny quantities of dopamine into the bloodstream. However, meth causes excess release of dopamine.


When you use methamphetamine for the first time, the substance causes a fast dopamine release in your brain. Users have described this sensation as very ecstatic. You will feel a rush of euphoric feelings as you raise your dopamine intake. As a result of this experience, your memory gets permanently imprinted. Throughout the rest of your addiction, your brain will attempt to recreate the same euphoric sensations experienced during the first use of the substance.

 

The difficulty is that no other experience will ever be as intense as when you first used it. The brain becomes used to the substance practically instantly. This implies that you must consume more and more methamphetamine with each subsequent usage to get the original high. As your body tries to adjust to this alien influence, the result of these fruitless efforts is acute meth dependence.

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The Potency of Methamphetamine

Crystal meth is such a powerful substance that even a tiny quantity of the drug may provide an intoxicating feeling. Using illicit methamphetamine manufactured in clandestine laboratories may result in overdose or abrupt death. There are no reliable means to check the concentration.

 

Because the first surge of euphoric pleasure associated with methamphetamine, known as the "flash," is so great, many first-time users may binge on the substance immediately, leading to a rapid and continuous usage cycle. Thus, according to some specialists, addiction to the stimulant meth may develop extremely fast, particularly among those who like powerful and quick stimulant highs.

Using Meth to Ease Withdrawal

The meth high is potent, yet it lasts just a brief period. Users feel happy, confident, and energized minutes after ingesting the substance; the effects last many hours. The majority of users also experience a false sensation of empowerment. You will likely experience depression, weariness, anxiety, and irritability when the high wears off. Some people have hallucinations, insomnia, and suicidal thoughts. 

 

These signs and symptoms usually appear in conjunction with severe, uncontrolled desires. Unfortunately, many individuals resort to using meth again to escape these symptoms and fulfill their desires, increasing their chances of overdose.

Methamphetamine and Overdoses

Binges are a regular occurrence among those who use meth. During a binge, people continue to consume increasing amounts of the drug while neglecting the nutritional requirements of their bodies. The majority of individuals do this to keep their euphoric high going. Unfortunately, prolonged usage will reduce the intensity of each successive "high," making it more difficult for users to reach the pleasure they experienced first. 

 

Unfortunately, this often increases methamphetamine usage, which may spiral into addiction and overdose in the worst-case scenario.

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Don't Put Up With It Any Longer

Methamphetamine is a highly potent stimulant. If you use it, you risk developing an addiction to it. Because the chemical is highly addictive, it has the potential to have a severe influence on every aspect of your life, even leading to death in certain situations.

 

It is possible to suffer long-term health consequences from methamphetamine misuse. These include heart disease, renal failure, coma risk factors, and even death. There are, however, options available that have assisted many people in overcoming their meth addiction.

 

If you have a loved one suffering from a meth use issue, call Rolling Hills Recovery Center today. Regardless of how long they've been abusing, there is hope for rehabilitation on the other side. Finding help and support is vital to recuperating, and a rehab gives precisely that!

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What is crystal meth?
How addictive is methamphetamine?
The potency of methamphetamine
Using meth to ease withdrawals
Methamphetamine and overdoses
Don't put up with it any longer
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