4 Signs You Need Meth Rehab
October 1, 2018
If you or a loved one has been struggling with using or abusing methamphetamines, it might be time to discuss meth rehab. Meth is well known to be one of the most addictive and dangerous drugs for users, both physically and mentally, and has a very difficult withdrawal process outside of a meth rehab setting. Many users these days also call getting high on meth, “tweaking”.
Why Is Meth so Addictive?
Methamphetamine is extremely addictive in that it acts primarily on the brain’s dopamine and serotonin receptors, the areas in the brain that are associated with pleasure. It provides such an intense and powerful boost in these hormones in the brain that users get an immediate euphoric feeling.
The drug can either be smoked, snorted, or injected, and all methods are powerful. The reason why this drug gets people hooked so fast, is that the high is very short-lived, so users will repeatedly administer doses in order to “chase” the effect to avoid their high fading.
Over time, and even starting at the very first use, meth starts to reshape the reward centers in the brain, which leads to disruption in decision making, maintenance of healthy emotional states and creates an immediate desire to get more, leading to addiction.
- According to SAMHSA, meth use jumped from 3-4% of the American population between 2010 and 2015
- In 2014, roughly 3,700 Americans died from drug overdoses involving meth
- In 2015, 4,900 Americans died from a meth overdose, jumping 30% in one year
- In 2015, there were over 11,600 meth users admitted to treatment for meth rehab in the state of Minnesota alone
- Research is showing that increased numbers of addicts are now using meth in combination with other drugs, primarily opioids, more than ever before.
So if meth is so dangerous and addictive, why do people try it in the first place? Well just like with any other addiction, many people never really understand the severity of the decision until it’s too late, and it usually starts with something harmless, that snowballs into them using hard drugs daily.
Even if the first time was a choice, with meth, every single use after that is fueled by the brains need to have more.
If you are wondering if you or your loved one needs meth rehab, here are some telltale signs that it might be time to make the call.
- Money is Spent Faster than It is Made
One of the most indicative signs of meth addiction and any addiction at that is that the user spends massive amounts of money on getting more of the drug. From an outsider’s perspective, it may just look like an inability to grasp responsibility, but for the user, it becomes the one thing that is paramount to everything else, even eating, sleeping, and family.
Most of the time, if the person already struggles with addiction before they even try meth, spending large amounts of money won’t be anything new. However, when a meth addiction comes along, although the drug is relatively cheap in comparison to other drugs, it has a very short high that requires the user to buy more and more.
There is no easy way to have this discussion with a loved one that you think might be using meth. Chances are, they will likely be paranoid, agitated, and irritable. The best bet will always be straight and to the point conversation when you think they might be at a moment where they are not high.
- If You Are Experiencing the Physical and Mental Side Effects
Many people can identify the typical side effects and physical changes that a person goes through when they are using meth. We have all seen the before and after photos from police blotter that show the devastating physical and soul-crushing effects that people who abuse meth go through.
However, if you are not sure if it is happening to you or your loved one, keep an eye out for:
- Sunken eyes and cheeks
- Weight loss
- Dilated pupils
- Scars and scabs on the face and extremities
- Deterioration of the teeth and gums cracked and chapped lips
- Rapid Eye Movement
- Jaw Grinding
- Mumbling or talking to themselves
- Hallucinations and Paranoia
It is possible to get clean from meth, although the process will usually happen more effectively at a meth rehab center, rather than on your own. The scars will fade, the teeth can be fixed, and a healthy weight can come back, but the emotional and mental sides will take a lot more professional help and therapy, which is why meth rehab is so beneficial.
- If You Are Losing Weight, Sleep, and Sanity
All drugs have an effect on weight, sleep, and sanity, especially once addiction comes into play. This is especially true with meth, and people lose the desire to eat as the stimulant is so potent, which means they also struggle with sleeping.
Since meth is so powerful on the reward centers in the brain, long-term use can lead to serious depression, anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, and intense mood swings. This is why the withdrawal process can be so intense for frequent users, which is why meth rehab can be so vital to the recovery process.
Many people who abuse meth experience intense hallucinations, usually fueled by paranoia, either that they have bugs in their skin or that someone is after them. This creates intense amounts of epinephrine and cortisol, the hormones that regulate stress, in the body, which can lead to rapid heartbeat, and the person literally losing their sanity and their grip on reality.
- If you Have Tried to Stop on Your Own and Failed
As meth is one of the most, if not THE most addictive drug out there, many users try to stop on their own and find it impossible to do so. The cravings are too strong, they hate how the feel without it, and they become accustomed to their mental and physical state when high on the drug. Nothing else works as well as meth does for them, so trying to stop can seem insurmountable, leading back to a relapse every time.
Meth rehab allows the individual to be COMPLETELY separated from the drug for enough time that their mental and physical states return back to almost normal. It is important to seek treatment that is longer than 30 days for meth users because it takes the brain at least three months to return to healthy functioning levels, and for the worst of the mood swings and depression to subside.