A Deadly Addiction Threat
When people talk about drug addiction, methamphetamine (“meth”) is often left out of the conversation. The rise of heroin and prescription opioids and the ever-present threat of cocaine seem to have made meth one of the lesser-discussed drugs. However, it is one of the most commonly abused and life-threatening substances around today . The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) estimates that 5.5 percent of Americans have tried meth at least once in their lives. Don’t let your addiction take control Contact a Florida Addiction Center today.
In 2014, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) seized nearly 3000 kilograms of meth from labs and distributors across the country. In 2013, nearly 600,000 Americans admitted to using meth in the past month.
What Is Meth?
Meth is a powerfully addictive stimulant. Often cooked up in crude makeshift facilities known as “meth labs”, the exact contents of the drug vary based upon the “cook” and the dealer. The drug usually comes in the form of a crystalline white powder or a clear, glass-like crystal. Meth contains pseudoephedrine, the active ingredient in many popular cold and flu medicines.
In an effort to combat meth manufacturing, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned the unrestricted sale of over-the-counter of products containing pseudoephedrine. If a customer wishes to purchase these products, they need to present a photo ID and the pharmacist must keep their information in their system for at least two years after the sale. There are also limits on how much a pseudoephedrine a customer can purchase in a month.
Methamphetamine goes by a variety of street names, including chalk, ice, and crystal. Much of the meth in the US is manufactured in “super labs” in Mexico, just south of Florida, but the United States has its fair share of homegrown labs.
The Brain and Body during Meth Addiction
When a person uses meth, they experience an increase in dopamine (the chemical in the brain responsible for pleasure and rewards-centered feelings). The increased flow of dopamine causes users to feel euphoria and increased energy.
Eventually meth use leads to lower dopamine production by the body, which forces users to do more of the drug to feel the same high, often leading to addiction. Meth addiction can lead to a variety of painful symptoms, including:
- Chest pain
- Cardiac arrest
- Breathing trouble
- Agitation and paranoia
- Severe intestinal distress
Untreated meth addiction can also cause permanent brain damage. It’s common for many users to experience anxiety, paranoia, delusions, and even violent psychotic episodes. These symptoms can be long-lasting, and sometimes permanent. It’s important not to let addiction control you. Contact a Florida treatment center close to you.
Identifying the Signs of Meth Addiction
Methamphetamine is a stimulant, which means it will often cause users to feel restless and nervous. The drug is also notorious for the physical damage it does to users. Some of the common physical signs of methamphetamine addiction include:
- Rotting teeth or “meth mouth”
- Breakouts and other skin problems
- Weight loss
- Sunken eyes
Like other types of drug abuse, meth addiction also causes users to neglect their appearance, do poorly at school or work, and surround themselves with fellow meth users. If you or or someone you care about is at risk for methamphetamine addiction, contact an experienced and qualified treatment center today.
The High Price of Meth Abuse
People who start abusing meth often have their lives destroyed by addiction. Their families, their careers, their savings, their looks and their physical health suffer greatly, and will eventually go away if they don’t get help. According to the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, 93 percent of meth treatment recipients who try quitting wind up relapsing. This is a dangerous and addictive drug that requires expert, comprehensive treatment.
The Gardens at Lake Worth, a Florida addiction treatment center, is ready to help you overcome meth addiction and reclaim your life. Call our admissions team at 844-357-3422 to get your recovery started. We also specialize helping those with alcohol addictions.