Meth Treatment in Atlanta, GA
Introduction to Meth
Methamphetamines are artificially manufactured stimulant drugs. In World War II, methamphetamines were provided to soldiers to help keep them awake during times of war. Since then, methamphetamines have been produced illegally and used to help people lose weight, combat depression, and as popular party drugs. If you are looking for meth rehab centers in Georgia, Atlanta Recovery Place is here to help.
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What is Meth?
Methamphetamine, or “meth,” is a highly addictive stimulant affecting the central nervous system. The central nervous system includes your brain, spinal cord, and associated nerves that carry messages throughout the body. Methamphetamine is commonly referred to by various names, including blue, ice, meth, crystal, and many others. It takes the form of an odorless, white, bitter-tasting crystallized powder that dissolves easily and quickly in water or alcohol.
Methamphetamine is not new. It was developed early in the nineteen hundreds as a product of the drug amphetamine. Initially, methamphetamine was used as an ingredient in nasal decongestants and bronchial inhalers to help with symptoms related to congestion and even asthma. Like its “parent drug” amphetamine, methamphetamine results in increased activity, excitability, decreased appetite, and a feeling of euphoria or joy. However, illegally produced methamphetamine differs from amphetamine in that much larger doses of the drug enter the brain, making it significantly more potent at equivalent doses.
Methamphetamine is also longer lasting and produces substantially more harmful effects on the central nervous system, making it a drug with a high potential for misuse and addiction.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration classifies methamphetamine as a Schedule II stimulant. This means it is available legally through a non-refillable prescription. It is still used as a treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and as a drug in some weight loss treatments; however, these uses are uncommon, and prescriptions for methamphetamine are rare. When taken outside of a prescription, meth is generally smoked, injected, swallowed, or snorted.
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Meth Abuse Statistics
Data suggests approximately 1.6 million Americans reported using meth within the last year. While the average age of first use is around twenty-three, people as young as twelve meet the diagnostic criteria for methamphetamine use disorders leading to clinically significant impairments resulting from ongoing meth use.
Also, from the 2017 report, data indicates that nearly 15% of all drug overdose deaths involved methamphetamines. The rise in illegal methamphetamine production is part of why pharmacies and drugstores now monitor sales of cough syrups and common cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine, one of the primary ingredients in manufacturing methamphetamine.
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Is Meth Dangerous?
Meth is one of the most addictive recreational drugs. In some cases, an addiction to the effects of meth can happen with just one use. Meth is a powerful and dangerous stimulant drug that, when abused, can lead to deadly side effects, including fatal increases in body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing. In addition, meth can severely damage your liver and kidneys, also to the point of causing death. Meth can permanently damage the dopamine system within your brain and cause a lifelong impairment of your memory, ability to speak, coordination, and emotional issues.
What Are the Long-Term Effects of Meth Abuse?
Long-term, untreated meth addiction is dangerous for many reasons. The short- and long-term side effects of meth addiction lead to permanent physical and functional changes to the brain and vital body systems. Methamphetamine is toxic to the nerve endings in the brain and can destroy the receptor sites where dopamine is released. This results in significant dependence on using methamphetamine. Prolonged meth addiction changes the brain’s chemistry, making it increasingly difficult to experience pleasure without using.
In addition to changes in behavior and mood, meth abuse can cause irreversible damage to vital body systems and the blood vessels in your brain, increasing one’s risk of stroke. Other long-term effects of untreated methamphetamine addiction include liver and kidney failure, seizures, sudden cardiac death, respiratory issues, increased risk of overdose, and death.
One of the first and most notable symptoms of meth abuse is a sudden loss of interest in things that were once important. This could include career goals, educational aspirations, hobbies, and relationships with loved ones. All of these and more are often pushed to the side in favor of getting and using methamphetamines. Like with many substances, someone addicted to methamphetamine will often try to hide their use from family and loved ones initially.
However, the longer they struggled with a meth addiction, the more the need and desire to use methamphetamine takes over. Methamphetamine physically alters how the brain and body function leading to changes in how the addict thinks and feels. Their priorities shift from day-to-day obligations and tasks to using and remaining high.
Tweaking is an emotional side effect of methamphetamine use. It is a period of alternating anxiety and insomnia lasting between three and fifteen days. Tweaking occurs at the end of a binge when someone using methamphetamine can no longer achieve a rush or “high” from using meth. Tweaking leads to various psychological side effects, including confusion, irritability, paranoia, and desperation to use again.
How to Treat Meth Addiction
Seeking addiction treatment at a treatment center like Atlanta Recovery Place is vital to overcoming an addiction to methamphetamine. Several forms of therapy have proven effective in helping those addicted to methamphetamines attain and maintain ongoing sobriety. The best treatment method will depend on your unique treatment needs, and goals will depend on the severity of your addiction and your current physical and emotional health. The first step for most people with a meth addiction is to go through withdrawal and detox.
Although withdrawal from stimulants like meth is less physically dangerous than withdrawal from drugs, including alcohol and opioids), meth withdrawal can be difficult and cause seizures in some people. Meth withdrawal also increases your risk of overdose in the event of relapse during detox. For this reason, detox in a medically supervised addiction treatment setting where trained medical professionals can provide support and guidance throughout the process is crucial to achieving lasting sobriety safely.
Upon completing detox, the next step is an addiction treatment program specializing in meth addiction therapy. Behavioral therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT, is the most effective treatment model for meth addiction.
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Atlanta Recovery Place is a Meth Treatment Center in Georgia
If you or a loved one lives with the challenges of meth addiction, do not wait another day to seek help. Let us help you take the first steps on your journey to freedom.