Growth of Meth Addiction
The number of individuals throughout the United States that are currently using methamphetamine, also known by the street names of meth, crystal meth, crank, ice, and crystal, has been amongst the highest of any illegal drug for the past few decades. This is despite the risks that are associated with abusing the powerful stimulant including rotten teeth and gum disease, kidney failure, heart failure, and painful skin lesions. At Lumiere Healing Centers, we have seen the damage Meth addiction can do to your health as noticed at our Meth rehab centers.
According to SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) throughout the United States, regular use of the inexpensive and often easily available narcotic stimulant has increased from around 0.3 percent of the population to approximately 0.4 percent of the population in the period of time between 2010 and 2015. This might only sound like a small increase but is in fact around an additional 300,000 people throughout the country that have reported using it. In 2008 the US government reported that around 13 million people over the age of 12 had used meth at least once, with just over 500,000 of those being regular users. In the same year it was also reported that 4.5% of American high-school seniors and 4.1% of tenth-grade students stated that they had tried meth at least once. Some states have alarmingly higher percentages of users. For example in Hawaii 48.2% of the people seeking help for drug or alcohol dependency in 2007 were methamphetamine users. Meth is commonly manufactured in illegal laboratories, where forms of amphetamines or other derivatives are combined along with more conventional ingredients such as cold medicine to create the base of the drug. The meth ‘cook’ then extracts the important chemicals from this and then increases their potency by adding highly toxic ingredients such as battery acid or drain cleaner.
History of Methamphetamine
Historically methamphetamine use has never been so high, this is partly due to the ease of making it and the availability of it on the streets. But why do people choose to take meth when the destructive effects of it are well known? Well, people take meth due to the intense feelings of euphoria and the powerful rush, many of the addicts become addicted from their first experience with meth, such as the powerful nature of the drug. When it is used, whether by smoking, swallowing, snorting, or injecting, a chemical called dopamine floods the parts of the brain that regulate the feelings of pleasure. This dopamine overload is what causes users to feel so confident and energetic. A user will often become addicted incredibly quickly and soon will find that they are chasing the feeling of that first use, and the sensations that they associate with it. As a user continues to use the drug the tolerance that they have will continue to build. What this means is that an individual will require higher and higher doses, and of course the higher the dose, then the higher the risks of adverse effects. Following the initial rush there are a whole host of unpleasant effects that users have to deal with, a user’s body temperature can rise so high that they are at risk of passing out or even dying, a user can become highly irritable and have mood swings, become anxious and confused as well as having an intense difficulty getting to sleep. Users also report that they often see and hear things that are not there, they may also experience strong thoughts about self-harm or the desire to harm others. Many users have also reported that they feel as if there are insects crawling around under their skin.
Meth Addiction Signs and Symptoms
There are variety of symptoms that you can be on the lookout for if you feel that someone you know may have a meth addiction. Following heavy use a user’s looks can deteriorate rapidly, the aging process becoming accelerated by the meth abuse, things such as broken, stained or rotting teeth, sores and pimples, and a dull, pallid skin appearance. There are some other things to look out for that are effects that are recognizable almost immediately in a meth user. Things such as a sudden lack of care for their appearance and personal hygiene, obsessively picking at skin or hair, extreme weight loss or a noticeable loss of appetite, rapid eye movement and dilated pupils, strange sleeping patterns such as staying up for days and even some instances weeks at a time, erratic movements such as twitching or facial tics, bizarre mannerisms that seem exaggerated. There are changes that you may notice that aren’t physical too, things such as asking borrowing to money or seeming keen to sell their possessions, it is not uncommon for meth addiction users to be that hooked on the drug that they will sell everything they own before they then start to steal or commit other crimes to fund their addiction.
While addiction to meth addiction is one of the hardest to treat it is not impossible, but under no circumstances should you try to do it alone. There are plenty of counselors and drug treatment programs nationwide that are equipped to deal with even the most troubled of addicts.
If you need immediate help or have any questions at all about Meth Rehab at Lumiere Healing Centers, contact us today at 513-909-2225.