Meth Addiction Facts
FACT: Methamphetamine is a stimulant that acts on the central nervous system.
FACT: Meth is a Schedule II drug and is considered highly addictive. It is widely abused.
FACT: Methamphetamine does have medical use and is available by prescription, but the doses that are prescribed are low. It is sometime used to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). It is also used as a “diet pill” to control appetite.
FACT: The meth on the streets is produced in small, illegal labs that are often very portable.
FACT: Some of its street names include speed, chalk, ice, crystal, glass and of course meth. The term crystal meth is widely used.
FACT: Methamphetamine is a crystalline powder. It is white, odorless and bitter. It dissolves in water or alcohol. It can be taken orally, or snorted, or injected, or it can be smoked.
FACT: Methamphetamine acts on the brain. It increases the release of the brain chemical dopamine. It blocks the re-uptake of dopamine. Because of the rapid release of dopamine, methamphetamine produces an intense “high” a euphoria. This impact on the reward system of the brain is why the drug is abused so much and why it is so addictive. People who snort, or inject or smoke this crave the high and are always chasing the high. These meth addiction facts outline the most dangerous parts of using meth, it ruins the brain.
FACT: The repeated use of methamphetamine leads to addiction, which can be defined as the inability of the person to stop using, regardless of the consequences or the meth addiction facts.
FACT: Meth abusers and addicts can suffer serious health consequences for the choices they make. Because it is a stimulant, in suppresses appetite and many meth addicts become bone thin. It also causes teeth to rot, sometimes called “meth mouth.”
FACT: The ill effects of methamphetamine are plentiful. It can impair motor skills, learning ability and because the drug has a devastating impact on the brain, the areas of the brain that control emotion and memory can be permanently damaged. Meth addicts often have multiple serious issues concerning behavior and learning.
FACT: Meth addicts have compulsive cravings for the drug and even after they have stopped using, these cravings can persist. Their brain structure has been damaged or changed, but if people stop using there can be reversal of this damage. Meth addicts will throw away their family relationships, personal lives, professions, all to do the drug. As the drug takes over, they rob, steal, sell themselves and will do most anything to get the drug.
FACT: Prolonged use can cause the person to become confused, anxious. They may experience insomnia. They can also have severe mood swings. Because meth is an “upper” they will be wide awake and may feel energetic. But with that comes increase in respiration, heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature and more medical meth addiction facts.
FACT: Meth abuse may cause a person to become psychotic, paranoid. They may have hallucinations and become delusional. Meth impairs judgment and users may make terrible decisions regarding their personal safety.
FACT: The injection of methamphetamine puts users at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS and Hepititis B and C.
FACT: Meth abusers will often "binge and crash" because the short-term effects of the drug wear off, so the user keeps taking more and more. Finally, they crash. Binging can go on for days.
FACT: Meth is different from other stimulants, like cocaine. Methamphetamine is a man-made stimulant. Smoking meth produces a long-lasting “rush” or “high.” 50% of the drug is removed from the body in 12 hours. Meth increases the release of dopamine and blocks dopamine re-uptake. It has limited medical value. Cocaine is both a stimulant and local anesthetic. It is derived from a plant. Smoking produces a short period “high.” 50% of the drug is removed from the body within one hour. It blocks dopamine re-uptake. It has limited use as an anesthetic. There are no positive aspects of meth addiction facts.
FACT: Although meth addiction can be fatal, there is hope. Addicts can go for treatment and be successful. Behavioral counseling, family therapy, individual counseling, 12 steps have all shown to be effective pieces in a treatment puzzle. There are, however, no medications that will cure meth addiction.