Methamphetamine is an addictive drug made in suburban, backstreet and backwoods lab. The initial ingredients for the drug are often extracted from ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, which are very common ingredients in cold medicine. The final product has the appearance of jagged crystal masses. Thus the name crystal meth.
Injecting it is the most common way to get the meth rush. But, people also swallow pills, snort it and even smoke it. It produces a thrilling extreme pleasure by flooding the brain with dopamine, a chemical of gratification and reward. The high lasts longer than that of cocaine. And, many regular meth users become deeply addicted. In time, the using methamphetamine regularly renders the brain incapable of producing normal amounts of dopamine unless it is stimulated by the presence of methamphetamine. For the meth abuser, activities and things that used to bring them joy naturally no longer produce much excitement. The only pathway to happiness is a hit of meth. And the primary object of their attention is getting another hit, another high, another thrill. They ignore the many negative consequences that arise when they cast off their many work, family or school responsibilities.
There are other consequences that the meth user and others close to them start to notice. They include:
- Neglecting their grooming
- Emotional outbursts
- Psychosis, hallucinations and paranoia
- Manic highs and profound emotional depression
- Jerky, erratic movements
- Raw, irritated sores from self-mutilation as users often
- Sensations of bugs crawling on their skin
- Rotten, loose and absent teeth
- Picking at hair or skin obsessively
- Rapid and constant talking
- Weight loss
- Erratic eye movements
- Irregular sleep patterns
- Stealing behaviors
For better or for worse, the activities of a meth-addicted and influenced person often naturally lead to arrests, fights and other extreme confrontations. Wise friends and families will let these consequences play out because being accountable for these challenges tend to be the first steps on the path often leads to rehabilitation and recovery.
Meth Drug Treatment Program
Crystal meth detox is different than the detoxification process associated with so many other addictive substances. First, it tends to be safer. Second, there are no drugs that directly counteract the withdrawal symptoms. Third, the physical symptoms are less pronounced. However, due to the potent nature of the addiction, detoxing from meth is an emotional abyss. After so many experiences getting high, the brain will retreat into the recesses of depression. Doctors often prescribe antidepressants, but they often take weeks to become effective. Other withdrawal symptoms include:
- Neglecting their grooming
- Insomnia and erratic sleeping patterns
- Lack of cognitive functioning
- Difficulty concentrating
- Social withdrawal
- Overwhelming urges to use methamphetamine
Most people who enter a detox and rehab program for meth need to shelter themselves from the availability of meth. So, they elect a residential program where they are admitted as inpatients. There they receive the appropriate medical supervision, any beneficial prescriptions and ample counseling, group therapy, and coaching for living sober in the outside world. Within minutes of walking through the door, a new resident sits down with their treatment team and creates a tailored addiction treatment plan. Without realizing it, they’ve probably already started detox because they’ve not had any more meth. Over the next few hours, the resident will wait while the body rids the body of the amphetamine. The detox intensity tends to hit its high point between days two and four. By day fourteen, a patient is usually considered detoxed, and their activities will tend to focus more on psychological counseling, group therapy, and learning how to live a life that helps the newly recovered individual avoid relapsing.