Understanding Meth Addiction

Meth Detox

How potent is methamphetamine—or, as it’s more commonly abbreviated, meth? Potent enough that it has earned the nickname of “the most dangerous drug on Earth,” both for the ravaging effect it has on the body but also for its ease of use and its wide availability.

Though meth comes in two common forms—crystal meth and powder meth—the effect on the user is never anything less than brutal, and can be life-threatening. The good news is that there is hope for those in the throes of meth addiction; that hope comes when you seek clinical detox and then a meth addiction recovery program.

First, though, it is important to know what you’re up against, and to develop a deeper understanding of meth addiction.

Meth Addiction

Though meth comes in different forms, it has roughly the same effect in all of its guises. It provides the user with something like euphoria—an extreme sense of happiness and well-being. The user also experiences a rush of confidence, alertness and energy. Meth’s effects can last anywhere from eight to 12 hours.

One of the reasons for the meth epidemic in this country is the fact that it’s so easy and cheap to make. Though cooking meth takes a couple of days, it can be done primarily with simple and inexpensive household ingredients. Note that even the act of cooking meth is extremely dangerous, as the fumes emitted can be highly toxic.

When meth is first consumed, it triggers the brain to release large amounts of dopamine, which provides a prolonged experience of pleasure. Over time, though, dopamine is depleted and dopamine receptors are destroyed, and meth users become addicted to it because they can no longer experience dopamine naturally.

Signs of Meth Addiction

It is not uncommon for meth addiction to occur in those facing other mental illnesses—including depression, anxiety disorders and bipolar disorder. Some signs and symptoms of meth addiction include:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Euphoria and an overall sense of well-being
  • Persistent legal problems
  • Social isolation
  • Secrecy and hiding drug use from others
  • Impulsiveness
  • Dangerous and risky behavior
  • Violent eruptions
  • Aggression
  • A binge/crash pattern of abuse
  • Trembling and shaking
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Open sores
  • Hair loss
  • Loss of skin elasticity
  • Liver damage
  • Paranoia and hallucinations

Meth Addiction Statistics


Meth Use
The 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health shared approximately 1.2 million people reported using methamphetamine in the last year.

Cost of Meth Abuse
The RAND Corporation noted in a 2009 report that methamphetamine abuse costs the Nation about $23.4 billion in 2005.

12 million people
The 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that over 12 million people have tried meth at least one. That is approximately 4 percent of the population.

Meth Detox Center

It is possible to kick a meth habit and journey toward recovery. The essential first step is to check into a detox center, like New Start. Withdrawing from meth “cold turkey” can be extremely difficult, and is accompanied by a number of serious side effects—including suicidal thoughts, anxiety, irritability, night sweats, decreased energy and deep depression.

In a clinical detox environment, though, there are medical professionals to assist in the process—ensuring that it is both as painless and as effective as possible; that symptoms of withdrawal are managed and that the process is completed efficiently.

 Meth Rehab

The next step is to check into a rehab facility. This is imperative: Nobody finds meth recovery alone, and checking into a rehab treatment center is the only way to ensure both the right kind of clinical care and also the necessary structures for support and community.

If you or someone you know is gripped by addiction to meth, we urge you to seek help as soon as possible. The path to recovery begins with detox. To learn more about the detox or rehab processes, contact the New Start Detox team today.

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