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Article Summary

Meth Addiction

Methamphetamine or Meth is a synthetic substance that has the potential to speed up the central nervous system of the body. It has many different street names like crystal meth, ice, crank or glass. The primary ingredient in meth is ephedrine or psuedoephedrine. This compound is usually found in cough medicines, even though the government has restricted its availability due to abuse. Chemical substances to produce meth are extracted from items like brake cleaner, rubbing alcohol, engine starter, fertilizer and batteries. All these chemicals are harmful and toxic in nature. Meth can be administered in several ways including smoking, injecting, taking orally, and also as a suppository. It's an extremely addictive drug, and has been recognized as one of the most harmful street drugs because of its tendency to addiction and its psychological effects.

Meth Addiction Statistics

  • More than 12 million people in America have tried meth and 1.5 million of them are regular users, based on federal estimates.
  • The use of meth dates back to the late 1960's but as a result of several successful campaigns, the drug was banned in the 70's. However, in early 1990's, the market for Meth was reopened and currently it's one of the most commonly over used illegal compounds.
  • The major two reasons claimed for using meth are 1. accessibility and 2. comparatively cheap. Based on meth addiction stats, it requires only $1,000 worth of substances to produce $20,000 worth of methamphetamine.
  • One pound of meth can produce 5 to 6 pounds of poisonous wastes.
  • According to the University of Michigan's survey, nearly 5 % of high-school seniors in America used crystal methamphetamine at least once in their life-time.

Warning Signs of Meth Addiction

Warning signs of meth use usually vary from one person to another, based on body mass, administration of drug, and dosage. The overall consequences experienced are excitement, anxiousness, hyperactivity, and sleep loss. When larger dosages are consumed, one may act very violently, get into a state of confusion, and in some instances have a cardiac arrest or heart stroke.

The looks and activities of a person using meth may provide many key hints:

  • Skin picking: meth addicts pick at their own skin obsessively. The marks left behind by picking may look much like a severe case of acne breakouts, often leaving open lesions on the face.
  • Skin crawling: meth lovers generally complain about getting 'crawling' skin, a problem often known as formication.
  • Tooth decay: A common warning sign of meth use is loss of tooth or tooth decay, known as 'meth mouth'.
  • Hair loss: as a result of insufficient nutrients in the body and also the harmful chemicals they take in, hair damage and loss frequently happens as well.

Signs and Symptoms of Meth Addiction

One typical sign of meth addiction is onset of restless, obsessive behavior, akin to people who're afflicted with obsessive compulsive disorder. Combined with this behavior, the meth addict may be uncharacteristically talkative, to the level that he's rambling in an incoherent manner. If an individual suddenly seems obsessive and hyperactive, it may be a sign he is experimenting with meth.

Physical signs of meth use include excessive sweating, dilated pupils and red eyes. Meth addicts generally have many skin sores, as they pick at their body, and the drug substance slows healing process and dips the defense mechanisms. Other symptoms include increased blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, nasal problems, repetitive motions and more. Finally, meth always suppresses food cravings in the user, leading to weight-loss at an alarmingly rapid rate.

How Long Meth Remains Present in the Body

The high caused by meth lasts anywhere from a few hours to one day based on the dosage, the body's response, and also the individual's threshold. It requires approximately 10 hours for 50 % the dose to get rid of the system. Therefore for a nominal user of meth, it may take 2 to 5 days to get away from the body. However, for long term users, it will take even up to 10-days to leave their body. The serious neurological damage that can result from long-term and heavy meth use can take a few months to years to recover from. By means of nutritious diet, physical exercise and effective drug treatment and psychological therapy, one can get over meth addiction.

Serious Effects of Meth Overdose

Overdoses of meth could potentially cause hypothermia (elevated body-temperature), convulsions, and eventually death. Meth overdoses have many adverse prognoses in common. They often lead to immediate toxic effects, accompanied by multiple body organ failure. Death from an overdose of meth is linked to the quick onset of kidney failure along with the circulatory system failing completely. A lot of patients who die generally have the signs and symptoms of coma, inability to secrete and pass urine, and muscle tissue twitching.

Meth Addiction Treatment

Meth addiction is a serious disease that's highly challenging to overcome. Fortunately, there's hope for meth addicts. A lot of people hooked on crystal methamphetamine undergo treatment in a drug rehab center and carry on to lead sober and meaningful lives. The very first step in treating meth abuse is detoxification. This definitely requires the addicted individual to stop using the drug and experience symptoms withdrawal. The withdrawal symptoms of meth could be intense, so a rehabilitation center or family members are necessary for proper support and care. The common withdrawal symptoms are sleepiness, inactivity, drug cravings, carbohydrate cravings, feeling hopeless and depressed, and other psychotic symptoms. Once the withdrawal happens, the abuser is likely to seek out more meth, unless there's a solid support system.

Since meth is a strong stimulant, the drug treatment method continues with addressing and managing depression symptoms, attention deficit disorder (hyperactivity) and narcolepsy. Meth drug treatment should incorporate counseling and/or therapy. Generally, there are root mental reasons why an individual uses drugs like meth. Without addressing these root factors, he is more likely to get back to the drug. Even after treatment, there's still a lot to be done. Methamphetamine cravings take more time to subsidize than any drug. Proper support, care, advice and help are needed to ensure the addict turn around his life and stay free from the dangerous crystal forever.

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