Meth Addiction: Definition, Common Signs & Options For Help

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Meth is one of the most famous and addictive substances in the world. Many people take it for the feeling they get while taking it, but it can be extremely addictive.

Additionally, it is a very dangerous drug with several negative side effects. As a result, it is best to avoid using meth in any form.

Meth addiction is a serious problem in the United States, so we want to ensure you have all the information you need.

What Is Meth Addiction?

Meth addiction is a chronic and often debilitating condition that causes people to compulsively seek and use meth. Meth is one of the most addictive drugs in the world, which is one of the reasons its use is so widespread. Drug suppliers can hook people more easily than with other drugs and bring them back to buy more.

Meth, or methamphetamine, affects the central nervous system of the user. It causes a surge of dopamine in the brain that can lead to feelings of pleasure and euphoria.

However, repeated use can result in the person feeling paranoid, and eventually will result in addiction. Meth can cause people to get addicted faster than most other drugs because it causes changes in the brain that make it challenging to control drug use.

Do Meth Addiction Urges Go Away?

Meth addiction urges will not go away on their own. If you are trying to figure out how to help somebody with addiction, there are a few things you can do.

Firstly, you can help them get medicine for addiction. You will need to bring your friend to a doctor to get them a prescription to treat their addiction.

Alternatively, support groups are helpful for many people fighting addiction.

You should not expect meth addiction to go away on its own. Although addiction is not necessarily genetic, some people are more prone to addiction than others because of how their brain chemistry works.

An addictive personality is a real thing, and people suffering from addiction need treatment like they would with any other disease.

Forms of Meth Addiction

It is important to note that there are no official types of meth addiction as defined by official medical bodies. Instead, the only official types of addiction refer to what the person is addicted to.

The first is chemical addiction, which occurs when someone is addicted to a substance. Meth addiction falls into this category.

The other type is a behavioral addiction, which refers to someone repeating behaviors that do not have any benefit.

However, there are still a few ways to classify meth addiction, even if they are not official classifications.

1. Functional Meth Addiction

Functional meth addiction is a common form of addiction. It refers to someone who can maintain their daily responsibilities while using meth.

For example, they still go to work, spend time with their family, and maintain a regular daily routine. However, they spend too much money and time on meth.

Eventually, this facade will fade in most functional addicts.

2. Closeted Meth Addiction

Closeted addicts will try to hide their addiction from their friends and families because they fear judgment.

This form of meth addiction makes it challenging for people to seek help and support. It often leads to loneliness and isolation.

3. Debilitating Meth Addiction

Finally, a debilitating meth addict is someone that lets their addiction take over their life. All the money they earn goes to feeding their addiction.

Additionally, they often turn to crime to get funds for meth because they cannot hold down a job because of their addiction. Addicts in this category often become homeless.

Meth Addiction Statistics

Unfortunately, meth addiction is prevalent in the United States.

As a result, it is crucial to be aware of the signs of addiction so that you can help friends and family members if they ever find themselves in a bad situation. Here are some stats about meth addiction.

  • According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, roughly 1.9 million people in the United States used meth in 2020.
  • Meth is one of the leading causes of drug overdoses, with over 16,000 drug overdoses reported in 2020.
  • According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, as of 2015, 6% of the American population aged 12 and older had tried meth at least once.
  • The U.S. Department of Justice’s 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment found that 135,264 people received treatment for meth addiction in public facilities in 2015.
  • The U.S. Department of Justice’s 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment found that stimulant-related deaths, including meth, rose 225% between 2005 and 2015.

What Are the Signs of a Meth Addiction?

Meth addiction can show itself in many ways. Signs and symptoms do not appear the same in all people. So, it is crucial to be cognizant of the possible signs if you are worried about a friend or family member.

Here are some common signs of meth addiction.

1. Physical Changes

The most common things that can appear as a sign of meth addiction are physical changes. They do not always manifest the same for everyone, but there are a few commonalities. Notably, meth addicts often have dilated pupils and rapid or irregular heartbeats while on the substance. Additionally, sweating, elevated body temperature, and rapid breathing are common symptoms.

There are also possible long-term effects like weight loss, dental issues, and skin sores. You will likely not see meth addicts while they are on meth, so you should look out for the long-term effects.

2. Behavioral Signs

Meth addiction can often cause changes in behavior. Notably, it can cause agitation, paranoia, impulsivity, and risk-taking behavior. Meth addicts often act secretively and deceitfully because they need to turn to crime to get the money they need to feed their addiction.

3. Psychological Signs

Meth addiction can also cause a plethora of mental health issues. Notably, it can cause anxiety, depression, and psychosis in long-time users. Additionally, meth addicts usually experience mood swings, irritability, and an inability to concentrate and make decisions.

4. Social Signs

We have touched on social signs a few times when discussing other signs, but they can sometimes be difficult to pick up on. They are challenging to notice because they often refer to more private things. For example, meth addicts often experience financial difficulties, legal problems, and problems with interpersonal relationships. Addicts will also sometimes isolate themselves from friends and family.

5. Tolerance

Another sign of meth addiction is an increased tolerance to the substance. With any addiction, if you use it enough, you will start to build up tolerance. As a result, you will need to use more of the substance to get the desired effect.

Types of Unhealthy Behavior

The easiest way to identify an addict is to analyze their behavior. Behavioral changes are extremely common in addicts. They will grow distant from their loved ones and can be extremely paranoid. Meth addiction requires users to break the law not just to use the drugs, but oftentimes to get the money they need to pay for it.

The increase in criminal activity can cause addicts to become extremely paranoid. Additionally, when they are going through withdrawal, these symptoms are amplified. They will often rub their neck, be twitchy and jumpy, and get angry at loved ones.

What Is the Main Cause of Meth Addiction?

Meth addiction can not be narrowed down to one root cause. Several things can cause meth addiction. Firstly, genetics can play a significant factor. Some people have addictive personalities that are passed down by genetics. People with a history of addiction have an increased risk of developing an addiction to meth.

Environmental factors can also play a significant role in developing an addiction to meth. For example, people with a lot of stress are more likely to develop an addiction. Additionally, people exposed to trauma and drugs at a young age have an increased risk of addiction. Living in an environment where drug use is prevalent will increase your risk of developing meth addiction.

Furthermore, personal factors like low self-esteem, impulsivity, and a history of mental illness can increase the risk of addiction to meth. People with underlying methal health conditions like anxiety and depression sometimes turn to meth as a form of self-medication. This action can lead to addiction.

Peer pressure is another common cause of meth addiction. Very few people start using meth on their own without a friend or acquaintance introducing it to them. So, people with friends or family members with access to meth are more likely to use the drug themselves.

Finally, availability is a significant factor in developing meth addiction. If it is easy for you to access the drug, it is more likely for you to develop an addiction. Addicts only become addicted to things they can easily get access to.

How Meth Addiction Affects the Brain

Like all other forms of addiction, meth addiction affects the brain. After all, addiction is a mental health issue, and as a result, it is essential to understand how it affects the brain. Additionally, meth itself can have a significant effect on the brain, which is why it is one of the most addictive substances.

Meth releases neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine which are associated with feelings of pleasure, motivation, and alertness. Over time, this can change the brain’s reward system, making it challenging for meth users to experience pleasure without the drug.

Additionally, long-term use can cause the structure of the brain to change. It can decrease gray matter volume and change the white matter pathways that connect different regions of the brain. These changes can lead to problems with attention, memory, and decision-making.

What Is the Personality of a Meth Addict?

Firstly, it is crucial to note that not all meth addicts will have the same personality. However, many of them will display similar characteristics. Notably, many meth addicts will be secretive or dishonest with their loved ones to hide their drug use. They will lie about their whereabouts and activities.

Additionally, addicts will get easily agitated and restless. They will display poor judgment when making decisions and often engage in risky behaviors because of how expensive meth is. The need to get money for meth will cause them to neglect their responsibilities like work and school.

Finally, the highs and lows of meth addicts when they do and do not have access to meth can cause significant mood swings. When they are low, they will exhibit signs of irritability, anxiety, and depression.

Is Meth Addiction a Mental Health Issue?

Yes, all types of addiction are mental health issues. Developing an addiction does not make you a bad person or any worse than someone else. Addiction is a mental health issue that can be addressed and treated, regardless of the type of addiction.

What Mental Illnesses Go Hand in Hand with Meth Addiction?

A few mental illnesses are common in people with a meth addiction. The first mental health issue common in meth addicts is depression. Most people do not turn to drugs because they are in a good place in their life. They turn to drugs to escape reality and a lot of the time they are depressed. Unfortunately, although meth can cause temporary feelings of euphoria, long term it will make depression worse.

Furthermore, many people will turn to meth to help with their anxiety. Unfortunately, meth is not a fantastic solution to anxiety because it can cause extreme paranoia in users.

How Do I Stop My Meth Addiction?

Addiction is one of the most common mental health issues affecting people in America. As a result, it is reasonable to want to figure out if you can stop your meth addiction. Although you cannot get rid of your addiction entirely, you can get it under control.

Can Meth Addiction Ever Be Cured?

Unfortunately, addiction, meth addiction included, is a chronic condition that you cannot cure. However, it can be managed and treated. If you develop a meth addiction, you should not expect to fully outgrow your addiction. It will be a constant fight throughout your life. However, it gets easier the longer you get from the last time you used meth.

What Is the Most Common Treatment for Meth Addiction?

Support groups are the most common type of treatment for meth addiction. For example, 12-step programs like narcotics anonymous can provide ongoing support, encouragement, and accountability for people in recovery from meth addiction in a treatment center. It is common for people to continue to visit support groups for years after their last relapse.

What Can I Replace Meth With?

When you are going through withdrawal, it is crucial to keep your mind and body occupied. Several things can help you replace meth like exercise, meditation, creative pursuits, social support, and healthy hobbies.

Additional Addictions to Be Aware Of

Meth is not the only dangerous type of addiction. Here are some other addictions to be aware of:

  • Heroin Addiction: Heroin addiction is extremely dangerous and a leading cause of overdoses in the United States.
  • Cocaine Addiction: Cocaine is common addiction among richer groups as it is often used by high-ranking executives and business people.
  • Marijuana Addiction: Although not as harmful as other drugs, marijuana addiction is prevalent in America.

Wrapping Up

Meth is something to avoid at all costs. However, if you develop a meth addiction, it does not need to be the end of your life. There are several things you can do to treat your addiction. Surround yourself with the right people, and you can recover.

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