How Meth Takes Over Everything
Methamphetamine, or meth, is a stimulant drug that is chemically similar to amphetamine [a drug used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, a sleep disorder]. Other common names for methamphetamine include chalk, crank, crystal, ice and speed. Meth is one of the most highly addictive drugs known to man. More than a half million Americans abuse the drug and in cities like Portland, Oregon, it’s making an unwelcome comeback.
Meth is most commonly made in illegal meth labs using toxic chemicals that can be found in common household products. The effects may include euphoria, increased libido, hyperactivity, restlessness, insomnia, heart attack and stroke. The crash, or cessation of effects, is so intense that users will continue using to avoid crashing, making addicts’ only focus in life staying high at any cost.
The Stages of Meth
There are seven stages of meth use that a user experiences. To truly understand the power that meth has on users, you need to know how this drug affects the body and brain.
- The Rush – the initial physical response which includes elevated heart rate, blood pressure and metabolism
- The High – a shoulder period that results in feelings of aggression towards other and delusions
- The Binge – a period of uncontrollable drug use and hyperactivity
- Tweaking – loss of identity and psychotic behavior, including itching and hallucinations
- The Crash – the body shuts down and the user becomes almost lifeless
- The Hangover – physical and mental exhaustion, starvation and dehydration as a result of the crash
- Withdrawal –depression, loss of energy and pleasure, pain, and severe cravings for more meth
The Impact of Meth on Behavior
The euphoria a person feels on meth is a stimulation of the brain’s reward centers. Once a person uses this drug, their brain is immediately rewired. During the initial rush, they experience positive feelings that numb their brains of emotional pain, stress, bad memories and worry. While high from meth, delusions and feelings of being powerful make users argumentative and aggressive, even with those they love.
Meth users, especially once in the throes of addiction, have little to no self-awareness of their behavior toward others. During the binge and tweaking stages of meth, their thoughts are consumed with the need for more drugs. Feelings of bugs crawling over their bodies cause them to itch uncontrollably to the point of self-destruction. Scabs and sores appear on their faces and arms.
The crash and hangover from this drug are so debilitating, the only relief is to use again and more often. A meth addict will do absolutely ANYTHING to get more drugs. They will lie, cheat and steal from anyone, including their own family. Addicts will manipulate you to believing they will change, that they need you. They will make promises they have no intention of keeping, and they will be convincing. But what they really need is more drugs. They are out of control and not themselves anymore.
How to Help a Meth Addict
Meth is so addictive that many people may become addicted after just a few uses. When a person becomes a meth addict, they neglect their own health and the wellbeing of others in their lives. Children can go unfed, the home left unclean, drugs and paraphernalia left out in the open. At this point, the risk of overdose or even suicide is high. You may have to intervene in this person’s life to get them to a drug rehabilitation center that can help.
Do not give up on yourself or a loved one addicted to meth. We can help. Please call D’Amore Healthcare immediately. Meth is a dangerous drug that needs intervention right away.