Methamphetamines are stimulant drugs that can be used by smoking, snorting, injecting, as well as orally ingested in pill form. Accordingly, like other drugs in the stimulant class, meth causes feelings of pleasure in the brain by the flooding of dopamine. Like any drug used intravenously (injected into the bloodstream), users are at a higher risk of contracting infectious diseases like HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. Using meth in large quantities can cause stroke, heart attack, as well as organ problems—all can lead to death. The “positive” effects of the drug are extremely short-term. As a result, this short-term satisfaction often leads users to binge-use the drug for days at a time without sleeping or eating.
Meth is extremely addictive; it only takes one or two uses to become dependent on methamphetamines. The withdrawal symptoms associated with meth cause both physical and mental discomfort. A person withdrawing from methamphetamines can often become aggressive and erratic. Like other substances, methamphetamines increase the production of dopamine in the user’s brain, which causes the brain to be chemically dependent on the substance in order to release dopamine. What was once a natural influx of a brain chemical then becomes a deficit of dopamine once the substance is not used. This shift in the brain can result in severe depression and an unstable mood, coupled with physical withdrawal symptoms. In a medical detox center like ours in Royal Life Centers at Spokane Heights, our guests are treated for their withdrawal symptoms with medication and 24-hour supervision.
Warning signs of a meth addiction may include:
- Tooth decay/loss (“meth mouth”)
- Binging meth
- Planning activities around meth use
- Engaging in high-risk behaviors
- Intense scratching
- Weight loss
- Continuing use, despite negative effects or consequences
- Withdrawal symptoms and/or cravings
Short Term Effects of Meth Use may include:
- Increased energy/wakefulness/physical activity
- Decreased appetite
- Faster breathing
- Rapid and/or irregular heartbeat
- Increased blood pressure and body temperature
Long Term Effects of Meth Use may include:
- Extreme weight loss
- Severe dental deterioration (“meth mouth”)
- Risk of HIV/Hepatitis B and C
- Intense itching
- Sleep problems
- Violent behavior
If you recognize these signs in yourself or someone you love, then medical detox may be needed to safely detox.
Inpatient addiction treatment is recommended, beginning with medical detox, to manage the uncomfortable symptoms of meth withdrawal. Some of the common meth withdrawal symptoms include fatigue, agitation, as well as paranoia. Symptoms usually last between one and three weeks, with rare cases of withdrawal lasting up to a month or longer. A number of psychotic symptoms, like delusions and hallucinations, make meth withdrawal safest in a controlled, medical setting like our detox facility here at Royal Life Centers at Spokane Heights.
Meth Withdrawal Symptoms may include:
- Severe depression
- Severe paranoia
- Intense cravings