San Diego Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment
One of the reasons methamphetamine is so dangerous is because it is very easy for someone to form an addiction. Even in small amounts, meth is almost instantly habit-forming, and after just one use, dependence can take root. With each hit, key receptors in the brain are damaged and the user begins to experience faster breather, irregular heartbeat and increased blood pressure.
Meth is a powerful stimulant that affects the central nervous system and changes the chemistry of your brain. It stays in the body longer than many other substances, and its physical and psychological effects can be more severe. It destroys synapses in the brain’s pleasure center, making it difficult for the user to experience any kind of pleasurable feelings without using the drug.
With continued use, the addiction grows stronger and the risk of long-term damage to the body and brain increase. Long term negative effects may include:
- Permanent brain damage
- Permanent damage to the heart, lung, and kidneys
- High blood pressure that contributes to heart attacks and strokes
- Confusion and anxiety
- Delusions and paranoia
- Violent and psychotic behavior
Meth is extremely popular among people with substance abuse disorders, in part because it is easy to create and obtain. Approximately 1.6 million people in the United States reported using meth in the past 12 months, according to a recent report from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
How Is Meth Used?
Meth can be smoked, injected, snorted or taken as a pill. The method of using meth may vary by geographic region.
- Smoking: A small glass pipe called a flute is used to smoke meth. This is the most popular method because it provides the strongest, quickest rush that takes effect almost immediately.
- Snorting: New users often try meth by snorting it, which produces less of an intense rush and more of a euphoric feeling. Using this method, the drug usually takes effect within 3-5 minutes.
- Injection: When meth is in a powdered form, it can be injected directly into the bloodstream, where it takes effect almost immediately. Injecting meth puts the user at a high risk for hepatitis, HIV and other infections that can be carried by re-used needles.
- Pills: Meth was distributed as pills when it was originally developed for legitimate medical use. Meth pills can still be found in either manufactured or homemade forms.
Signs And Symptoms Of Meth Addiction
One of the most common signs of meth addiction is what is commonly referred to as “meth mouth” – issues with the mouth and teeth that become obvious to others when someone is using meth regularly. Symptoms include mouth sores, tooth decay, and gum disease. Meth causes the mouth to dry out, which contributes to tooth decay and often tooth loss. Mouth sores are caused by dehydration, and users often develop cavities because the drug can cause sugar cravings.
There are other signs of meth addiction as well, including:
- Skin problems. Rashes may develop from a poor diet and bad hygiene. Meth users also sweat heavily because of dehydration, and their skin often takes on a gray hue. In some cases, they may scratch their arms and face as they try to get at imagined insects crawling on or under their skin.
- Labored breathing. The toxic chemicals inhaled when smoking meth often contribute to coughs and lung damage.
- Nasal problems. Nose bleeds or sinus infections, caused by the drug drying out mucous membranes, are common among people who use meth.
- Heart problems. Rapid heartbeat, arrhythmia, and chest pains can all be caused by meth addiction.
- Digestive and urinary issues. Meth use can damage blood vessels and contribute to kidney problems. Abdominal cramping, urinary tract infections, and chronic constipation or diarrhea are other signs of meth addiction.
- Irregular sleeping and eating habits. Meth users often don’t eat or sleep for several days in a row as they binge on the drug before dropping into a crash phase.
- Social withdrawal. Relationships, hobbies, friendships, and careers often get neglected when someone uses meth regularly and becomes addicted.
How We Treat Meth Addiction At Hope Canyon
Our clinicians and therapists conduct a thorough assessment of your physical and mental condition before creating an individualized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and designed to give you the best chance of a successful recovery.
Detox from meth addiction can be a stressful process, and our team at Hope Canyon provides around-the-clock care to keep you as safe and comfortable as possible and provide any necessary medical treatment. After detox, our therapists help you develop cognitive skills and learn healthy coping mechanisms that show you how to challenge irrational thinking and maintain your sobriety despite being confronted by triggering environments and situations.
Your personalized treatment plan may include:
- Group and individual counseling sessions
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavioral therapy
- Art and music therapy
Once your initial rehabilitation program is complete, we develop an aftercare plan that provides ongoing counseling and support and counseling to help you remain drug-free for the long term.