Author: James Anderson

What is methamphetamine? National Institute on Drug Abuse NIDA

meth addiction

But if you choose to use meth, there are steps you can take to make your experience safer. Some people who use meth see or hear things that aren’t there. This can cause you to think scary things that aren’t true. The odds of this happening to you are higher if you go on a multiday meth binge without sleeping. Crystal meth is often made with a common cold medicine ingredient called pseudoephedrine, which helps ease congestion. Because it’s used to make meth, the federal government closely regulates products with pseudoephedrine.

meth addiction

Primarily, crystal meth is easy to get and cheap for how long the high lasts. For instance, a small amount of crystal meth that costs maybe ten dollars could allow one or two people to stay high and keep partying for a full day or longer. Other reasons meth addicts cite for seeking out the drug include rapid weight loss and the way it lowers inhibitions and increases libido.

Inpatient treatment is always the best option for addicts, especially long-term users who will have more severe withdrawal symptoms. Inpatient treatment allows for close medical oversight, in a safe environment that can prevent triggers, and relapse from occurring. Alongside inpatient treatment, patients can also be involved in therapy programs to help address the underlying causes of their addiction, such problems with their mental health. You may keep taking meth to feel good or to avoid uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms once the drug leaves your body. You may have to take more of the drug to get the same high, and you can overdose on meth.

Meth Complications

Find out the differences between Adderall and methamphetamines, as well as amphetamines vs. methamphetamines. Select a state to find options for rehab centers in your area. People who use meth often need a professional counselor or drug treatment program to help them get better.

  1. There’s ongoing research into the health effects of secondhand meth smoke.
  2. Some can affect your physical appearance while others can be fatal.
  3. Your withdrawal symptoms will be strongest during the first 24 hours or so and typically last about 7-10 days.
  4. The powerful rush you get from using meth makes it easy to get hooked right from the start.
  5. That means more than half of people who use meth go on to misuse the drug.
  6. Physically, meth addiction can lead to irreversible damage to the brain and other areas of the body.

Still, you may test positive for the drug if you’re around the smoke. In general, you may feel the effects of meth for around 2-6 hours if you smoke it or 6-8 hours if you inject it. The high may linger a little longer if you snort or swallow the drug, lasting up to 12 hours or longer. The duration may differ for you depending on how often you use meth.

How Do People Use Meth?

Almost 2.5 million people in the U.S. aged 12 or older say they use meth every year. In general, people use it a little less often than other stimulants such as cocaine. Meth contains chemicals that are similar to amphetamine, a drug used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy.

The risks of overdose are higher when you mix the drug with opioids or other stimulants such as cocaine, ecstasy, or amphetamines. Unlike medication regulated by the government, there’s no way to know what’s in drugs made in illegal labs. And meth makers commonly “cut” their products with strong chemicals or medications (such as fentanyl or other opioids) to save money. Crystal meth affects the psychological system as well as the physical components of the body and can lead to a range of adverse reactions. The only legal meth product is a prescription medication approved to treat ADHD. You can only get it from your doctor, but it’s not used very much.

Some people turn to crystal meth after their tolerance to a different drug has grown so much that they can no longer get high from that substance. Crystal meth can not only provide the high the addict is looking for, it also costs less and lasts longer. Also known as ice, crank, or crystal, meth can be cheaply made by simply mixing together a number of chemicals, many of which are interchangeable. For this reason, this highly addictive substance is often called a bathtub drug. Usually, people who use crystal meth smoke it with a small glass pipe, but they may also swallow it, snort it, or inject it into a vein. People say they have a quick rush of euphoria shortly after using crystal meth, but it’s dangerous.

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If you use meth on a regular basis, it can change your brain’s dopamine system. For example, you may have problems with coordination or learning. Your chances of getting Parkinson’s disease (a movement disorder) may go up. After the high wears off, you may start to feel bad physically and emotionally.

If crystal meth comes as more of a powder, it’ll have a bitter taste like other kinds of meth. In 2021, almost 1% of the U.S. population aged 12 or older said they’d used meth in the past year. In comparison, around 4.8 million people said they used cocaine in the same timeframe.

Unless you use an approved methamphetamine medication under the direction of a doctor, there’s no recommended dose for meth. The least risky (and slowest) way to use meth is to swallow it. Your odds of harmful effects go up if you put meth into your vein with a needle. But you can lessen the chances of harmful effects if you use smaller amounts of meth no matter what method you choose. Methamphetamine hydrochloride (Desoxyn) is the only legal methamphetamine in the U.S.

Always call 911 or go to the hospital if you or a loved one has signs of a meth overdose. Health professionals aren’t there to report you to the police. The chances you’ll take too much meth are higher if you inject meth, but harmful or life-threatening health problems can happen no matter what method you use. You can have a toxic or deadly reaction when you take too much meth.