Sunday, May 15, 2022

What Meth Does To Your Brain

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How You Can Help Or Find Help

Meth can have crippling physical, emotional, and neurological effects. The best method to avoid becoming addicted is to never pick up the drug in the first place. Fortunately, by understanding the effects you can speak up and have important conversations. However, these conversations create empathy and awareness and can be expressed in a variety of creative ways like writing, art, or other media.  

If you do plan on confronting a loved one about suspected meth abuse make sure to properly prepare and are aware of the effects of crystal meth on the brain. You will want to make sure the conversation takes place in a safe environment. You also want to make sure you are actively listening in case you learn something that could be pivotal to their recovery process. Always remember that your loved one may not be prepared to have the conversation when you first bring it up. It is perfectly fine to come back to it later just make sure to keep trying and show support.  

Another important way to help an individual suffering from meth abuse is to take advantage of the resources available to you. There is a plethora of local resources as well as nations that have become readily available thanks to modern technology. For instance, here is a great list of national resources to get you your loved one started on the path to recovery:  

  • National Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator 
  • National Mental Health Services Locator 
  • Narcotics Anonymous 
  • Crystal Meth Anonymous 

What To Do If Your Teen Is Using Methamphetamines

Drug addiction among teenagers is a scary reality for many families. There are meth addiction treatment options available because you dont have to face it alone. In Florida, a teen drug rehab called Next Generation Village can offer evidence-based treatment options to help get you, or a teen you know, back on track.

Next Generation Village offers specialized treatment options for teens and provides a comprehensive treatment program that addresses substance use disorder as well as mental health needs. Addiction can make you feel alone and scared, but help is a phone call away. Trained support professionals can help guide your way and answer any questions you may have about recovery and what The Next Generation Village can offer. to seek the help you deserve.

Medical Disclaimer: Next Generation Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

How Meth Use Affects The Body

About a million people ages 12 or older in the U.S. could be living with methamphetamine use disorder, or meth addiction, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. And about 1.9 million people might have used meth - also known as crystal, speed, or ice – in the past year. 

Ongoing meth use can damage your body and mind in several ways. Halifax-based physician Naveen Gupta, MBBS, BSc, tells WebMD Connect to Care that itâs like âa ticking time bomb that can go unnoticed from both the abuser and the health care professionals.â

Here are some of the ways meth use can cause long-term damage.

How To Overcome A Crystal Meth Addiction

Quitting by yourself wont work. Because the addiction removes the element of choice, you cannot help but obsess about using until you finally cave. Experts agree that behavioral therapies hold the most promise. A good-quality rehab center employs evidence-based modalities such as:

The safest way of receiving these treatments is by living at the facility for residential treatment. Therapists customize the length of your stay based on your needs. If you plan to stay for 30 days but discover that youre not ready to leave, you can stay longer. Ninety-day stays are typically the norm.

 

Do I Need Health Insurance To Receive This Service

Expert explains how meth can affect brain

The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.

The Effects Of Meth On The Brain And Body

Methamphetamine abuse can lead to long-term physical and psychological problems, including addiction, brain damage, mental illness, overdose, and serious infection.

Methamphetamine abuse is becoming increasingly more common across the United States.

Meth can be injected, smoked, snorted , or swallowed, all of which can harm a persons mind and body and lead to addiction.

People who abuse meth on a chronic basis and/or over long periods of time may develop serious mental and physical health problems, some of which may be permanent or deadly.

All forms of meth, including the illegal versions and prescription methamphetamine can cause a range of side effects and health problems.

Illegal forms of meth are far more potent than their prescription counterpart, but despite this, Desoxyn can be abused in a way that leads to physical and mental harm and addiction as well.

Continuing to abuse this powerful stimulant drug despite the physical or mental damage its causing can be a major sign of meth addiction. When meth abuse becomes compulsive, a person will likely spend more energy finding and using the drug than taking care of themselves.

Enrolling in a comprehensive methamphetamine drug rehab program can help to break this destructive cycle, so that a person can regain sobriety and better mental and physical health.

Long Term Effects From Meth Use In Teen Years

There are short and long-term effects of meth for teens. As a general rule, the effects of drugs on the teenage brain are more significant than on the adult brain. Because of the developmental stages a teen brain goes through, meth abuse has an even more destructive influence. The structural changes, neurological impacts, and influence of the drug on impulse control wreaks havoc on the way teens develop. Some of the long term effects of meth abuse in teens include hallucination, paranoia, problems with thinking, damaged motor skills, distractibility, memory loss, aggression and violence, mood swings, weight loss, dental decay, and tooth loss.

Treating Crystal Meth Addiction

If you or someone you know is struggling with crystal meth addiction, The Recovery Village is willing and ready to help on your road to recovery. Together with our team of trained medical professionals, you can gain the tools needed to help overcome your addiction and live a healthier, safer life. Dont wait another day to start your journey.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

Methamphetamine And The Teen Brain

Meth statistics have shown us the devastating outcomes of this particular type of addiction. The physiological effects of this deadly drug as well as the impact of meth on the brain cause lasting implications. The effects are especially detrimental for teens. For these reasons, meth and teens can be a deadly combination. Fortunately, teen meth use is low within the general population.

A 2018 report indicates that 0.7% of 12th-grade students surveyed had used methamphetamine at some time in their life. The level of risk posed by meth use in teens requires education and prevention methods to protect them from the severe effects of this drug.

How Much Does Crystal Methamphetamine Typically Cost

The prices of crystal meth fluctuate wildly based on location, supply, and demand. A gram in one state can cost the same as a 3 and a half grams or more in another, with the least expensive crystal meth being found in places of high supply on the East Coast, the West Coast, and close to the southern border. The most expensive crystal meth is typically found in the Midwest region of the United States. Like all drugs, its price increases sharply as the quantities purchased decrease. The discounts given for buying larger quantities are usually more significant with crystal methamphetamine than with other illicit drugs. A quarter gram retails as low as $10 and as high as $40 a gram, approximately $30$100, while 1.75 gram is $60$130. An 8th of one ounce or 3.5 grams is in the $90-$250 range. A quarter of an ounce or 7 grams is around $150-$300, while a full ounce or 28.3 grams can cost anywhere from $200-$900.

How To Make Healthier Choices About Methamphetamine

Some of the risks of using methamphetamine are related to how we use it. For example, smoking or injecting the drug can lead to infection and transmission of disease if we share needles or pipes. The following are some other useful guidelines to follow.

Lowering the risks
  • If smoking, wash your hands, start with a small amount, use a shatterproof pyrex pipe and your own mouthpiece, inhale slowly and exhale immediately.

  • If injecting, wash your hands, rotate your injection site but avoid the neck, clean the injection site, use clean needles and never share them.

Not too much. Managing the amount we use in a given period can help to decrease risky behaviours.

Tip: Buy less so you use less, and set a limit to how much you will use at one time.

Not too often. Limiting how often we use helps reduce harms to ourselves and others over time.

Tip: Reflect on your pattern of use and identify the situations in which you are likely to use. And then try to break the pattern by consciously planning other activities for those situations.

Only in safe contexts. Trusting and feeling safe in your surroundings can make injecting or smoking easier and therefore safer.

Tip: Use with a buddy. Using alone means no one will be there to help you if you overdose.

How Crystal Meth Affects Your Brain

A few weeks ago we talked about 5 Signs of Addiction to CNS Stimulants like crystal methamphetamine, and since then Ive fielded a few questions on the insidious nature of this drug. A common problem among those whose drug of choice is crystal is that they are often fooled into thinking that they can quit alone because the withdrawal symptoms are more emotional than physical like opiate withdrawal. Unfortunately, its just not true. The relapse rate for those addicted to crystal is about three months long. You may be able to hold off, not use, white knuckle it as they say in recovery, but the mental addiction to the drug is difficult to overcome on your own.

Heres why.

Crystal Meth and Dopamine Production

Its all about dopamine, the happy chemical in your brain. You know how you crash into an overwhelming depression for days and days after a run on crystal meth? It seems like the crash parallels the run in intensity and duration and, for some, its the kind of depression that is suicidal and desperate. Thats because the intense amoung of dopamine that is stimulated by crystal meth through smoking or injecting the drug is what makes you feel so good while youre high. Take it away, and your brain crashes. No more dopamine stimulation, no more dopamine, hence the depression.

Crystal Meth Plays Tricks on Your Mind

Treating Crystal Meth Addiction

Can Drug Detox Help With Meth Withdrawal

4: Shows the effects of methamphetamine on the human brain ...

Meth withdrawal symptoms usually begin within 24 hours of the last dose and last between three and five days. Withdrawing from meth is safest when conducted as a medical detox at a drug and alcohol detox center, where patients can be monitored for psychotic symptoms, including disordered thoughts, paranoia, hallucinations, distress, and agitation. These symptoms can often be effectively treated using antipsychotic medications.

The Difference Between Amphetamine Methamphetamine And Crystal Meth

Amphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant used in the treatment of ADHD and narcolepsy. The prescription drug Adderall, commonly used to treat ADHD, is an amphetamine. It has a similar chemical make up to methamphetamines. Both amphetamine and methamphetamine belong to the phenethylamine class of drugs and both are Schedule II controlled substances in the United States. They are not chemically identical, but very similar and they have similar effects on the body, depending on potency and dosage. Additionally, when either drug is purchased illicitly , that level of potency is unclear.  Generally, methamphetamines are significantly more potent drugs than amphetamines.

Rob Bovet from the Oregon Narcotics enforcement Association said in a PBS interview that from a chemical perspective, methamphetamine is amphetamine with a methyl groupbut its pretty much like high-octane vs. low octane gas with methamphetamine being the high-octane version.

However, crystal meth is the most potent drug of the three. It is a crystalline form of methamphetamine. It has no approved pharmaceutical equivalent and is developed from over-the-counter ingredients like Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine.

The Effects Of Meth On The Body

Meth is a popular drug made from household products like drain cleaner, lye, and acetone. This caustic batch of chemicals provides a high users find to be enjoyable, but isnt safe to use in any capacity.

Meth functions as a synthetic form of amphetamines, providing energy and alertness. Unlike other drugs, like marijuana, that yield a calming effect, meth wires its users for action. Meth users regular forego sleep and may stay up for days on end while chasing a high. Meanwhile, the high provided by meth can be comparatively short, resulting in an ongoing need for additional doses.

Some of the physical challenges caused by ongoing meth use include:

  • Energy and decreased fatigue
  • Skin damage from picking or prodding
  • Tooth decay and gum disease
  • Damage to nasal passage for those who snort meth
  • Disorientation and trouble thinking

In addition to these short-term effects, meth can also cause damage to the heart, immune system, and kidneys.

What Does Meth Do To Your Brain

Methamphetamine is an amphetamine-class drug similar to Adderall and other prescription medications. Its also illegal, mostly because its stronger and has more side-effects than those drugs. Most Americans recognize that meth is dangerous yet 0.4% of the U.S. population uses or is addicted to it. That means 4 out of every 1000 Americans uses methamphetamine.

Its true that amphetamines are regularly used in controlled situations to help people with ADHD. But, in large doses and over time, amphetamines can drastically impact the brain. In fact, studies show that long-term methamphetamine abuse can alter the size and activity of areas in the brain, changing your personality, ability to think, and even physical capabilities.

While these physical changes to the brain are unlikely over the short-term, short-term users also see changes. Thats normally through shifts in dopamine and GABA production impacting the reward system and the emotions. These impacts can be considerable, as nearly anyone whos used meth or been around someone who has can tell you. Understanding the short and long-term risks of using meth is important if you want to navigate this drug safely or help your loved one to do so.

The Effects Of Meth Use On The Brain

The short-term effects of methamphetamine on the brain include:

  • Sense of euphoria
  • Crash as the meth wears off
  • Possible hallucinations

The long-term effects meth has on the brain include:

  • Dependence and addiction
  • Impaired learning and motor skills
  • Cognitive issues
  • Structural and function changes in brain areas associated with memory and emotions
  • Neuron death throughout the central nervous system
  • Death of glial cells
  • Brain damage
  • Increased risk of Parkinsons disease 1,2,3

Substance abuse is no joke. At Banyan Boca, we help people who are struggling with addiction start drug- and alcohol-free lives. To learn more about how we may be able to help you or someone you care about, contact us today at 888-280-4763.

What Is Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine is classified by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration as a Schedule II stimulant, which does actually makes it legally available, but only through a nonrefillable prescription*. Medically, it can be used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder , and as a short-term part of weight-loss treatments. However, its uses are limited, and, fortunately, it is rarely prescribed .

*Available by prescription under the brand name Desoxyn  

All other forms of methamphetamine use, possession, and manufacture are illegal and punishable by both fines and incarceration. In fact, many states have legal restrictions on the purchase and supply of precursor chemicals commonly used to manufacture methamphetamine, particularly pseudoephedrine, a common over-the-counter decongestant. 

Methamphetamine is produced in several forms and, as previously mentioned, it can be smoked, snorted, injected, or orally ingested. In the U.S., preferred methods of using the drug, which has varied over time, also vary by geographical region.

Meths most commonly abused form is a white, odorless, and bitter-tasting crystalline powder, and is known generally as crystal meth. Abused by all ages , crystal meth is more commonly used as a club drug, taken while partying either in night clubs or at rave parties.

Types Of Brain Damage

Heavy or long-term methamphetamine use damages the brain both functionally and structurally.A person’s brain becomes accustomed to the drug during the course of addiction.

This altered biochemical activity may take time to normalize once the drug is stopped. In most cases, it willas some dysfunction in the brain’s neurons can eventually right itself.

From a brain structure standpoint, reversal is not always so easy. Ultimately, meth causes damage to brain cells. The ability to reverse the damage largely depends on where the injury occurred.

If damage occurs in an area where other brain cells can compensate, improvement in a person’s symptoms is likely. If damage occurs where cells are more specialized and have fewer redundancies, the repair can be difficultif not impossible.

There are three ways that long-term meth use can damage the brain:

  • Causing acute neurotransmitter changes
  • Rewiring the brain’s reward system

Abstinence May Restore Some Functions But Not Others

Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use or addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area. 

For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.

Methamphetamine can cause progressive and sometimes profound damage to the brain. The question is whether the damage is reversible once a person stops using meth. Unfortunately, the answer is rarely simple.

While it’s possible that some damage will start to reverse when a person stops using meth, other types of damage are harder to turn back. What we do know is that any restoration of brain function is only possible after a sustained period of complete abstinence.

How Meth Affects The Body

Methamphetamine increases the risk of stroke in young people

Meth abuse can cause serious physical harm even in the short term, but as abuse continues, this damage can become more severe.

As a person begins to use meth more frequently they may develop a tolerance. When a person is tolerant to meth, the dose theyre used to taking may not create the effect or pleasurable feelings they seek.

Because of this, many people will increase their dose, an action that could push them closer to addiction. The more a person uses meth, the greater the likelihood that theyll become dependent.

When a person is dependent on meth their body will likely struggle to function in a normal way when they dont take the drug. Should a person suddenly stop taking meth, or quit cold turkey, they may go into meth withdrawal.

Immediate Neurological Effects Of Meth Use

Once meth has been used, it will enter the brain and cause an intense and long-lasting high. Some of the most general neurological effects include a speeding up of thought processes, an increase in confidence and awareness, and intense euphoria. This is mediated through the release of three different neurotransmitters:

These neurotransmitters can, and often do, return to normal levels and function with continued abstinence. That being said, it can be very uncomfortable while the brain recovers. It is often recommended to seek help through this difficult period. Entering a detox center in Atlanta can provide medications and medical monitoring to reduce the discomfort and risk of complications.

Meth Mouth And Dental Problems

People who abuse meth on a chronic basis often develop severe dental problems referred to as meth mouth.

Meth mouth can cause major tooth decay and gum disease. This often results in broken, cracked, crumbling, rotting, or missing teeth. A persons teeth may also be blackened or heavily stained. Because of this, a person may have severe and chronic bad breath.

Teeth clenching and grinding caused by meth abuse can contribute to these states, as can the nutritional deficiencies, dry mouth, and poor dental hygiene that often accompany abuse.

Take Our Substance Abuse Self

Take our free, 5-minute substance abuse self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with substance abuse. The evaluation consists of 11 yes or no questions that are intended to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of a substance use disorder. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result.

The Meth Experience: The 7 Stages Of A Meth Binge

There are 7 distinct phases that users experience when taking meth; these are:

  • The Rush: The rush is the initial euphoric effect the meth user experiences when either smoking or injecting the drug. During the rush, the users heart rate rapidly increases, along with their metabolism and blood pressure. A meth rush can continue for up to 30 minutes, then disappear rapidly.
  • The High: The rush of meth use is then followed by a high, known as the shoulder. During the high, the user can feel both aggressive and smarter than those they are with, and usually becomes highly argumentative. Additionally, the delusional effects can include becoming intensely focused on a common behavior, eg. repeatedly cleaning the same window for several hours. On average, the high lasts for 4-16 hours.
  • The Binge: A binge is the uncontrolled use of any drug or alcohol. It results from the users desire to maintain the high. In meth use, it is by smoking or injecting more of the drug. The binge can last anywhere between 3-15 days. During the binge, the user becomes both mentally and physically hyperactive. Each time the user smokes or injects more of the drug, they experience another, smaller rush, until, finally, there is no rush or high whatsoever. This is known as tweaking.
  • Signs Of Methamphetamine Use

    It is not easy to tell if someone is using methamphetamine, but symptoms may include:

    • Inability to sleep or unusual sleep patterns.
    • Psychotic behaviors such as paranoia and hallucinations.
    • Mood swings or increased aggression.
    • Nervous obsessive activities, such as scratching.
    • Irritability, anxiety, or confusion.
    • Changes in physical appearance, including deteriorating skin and teeth.

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