Meth is incredibly addictive. Many people become addicted to the drug from their first recreational use. In order to understand the implications of meth use, it’s important to consider why it’s addictive and how it affects the body.
Meth abuse is a significant problem in Ohio, and deaths from meth overdose are climbing. Meth has accounted for 25% of Ohio overdose deaths in 2021, compared to 21% in 2020, more than 20% in 2019, and 3.1% in 2015. Ohio state troopers have been on the lookout as well, seizing 225 pounds of meth in 2020, an 87% increase from 2019. With meth overdoses on the rise, understanding meth addiction and being able to recognize warning signs are crucial.
Meth is a Schedule II controlled substance in the United States. This means that the drug carries a high risk of abuse, addiction and dependence. Meth triggers neurotransmitters in the brain that cause feelings of euphoria. These neurotransmitters include dopamine and serotonin, which are involved in the brain’s reward and motivation centers.
When meth wears off, dopamine and serotonin levels decrease, leading to a crash or comedown. During this period, a person may have strong cravings for meth, leading them to take more. Over time, this cycle can lead to addiction.
When a person addicted to meth wants to quit, they may have withdrawal symptoms like agitation, depression, increased appetite and muscle aches. These symptoms make it difficult to stop using the drug, and it can lead to relapse when the person begins using meth again to avoid meth withdrawal symptoms.
In many cases of substance use disorders, people combine substances, including opioids and meth. The drugs are sometimes used together to balance out the comedown from a high. Unfortunately, there is a dangerous overdose risk — fentanyl alone is involved in 72% of meth-related overdoses in Ohio.
Some people are at higher risk for addiction than others. These include those with a history of:
A meth use disorder can be associated with severe health problems. For example, meth abuse can lead to extreme dental issues with chronic use, including rotting teeth or loss of teeth. Meth addiction can also lead to brain damage and long-lasting neurological changes. Meth use is also associated with violent, psychotic, aggressive and paranoid behavior.
Continue reading at Signs, Symptoms and Side Effects of Meth Abuse →
Meth can cause extreme euphoria at its first use, which could make it appealing to use again. Substances that act powerfully or quickly are typically the most addictive, and both of these properties apply to meth.
When a person uses meth, the extreme release of dopamine and serotonin in the brain will make them feel good. When the drug wears off, the depletion of serotonin and dopamine can cause feelings of anxiety and depression. Many people may use meth again to combat these feelings, which can lead to binges lasting for days or more.
You can help someone struggling with meth by encouraging them to seek help. It is important to avoid lecturing or arguing with them, which may cause them to be defensive and less likely to seek the care they need.
Meth is often available as a white powder. Crystal meth, however, looks like glass fragments or shiny rocks.
The Recovery Village Columbus offers several approaches to meth use disorder treatment:
The Recovery Village Columbus offers:
Getting treatment for a meth use disorder is the first and most important step on your road to recovery. Yes, it can be scary, but the staff at The Recovery Village Columbus are determined to find the right treatment for you. We’re here to help. Give us a call to have a free, confidential conversation.
If you are in an immediate emergency, call 911. If you are looking for more information on substance abuse treatment and it is not a medical emergency, call our 24/7 Meth Helpline at 614-362-1686.
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.