Crystal meth addiction is a serious chemical dependency problem that can cause a wide variety of both short-term and long-term negative effects on all aspects of the user’s life. People cite a range of different reasons for trying this stimulating drug, but addiction is the reason that so many come to rely on it and become not just recreational users, but truly dependent on the drug for their sense of well-being.
This drug is highly addictive and is one of the hardest drugs to give up, despite the obvious negative consequences the addictions often wreaks upon the user’s life.
Over time, those who regularly use methamphetamine often report a reduced ability to feel happiness and other positive emotional states. Feelings of depression when without the drug, paranoia, violent behavior, and even suicidal thoughts are some of the things long-term users deal with when they must go without meth.
Many often report problems with appetite and a variety of different gastrointestinal conditions. Many long-term meth users suffer from weakened teeth from the exposure to the chemicals in the drug. They often have skin that is less elastic than it should be for their age, and crystal meth often increases the appearance of the signs of aging causing many addicts to look haggard and older than their years.
This is often reported as one of the most difficult drugs to rehabilitate from due to the highly addictive qualities of the chemicals in the drug, as well as the positive mental effects many report.
Long-Term Detrimental Effects
The use of strong drugs like methamphetamine release large quantities of dopamine in the brain. This is the chemical that causes a happy, often euphoric, feeling to the user. Studies done in academic research labs have shown that meth causes spikes up to 12 times as high as released with any other known pleasurable activity, when lab rats are exposed to the drug. In short, there is no other way a human could experience these levels of dopamine except through the use of chemical augmentation like drug use.
The brain becomes dependent on the drug to induce the production of these vital chemicals, and without it the user will experience depression and other signs of withdrawal. It can take as long as a few years for the brain to recover from long-term addiction to meth, and for many, the brain can never fully recover from years of addiction.
Many psychological side effects are reported from problems sleeping to increased levels of fear and paranoia. What follows are just a number of common problems that people often report experiencing after long-term, or even not-so-long-term use of the drug:
- problems sleeping
- intrusive thoughts
- violent behavior
- delusions or hallucinations
In addition to psychological issues, those who suffer from meth addiction are more likely to experience cardiovascular disease and other issues than non-users.
It is possible to kick a meth addiction, no matter how long one has been hooked on the drug. It is difficult, but it is possible. High quality inpatient care, where one is immersed in all aspects of a therapeutic environment throughout the course of their treatment, makes it a far easier goal to tackle.
The exact nature of each treatment facility will vary to tailor themselves to the varied needs of the individuals who seek this type of treatment. Whole life changes and focusing on faith or some other positive life force is often key to any successful inpatient treatment option. Focusing on mental and physical health and wellness is also key. Efforts to improve psychological well-being, as well as physical well-being of the body, are often used.
Many utilize highly successful behavior modification therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, in a more holistic, yet science-driven approach to addiction. Utilizing such therapies works on the assumption that addictions are maladaptive behaviors that, through conscious effort, can be modified so as to be less intrusive and bothersome to the person suffering from it. These techniques have proven to be quite helpful in other disciplines of therapeutic psychology.
When one can recognize their addictions, treatment is possible. While it is true that addiction to methamphetamine is one of the most difficult addictions to overcome, it is possible. High quality inpatient drug treatment facilities exist to help people who want to break free of their addiction to drugs. Life does not have to revolve around that next high, and one does not have to watch their health just fade away. With patient-oriented care, patience, understanding, and the use of cutting treatment options, freedom from crystal meth addiction is most certainly possible.