How to Tell If Someone Is On Meth

How to Tell If Someone Is On Meth | Recovery By The Sea

Methamphetamine (meth) is a stimulant similar to amphetamine that is most often found illicitly. Meth is usually more powerful than other amphetamines, however, and is very rarely used for any legitimate medical purpose.

Meth is usually either purchased from a dealer on the street or “cooked” at home or in a clandestine lab. Meth is also known as crystal, ice, glass, ice, and crank, among other names. It usually appears as a crystal or rock-like substance that is clear, semi-transparent, or bluish. Occasionally it is found powdered or tablet form.

Signs of Meth Use

Regular meth use often leads to a myriad of changes in a person’s life that can be easy to identify if you know what signs and symptoms to look for.

Changes in Lifestyle

Meth users are often secretive and try to conceal their use. However, over time, it will likely become increasingly difficult to disguise their habit, as they continue to spend an increasing amount of time and money procuring and using the drug.

As meth use becomes a priority and central in a user’s life, they will begin to fail to attend to responsibilities at work and at home. For instance, expenses related to drug making, buying, or using may result in financial difficulties and a failure to pay bills. Also, binges may be followed by long periods of inactivity in which childcare and other critical responsibilities are ignored.

Mood Swings and Adverse Mental Changes

Like other stimulants, such as cocaine and Adderall, meth use causes the brain to release excessive amounts of dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of reward and well-being. With long-term meth use, the brain becomes less able to produce dopamine without the drug’s help. This effect can leave the user feeling depressed, anxious, and experiencing other negative feelings during periods of abstinence.

Chronic meth use can also result in paranoia, delusions, and even full-blown psychosis. Users may experience irrational fears and adverse psycho-emotional effects that continue long after meth use has ended—a condition known as PAWS. Highly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms are common among long-term meth abusers when they try to quit using or cut back.

Behavioral Changes

Because meth is a potent CNS stimulant, increased activity in both the brain and body leads to feelings of euphoria and elevated mood and energy. Users are often extremely talkative and hyperactive and may compulsively engage in obsessive and repetitive activities, such as cleaning.

Meth users may also experience strange tactile sensations or hallucinations that cause itching or the feeling of bugs crawling on or under their skin. This can lead to repeated scratching and the development of sores.

What’s more, chronic meth use often results in appetite suppression, and thus, noticeable weight loss. Over time, users begin to appear malnourished and gaunt as a result of poor eating and sleeping habits.

How to Tell If Someone Is On Meth | Recovery By The Sea

Physical Signs

In addition to itching, sores, weight loss, and a generally disheveled and ill appearance, long-term meth users also encounter dental problems commonly referred to as “meth mouth.” This condition is characterized by a loss of tooth enamel due to poor oral hygiene and dry mouth, which leads to rampant tooth decay.

The manner in which meth is administered can also affect a meth user’s outward appearance. For instance, a person who smokes meth face a higher risk of bronchitis and pneumonia and may suffer from chronic coughing and congestion. And snorting meth, similar to snorting cocaine, can result in frequent nosebleeds and irreversible damage to the septum and surrounding nasal tissues.

Finally, injecting meth, although relatively uncommon, can lead to open wounds and sores on the skin, infections, and vein damage.

Meth Paraphernalia

Paraphernalia using for ingesting meth may include any of the following:

  • Razors, mirrors, rolled paper, or hollow tubes for snorting
  • Glass or metal pipes, bongs, foils, or light bulbs with a hollow tube attached for smoking
  • Spoons, lighters, syringes, and surgical tubing or tourniquets for injection

Signs of a Meth Lab

Not all meth users cook their own meth. However, the following signs may indicate someone you know is operating a meth lab in their home:

  • Excessive and threatening home security measures such as “Beware of Dog” or “Private Property” signs, alarm systems, etc.
  • Items for concealing the home such as blackened windows, drawn curtains, high fences, etc.
  • Chemical smells that are detectable around the home, garage, or yard
  • Garbage contains suspicious bottles, containers, or sheets stained from filtering chemicals
  • Evidence of dumping chemical waste, such as in burn pits

Treatment For Meth Abuse And Addiction

Meth addiction occurs when a user’s body has developed a dependence on the substance, and unpleasant side effects onset when the user tries to quit. When a user has become dependent, they will continue to engage in compulsive drug-seeking behavior. They will do whatever it takes to obtain and use meth despite the adverse consequences that result.

Treatment for meth use should include medical detox, followed by participation in multiple therapeutic services, such as psychotherapy, counseling, and group support. Recovery By The Sea is a specialized treatment center that offers care and support for meth users and others who suffer from drug dependence and addiction.

If you believe that a loved one is abusing meth, other drugs, or alcohol, we urge you to contact us today to discover how we can help!

⟹ READ THIS NEXT: The Dangers of Injecting Meth

Can You Overdose on Meth?

Can You Overdose on Meth? | Recovery By The Sea

Methamphetamine (meth) is a stimulant drug that is most commonly found as a white powder or in crystalline form (crystal meth). Meth is rarely found legally, but it is sometimes prescribed to treat particularly stubborn ADHD or obesity.

Can you overdose on meth? Yes, most definitely, and in some regions of the U.S., overdoses are prevalent. Like other potent drugs, such as heroin or cocaine, meth is very dangerous, especially when used in excessive amounts. Occasionally, this can result in complications that may be life-threatening. And although there are many health risks associated with meth use such as memory loss and aggressive behavior, an overdose is perhaps the most severe consequence of its use.

What Causes an Overdose?

An overdose occurs when a person uses a substance and experiences negative effects as the drug interacts adversely with the body. These effects are usually the result of a person being exposed to a higher dose than his or her body can process. If left untreated, many overdoses can be fatal.

Most meth-related overdose fatalities occur when the body develops hyperthermia, a condition that can eventually lead to multiple organ failure. A meth overdose can also cause a sharp spike in blood pressure that leads to liver failure and hemorrhaging. In rare cases, lead poisoning can occur related to the presence of adulterants used in the manufacturing process.

Signs of a Meth Overdose

Whenever a person uses excessive amounts of meth, he or she will face the possibility of experiencing an overdose. Because meth is most commonly found as an illegal, unregulated substance, potential users are often unaware of the drug’s purity or the presence of certain toxic ingredients used to produce it.

If someone you love suffers from meth abuse, being able to recognize the signs of an overdose could help to save their life. Common signs and symptoms of a meth overdose include the following:

  • Chest pain
  • Heart arrhythmia
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Difficult or labored breathing
  • Agitation and irritability
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Psychosis
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Seizures
  • Accelerated or slowed heartbeat
  • Hyperthermia (high body temperature)

If a person suffers from a meth overdose, the likelihood that they will recover depends on the amount consumed and how quickly they receive treatment. It is certainly possible to survive a meth overdose, but the person overdosing must receive emergency medical attention promptly. And, because a meth overdose is a clear indication of a substance use disorder, professional treatment should closely follow once the person is physically stable.

Can You Overdose on Meth? | Recovery By The Sea

What You Can Do

As noted, if you suspect that someone is overdosing on meth, it is critical that they receive medical help as soon as possible. Call 911 or visit the nearest emergency department immediately if signs of an overdose are evident. If you are waiting for an ambulance, you must take measures to keep the person as safe as possible until help arrives. 

If someone is having a seizure, gently hold the person’s head to prevent injury and turn it to one side to prevent them from choking if they vomit. Do not, however, try to secure their arms or legs.

If you call 911, have the following information ready, if known:

  • The person’s age and approximate weight
  • The amount of the drug that was ingested
  • The method by which the drug was administered (e.g., snorting, injecting)
  • How long ago the person last used the drug

When emergency personnel arrives, they should be able to provide vital medical attention. First responders as EMTs will likely administer activated charcoal orally to begin the detoxification process, and also conduct a poison and drug screening. The patient can be administered intravenous fluids to mitigate side effects such as dehydration and high blood pressure.

Other medications may also be used to treat certain complications related to the overdose, such as problems with kidney function or cardiac issues. A person overdosing of meth has the best chances of recovery if the condition is addressed with swift and appropriate medical intervention.

Treatment for Meth Addiction

Meth addiction is a potentially devastating condition that significantly affects the health and emotional well-being of those who suffer and also tends to impact the lives of those around them profoundly. The best to prevent a life-threatening overdose from occurring is to seek help as soon as possible.

Fortunately, meth addiction is very treatable. Through the use of an evidence-based approach to substance abuse, former meth users can get the help they need to achieve abstinence and restore mental and physical wellness to their lives. 

Recovery By The Sea offers professional addiction treatment, including behavioral therapy, counseling, and other services shown to be vital to the recovery process.

If you or someone you know has developed an addiction to meth, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss treatment options. We are dedicated to helping people recover from addiction and reclaim the joyful and fulfilling lives they deserve!

⟹ READ THIS NEXT: Can You Overdose on Acid?

The Dangers of Injecting Meth

The Dangers of Injecting Meth

Injecting meth can result in a number of medical complications. These are related to both the stimulant abuse and the route of administration. Injuries/illnesses that may be caused by injecting meth include:

  • Track lines/marks
  • Puncture marks
  • Collapsed veins
  • Skin infections
  • Abscesses

Meth users also have an increased risk of contracting HIV, Hepatitis, and Tuberculosis. The risk of HIV infection is increased due to sharing unsterilized needles as well as engaging in risky sexual activity, which is not uncommon for those who use meth.

What Is Meth?

Meth, also referred to as Crystal, Ice, and Glass, is classified as a Schedule II drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration, meaning that it is considered to have limited legitimate pharmaceutical purposes. Indeed, most of the world’s supply of meth is illicitly produced.

Effects and Side Effects of Injecting Meth

Injecting meth causes the drug to reach the brain rapidly, resulting in an intense rush or feeling of euphoria. These effects, however, only lasts for a few minutes, and imminently, more of the drug is needed to continue the feelings of euphoria.

This is why meth is frequently used in a “binge-and-crash” pattern, the user repeatedly injecting over a brief period in an attempt to maintain the high. This behavior can last for several days and is also known as a “run.” Individuals may completely neglect necessary functions, such as sleeping and eating, in favor of using meth.

The intense high experienced by meth users is a product of the rapid release of dopamine in the brain. This neurotransmitter is involved in feelings of pleasure, motivation, and motor control, and reinforces drug-using behaviors due to the rush of euphoria it induces. Since meth users typically use the stimulant in a binge pattern, repeated exposure and the resulting release of dopamine leads to a profoundly depressive state when the binge ends.

In the early phases of the high, the user feels excited or elated, euphoric, and may experience a flurried thought process that results in rapid speech. The person may have an increased libido during this early stage, as well as impulsivity. Energy and alertness are elevated, and the person may also feel an increase in physical strength.

In the later phases of a meth high, the user may feel restless, nervous, and aggressive, and exhibit psychosis and paranoia. Cravings for meth are likely to manifest in the later phase, as well as depression and fatigue.

Neurochemical Imbalances

Over time, regular meth abuse can alter the user’s brain chemistry. Chronic and repeated use eventually results in tolerance, meaning the user requires ever-increasing amounts of the drug to experience the desired effects. The brain and body become accustomed to the continued presence of meth (dependence), and when the person discontinues use, he or she will most likely suffer from withdrawal symptoms.

Among the most problematic meth withdrawal symptoms are intense cravings to use the drug. In addition to cravings, there are several other symptoms associated with withdrawal from meth use. Although withdrawal syndrome isn’t usually life-threatening on its own, there is an increased risk of suicide for those going through withdrawals.

Other withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • The inability to feel pleasure (dysphoria)
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Slowed movement
  • Depression and fatigue
  • Unpleasant dreams and insomnia
  • Increased appetite

Once these withdrawal symptoms subside, cravings could continue for much longer due to the changes in brain chemistry created by prolonged meth use.

Brain Damage

Meth has powerful effects on the brain’s dopaminergic system. As previously noted, using meth produces a surge of dopamine in the brain, which is associated with pleasurable feelings. Repeated use can have brain-damaging effects because the stimulant damages dopaminergic neurons, which results in reduced levels of the neurotransmitter in the brain.

Similarly, Parkinson’s disease is characterized by a deterioration of dopaminergic brain cells, a condition that is responsible for the symptoms of the disorder. Because chronic meth use results in reduced dopamine levels in the brain, a chronic meth user has an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

Injecting Meth: Tweaking

“Tweaking” is a stage of meth use that occurs somewhere between 4-24 hours after a meth binge has ended. A meth binge occurs when the user takes repeated doses of the drug in order to sustain the high and can last anywhere as long as several days. Tweaking is characterized by disorganized thinking, paranoia, irritability, hypervigilance, and hallucinations, and occurs before a crash from meth.

Treatment Options for Meth

Fortunately, there are treatment options available to those who are suffering from an addiction to meth – treatments that promote positive change and help individuals achieve sobriety.

Different types of recovery programs include the following:

  • Residential or Inpatient Treatment

Our inpatient programs provide a structured environment in which patients reside at the recovery center for the entirety of their treatment program. This is the best option for those experiencing a severe meth addiction because it offers an escape from the patient’s normal drug-using environment and allows the patient to focus their attention on recovery.

  • Intensive Outpatient treatment

For those who have a milder meth addiction, this type of recovery program provides you with the opportunity to attend outpatient treatment at a facility or hospital while living at home. It is beneficial for those who must continue working, attending school, or taking care of the family.

Although there are no FDA-approved medications for the treatment of methamphetamine addiction, other medications, such as antidepressants, may be prescribed to treat depression as a result of withdrawal or a co-occurring mental health problem.

Both inpatient and outpatient treatment includes cognitive-behavioral therapy, which has been shown to be one of the most effective approaches to addiction. During CBT, the therapists will help patients identify dysfunctional behaviors related to substance abuse and help to rectify them using several different strategies.

Our center employs caring medical and mental health staff who provide patients with the tools they need to successfully recover. Through the use of professional, evidence-based treatment, we can help you regain your life and wellness and be free from addiction to drugs and alcohol indefinitely!

Meth Comedown and Addiction

Meth Comedown | Recovery by the Sea

Meth Comedown and Addiction – Methamphetamine (meth, speed, glass, ice, crystal) is a white crystalline drug with stimulant effects that is administered by snorting, smoking, or injecting. Regardless of method, however, all of those who use meth illicitly will develop a strong desire to continue using it due to the drug’s addictive properties.

When consumed, meth produces a false sense of happiness and well-being, beginning with a rush of confidence, hyperactivity, energy, and decreased appetite. These effects generally last from six to eight hours but can persist for up to a full day.

What Is Meth? How Does It Work?

With the rare exception of Desoxyn, meth is an illicit, Schedule II drug in the same class as cocaine and other dangerous street drugs. The most common method of meth use is inhaling or smoking it using a pipe, tin foil, and lighter. It can also be administered orally as a pill, or dissolved in water and injected into the veins. It can be found as a powder or in a whitish-blue rock-like form known as crystal meth.

Meth use increases the production of dopamine, a chemical responsible for feelings of well-being and reward – by some estimates, production can be accelerated 1,000 times more than normal, resulting in a euphoric rush.

Unfortunately, however, that feeling only lasts a short time. The rush is followed by hyperactivity, talkativeness, and seemingly boundless energy that upon cessation, often compels users to repeat use in a binge-style fashion to avoid the comedown, tweaking, and withdrawals.

Short- and Long-Term Effects of Meth

Short-term effects of meth use include the following:

  • Appetite loss
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Elevated heart rate
  • High body temperature
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Bizarre behavior
  • Hyperactivity
  • Hallucinations
  • Irritability
  • Pupil dilation
  • A sudden surge of energy
  • Euphoria
  • Heavy sweating

Prolonged use can result in a myriad of other problems. Long-term effects of meth use include:

  • Loss of teeth
  • Dry skin
  • Severe breakouts
  • Tremors
  • Damaged brain
  • Weakened state
  • Compromised immune system
  • Suicidal and homicidal thoughts
  • Liver and kidney damage
  • Bad breath
  • Stroke
  • Cardiovascular damage
  • Severe malnutrition
  • Paranoia and psychosis
  • Loss of focus or disorientation

Also, when sharing contaminated needles, those who inject are vulnerable to hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and HIV. It’s also not uncommon for addicts to engage in risky sexual behaviors.

Meth Comedown | Recovery by the Sea

Over time, the damage done to the brain of someone who uses meth may be equivalent to that of Alzheimer’s disease or a stroke. In fact, long-term, frequent meth users may never be the same again after brain damage has occurred.

There is also the possibility of an overdose, which can lead to death. One serious side effect of meth is hyperthermia dangerously high body temperature) which can cause kidney failure. An overdose of meth is considered to be a medical emergency and help should be sought immediately.

Other symptoms of an overdose may include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pains
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Poor motor control
  • Extremely painful headache
  • Tremors
  • Unrestrained jerking

Meth Comedown

Initially, the euphoric effects of meth will last up to eight hours or longer, but this interval often becomes shorter with prolonged use. It’s not uncommon for addicts to seek another hit after 2-3 hours to avoid a comedown.

A meth comedown is a period in which the effects of the drug wear off and the user begins to “crash.” This is not the same as withdrawal syndrome, and it actually a bit more akin to an alcohol hangover.

Symptoms of meth comedown:

  • Deep sadness
  • Lethargy
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Lack of motivation
  • Depression
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Dehydration
  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain due to clenching
  • Intense cravings

The comedown stage will last until the next fix or until the user’s body begins to go into full withdrawal.

What Happens During a Meth Comedown?

Effects of meth typically last from 4-12 hours. A meth comedown will begin to occur almost immediately afterward. Feelings of euphoria and energy gradually turn to tiredness, anxiety, irritability, and sometimes erratic behavior. Headache, increased hunger, and concentration difficulties frequently ensue. Users may want to sleep excessively or may not be able to sleep at all.

Meth Comedown and Tweaking

Meth Comedown | Recovery by the Sea

One particularly dangerous aspect of a meth comedown is referred to as “tweaking.” Tweaking generally occurs after a binge, when a person has been using continually for several days. Binging is a means to avoid a comedown, crash, withdrawal symptoms, what have you.

But as the binge continues, the high becomes less and less intense. With each repeated use, the effects become weaker. Tweaking occurs when the addict can no longer produce a high. The body and mind simply won’t react to smoking meth anymore, and the person is desperately tired from a lack of sleep and may enter a mental state that is borderline psychotic.

Despite the user’s cravings, he or she can no longer achieve a high so eventually has no choice but to enter the “crash” stage in which the body shuts down and sleep is finally induced – a sleep that can last for several days while the person’s body attempts to recover from the binge.

Treatment for Meth Addiction

Meth addiction is a serious, life-threatening condition that has significant health and social consequences for the person suffering. It is most effectively treated through participation in a residential (inpatient) program followed by intensive outpatient treatment.

Our center offers both formats which include psychotherapy, individual and family counseling, and group support. Our medical and mental health staff specialize in addiction and can provide clients with the tools they need to achieve sobriety and enjoy long-lasting recovery from drugs and alcohol.

How Long Does Meth Stay In Your System?

how long does meth stay in your system

How Long Does Meth Stay In Your System? Meth has a half-life of about 12-34 hours, meaning that within this time, the concentration of meth in the blood is reduced by about half. So how long does meth stay in your system? Meth can be detected by urine tests for three days after the last use, but depending on individual factors, such as the following, this length of time will vary:

  • Personal rate of metabolism
  • Frequency of use
  • Amount last used
  • Purity/potency of drug used
  • Kidney and liver functionality

How Long Does Meth Stay in Your System: How Meth is Metabolized

How Long Meth Stay in Your System

When a person uses meth, the body starts to process it immediately as it circulates through the blood. Some of this is converted into pure amphetamine.

After a few hours, the body begins to metabolize both the meth and amphetamine and the substances start their journey through the liver and kidneys, soon to be partially excreted through urine.

Some research has shown that as much as half of a meth dose can be eliminated from the body in its original form – moreover, not having been metabolized, nor the user having experienced any effects at all from this portion.

Meth Side Affects
In addition to desired effects of increased energy and euphoria, meth users may experience the following adverse symptoms:

  • Sweating
  • Diminished appetite
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism)
  • Itching
  • Disordered thoughts
  • Dry mouth
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea Paranoia and delusions
  • Hallucinations and psychosis

Long-term meth use can also increase the risk of heart disease, cognitive defects, neurotoxicity, and early death. Meth use also significantly raises the risk of hemorrhagic stroke, even in young people

Meth use also wreaks havoc on oral hygiene and many long-term meth users end up with tooth decay from dry mouth and even dentures.

Snorting meth, like cocaine, also increases a user’s risk of nosebleeds, infections, and irreversible damage to the nasal septum and surrounding tissues.

Injecting meth, on the other hand, can result in damage to the skin and veins, including abscesses and infections.

Signs of Meth Use

If you suspect someone you know is using meth, look for the following warning signs:

  • General hyperactivity
  • Skin picking
  • Meth sores (from picking at skin)
  • Meth mouth (severe tooth decay)
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Dilated pupils
  • Rapid eye movement
  • Uneven sleeping patterns that can include periods of being awake for days or even weeks following by long bouts of sleeping
  • Twitching, facial tics, jerky movements, and exaggerated mannerisms
  • Talking constantly
  • Outbursts or mood swings
  • Paranoia

Also, people using meth frequently may have an unkempt appearance and tend to neglect critical personal responsibilities such as child-rearing, housekeeping, and employment.

Polysubstance Abuse

Many meth users also use other drugs or alcohol, which is far more dangerous than abusing meth alone. For example, using meth in combination with another stimulant can lead to sudden death by heart attack. Using meth in conjunction with a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, on the other hand, can lead to unpredictable and possibly life-threatening complications such as respiratory arrest.

It’s also becoming increasingly common to find meth on the streets that is tainted with other drugs, such as fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid painkiller similar in effect to heroin, but far more potent. This is especially troubling because the user often does not know that fentanyl is present, and often has little or no tolerance for opioids.

While overdosing on meth is rarely fatal, overdosing on fentanyl-laced meth can cause death when the primary effects of meth wear off and fentanyl is still active in the body.

Treatment for Meth Abuse

Unlike other substances such as opioids and alcohol, there is no medication-assisted treatment for meth withdrawals. However, undergoing a medical detox offers patients a clinically-supervised withdrawal period in which vital signs can be monitored for complications.

After a short detox period, patients should participate in one of our addiction treatment programs, either on a partial hospitalization or outpatient basis. Both programs offer vital therapeutic elements needed for recovery, including psychotherapy, individual and group therapy, counseling, and holistic practices such as meditation and art therapy.

After treatment has been completed, patients can still participate in an aftercare program in which aftercare planning specialists help them locate therapeutic support services in their area such as ongoing behavior therapy, counseling, and peer group meetings.

We Are Addiction Specialists
Our staff includes addiction specialists and other healthcare providers trained to enact individualized programs that treat the symptoms of addiction and withdrawal. We are dedicated to providing clients with the tools, support, and care they so desperately need to achieve a full recovery and begin to experience long-term wellness and sobriety.

If you or your loved one is suffering from substance abuse such as meth, please seek contact us as soon as possible to discover how we help people free themselves from the chains of addiction for life!

Meth Withdrawal Symptoms: Detox Timeline

Meth Withdrawal Symptoms | Detox Timeline | Recovery By The Sea

Meth Withdrawal Symptoms: Detox Timeline – Methamphetamine (meth, crystal meth, or ice) a very potent, highly addictive synthetic stimulant drug that has become increasingly popular with drug users in recent decades. Meth typically presents as a crystalline powder or as small bluish/whitish rocks or shards of glass, and is typically snorted or smoked, but can also be diluted with water and injected.

This drug can be manufactured in small clandestine labs with simple ingredients available at pharmacies and stores that carry common household chemicals, such as ammonia and paint thinner. It has also become increasingly accessible through larger foreign manufacturing sources, especially from Mexico.

Meth Comedown

When meth is administered, the drug reaches the brain where it prompts the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. These chemicals in turn increase alertness, energy, and sociability. Meth’s effects may continue for up to eight hours, but once the drug begins to wear off, comedown effects can cause the person to feel very ill.

A comedown is a bit different from withdrawal, but there are a few aspects and effects of the process that are similar. Meth comedown symptoms include:

  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Muscle weakness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of motivation
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Jaw clenching
  • Muscle pain

Comedown symptoms may persist for a few days after excessive use, especially any mental health changes that have occurred, such as depression and anxiety. If the person abstains from further meth use, these symptoms will resolve on their own.

Meth Binges

Many people who abuse meth take more to forestall the unpleasant comedown symptoms as they appear. Because the comedown is inevitable, the person repeatedly uses meth in a binge pattern that can last for days at a time. Such particularly bad binges are referred to as “tweaking.” The longer a person binges, the worst the side effects become once they discontinue use or finally “crash.”

After several days of binging, the body no longer sustains a high due to the brain’s propensity to diminish effects in response to repeated exposure. Tweaking occurs when the person engaging in meth abuse does not sleep for several days, experiences intense paranoia, and develops various degrees of temporary psychosis.

Moreover, the initial euphoria from meth no longer occurs after a few doses. However, the person still struggles with all the other effects of meth, including hyperactivity, overheating, dehydration, loss of appetite, physical pain, anxiety, irritability, and aggression.

Meth Withdrawal Symptoms | Detox Timeline | Recovery By The Sea

While tweaking, the person will develop obsessive or repetitive behaviors, like taking objects apart and putting them back together or compulsively cleaning. And because they lack sleep and their brain is under so much stress, the person may also experience hallucinations and delusions, leading to psychotic behavior, not unlike that of schizophrenia.

Formication is another effect of tweaking that is characterized by hallucinations that mimic the effect of bugs crawling on or under the skin. This symptom causes sufferers to repeatedly scratch or pick at their skin, which can lead to tissue damage and infection.

A meth binge can result in profound mental and physical exhaustion. A person may experience malnutrition and appetite suppression and is likely to sleep for several days. Repeated attempts to avoid a comedown after binging can lead to dependence and addiction.

Withdrawal from Meth

There is a significant amount of research that has documented the effects of withdrawal in chronic meth users. The timeline for meth withdrawal is relatively consistent and offers some insight into what medical personnel and those in recovery can expect.

Withdrawal symptoms from meth are primarily emotional with various associated physical effects. The withdrawal process from meth does not appear to be as consistently severe as withdrawal from alcohol or opioids. Any associated symptoms are probably not going to be physically damaging unless the person tries to detox alone and becomes emotionally unstable, which can lead to self-harm and suicidal behavior.

Meth has a relatively short half-life (around 10 hours) and is a fast-acting drug. According to research, the timeline for withdrawal from meth remains relatively consistent among users:

  • Withdrawal symptoms onset within the first 24 hours of abstinence.
  • Symptoms reach their peak within the first 7-10 days following cessation of drug use, and there is a constant decline in the severity of symptoms following this peak.
  • Prolonged emotional symptoms have an average duration of about 14-20 days, but most commonly end after about two weeks.

According to research, primary symptoms during this withdrawal period typically include the following:

  • Feelings of fatigue, lethargy, and excessive sleepiness
  • Increased appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Episodes of jitteriness

Also, a significant number of people report feelings of depression or apathy, which tend to decline gradually throughout the withdrawal period. These depressive symptoms can be serious, however, and may be associated with thoughts of suicide. Extreme cravings for meth can also occur during the withdrawal process but have been observed to decline over time.

Psychotic symptoms including paranoia, delusions, and hallucinations also occur in many people. These symptoms need to be addressed and treated in a clinical environment. Research has indicated that the most dangerous symptoms associated with meth withdrawal tend to be severe depression and the potential to develop psychosis.

Also, some research has suggested that individuals who engage in meth use for a prolonged period may exhibit some cognitive impairments in the areas of mental processing speed, memory, attention, and planning that are not fully restored within six months of abstinence.

Medications for Withdrawal

Meth Withdrawal Symptoms | Detox Timeline | Recovery By The Sea

Although there are currently no pharmaceutical treatments approved by the FDA for use during meth detox, there are several medications that can help to manage some of the symptoms that manifest during the process of withdrawal:

Wellbutrin (bupropion)—An antidepressant, which according to research, may be useful in relieving some of the symptoms of withdrawal in people who have abused meth. It can reduce drug cravings, and appears to be more suitable for light to moderate meth use disorders.

Provigil (modafinil)—A prescription drug and stimulant that is used for the treatment of ADHD and narcolepsy. The mild stimulant properties of this medication can help to reduce disruptive sleep patterns and may also help those in detox temporarily experience increases in energy and improved concentration, which may be critical components when moving forward into recovery.

Paxil (paroxetine)—A selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, which is an antidepressant medication that has been found in some studies to reduce cravings in abstinent meth users going through withdrawal.

Remeron (mirtazapine)—An atypical antidepressant that can help to prevent relapse during withdrawal.

Treatment for Meth Addiction

If a person discontinues meth use and encounters intense withdrawal symptoms, this is a surefire indication of a chemical dependence, which is a significant component of addiction. Persons who undergo detox in either a clinical environment (recommended) or at home are urged to seek comprehensive treatment at a specialized facility such as Recovery By The Sea.

We employ a highly-trained team of health professionals and addiction specialists who collaborate to assess each client and develop customized programs. Our evidence-based services include psychotherapy, counseling, group support, aftercare planning, and more.

If you or someone you love is suffering from an addiction to meth, please contact us today. Discover how we help our clients free themselves from the grips of addiction and reclaim the fulfilling lives they deserve!

What are the Side Effects of Amphetamine?

Amphetamine Side Effects | Recovery By The Sea

Amphetamines are stimulant drugs that increase activity in the body’s central nervous system. They are frequently prescribed for the treatment of Attention Hyperactivity Deficit Disorder (ADHD) and include name brands such as Dexedrine and Adderall.

Amphetamines, however, are often abused for their stimulant effects, which include euphoria, wakefulness, alertness, and feelings of excess energy and confidence.

When a person abuses amphetamines, the brain is flooded with a rapid burst of the “feel good” brain chemical, dopamine. Over time, if the brain routinely receives this artificial surge of dopamine, it becomes accustomed to the rush, and the result is a chemical dependency. When this occurs, withdrawal symptoms ensue if the user abruptly discontinues use.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies amphetamines as Schedule II substances. This classification means that although the drugs have a legitimate medical use, they also carry a high potential for abuse and dependence.

Schedule II drugs are considered substances that are dangerous to use without a doctor’s supervision. However, even when used for a valid medical purpose, amphetamines can still cause significant problems.

Amphetamine Side Effects and Symptoms

Amphetamines abuse comes with significant side effects that can impact both the body and mind. The physical symptoms of amphetamine abuse are usually quite evident.

Amphetamine side effects may include the following:

Changes in Energy Levels

Users often experience repeated bursts of unexplained, extreme energy that can last for up to four hours. Changes in energy levels may occur immediately after smoking or injecting amphetamines, and about 40 minutes after swallowing or snorting the drugs. After the effects wear off, a “crash” quickly ensues.

Increased Heart Rate and Breathing

Amphetamines accelerate many of the body’s processes that are controlled by the central nervous system. These include breathing and heart rate, which may become noticeably quicker after using the drug.

Insomnia

Amphetamines increase chemical activity in the brain to the point it becomes difficult for the mind and body to be still. Therefore, insomnia is among the most common amphetamine side effects.

Restlessness

Extreme levels of energy can lead to restless behavior to the point of constant leg shaking and body tremors. This effect may also manifest as constant itching and scratching and also clenching/grinding of teeth.

Weight Loss

Amphetamines suppress the appetite and are sometimes prescribed to help with weight loss. Over time, the addicted individual may incur significant and unhealthy weight loss.

Altered Sexual Behavior

Amphetamine abusers often initially experience an increase in sex drive due to the surges of dopamine in the brain. Increased libido and the impulsiveness that often accompanies drug and alcohol use can result in risky, unprotected sex and related diseases such as HIV.

Dehydration

Amphetamines cause dehydration, and it is difficult to drink enough water to counteract that effect. When a person is using amphetamines in large doses, this problem continues to increase causing dehydration, headaches and dry mouth.

Long-Term Amphetamine Side Effects

Long-Term Amphetamine Side Effects

While it is difficult to stop abusing stimulants once started, long-term stimulant abuse can lead to an even more severe and chronic brain disease – addiction. As the body adapts to amphetamine, it develops a need for more of the drug to achieve the same pleasurable effects.

This condition is known as tolerance and eventually leads to dependency, which is characterized by a need to continue taking amphetamines to avoid highly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

But addiction is just one of many problems that prolonged amphetamine abuse can induce. Other severe physical ailments caused by long-term amphetamine abuse include the following:

  • Extreme weight loss
  • Insomnia
  • Immunity-related illnesses
  • Lung problems
  • Kidney complications
  • Increased risk of cardiovascular problems, such as stroke and heart attack
  • Increased risk of needle-related infections if injected
  • Vertigo
  • Weakness
  • Repetitive motor activity
  • Ulcers
  • Malnutrition and vitamin deficiency
  • Skin problems, such as facial blemishes and infections from open sores related to scratching
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • High body temperature and heat injury
  • Inability to feel pleasure from anything else (dysphoria)

Long-term amphetamine abuse can also cause severe psychological problems, including the following:

  • Decreased cognitive abilities
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Anxiety and panic
  • Paranoia
  • Amphetamine-induced depressive disorder
  • Psychosis (hallucinations and delusions)
  • Behavioral disorders

Even if addiction does not develop, a dependency on amphetamines can lead to unpleasant withdrawals symptoms upon discontinuation of the drugs, which is characterized by the following:

  • Fatigue and loss of energy
  • Apathy
  • Depression
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Inability to feel pleasure
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Slowed motor activity
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Vivid nightmares
  • Nausea and vomiting

Amphetamine Overdose

Amphetamine Overdose | Recovery By The Sea

Like other drugs of abuse, amphetamine use can result in an overdose if a user consumes an excessive amount or combines it with other psychoactive substances. Stimulants increase blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature, and all of these amphetamine side effects can be dangerous if they reach critical levels.

Especially when used in conjunction with other substances, such as alcohol or other stimulant drugs, amphetamines pose a significant risk of overdose.

An amphetamine overdose can result in death and is a medical emergency. If you identify any or all of the following, seek emergency help right away:

  • Increase in heart rate or breathing
  • Extreme sweating/hypothermia
  • Unconsciousness
  • Convulsions, tremors or extreme shakiness
  • Stroke or cardiac arrest (heart attack)
  • Chest and/or stomach pains
  • Unexplained aggression or anger
  • Extreme, uncontrollable anxiety or panic
  • Psychosis (hallucinations and delusions)
  • Paranoia
  • Slurred speech

A Word on Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine (meth) is another stimulant drug most often found illicitly that is chemically similar to prescription amphetamines. Meth is also a Schedule II drug because it is sometimes prescribed to patients with particularly stubborn ADHD under the brand name Desoxyn.

The effects of amphetamine and meth when abused are comparable, but meth, however, is characterized by a minor structural difference. This variation allows the drug to reach the brain faster than amphetamine and produces a rush or high more intensely and rapidly. For this reason, meth is considered to have an even higher potential for abuse and addiction.

And unlike amphetamines, most meth on the black market is not a product of drug diversion. Instead, it is produced in homemade, clandestine labs or by drug cartels. The active ingredient in meth is pseudoephedrine, but it is also made with a number of other highly-toxic and explosive chemicals including ammonia, hydrochloric acid, and red phosphorus.

Treatment for Amphetamine Addiction

Treatment for Amphetamine Addiction

Amphetamine addiction can develop after a person prescribed amphetamines has become dependent or misused the drugs. It can also occur when someone without a valid prescription uses amphetamines for recreational purposes.

In any case, drug addiction of any kind is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that should be addressed as soon as possible. Clinical studies have found that the most effective treatments are those based on a comprehensive approach that includes psychotherapy, education, counseling, and group support.

Our center offers these therapeutic services in both inpatient and intensive outpatient formats, and are delivered by caring medical professionals who specialize in addiction and mental health conditions. We provide our clients with the education, support, and tools they need to achieve abstinence and sustain a long-lasting recovery.

You can restore sanity and harmony to your life and experience the happiness and wellness you deserve! Call us today to find out how we can help!

Meth Ingredients

Meth Ingredients | Recovery by the Sea

Meth Ingredients – In the midst of the opioid epidemic, methamphetamine has taken a backseat in the media. However, meth continues to be a scourge that is still pervasive in many areas.

In fact, according to the 2016 National Drug Threat Survey, nearly one-third (31.8%) of responding agencies stated that meth was the worst drug threat to their communities. It is also still the greatest drug menace in the U.S. Southwest, and also dominates areas in the Central West, Southeast, and Pacific.

Some drug abusers prefer meth over opioids and other drugs for many reasons, such as the increase in attention and energy it provides. Meth can also induce a more intense high than cocaine, and the effects last for a significantly longer period.

Unfortunately, everything surrounding meth, from ingredients and the method of manufacturing to using, is hazardous.

Meth Ingredients

Ingredients commonly found in meth include the following:

  • Ephedrine/Pseudoephedrine, which is found in some cough and cold medicines and diet pills. In large quantities, these substances can do damage the respiratory system, nervous system, and heart.
  • Acetone, which is flammable, is found in nail polish remover and paint thinner.
  • Anhydrous ammonia, which is found in fertilizer and certain cleaners, and can result in a toxic gas when mixed with other chemicals.
  • Hydrochloric acid, which is used to make plastic, and is corrosive enough to eat away flesh.
  • Lithium, which is highly flammable/explosive and can burn skin, can be found in batteries.
  • Red phosphorus is a flammable chemical that is found on matchboxes, as well as in road flares and other explosives.
  • Toluene, which can be found in brake fluid, is corrosive enough to dissolve rubber.
  • Sodium Hydroxide or lye, which is highly corrosive, is used to dissolve roadkill.
  • Sulfuric Acid, which is found in drain cleaner or toilet cleaner, is corrosive and can burn skin.

Moreover, each ingredient related to meth-making is dangerous to humans on its own. This means that both producing and using meth is hazardous, unhealthy, and even life-threatening, and should unquestionably be avoided.

Meth Ingredients: How is Meth Made?

Meth Ingredients | Recovery by the Sea

The intention of the article is not to inform people how to make methamphetamine at home, as producing it is incredibly dangerous and using it is likely to result in addiction. Therefore, we offer only the following summary:

Meth is “cooked” using the above ingredients using a chemical reaction and the addition of a solvent to form crystals. The entire process is extremely hazardous, and the components used are toxic, corrosive, flammable, and explosive.

Signs of a Meth Lab

A house or building may contain a meth lab if you notice several of the following signs outside:

  • Blacked-out or covered windows.
  • Chemical cans or drums such as Drano, iodine crystals, lye, antifreeze, etc. lying around the yard.
  • Extensive security, such as “Private Property” signs, surveillance cameras, or fences, especially when no animals appear to be present.
  • Hoses hanging from windows.
  • Heaps of trash.
  • Residents seem secretive or paranoid.
  • The smell of solvents.
  • Visitors come and go at unusual hours, especially late at night.

A house may be a meth lab if you notice the following inside:

  • Ammonia, camping fuel, propane tanks, or starter fluid.
  • Dismantled smoke detectors.
  • Empty pill bottles, and cans of alcohol, toluene, and paint thinner.
  • Funnels and plastic tubing.
  • Lab equipment, like glass tubes, beakers, Bunsen burners, and large plastic containers.
  • A large amount of cat litter.
  • Many stoves, hot plates, or blow torches.
  • Mason jars or other glass containers, melted pots and pans.
  • Numerous cold medicines or non-prescription weight-loss pills boxes/containers.
  • Red-stained coffee filters.

If you believe that you may have located a meth lab, do not approach it, please call 911 immediately.

Signs of Meth Use

Some of the most common symptoms and signs of meth use include the following:

  • Picking at skin or hair
  • Dilated pupils
  • Rapid eye movement
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss
  • Insomnia and odd sleeping habits
  • Sudden outbursts or extreme moodiness
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Concerning changes in physical appearance
  • Tweaking

Meth Ingredients | Recovery by the Sea

Tweaking is a state that may occur toward the end of a drug binge in which the person can no longer achieve a high from meth use.

As the person desperately tries to experience feelings of euphoria, they are left with only intense cravings, as well as the inability to sleep, the feeling of bugs crawling under the skin, hallucinations, and possibly full-blown psychosis.

Treatment for Meth Addiction

Addiction is a devastating and dangerous consequence of meth abuse, and can adversely impact the lives of those using as well as everyone around them. Fortunately, meth abuse and addiction are very treatable using a comprehensive approach that involves a medical detox, inpatient and outpatient treatment, group support, and long-term aftercare.

Our professional staff specialize in addiction and provide patients with the skills they need to achieve sobriety and enjoy longlasting recovery and wellness. You CAN regain your life! Call us as soon as possible – we can help!

List of Illegal Drugs

List of Illegal Drugs | Recovery by the Sea

Illegal drugs are those scheduled by the Drug Enforcement Agency as a controlled substance, having little or no medical value, and a high potential for abuse or addiction.

That said, there is much controversy surrounding the DEA’s decisions when classifying drugs – some wonder, for example, why marijuana and LSD, two drugs that are not known to cause chemical dependence are scheduled higher than notoriously more dangerous drugs such as methamphetamine and cocaine.

List of Common Illegal Drugs

Cocaine and Crack Cocaine

Cocaine and crack cocaine are extremely addictive stimulant drugs. Crack cocaine is more potent than traditional powdered cocaine and is often smoked rather than snorted. Long-term abuse can result in seizures, heart disease and cardiac arrest, stroke, overdose, and damage to the septum and surrounding nasal tissues.

GHB

GHB (Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid) is primarily produced in illicit laboratories, although the prescription drug Xyrem (sodium oxybate) is also considered to be GHB. GHB is most often used recreationally as a party/club drug but is also infamous for its use as a date rape drug. The depressant effects of GHB include cause drowsiness, unconsciousness, seizure, coma, and in rare cases, death.

Hallucinogens and Dissociative Drugs

Hallucinogens and dissociative drugs alter the user’s perception of reality and thinking patterns. This can include audio, visual, tactile, or emotional changes or shifts in the way a person perceives time. Some individuals may feel dissociated from their body or their environment.

These drugs include the following

  • Ayahuasca/DMT
  • Ketamine (Special K)
  • Khat
  • LSD
  • Mescaline (peyote)
  • PCP (Angel Dust)
  • Psilocybin mushrooms
  • Salvia

Marijuana

Despite its legal status in several states for medicinal and even recreational purposes, marijuana is still illegal on a federal level as well as in many other states. Although it is not known to be chemically addictive or cause withdrawal symptoms, it can become psychologically addictive and a hard habit to break.

Marijuana use can sometimes result in unwanted side effects such as anxiety and paranoia, and long-term excessive use can impact an individual’s motivation and affect social life as well as work and school performance.

MDMA (Ecstasy or Molly)

List of Illegal Drugs | Recovery by the Sea

MDMA is a synthetic “designer” drug that acts as both a stimulant and a psychedelic substance. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), its effects mimic a combination of amphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline. There is some argument among researchers whether MDMA is a stimulant drug with hallucinogen properties or a drug that should be placed in a class of its own.

Although MDMA is not considered to be chemically addictive, it can be habit-forming and is often mixed with other drugs including ketamine, meth, cocaine, and synthetic cathinones (bath salts.) This fact increases the risk of adverse health problems and overdose, which in rare cases can result in a dramatic rise in body temperature (hyperthermia) and organ failure.

Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine (meth) is typically found in powder form, while crystal meth resembles shards of glass or bluish-white rocks. Meth is highly addictive, and its stimulant properties can result in cardiovascular problems and death. Effects on the brain can include delusions, hallucinations, psychosis, and aggressive and violent behaviors.

Opium, Heroin, and Other Opioids

The effects of illegal opioids are similar to that of prescription painkillers, in that they produce a pain-relieving effect and euphoria. Opioids are synthetic versions of opiates, which are naturally-occurring compounds found in the opium poppy. Opium itself is illegal, while compounds contained within the dried latex, such as morphine and codeine, are available by prescription.

Illegal opioids include the following:

Heroin

Heroin is a hugely popular and highly addictive illegal street drug that is derived from morphine. It is a potent painkiller and in large doses can cause heavy sedation and unconsciousness.

Heroin can be smoked, snorted, and injected intravenously. In addition to overdose and other physical and mental effects of addiction, heroin users who use or share needles are at high risk for abscesses, infection, collapsed veins, and blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV.

Fentanyl

Fentanyl began as a prescription drug with limited use, and currently is indicated for the treatment of severe pain when all other methods fail, as well as general anesthesia for surgery. Illegal fentanyl, however, is made in clandestine labs, often in China, and sold on the street as heroin, oxycodone, or other less-potent drugs.

Fentanyl is roughly 50 times more potent than heroin and is involved in thousands of deaths each year in the U.S.

Carfentanyl

Carfentanyl is similar to fentanyl but 100 times more powerful. It is not indicated for human consumption and is only legal for use by veterinarians for the sedation of large animals such as elephants. Still, carfentanil is occasionally found cut into other street drugs and is responsible for a number of deaths in the United States and Canada.

Other illegal opioids include U-47700 (Pink) and fentanyl analogs. Also, Grey Death is a name used for a street drug that has have been found to contain U-47700, heroin, and opioids including fentanyl and carfentanil.

Rohypnol

Rohypnol (Flunitrazepam) is a tranquilizer up to ten times more potent than the popular benzodiazepine Valium. The drug is available as a pill and users often crush the pills into powder and snort it, sprinkle it on marijuana and smoke it, or even inject it.

Like GHB, Rohypnol is famously used as a date rape drug – it is sometimes added to an alcoholic drink at parties and clubs unbeknownst to the drinker, thus rendering them incapacitated and paralyzed. They may be awake are aware of what is happening, but are powerless to move or defend themselves. They are also usually unable to fully remember the event just hours after it occurred.

Steroids

Anabolic or “muscle building” steroids are synthetic versions of the male sex hormone testosterone. Some common names for anabolic steroids include Juice, Roids, and Stackers.

People who use anabolic steroids usually take them orally or inject them into their muscles. Steroids can also be applied to the skin as a cream, gel, or patch.

Synthetic Cannabinoids

Synthetic cannabinoids or synthetic marijuana are psychoactive chemicals with effects that often do not resemble marijuana at all. They are often sold as liquids for vaporizers or are sprayed on dried plants for smoking.

These substances can cause hallucinations, psychosis, aggressive or violent behavior. Two common names for these drugs are Spice and K2.

Treatment for Drug Addiction

List of Illegal Drugs | Recovery by the Sea

Regardless of a person’s drug of choice, if a person is chemically or psychologically addicted, he or she needs professional help. In addition to physical and mental health issues, extended drug abuse and addiction can adversely affect a person’s relationships, career, and academic goals.

Depending on the drug abused, some people require more intensive care, including a medically-supervised detox. Comprehensive, evidence-based treatments, such as behavioral therapies and counseling, help to heal the emotional and mental impacts of addiction while teaching individuals the coping skills they need to prevent relapse and enjoy long-term sobriety and wellness.

Our medical and mental health staff specialize in addiction and can provide clients with the tools necessary to achieve and sustain their recovery goals. Recovery from addiction is a long-term endeavor, but you don’t have to it alone. Contact us today to discuss treatment options and discover how we can help you begin your recovery journey!

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