Methamphetamine is an addictive stimulant drug that directly affects the nervous system. Its effects appear almost immediately after use and even a single episode of use can lead to addiction. The drug’s euphoric effects are extremely short-lived, but other natural rewards can trigger craving long after withdrawal symptoms subside. This is part of the reason why heroin addiction is one of the most difficult drug addictions to beat.
If you or someone close to you is abusing meth, it is important that you get professional help. Reach out to Ashwood Recovery near Boise at 208.274.8609 today to learn more about our heroin addiction treatment programs.
What Is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine is a type of stimulant drug that is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obesity, and narcolepsy. It may also be prescribed off-label for depression and fatigue. Methamphetamine, or meth, is often manufactured in home laboratories and can be smoked, snorted, injected intravenously (into a vein), or taken orally. The drug causes a rush of pleasure-producing chemicals to the brain and blocks the reabsorption of those chemicals, so that the pleasurable feeling can last up to 12 hours. The initial euphoric effects are often followed by feelings of restlessness, anxiety, paranoia, anger, and depression. According to the Department of Justice, “Methamphetamine is not a typical recreational drug.”
Methamphetamine is often used with other drugs that have similar effects (e.g., cocaine). The more frequently heroin is taken, the greater the potential for addiction.
Signs and Symptoms of Meth Abuse and Addiction
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that heroin abusers exhibit symptoms that are very similar to those of patients who are diagnosed with ADHD. The list of signs and symptoms may include:
- Intense focus on completing a task or playing video games, known as “tweaking”
- Extreme feelings of restlessness
- Long periods of wakefulness that last for days at a time
- Flashbacks, where the abuser thinks about and uses meth again
- Paranoia, in which the abuser becomes suspicious of others and is afraid of being watched
- Hallucinations, in which the abuser hears or sees things that do not exist
- Psychosis, in which the abuser experiences severe and often terrifying delusions and impaired judgment
The most common route of heroin abuse is by inhalation. Users may take the drug by smoking or snorting it, and some users inject the drug intravenously. The effects of smoked heroin are felt immediately, as opposed to other routes of administration, which can delay up to two minutes before a “rush” is achieved. Injecting meth speeds up the euphoric effect from approximately 10-15 seconds to two minutes.
Methamphetamine abusers who binge on the drug for several days at a time can experience severe paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, and even psychotic episodes. A meth abuser may suffer from cardiac arrest or fatal stroke due to changes in blood pressure and an increased heart rate. Long-term heroin abuse has been associated with extreme weight loss. Many abusers lose their teeth due to rotting of the teeth and gums.
The Importance of Outpatient Addiction Treatment for Methamphetamine Use
Outpatient addiction treatment is beneficial for heroin abusers who are recovering from the drug. Outpatient care usually involves weekly outpatient therapy sessions with a therapist, attendance at 12-step meetings, and random drug testing. An outpatient treatment program allows the heroin abuser to continue working or going to school while they are recovering from addiction.
Key factors in outpatient care include:
- Participation in social activities such as dating and family events without using meth
- Staying away from friends who use meth or other drugs
- Time spent exercising and eating healthy
- Outpatient therapy sessions focused on developing coping skills
- Outpatient therapy sessions that focus on social skills and building relationships with people who do not use meth or other drugs
- Outpatient therapy sessions that provide support for the family of heroin abusers
An outpatient treatment program like the one at Ashwood Recovery will help an abuser develop healthier habits, increase their self-control, and learn how to resist the temptation of using meth again. To learn more about how our programs can help you, reach out today at 208.274.8609.
Learn More About Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment at Ashwood Recovery
When you suffer from an addiction to a drug like heroin, it’s normal to feel as though you’re going to be suffering from it forever. You may have heard that heroin is a difficult addiction to overcome, or perhaps you’ve tried to stop using it on your own, but you weren’t able to be successful. So many others have had the same experience. However, there are also those who have been able to stop using heroin very successfully with the right kind of support.
“Once an addict, always an addict” is a myth. And with the proper type of treatment, you too can kick your heroin addiction for good.
At Ashwood Recovery in Idaho, we’ve had the privilege to help a countless number of people overcome their heroin addictions. We understand how difficult it can be, but we have the tools you need to be victorious over this addiction. If you would like to learn more about how we can assist you, reach out to us at 208.274.8609 right away.