Crystal Methamphetamine Addiction – Treatment, Causes, and Effects

Methamphetamine – which is also known as cristina, speed, cinnamon, or amphetas – is a white powder with a bitter taste that can easily dissolve in alcohol or water. This medicine can be smoked, inhaled, or injected. The feeling of euphoria it creates can last several hours.

Methamphetamine addiction is a problem that affects people who live in all parts of the world. This stimulant is highly addictive, it is possible for a person to develop the addiction after the first use.

What is methamphetamine addiction?

Methamphetamine affects the brain and can create feelings of pleasure, can increase energy and raise mood. Methamphetamine gives the person who consumes the ability to stay awake and continue anyone with less need to sleep. Methamphetamines, such as regular amphetamines, also suppress a person’s appetite and are sometimes used by people who try to lose weight quickly.

Most pleasurable effects of methamphetamine result from the release of very high levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine is involved in creating the feeling of motivation, the experience of pleasure and motor function.

Methamphetamine releases about twelve times the amount of dopamine that food, sex or other pleasant activities. The high release of dopamine produced by methamphetamine is also believed to contribute to the harmful effects of the drug on the nerve terminals of the brain.

Signs of methamphetamine dependence

Methamphetamine addicts can show three different patterns of use:

  • Low intensity users are able to use methamphetamine occasionally. They are not psychologically addicted to the drug (yet) and consume it by swallowing or inhaling it.
  • Compulsive users consume large amounts of methamphetamine for a relatively short time.
  • Users of high intensity methamphetamine use regulate the drug. Compulsive users and high intensity users are psychologically addicted to methamphetamine, and, or smoke or inject the drug to obtain high intensity euphoria.

The causes of methamphetamine dependence

Methamphetamine works on the pleasure centers of the brain, creating an almost immediate feeling of well-being. When someone uses it, heart rate, blood pressure and breathing are increased. The sense of immediate satisfaction makes other sources of rewards of a person’s life less important. Unfortunately, the first euphoria that someone experiences is the most intense and cannot be duplicated by continuing to use the drug.

The effects of methamphetamine use

Ingestion of methamphetamine causes the brain to increase the production of dopamine and norepinephrine, which are neurotransmitters. If a small amount of the drug is taken, the following effects appear:

  • Fatigue reduction
  • The increase in alertness
  • Decreased appetite

Other symptoms of methamphetamine use include feelings of euphoria and joy. Large doses of methamphetamines produce symptoms that include:

  • Agitation
  • Strange behavior
  • Paranoia
  • Short term memory loss

Complications and effects of long-term methamphetamine abuse

When methamphetamine addicts continue to use the drug for a longer time, they experience psychological symptoms, such as anxiety and pronounced mood swings. Over time, these symptoms may also include:

  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Hypertension
  • Irritability
  • Itch
  • Paranoid delusions
  • Rage
  • Self-destructive behavior
  • Sleep for 24-48 hours at a time
  • Violence

Long-term goal abuse can also lead to tooth decay. Known as “methamphetamine mouth,” this condition is related to dry mouth, lack of dental hygiene, and high consumption of sugary sodas.

Help and treatment for methamphetamine addiction

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a successful method of treatment for methamphetamine addiction. This treatment is used to teach the methamphetamine addict how to monitor their thoughts and ultimately change their behavior. Cognitive behavioral therapy can be used for an individual or a group. Self-help groups for addicts can also use this strategy to help people who are addicted to methamphetamine. Once the addiction treatment comes to an end, it is a good idea to enter a rehabilitation center to help them adapt to a drug-free life.

Recovery and rehabilitation of methamphetamine addiction

Changing one of the thought patterns and continuing to replace it with more positive ones is an ongoing process. The methamphetamine addiction treatment programs, as well as the 12-step programs, are designed to offer the addict the tools they need to avoid using the drug to feel good and to change this thinking.

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