Methamphetamine, also known as meth, is a highly addictive stimulant drug. Meth-related substance use disorders (SUD) are rising in the United States, with a 22% increase in self-reported use between 2015 and 2019.
November 30 is National Meth Awareness Day. It strives to bring attention to the adverse effects of meth-related SUDs, promote awareness around prevention, and show that recovery from meth use is possible.
If you or a loved one is struggling with a meth addiction, you have options. Many treatment centers offer programs to help you detox and recover from meth. You can have your life back.
Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant that affects your central nervous system. It can be used in many forms, including smoking, snorting, pills, and injections.
Regardless of how you use it, meth increases the dopamine you naturally have in your brain. The fast releases of dopamine, also known as the feel-good hormone, make meth highly addictive.
The high from meth both starts and fades quickly, which often leads to a pattern of frequent use.
Dependency on meth can happen rapidly due to the fast-acting nature of the drug. You must know what to look for to determine whether you or someone you care about is struggling with addiction.
The most common symptoms of meth-related SUD include:
These are only examples of some of the noticeable signs of meth addiction. Prolonged meth use can have other effects on your health that may be less visible to others.
The short-term or immediate effects of meth include:
The long-term effects of meth include:
Meth can have severe consequences in every area of your life. Some of the effects listed above can be permanent or take a long time to heal. Addiction can cost you your health, loved ones, career, and much more.
When you’re in the throes of a meth-related SUD, it can feel like there’s no way out. The good news is that you can recover from meth, and many people have done so. With patience and commitment, you can break the cycle.
Recovery always starts with a decision: your decision to take the next step. Once you’ve chosen to begin your healing journey, you will likely experience a sequence of phases typical to most people’s recovery from meth.
The five stages of meth recovery are:
The inevitable first stage of recovery from any substance is withdrawal. Withdrawal usually takes place over the first two weeks of recovery and can be both difficult and painful.
Typical symptoms of withdrawal might include:
You should always undergo withdrawal in a safe environment, like a recovery center. Withdrawing alone can be dangerous. Having trained professionals to monitor you will keep you safe and prevent relapse.
Once you’ve successfully pushed through the withdrawal phase, you’ll start to notice positive physical and psychological changes. Your cravings may fade, you’ll feel stronger, and your moods will be more stable.
The honeymoon phase can be dangerous because many people believe they’ve successfully recovered by this point. If you leave your program during the honeymoon, you have a high chance of relapsing–the recovery process is not yet over.
The wall is a complicated stage of recovery when relapse is highly likely. The positive feelings that came during the honeymoon will start to wear off. Many people will feel irritable, have low energy, experience insomnia, or have difficulty concentrating.
This stage can last for one or two months. It’s a normal part of the process, but it can feel challenging. Many people may believe the symptoms that occur during this period will be permanent, which can lead to relapse.
Whether you’ve made it to this point in your recovery or you’re looking ahead, know that the Wall is only temporary. If you stay committed, you’ll move on to the subsequent recovery phase.
After about four months, you arrive at the adjustment stage. Your risk of relapse goes down significantly, and you are through the worst of it.
Emerging on the other side of the Wall is a significant accomplishment. You may feel empowered and optimistic, ready to take on your new life.
The final stage of recovery from a meth-related SUD is resolution: six months of sobriety. By this point, you’ve transitioned from actively detoxing and learning to live without meth to focusing on building your life back up.
Resolution is the final stage of initial recovery. While recovery is a lifelong process, reaching the resolution stage is a milestone achievement, and you should be proud of yourself.
Relapse is a common challenge every person in recovery must face. Relapse is likely in the early stages of recovery, but it can happen anytime.
Typical causes of relapse may be:
If you want to avoid relapse, there are several precautions you can take:
Recovery is different for everyone, meaning your triggers and the steps you take to work with them will be unique to you. Be patient with yourself, and remember that significant changes like these take time.
If you’re ready to start your recovery from meth, Jackson House Addiction Treatment and Recovery Centers is here for you. We specialize in recovery from many SUDs, including meth addiction. Reach out today and learn how we can help.