Methamphetamine Addiction

Table of Contents

Methamphetamine is a potent and highly addictive stimulant that affects the body’s central nervous system. It comes in the form of a white, odorless, crystalline powder that dissolves easily in water or alcohol. In recent years, methamphetamine has become one of the most used and abused drugs in the United States. For users and their loved ones, methamphetamine addiction can be absolutely devastating. This is due to physical and mental symptoms that leave users utterly unrecognizable when compared to their former self. But, what is methamphetamine and why is it so addictive?

What Is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is a stimulant drug that causes euphoria and energy in users. It is a long lasting drug – with highs lasting around 12 hours. Getting hooked on methamphetamine is quick. People become addicted to it quickly and it causes damage to the body and mind quickly as well. Long-term use can cause a variety of problems like psychosis, paranoia, and physical deterioration. If you or a loved one is addicted to methamphetamine, help is possible. Addiction is a treatable illness – which means that methamphetamine addiction can be treated. Users and their loved ones should seek treatment as soon as possible in order to see the best and most effective results.


What Are The Symptoms Of Methamphetamine Addiction?

Symptoms of methamphetamine use are often unique and recognizable. Methamphetamine users have a diverse range of symptoms including symptoms associated with long-term abuse, and symptoms associated with use in general.  If you believe that a loved one is addicted to methamphetamine, these are some of the signs and symptoms to look out for.

Signs And Symptoms Of Use

An individual who has been using and/or abusing Methamphetamine may show the following immediate signs and symptoms:

  • An increase in energy
  • Nonstop energy for 12 hours
  • Increased self confidence
  • Increased motivation
  • Manic behavior
  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Anger
  • Paranoia
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Dilated pupils
  • Rapid breathing
  • Sweating
  • Jaw clenching
  • Shaking/tremors
  • Jerky movements
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Inability to sleep for days when on the drug
  • Erratic behavior
  • Violent behavior
  • Lack of happiness
  • Motor skill impairment
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions

An individual who has been using and/or abusing Methamphetamine may show the following physical signs and symptoms:

  • Aging skin
  • Skin sores
  • Rotting teeth
  • Yellowing teeth
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Repetitive motions
  • Repetitive tics
  • Scratching
  • Picking at the skin

An individual who has been using and/or abusing Methamphetamine may show the following mental signs and symptoms:

  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Issues with mental health

What Happens During Methamphetamine Withdrawal?

Withdrawing from any drug can be dangerous, difficult, and scary – methamphetamine withdrawal is no different. Methamphetamine use affects the brain’s dopamine and serotonin levels. This makes methamphetamine withdrawal particularly dangerous – because during withdrawal the user is not getting flooded with dopamine. This puts them at risk of seizures. Here are the three phases of methamphetamine withdrawal.

  1. The Crash – Methamphetamine withdrawal starts about a day after the final dose, with withdrawal symptoms beginning to show up anywhere from 12 hours after to 24 hours after. We call this “the crash” because this is when the body is crashing or coming down from the high of the stimulant drug. A user may experience depression, anxiety or severe fatigue during this time. This is also a time when suicidal ideation is high and the user is going through a personal crisis. This stage can last for a few days – generally around 3 to 10 days. Symptoms of the withdrawal get progressively worse during this period.
  2. The Plateau – After the crash comes the plateau, which occurs anywhere from 3 days after the last dose up to 10 days after the final dose. During this period the user will have a series of very uncomfortable symptoms including, anxiety, depression, intense cravings, hallucinations, and paranoia. At all points of withdrawal users are at risk of relapse, but especially at this time.
  3. The Recovery – This is when the user is on the upside. The worst parts of withdrawal are now over and the focus is on being consistent with recovery. For methamphetamine users, the height of withdrawal symptoms last for about two weeks and tapers off from there. Withdrawal can last for a month or two. Lingering feelings of depression and anxiety can remain indefinitely. This is why finding a therapeutic partner to work through issues with is of the utmost importance.

Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment

If you or a loved one is addicted to methamphetamine, help is possible. Most people now know that addiction is a treatable disease. We treat methamphetamine addiction with a combination of counseling, detox, behavioral therapy, and medication. A therapist will help you look into some of the factors behind your addiction, including your lifestyle, social conditions, stress, issues with mental health, and economic factors. You’ll learn long-term coping skills, relapse prevention, stress management, skills training, and the components that are essential for maintaining long-term recovery. Getting help today is of the utmost importance. The sooner you reach out and get help, the better your chances for success are.


Virtual Treatment Center: Who Are We?

At Virtual Treatment Center, we believe quality addiction recovery and mental health services should be easily accessible to those that want or need them, because ease of accessibility is what most often leads to success. That’s why we’re committed to providing top-tier virtual mental health teletherapy and addiction recovery services to all residents of California. Although we’re located in Orange County, our online teletherapy can be accessed throughout the state. In addition to providing addiction recovery services, we treat a variety of mental health issues and offer Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT). Our teletherapy sessions are done via two-way, live interactive video or by telephone. Therapeutic visits are conducted on Zoom most often, or on other virtual platforms that adhere to HIPAA compliance requirements.


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