How Addictive is Methamphetamine?

Long-term methamphetamine abuse has many negative consequences, including addiction. Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease, characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use and accompanied by functional and molecular changes in the brain.

As is the case with many drugs, tolerance to methamphetamine’s pleasurable effects develops when it is taken repeatedly. Abusers often need to take higher doses of the drug, take it more frequently, or change how they take it in an effort to get the desired effect. Chronic methamphetamine abusers may develop difficulty feeling any pleasure other than that provided by the drug, fueling further abuse. Withdrawal from methamphetamine occurs when a chronic abuser stops taking the drug; symptoms of withdrawal include depression, anxiety, fatigue, and an intense craving for the drug. Successful meth addiction treatment programs involve a safe detox phase before moving into the next phase of treatment.

Symptoms of Methamphetamine Abuse

In addition to being addicted to methamphetamine, chronic abusers may exhibit symptoms that can include significant anxiety, confusion, insomnia, mood disturbances, and violent behavior. They also may display a number of psychotic features, including paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations, and delusions (for example, the sensation of insects creeping under the skin). Psychotic symptoms can sometimes last for months or years after a person has quit abusing methamphetamine, and stress has been shown to precipitate spontaneous recurrence of methamphetamine psychosis in formerly psychotic methamphetamine abusers.These and other problems reflect significant changes in the brain caused by abuse of methamphetamine. Many users may have to enroll in meth rehab in order to recover from their addiction.

Long-Term Effects of Methamphetamine Abuse

Neuroimaging studies have demonstrated alterations in the activity of the dopamine system that are associated with reduced motor speed and impaired verbal learning. Studies in chronic methamphetamine abusers have also revealed severe structural and functional changes in areas of the brain associated with emotion and memory, which may account for many of the emotional and cognitive problems observed in chronic methamphetamine abusers.

Help for Meth Addiction in Eden, UT

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction to methamphetamines or other illicit drugs, Spirit Mountain Recovery can help. Our methamphetamine rehab center in Utah has helped many successfully recover from meth addiction. Contact us today to speak to an admissions expert and verify your insurance.