Methamphetamine, also known as meth, is a powerful stimulant drug that is structurally similar to amphetamines.
When a person uses meth, they can experience intense happiness and alertness because meth increases the levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Repeated meth use can quickly lead to an addiction, which can cause serious complications in many areas of someone’s life.
At CenterPointe Hospital in St. Charles, Missouri, we provide trusted addiction treatment services for adolescents, adults, and senior adults. Our personalized, whole-person approach to care can help someone who is suffering from a methamphetamine addiction acquire skills and receive support that can empower them to lead a healthier and more rewarding life.
Signs & Symptoms of Meth Addiction
Every person who struggles with a meth addiction has a unique experience. However, there are some common meth addiction signs and symptoms, including:
- Neglecting responsibilities at home, work, or school
- Withdrawing from loved ones and friends
- Giving up important activities
- Aggressive or unpredictable behavior
- Emotional distress
- Decrease in appetite
- Intense drug cravings
- Needing more of the drug to get the same effect
- Withdrawal symptoms, including severe depression
Struggling with methamphetamine addiction symptoms can feel like a vicious cycle without an easy or clear solution. However, with supportive treatment, it is possible to get on the path to long-term recovery.
Meth Addiction Statistics & Risk Factors
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) compiled the following statistics on the scope of meth abuse and addiction in the United States:
- Among people age 12 and older in 2020, 2.6 million people, or 0.9%, reported using meth in the past year. Among the same population, about 1.5 million people, or 0.6%, struggled with a methamphetamine addiction in the past 12 months.
- In 2020, roughly 23,837 people died from an overdose that involved a psychostimulant drug with abuse potential such as methamphetamine. This figure does not include overdose deaths that involved cocaine.
- In a 2021 survey, an estimated 0.2% of eighth grade students, 0.2% of 10th grade students, and 0.2% of high school seniors reported using meth during the previous 12 months.
Frequent meth use can increase the body’s tolerance of the drug, which can lead to someone using meth progressively more often and in larger amounts. A variety of other factors can also contribute to someone’s risk for developing a methamphetamine addiction, including:
- Peer influence
- Lack of stability at home
- Having one or more co-occurring disorders
- Childhood history of abuse or trauma
Meth Addiction Effects
Meth use can result in serious mental and physical health complications that may have profound and lasting impacts on someone’s life. The effects of a meth addiction will often depend on factors like a person’s length of use, frequency of use, and use of other drugs.
Damaging effects of living with a meth addiction can include:
- Poor nutrition
- Financial difficulties
- Risk-taking behavior
- Social isolation and relationship problems
- Legal problems
- Cognitive difficulties
- Higher risk for stroke
- Serious oral health problems, including tooth decay
- Psychosis symptoms such as hallucinations
- Anxiety and insomnia
- Damage to the heart and brain
Despite the challenges, it is possible to take steps toward achieving a healthier and safer life in recovery. With effective treatment, someone who is suffering from a meth addiction can learn the skills needed to maintain recovery and begin healing from the struggles they have faced.
Benefits of Meth Addiction Treatment
Typically, meth addiction treatment is most effective when it includes a range of supports that can help someone address the various social, emotional, and physical challenges they might be facing. One of the key approaches to treatment is counseling.
Cognitive therapies can be effective in treating methamphetamine addictions because they can help people recognize specific situations, feelings, and thoughts that may put them at risk for engaging in substance use. From there, they can learn skills and develop strategies that can help them remain in recovery.
Meth addiction treatment can also allow people to connect with peers who may have experienced similar struggles. Both group therapy sessions and support groups can serve as helpful sources of connection and community and play valuable roles in a person’s ongoing recovery.
Additionally, if you’re struggling with a co-occurring behavioral health concern, a treatment place that offers care for multiple concerns, including dual diagnosis, may greatly benefit your recovery process.
Therapies Used to Treat Meth Addiction
There is no single approach to meth addiction treatment that will work best for everyone. Instead, it’s important to find a meth addiction treatment center that can provide personalized care that is tailored to your unique needs and recovery journey.
Before someone begins care at CenterPointe Hospital, they complete a detailed assessment that can help inform the creation of their individualized treatment plan.
At our inpatient addiction treatment center, a patient’s care plan can include:
- Basic medical care and medication management services
- Groups on topics such as substance use, relationships, coping skills, and discharge planning
- Individual and family therapies as needed
- Experiential therapies
- Support for co-occurring addictions and mental health concerns
- Detox services
- Aftercare support groups
At CenterPointe Hospital, we provide a continuum of high-quality care that includes inpatient, residential, and outpatient services across locations in St. Charles and St. Louis, Missouri, and Maryville, Illinois. To help determine which of our services may be right for you, our assessment counselors are available 24/7 to discuss your needs and help you begin the admissions process.
This content was written on behalf of and reviewed by the clinical staff at CenterPointe Hospital.