Like many substance addiction, meth addiction is characterized first and foremost by intense physical and psychological cravings for the drug. An addict will feel compelled to use ever-increasing quantities of meth and to maintain a meth high for hours or days at a time. While high on meth, an addict will experience bouts of anxiety and depression, extreme mood swings, insomnia that can keep him awake for several days, alternating hunger and loss of appetite, and confusion. Meth addicts will exhibit restlessness and will be prone to periods of repetitive actions that have no end in and of themselves other than as an outlet for physical motion and activities. At extreme levels of a meth high, an addict may become violent or aggressive, and be prone to injuring himself or others with no knowledge or intention of the injuries.
In the early stages of addiction, a meth addict can maintain a veneer of normalcy that allows him to function within the boundaries of his everyday life. Meth users have reported on blogs, for example, that they use smaller amounts of meth with no adverse side effects. When they are high on meth, they will display the intense sense of energy and restlessness that plagues hard-core meth users, but that energy wears off as the drug is metabolized in their systems. Friends and family who observe these alternating periods of restlessness and low-energy should remain on the alert for other signs of meth use.
Meth addiction can be treated and meth addicts can recover and get sober, but the threshold issues for many meth addicts is first convincing them that they have a problem, and then getting them to seek treatment for the problem. The signs of meth addiction might be obvious to everyone except the addict himself. Often, friends and family members will need to organize an intervention to convince the meth addict that he needs help and to secure his agreement to get that help.
Breaking a crystal meth habit can be dangerous due to the severity of physical withdrawal symptoms during detox. Some addiction counselors recommend a gradual cessation of meth usage in order to better manage seizures and other dangerous side effects associated with detox. Medical management of a crystal meth detox period can alleviate these side effects through the use of antipsychotic and dopamine blocking pharmaceutical treatments.
Cottonwood Tucson is a leading provider of co-occurring disorder treatment. Meth addiction is commonly co-occurring with mental health disorders which require clinical treatment. From residential and medical detox to inpatient programs and transitional programs of care, our programs offer an integrative approach, healing clients mind, body, and spirit. For information, call us today: CALL (888) 727-0441