Methamphetamine, often called meth for short, is an extremely addictive synthetic stimulant drug which directly impacts a person’s central nervous system, producing a feeling of euphoria. Meth addiction damages the brain by destroying a person’s dopamine receptors over time. As dopamine receptors diminish, the individual becomes unable to experience pleasure in natural and normal ways, causing the person to turn back to the drug for comfort.
What makes methamphetamine so dangerous is the toxic ingredients from which it is often made. Meth can be manufactured from poisonous household items, including drain cleaner, lye, battery acid, insecticides or even match heads. Chemicals in these products are very toxic to the body and can cause severe damage to internal organs, sometimes resulting in death, even after one use.
Meth addiction is truly a heartbreaking struggle for addicts and their families because drug-seeking behaviors are very harmful to relationships with self and others. Meth addicts often steal from family members, prostitute themselves for money, and abandon or neglect their children as the addiction escalates. In a very real sense, meth addiction “brainwashes” people into thinking and behaving in ways that are completely contrary to their core beliefs and values, and the end result is damaged relationships and a broken life.
What Meth Addiction Looks Like
Like other addictions, meth addiction may not be noticeable at first. However, as the addiction continues, symptoms become more apparent to others. These symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite, resulting in significant weight loss and undernourishment
- Restlessness with an over-abundance of physical energy
- Inability to rest, resulting in long periods without sleep
- Nervousness, paranoia or irritability
- Dilated pupils
- Increased perspiration
- Chronic skin conditions–infections resulting from scratching or picking
- Tooth decay
- Unexplained absences for days at a time
Treatment for Meth Addiction
Because methamphetamine addiction results in significant negative effects on physical, emotional and relational health, HopeQuest utilizes a multi-dimensional approach to treatment which includes medical assessment and care, nourishing meals prepared by our professional chef, individual and group counseling, family therapy and pastoral counseling. Our comprehensive residential addiction treatment program, which is both Christ-centered and clinically-effective, has helped many people struggling with meth addiction find hope and freedom in long-term recovery.