Meth Addiction Signs, Symptoms, Treatment & Recovery

A combination of medications and therapeutic measures should be employed by highly trained medical, mental health, and addiction treatment professionals. When someone is taking meth, they are alert and energized, and can stay awake for long periods of time. When meth wears off, however, a significant “crash” generally occurs, leaving individuals feeling fatigued, lethargic, hungry, depressed, and anxious. As a result, meth is commonly taken in a binge pattern, often called a “run,” where small amounts of meth are taken every few hours for a couple days to prolong the high. This pattern of abuse can more quickly lead to drug dependence and addiction.

  • What’s more, combining meth — a stimulant — with depressants like alcohol, opioids, or benzodiazepines can have a tug-of-war effect on your bodily functions.
  • Addiction to methamphetamine introduces its own dangers and exacerbates many others.
  • Meanwhile, former president and 2024 hopeful Donald Trump has advocated for executing drug dealers.

There are no accepted medications that help patients resist the intense cravings. Meth use, like other amphetamines, results in increased activity, decreased appetite, enhanced sociability and talkativeness, and can induce feelings of pleasure and a sense of well-being. A key difference between meth and amphetamines, however, is that greater amounts of the drug pass into the brain when compared with a similar dose of amphetamines, making it a more potent stimulant. SAMHSA’s mission is to lead public health and service delivery efforts that promote mental health, prevent substance misuse, and provide treatments and supports to foster recovery while ensuring equitable access and better outcomes. With amphetamine placed under federal control, illegal drug suppliers found that ephedrine, used in over-the-counter cold medicine, produces methamphetamine, according to Frontline. It didn’t take long for crystal meth to become “discovered” in the 1980s.

Why Is Meth Addiction So Widespread?

The substance is similar in chemical composition to amphetamine, which is a drug doctors prescribe to treat conditions including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. It may take some time for your brain to restore its dopamine circuits when you meth addiction stop using meth. So, the cognitive abilities that don’t rely much on dopamine will likely recover first. Mental health symptoms like paranoia and delusions may take longer to disappear. The euphoria you experience when using meth may last only a few minutes.

Methamphetamine is a man-made stimulant that’s been around for a long time. People have also taken the drug to lose weight, ease depression, and manage attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Cravings fade, energy increases, and mood, confidence and optimism improve. In some cases, however, individuals falsely believe their meth problem has ended.

How Common Is Meth Use?

The odds of this happening to you are higher if you go on a multiday meth binge without sleeping. Some people swallow it in a pill form or smoke it by heating up crystals in a glass bowl or pipe and breathing in the vapors. Methamphetamine hydrochloride (Desoxyn) is the only legal methamphetamine in the U.S.

There’s ongoing research into the health effects of secondhand meth smoke. Still, you may test positive for the drug if you’re around the smoke. If you use meth on a regular basis, it can change your brain’s dopamine system. For example, you may have problems with coordination or learning. Your chances of getting Parkinson’s disease (a movement disorder) may go up.