A Comprehensive Guide To Meth Addiction What To Know

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what is meth

Methamphetamine (meth) is closely related to amphetamine, which is a synthetic chemical used to address ADHD. It’s also used for weight loss treatments, invented in the early 1900s to address rapid weight gain as well as a stronger form of caffeine. The latter function was specifically popular among World War II soldiers, who needed to stay awake during long military battles. Although methamphetamine and amphetamine are closely alike, methamphetamine is dangerously more addictive and thereby has stronger side effects than its cousin drug. 

The drug is officially classified as a schedule II substance, and it’s only prescribed in specific clinical settings for weight loss and narcolepsy. Although generally considered to be illegal, meth is mainly used as a street drug. Meth overdose and death continue to rise, plaguing countless souls around the world. 

Meth is often smoked and snorted as a crushed powder, but in extreme cases, others choose to inject it into their systems. Although these methods are generally considered dangerous, the substance is even more toxic due to its chemicals, as it is made with harsh and synthetic substances. 

Most companies use meth to produce solvents, industrial cleaners, animal poisons, and other products. When taken in, it can affect tissues, veins, muscles, and even the teeth. One of the telltale signs of meth addiction is a change in the user’s appearance, as it corrodes the body in various and toxic ways.

If you are currently struggling with meth addiction or know someone you wish to help overcome it, here is a comprehensive guide for you. We talk about overdose, symptoms, dosage, and even withdrawal to fully understand drug addiction:


Meth Overdose 

Methamphetamine is a derivative of amphetamine, and it is a powerful and highly addictive substance that’s often abused. It has stimulant effects that keep the person awake, increase physical activity, and decrease appetite. The drug also induces a state of euphoria in the person, similar to that of cocaine. Its effects on the brain’s reward system make it a highly addictive substance.

Methamphetamine is relatively inexpensive and easy to synthesize, making it a rather widespread drug. This led to it being one of the most commonly-abused drugs worldwide, with around 33 million users globally according to the 2016 World Drug Report. In 2011, this destructive drug led to more than 150,000 emergency room visits in the United States alone.

In some states where opioids are commonly abused, such as Kentucky and Ohio, meth readily took over and replaced opioids when supplies for opioids and heroin began to plummet. This has become a growing problem in certain cities as drug-related crimes and overdoses have increased. Near the city of Louisa, state police stated that around 8 out of 10 arrests were related to meth use.


Meth Overdose Symptoms 

Overdose essentially pertains to an individual using too much of any substance, either on purpose or by accident. After doing so, they’ll begin to experience the most dangerous side effects of the drug on the body, especially since the human body can only take so many foreign chemicals. Left untreated, overdose can prove to be fatal.  Overdose is common among meth users, especially since methamphetamine is heavily composed of harsh chemicals that erode the body.

According to the University of Arizona’s Methamphetamine and Other Illicit Drug Education (MethOIDE), meth overdoses usually end in death, where the individual suffers from heatstroke. The stroke then leads to multiple organ failure, causing the person to succumb to death. Other instances include sharp rises in the blood pressure, which leads to a hemorrhage that causes liver failure. 

People who use meth are always susceptible to overdose, especially since it’s a heavily unregulated drug. As an illegal substance, no one can be sure of the drug’s purity and strength, making it undeniably dangerous to consume. If you’re worried about a loved one, here are some signs of a meth overdose:

  • Heavy chest pains
  • Hypertension
  • Hypotension
  • Arrhythmias
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Agitation
  • Hyperthermia
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Psychosis
meth head

How much meth does it take to overdose?

Methamphetamine overdose can occur due to two main methods. The first one is acute methamphetamine overdose, wherein a person uses too much of the substance at one given time. The other one is chronic methamphetamine overdose, wherein the person uses the drug over a long period, accumulating its harmful side-effects in the body. 

Several factors can affect the amount of the substance a person needs to overdose. This includes a person’s health, weight, and unique body chemistry. The purity of the meth can also affect the dosage.


Meth Withdrawal

When a person stops using a drug, they may experience symptoms of withdrawal because their body has to adjust to the absence of the drug. These symptoms can include physical and psychological symptoms that can last a long time. Typically, around 24 hours after a person stops using meth, they experience an increased appetite, as well as fatigue. If symptoms are intense or chronic, it’s best to tell your physician that you’re experiencing symptoms of meth withdrawal.

1 – Anxiety

One of the most common meth withdrawal symptoms is anxiety. They may feel antsy, tense, nervous, or irritable, typically having difficulty concentrating. Anxiety disorders among meth users tend to be quite common, with a prevalence of about 30%.

2 – Fatigue

Fatigue is also a common symptom of meth withdrawal. When a person uses meth, they typically are in a state of intense activity and wakefulness, and cutting off meth from the body does the opposite. The body is used to the presence of meth to keep it active, so those who stop using it often feel exhausted and sleepy.

3 – Depression

Meth withdrawal also leads to depression, which is usually a low and flat mood that will cause someone to be heavily disinterested in participating in anything. It’s usually gone by the end of the third week of no meth substance in the body, but bouts of depression can still ensue for other people. 

4 – Cravings

Like with most drug addictions, people suffering from abuse will experience intense cravings for the substance. They will want to consume more meth than usual, leading to intense feelings and uncontrollable reactions.


The Bottom Line

From everything gathered, we can safely and logically deduce that methamphetamine is indeed a dangerous substance. It’s easy to get hooked and addicted, especially since the high can feel misleadingly rewarding. Unfortunately, its dangers also extend to overdose and fatality, especially considering that it is made from toxic chemicals. 

Those who experience addiction and overdose can be difficult to cure, as everything will depend on the type, amount, and frequency of use. Their recovery also depends on how quickly they receive treatment, making meth addiction one of the most difficult forms of substance abuse.

Thankfully, there are ways to bounce back from meth addiction and overdose. The key is immediate medical attention, as well as thorough addiction treatment is done by professionals. Withdrawals will be difficult to address, but with the proper treatment and a supportive circle, meth addiction is beatable. 

Source: https://www.samhsa.gov/meth