Methamphetamine is a dangerous drug that can cause users to experience extreme psychological distress and physical decay. Abuse of meth has spread throughout the nation in recent years, creating serious risks to the mental and physical health of countless Americans. Sovereign Health of California offers effective substance abuse treatment programs for patients who are seeking rehab for methamphetamines. Our methamphetamine treatment centers can assist from the beginning of recovery.
Meth On The Brain
The effects of methamphetamine are similar to amphetamines: increased energy, decreased appetite and a feeling of euphoria. But due to its chemical makeup, meth enters the brain in greater amounts than do amphetamines. Its effects on the brain and the nervous system are more pronounced and longer lasting.
Meth causes the body to release massive amounts of a neurotransmitter called dopamine. This chemical is intricately involved with the brain’s pleasure center. The activities that bring us pleasure – sex, food, even exercise – involve the release of dopamine.
The natural release of dopamine is in proportion to the activity causing the pleasurable sensation. Meth hijacks this process. A person high on meth is surging on dopamine. This accounts for the high energy, extreme agitation and irrational – often violent – behavior.
Prolonged use of meth changes brain function. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) notes numerous studies that have found repeated meth use interrupts an individual’s ability to learn. Sustained meth use also damages those areas of the brain that govern emotions and memory. Though many will try methamphetamine detox on their own, that is not recommended as it is considered to be too dangerous to try alone.
Euphoria At A Terrible Price
The flood of dopamine produces euphoria. Users continue to chase this high at a terrible cost. Meth reduces the amount of dopamine the brain produces. To replicate that initial high, users must take more of the drug. The more they take, the less the brain produces dopamine. It does not take long for a user to be addicted. With addiction comes the deterioration of the body.
Meth decreases a person’s appetite. It is not unusual for users to forego food for want of the drug. Chronic users drop weight rapidly, often causing a gaunt and wasted appearance.
“Meth mouth” comes about from poor diet, lack of oral hygiene and relentless grinding of the teeth. Teeth crack and become infected. Users develop gingivitis, bleeding gums and rot. Other side effects involve severe paranoia, anxiety, confusion and hallucinations. One of the visual hallucinations heavy users report are “meth bugs.” Individuals pick and pick at their skin, causing sores and scabs, all in the futile attempt to rid themselves of the nonexistent insects.
No medication exists to help users with meth addiction or to undo the drug’s ravages. The National Institute on Drug Abuse supports a combination of behavioral therapy, individual, group and family counseling, and 12-step support groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous to assist in methamphetamine withdrawal treatment. Finding a dependable methamphetamine treatment facility can be equally difficult, but that is why Sovereign Health is here to help.
Our California Treatment Centers
Sovereign Health has four California treatment locations: San Clemente, Los Angeles, Palm Desert and our adolescent facility in Rancho San Diego.
Each patient receives a thorough assessment during intake. Based on this assessment, our clinicians construct a tailored treatment plan to address each patient’s needs. Based on these individual treatment plans, patients participate in an array of therapies, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), stress and anger management groups, art therapy, yoga, Rock to Recovery (music therapy) and a host of others. We also provide detox for methamphetamine when needed.
We understand how difficult it is to break a meth addiction, but with the right motivation and the proper clinical support at Sovereign Health, a lasting recovery is possible. Contact our 24/7 helpline to get started.