Methamphetamine Addiction

Meth is a synthetic drug that is three times as powerful as cocaine. It is easily accessible across the United States and in many areas, it is a bigger problem than cocaine and heroin. It is made from fairly common household chemicals but produces harrowing and lasting effects. It causes dependency faster than most other drugs and it is extremely difficult to quit.

In its early days, it was used as a nasal decongestant. Currently, it is only available legally in one form and treats ADHD and obesity but it is very rarely prescribed. This makes meth almost exclusively an illegal substance — and one that should always be taken seriously.

Meth use is hazardous and complex. It can result in a variety of negative symptoms and completely change a person’s lifestyle, not to mention it is an illegal and controlled substance. The effects of meth can be long-lasting and premature death is a strong possibility. Overdosing on meth is not nearly as common as it is with other drugs, but it does shorten people’s lives because it accelerates aging.

Recovery from meth addiction is possible through treatment programs and continued support. Due to the increasingly dangerous effects of methamphetamine, recovery options should be considered immediately.

What You Need to Know About Meth and Addiction

Like other drugs that affect the central nervous system, methamphetamine releases a large amount of dopamine and adrenaline. This produces a rush of emotions, euphoria, and energy.

Meth’s unique chemical composition directly affects the parts of the brain responsible for emotion and memory. One of the most alarming parts about meth use is that the dopamine it releases is not rejuvenated and reproduced. This makes the crash following the high depressing and emotionally unbearable, causing the user to seek more and more. Eventually, the dopamine receptors in the brain are entirely destroyed.

Rural and poor suburban areas are most affected by this particular drug and it is frequently used in conjunction with other illicit substances. It impacts the lives of one million Americans every year and is the 4th most abused substance.

Physical symptoms of meth abuse include:

  • Restlessness
  • Hallucinations
  • Hyperactivity
  • Numbness
  • Brain damage
  • Skin infections
  • Heart infections
  • Weakened immune system
  • Psychosis
  • Meth mouth and tooth decay
  • Anger
  • Chest pain
  • Nasal destruction
  • Decreased appetite

Behavioral symptoms of meth abuse include:

  • Isolation from family and friends
  • Prolonged problems at home, work and school
  • Bizarre and erratic behavior
  • Changes in behavior to accommodate use
  • Disregard for even serious consequences
  • Repetitive behavior that can last hours
  • Loss of interest in activities that used to be enjoyable
  • Social and interpersonal problems

Two of the most common and serious symptoms of methamphetamine use are a condition known as “meth mouth” and “meth-induced psychosis.”

Meth mouth is a slang term that involved a variety of symptoms associated with chronic meth use. These symptoms can present themselves as early as one year into the addiction and include stained and yellowing teeth, cracked enamel, and tooth decay. Meth severely dries out the user’s mouth and combined with a lack of oral hygiene almost all meth users develop this condition.

Meth-induced psychosis is also fairly common with prolonged methamphetamine exposure. Typically, psychosis is reserved for mental illnesses such as schizophrenia but with enough use it will present itself as part of meth addiction. Meth can cause a person to stay up for long lengths of time and this can cause severe mental problems that manifest in psychosis.

Those who experience this condition will see or hear things that aren’t there, feel extreme paranoia, express themselves in disorganized speech and writing, respond irrationally to loved ones, and have a preoccupation with bizarre ideas. It is in this state that meth addiction is particularly serious and many hazardous and deadly accidents occurring during psychosis.

The symptoms and side effects of meth use are severe and dangerous. There is no way to safely use meth and treatment must be considered as an option if a person is going to fully recover. It is such a damaging drug that if you or your loved ones are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is time to seek treatment.


Methamphetamine is often used in conjunction with other drugs, but alone it has its own discouraging statistics. These are statistics that have actually improved in recent years and can continue to improve if meth-addicted individuals seek treatment options:

  • Two million people use meth yearly in the U.S.
  • 12 million people have claimed to have used it at least once
  • It is a 13 billion dollar a year industry
  • 42 tons of meth are consumed annually
  • 50%-70% of all property crimes (burglary, shoplifting, grand theft auto, vandalism, and arson) are committed by people under the influence of meth

Treatment Options for Meth Addicts

The things a person has done or experienced on meth doesn’t diminish their moral character and it isn’t weakness. They are symptoms of a disease. Meth can cause severe issues and disruption to everyday life, but it is not something to be ashamed of. It is something to seek help for.

The disease of addiction can affect anyone. People who have been under the influence of meth may feel extreme guilt for some of the things they have done, but this can all be remedied by a better future.

Reflections Recovery Center has several programs and treatment plans to help with this rewiring, with the goal of giving each individual their best chance at a life of recovery.

They include:

  • Inpatient/Residential Treatment
  • Continued care through Outpatient Treatment
  • Sober living residences
  • Aftercare programs

Meth addiction can be managed through the continued care that these programs offer. Because of the addictive nature and how much meth addiction affects a person’s life, it can be a very difficult road. But there is a better way of life that comes through treatment. There is not a cure, but there are many options available to individuals who sincerely want to change and improve their lifestyles.

Reflections Recovery is committed to providing emotional, mental, physical, spiritual and social support. It is a comprehensive program where the disease of addiction is treated. Clients are cared for with dignity and respect in an environment that has proven to be successful in treating addiction.

Start Your Journey to Recovery

If you have any questions about which treatment program is right for you, please call us at 801-784-9455.


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Reflections Recovery Center is a residential drug treatment program located in beautiful Utah valley. Our programs vary from to 30-90 days, depending on each client’s particular needs.


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