Meth Abuse in Georgia
Meth is a powerful stimulant that can cause permanent changes to the central nervous system. When used, it causes an intense production of dopamine within the brain. It also prohibits reuptake processes, meaning that excess dopamine is not filtered out. Instead, it sits there and causes intense feelings of pleasure and euphoria that users grow to crave.
As a person continues using meth, their brain loses the ability to produce dopamine on its own, especially to the degree that meth does. This causes a tolerance which leads to more use. Eventually, the body will induce withdrawal in order to get more meth.
- 8% of high schoolers in 2003 reported having done meth at least once
- In 2005, almost 5,000 people were admitted to treatment facilities for meth addiction
- 42% of child endangerment cases involve meth use of some kind
Stories of Recovery
The following stories are from real people who have struggled with meth addiction. Each of them has successfully overcome that addiction. Seeing their stories is instrumental in understanding that recovery is very possible.
Physical Signs of Use
Meth is one of the more noticeable drugs if you know what to look for in someone who might be using it. The length to which these signs are visible may depend on how much meth is being used and for how long.
- Rotting Teeth
- Intense Scratching
- Decreased Weight
- Acne or Sores
- Confusion or Paranoia
Dangers of Meth Abuse
Because meth is so addictive, it causes symptoms snd signs to appear incredibly quickly. These can include:
- As meth use continues to increase, so does the number of people who overdose on this drug. An overdose can cause several uncomfortable symptoms (seizure, heart attack, or loss of consciousness), and possibly lead to death.
- Meth is incredibly cheap to make, especially when cut with different agents. Suppliers do this to increase their product, but the cutting agents can cause an overdose or other deadly reactions. Some agents can include lithium, caffeine, or fentanyl.
- Mixing meth use with other drugs can also lead to an overdose or death.
- Meth use can cause many long-term health risks. These may include lung damage, meth mouth, infections, and liver or kidney damage to name a few.
THE SYMPTOMS OF METH ABUSE CAN INCLUDE:
- Increased anxiety, aggression, and paranoia
- Suppressed appetite and lack of sleep for days at a time
- Long term health conditions such as kidney failure and heart disease
- Loss of job, home, and family or other important things
- Developing a high tolerance
- Financial problems that lead to borrowing or stealing money
Because meth is so addictive, it is often imperative to seek professional treatment in order to get sober. Though withdrawal from meth does not typically produce painful physical effects, the psychological symptoms can lead a person to relapse. Seeking help through rehab is the safest way for one to get sober from meth and lead a fulfilling sober life.
Therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, can be instrumental in helping people address underlying issues causing their addiction. Through talk therapies, clients can work with their clinician or therapist to design a treatment plan. Each person is different, so treatments are typically designed for their specific needs. And because there are often co-occurring mental illnesses causing the drug use, treating them at the same time is the only sure way to stay sober.
For many people who use meth, detox is a critical step in the treatment process. And once detox is complete, clients may still experience some post-acute withdrawal effects that need continued treatment. The best way to treat these symptoms during and after detox is through medications.
- Naltrexone, Bupropion, and Quetiapine can reduce cravings for meth.
- Fluoxetine and Mirtzapine are antidepressants that can also help with cravings.
- Imipramine improves treatment outcomes when meth is involved.
Another key feature in meth addiction treatment is supported. This can e through support groups or other community programs.
- Crystal Meth Anonymous Georgia: This website provides meeting times and locations for crystal meth support groups.
- The Georgia Prevention Project: This organization provides resources to help prevent drug abuse in Georgia.