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Is Crystal Meth Addictive? All You Need to Know

Is crystal meth addictive? Yes. Crystal meth is a highly potent and very addictive synthetic stimulant. Due to its highly addictive nature, it is classified as a schedule II substance that can result in addiction with as little as one use. Many who struggle with a crystal meth addiction do not realize they are addicted and need addiction treatment until the drug has taken a firm hold. 

Defining Crystal Meth

Crystal meth is short for crystal methamphetamine. It is just one form of the highly addictive class of methamphetamine drugs. Methamphetamine is a white, crystallized drug that people take by snorting (inhaling through the nose), smoking, or injecting with a needle. Some users even take it orally. Regardless of how crystal meth is taken, all users will develop a strong desire to continue using it because the drug creates an incredibly strong false sense of happiness and well-being along with a rush of confidence, energy, and hyperactiveness. Other common effects of crystal meth include a reduction in appetite. These effects generally last between six and eight hours but can last up to twenty-four hours.

Methamphetamine is an illegal drug in the same class as cocaine and several other street drugs. It has many different nicknames, with the most common being meth, crank, and speed. Crystal meth is used by individuals of all ages but is commonly known as a “club drug,” frequently referred to as ice or glass. The effects of crystal meth are highly potent, with some reporting addiction after their first use.

What is Crystal Meth Dependence?

One becomes dependent on crystal meth primarily due to the effects the drug has on the brain. Methamphetamine increases the amount of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is responsible for body movement, motivation, and (most notably in addiction) reinforcement of rewarding behaviors. The ability of crystal meth to rapidly release high levels of dopamine in the brain’s reward areas strongly reinforces drug-taking behavior, making the user want to repeat the experience. Before long, the user is unable to stop using, and addiction treatment becomes an urgent necessity. 

Dependence on crystal meth will have many of the same signs and symptoms as dependence and other addictive drugs. Some of these may include decreased appetite, rapid or irregular heartbeat, elevated blood pressure and body temperature, excessive energy, and changes to sleeping patterns. Long term effects of crystal meth dependence include increased risk of infectious diseases, extreme weight loss, co-occurring mental health difficulties, violent behavior, hallucinations, overdose, and death.

How to Get Help with A Crystal Meth Addiction

Unfortunately, today there are no government-approved medications to treat methamphetamine addiction. While various medications have proven successful in treating some substance use disorders, this is not the case for crystal meth. The good news is that research is underway, and until medications are developed, methamphetamine misuse can be prevented, and addiction to the drug can be treated.

Treating an addiction to crystal meth requires comprehensive detox courses that purge the body of the physical presence of meth. As the detox progresses, the addict learns to cope and function without the drug in their system. Once an individual has completed detox, they move to the therapy phase of treatment. Therapies that have proven the most successful for addiction to crystal meth involve behavioral therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy. 

Asking for help is a difficult yet vital first step. If you – or a loved one- are ready to get treatment, you can begin contacting your doctor or even confiding in a friend or family member. Any of these outlets can help start you on the path to recovery. Your doctor can refer you to a treatment center specializing in methamphetamine addiction treatment. 

Get Help With Crystal Meth at Bayshore Retreat 

Crystal meth addiction is a treatable condition. Although treatment outcomes are comparable to that of other addictions, recovery is an ongoing process that takes time. For treatment to be the most successful, it must be individualized as each person handles addiction differently. At Bayshore Retreat, our holistic, non-12 step approach to drug and alcohol rehabilitation differs from most. We understand addiction is physical and mental, and therefore we design individual treatment plans to treat the entire person. We also ensure each of our clients leaves treatment with a comprehensive discharge plan, which is key to preventing relapse. Don’t let addiction rob you of another day. Contact Bayshore Retreat in Destin, Florida, to learn more about our treatment programs.