Meth Abuse and Addiction
Addicted to Meth; a Nearly Unbeatable Habit
Meth is a relatively new and suddenly very popular drug that has made quite the appearance in the United States since the turn of the century. True enough, methamphetamine-type drugs have been around since the 1930s, and they made very significant appearances during the Great Depression, World War II, and the Vietnam War.
Now however, the meth addiction issue in the U.S. is on a whole completely new level. This is a drug that has similar effects to cocaine use and abuse, but it can be far more powerful. The drug is also synthetic, meaning that it is man-made and is synthesized in illegal laboratories. Because of this, meth can be altered and changed in essentially any way that the maker wants to do. This makes meth highly volatile and all the more dangerous as one never really knows what he or she is putting into his or her body when he or she takes meth.
Following an increase in the use and abuse of heroin, cocaine, and prescription drugs alike, meth started to become very popular in the U.S. in the late 1990s. This has raised a seriously critical issue for the nation, and meth is immensely addictive and dangerous. It is very hard to kick a meth habit, and while the drug does not create the same level of physical withdrawal symptoms that heroin, prescription drugs, and alcohol does, the mental and personal addiction created by meth consumption are quite literally unrivaled.
How to Tell if a Family Member or Loved One is Addicted to Meth
Meth use and abuse leaves behind some very distinctive markings and signs in any individual who is using or abusing it. The critical issue with meth abuse is that it is one of the fastest working drugs in the U.S. as far as how quickly individuals become addicted to it. Because of this, one must be able to know and spot the signs of meth abuse right away. Individuals can become hooked on meth after just a couple or even just one use of it, so one must be able to spot the signs right away and get the individual help before it is too late.
To aid the reader in being able to tell if meth abuse is a real occurrence in a family member or loved one or not, listed below are just a few of the signs and symptoms of meth abuse:
- Dilated pupils
- Bloodshot eyes
- Weight loss
- Uncontrolled twitching or jerking, such as eye twitching
- Chronic nasal problems – i.e. deviated septum, nosebleeds
- Bad breath
- Dry, cracked skin, especially lips and fingertips
- Dry mouth
- Hair loss
- Excessive sweating
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Extreme weight loss, appearing bony and gaunt
- Sores, abscesses, red dots on skin (from injecting meth)
- Skin sores or lesions from picking at skin (meth addicts feel as if bugs are crawling under their skin)
- “Meth mouth” – rotting teeth/tooth loss due to the impact of the chemicals in meth on tooth enamel
- Burn marks on fingers or mouth (from smoking meth)
- Intense focus on a trivial matter or task
- Grinding or clenching teeth
- Fidgeting, unable to sit still
- Excessive talking, rambling
- Insomnia, not sleeping for extended periods
- Sleeping for several days
- Not eating for several days, loss of appetite
- Repetitious behavior, compulsive actions
- Hyperactivity, nervous or anxious
- Short term memory loss
- Scratching or picking at face and skin
- Psychosis and paranoia
- Aggressive behavior
- Mood instability
- Suicidal thoughts
Meth Abuse on the Rise in the U.S.; Statistics Showing the Problems
As mentioned above, meth use and abuse is significantly on the rise in the U.S. The best way to instigate preventative solutions to curb the spread of drug addiction is to first understand exactly what is occurring with a specific drug problem. To begin this process, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, (NSDUH), the National Institute on Drug Abuse, (NIDA), and a few other organizations worked together to effectively survey, study, examine, research, and report on the current meth abuse crisis that is rampaging across the United States today. To provide the reader with some context as to the severity of this issue, some statistics and facts have been listed on this below:
- According to the 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health’s report on drug addiction and substance abuse across the nation, an estimated 10.4 million people age 12 or older (almost five percent of the nation’s population of that age bracket) have tried methamphetamine at some time in their lives. In fact, approximately one and a half million Americans over the age of twelve reported past-year methamphetamine use, and 512,000 reported current and regular use and abuse.
- In the year 2009 however, only four years after the 2005 report 1.2 million Americans of the age of 12 or older had abused methamphetamine not too long before the survey had been done.
- The 2005 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey of student and adolescent drug use and attitudes reported four and a half percent of high school seniors that had used methamphetamine within their lifetimes, while 8th-graders and 10th-graders reported lifetime use at three and four percent, respectively.
- The Monitoring the Future Study also showed it to be true that more than one percent of 8th graders, two percent of 10th graders, and more than one percent of 12th graders had abused methamphetamine at least once in the year prior to being surveyed.
- The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), which collects information on drug-related episodes from hospital emergency departments (EDs) throughout the Nation, has reported a greater than a full fifty percent increase in the number of ED visits related to methamphetamine abuse between 1995 and 2002, reaching approximately 73,000 ED visits, or 4 percent of all drug-related visits in 2004.
Rehabilitation and Recovery Sought as a Solution to Meth Addiction
Meth use creates one of the most powerful addictions known to man. Meth also burns the human body up from the inside out, and overdoses on meth can cause death. Because of this it is essential and crucial for those who are addicted to meth to do their best to kick their habits once and for all with the help of an inpatient, residential, drug and alcohol addiction and dependence treatment and rehabilitation center, detox facility, and program.
Only an inpatient center possesses the necessary tools and therapies that one will inevitably need to be able to overcome a meth addiction crisis once and for all, because only inpatient rehabs possess the extensive tools and remedies to effectively tackle both the mental and physical aspects and manifestations of meth addiction.
For individuals in the United States who are suffering with meth addiction, an inpatient, residential, drug and alcohol addiction and dependence treatment and rehabilitation center, detox facility, and program is the best solution for beating the habit once and for all.