Crystal methamphetamine addiction is one of the ugliest drug additions you will come across. You have probably seen billboards and TV ads showing the physical effects of meth addiction. But few know the link between meth and mental health issues, which is a significant risk when using this drug.
It’s critical to learn how meth addiction affects a person’s mental health and the importance of getting help through a dual diagnosis treatment program at Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston. To learn more about our treatment programs, call us today at 866.516.8356.
The Double-Edged Sword: Meth Effects on the Brain
Most people never think about what they are walking into when they take crystal meth for the first time. At first, users report an intense high and feelings of euphoria that can last for 8-24 hours. However, they don’t bank on the highly addictive nature of meth.
Instead, they desire to continue because of the initial positive effects:
- More energy
- Higher levels of confidence
- More focus
- High self-esteem (temporary)
- Greater sexual prowess
Soon, a user needs more and more to get the same level of euphoria, and that’s how a user ends up addicted.
Understanding meth and mental health begins with knowing what meth does to your brain. Crystal meth, like all other illicit drugs, can make someone feel euphoric because they induce the brain to release excess dopamine. But meth causes the highest dopamine release; no other substance surpasses it.
Once a person is addicted, prolonged usage can destroy the dopamine-releasing part of their brain. Once dopamine receptors are damaged, the mental health symptoms begin to manifest, and the user needs addiction treatment programs.
What Determines the Effects of Meth Addiction?
Crystal meth stimulates your brain and central nervous system, as described above. However, every individual may experience different effects or outcomes according to the following factors:
- How much meth they use regularly
- Method of usages such as oral ingestion, snorting, smoking, or injection
- Type and purity levels of the meth
- Height and weight of the user
- Physical and mental health status
- Drug abuse history, i.e., new vs. frequent user or concurrent abuse of other drugs
There are several mental health risks associated with meth addiction or abuse. Both short-term and long-term effects can be severe, depending on the form used – base, powder, or crystal meth (ice). Crystal meth is the most potent and causes more severe effects.
Effects of Meth Addiction on Mental Health
As stated, meth affects your brain and CNS. In the short-term, this results in:
- Euphoria or feel-good feelings
- Increased energy, alertness, and physical activity
- Increased aggression or hostility
- Heightened sexual desire or arousal
- Increased excitement, anxiety, or agitation
On the extreme, meth can cause psychosis symptoms, including hallucinations, paranoia, paranoid delusions, aggressiveness, or hearing voices. If you have an existing mental health condition like anxiety or depression, meth addiction worsens the symptoms.
In the long-term, meth causes compulsive drug seeking, which means the person begins taking crazy risks to fulfill their addiction need. Chronic meth users may be unable to feel other kinds of pleasure except what the drug provides because meth releases higher amounts of dopamine than any other substance or feeling.
Considering the long-term use of meth and mental health, the inability to get excited by other things in life can lead to feelings of apathy, lethargy, and depression. Anxiety and panic attacks are also common. Insomnia, mood swings, hallucinations, and delusions also occur.
At the worst, meth addiction can drive users to commit suicide, because of the illusions they experience or to escape meth withdrawal symptoms when they cannot get a dose.
There Is Help for Meth and Mental Health at Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston
If your loved one is suffering from meth addiction, you can get them dual diagnosis treatment from Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston. Meth addiction is tough to kick, and such a person needs plenty of support to get and stay clean and resolve mental health issues. We offer a range of therapeutic options to help individuals through the detox process. Our treatments include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Behavioral therapy
- Yoga therapy
- Psychotherapy program
- Chiropractic treatments
Call Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston at 866.516.8356 if you need help for meth and mental health issues or more information about our meth addiction and other addiction treatment programs.