Crystal meth is classified as an amphetamine, which is an extremely addictive central nervous system stimulant requiring meth detox to safely treat addiction. Addiction to methamphetamine is so destructive that many chronic users risk stroke, brain damage, coma or death, and detoxing from crystal meth will be more stable and comfortable in a program equipped to address symptoms as they arise. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found recently about 10.4 million Americans age twelve and over have used methamphetamine at least once in their life. Meth is used by people of all demographics, from recreational party-goers, to individuals with psychological conditions generating a predisposition for stimulants. Crystal meth addiction causes an individual to change physically and psychologically, and while some changes may be permanent, many can be reversed if recovery is sustained.
Continued use of meth causes drastic changes to a person. Chronic meth use directly changes the brain and body functioning by constricting the blood vessels, and cutting off the steady flow of blood to all parts of the body. Heavy use will weaken and destroy these vessels, making skin likely to damage and preventing the body’s ability to repair itself. Addiction can result in collapsed jaw, rotted teeth, paranoia, delusions and psychosis. Methamphetamine affects brain chemistry, which disrupts cognitive ability, and leads to disturbing or violent behavior.
The good news is that meth detox is rarely dangerous (as compared to detox from other substances. But it is nevertheless tough and unpleasant, and getting proper medical detox from First Step® is essential to ensure success and lower the chances of relapse.
In particular, you will probably need medical detox from First Step® if you meet some or all of the following characteristics:
- You are also dependent on alcohol or other drugs
- You lack a supportive home environment or a sober social support network
- You are experiencing strong psychotic symptoms or you are at risk to harm yourself or others
- You are having suicidal thoughts or you have a history of severe depression or severe psychosis
- Your doctor anticipates potential problems or you have co-occurring medical health problems that require monitoring during this period
- You have a very serious dependence and so extreme withdrawal symptoms are expected
- You have tried and failed on previous occasions with outpatient detox
Meth detox is composed mainly of psychological distress, and in some cases people have experienced psychotic breaks. Withdrawing individuals generally experience:
- Paranoia, aggression, and anxiety
- Violent mood swings
- Hallucinations and delusions
- Rapid heart rate and/or heart arrhythmia
Although an individual may not be in immediate physical danger, the psychological pain can be just as dangerous. The majority of methamphetamine addicts who withdraw without a medical detox relapse due to the cravings created by the psychological effects. At First Step®, we provide as comfortable and safe environment as possible, and ease you through the process with 24/7 care available.