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Meth Abuse

Does experimentation = meth abuse


You may abuse meth for the first time because you are curious about its effects and want to experiment. Or, you may be regularly abusing meth due to its effects of euphoria, increased sense of focus and energy, heightened alertness, improved sexual endurance, as well as to sustain an existing dependence.

But, any use of meth is considered to be drug abuse and is illegal. Why? Because methamphetamine can lead to a number of negative and even risky consequences. Continued abuse can even have long-term side effects and lead to serious meth addiction that can be hard to break.


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In this article we cover more about meth abuse and the common signs to help you identify a problem. Then, we help you find adequate resources to address meth abuse and get help before things get way out of hand. At the end, we welcome you to send us your questions via the comments section section.

Can I abuse meth if it’s my medicine?

You might be thinking: “I am prescribed Desoxyn…therefore I cannot abuse the drug!”

But, people who have a doctor’s prescription are not safe from drug abuse. The medical use of methamphetamine (brand name Desoxyn) is only limited to the management of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and exogenous obesity. The reason why the use of methamphetamine in medicine is limited is because of its high abuse potential.

In fact, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), any obtaining of a Controlled Substance without a doctor’s prescription, or use of a Controlled Substance in ways, doses, or frequency other than suggested is considered to be abuse.

What are the signs of meth abuse?

Methamphetamine acts by raising levels of barin’s neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin. By increasing the activity of these neurotransmitters, the drug can deliver a powerful, temporary boost to energy and mood – which is one of the first signs you can notice in someone who’s on meth.

A person abusing methamphetamines will typically display the following changes.

Behavioral signs of meth abuse:

  • Aggression
  • Becoming socially isolated
  • Engaging in risky behaviors
  • Impulsiveness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Possible legal problems
  • Preoccupation with obtaining, using meth
  • Repetitive behaviors
  • Risky sexual behaviors
  • Spending a great deal of time recovering from meth use
  • Strained interpersonal relationships
  • Unexplained financial problems
  • Violent behavior

Physical signs of meth abuse:

  • Body shakes
  • Dependence on meth
  • Hair loss
  • High blood pressure
  • High body temperature
  • Insomnia
  • Liver damage
  • Meth mouth (severe tooth decay and gum disease)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Open sores
  • Meth withdrawal

Psychological signs of meth abuse:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Disorganized thoughts
  • Hallucinations
  • Meth bugs (the sensation of bugs crawling underneath the skin)
  • Nervousness
  • Paranoia

Methamphetamine Abuse Risks And Dangers

Abusing methamphetamine is dangerous to your health and can seriously damage your life, career and relationships. Abusing methamphetamine usually leads to addiction. Meth abuse can lead to several health conditions including heart problems, anorexia, insomnia, hypertension, psychosis, and stroke.

Methamphetamine can increase your risk of catching sexually transmitted infections because you are likely to engage in unsafe sex. Meth abusers are also at increased risk of blood-borne diseases like hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV due to shared needles or engagement in unsafe sex while high.

Overdose From Meth Abuse: Call 911!

Methamphetamine overdose can happen in acute or chronic terms.

Acute methamphetamine overdose happens when you accidentally or intentionally take a dose of the drug that causes adverse effects, some of which are life threatening. Chronic methamphetamine overdose, on the other hand, refers to health effects present in someone who uses the drug on a regular basis.

Symptoms of methamphetamine OD may include:

  • Agitation and paranoia
  • Severe stomach pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Fast heart rate
  • Profuse sweating
  • Skin hot to touch
  • Rapid breathing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Twitching of muscles
  • Dull crushing pain that radiates to shoulders, jaw and back (heart attack)
  • Severe headache followed by vomiting (brain hemorrhage)
  • Sudden change in speech, facial twitching, and trouble with understanding and speaking, numbness
  • Or paralysis in any part of the body (stroke)
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Loss of consciousness coupled with unresponsiveness to pain stimuli (coma)

Q: What can you do in case of an overdose?
A: Act quickly: CALL 911 ASAP!

Once you are connected with a contact representative, give details on:

  • The victim’s weight and height.
  • How much methamphetamine was taken.
  • How it was administered.
  • What other drugs or alcohol were taken along with meth (if any).
  • How long has it been since the victim took the dose.
  • Your exact location (e.g.. in the back yard, on the 2nd floor, in the bathroom).

Make sure to take extra precautions approaching the victim because methamphetamine can make the user extremely excited or paranoid. If the victim is unconscious, turn their head to the side. If the victim exhibits shaking (convulsions), clear the surroundings and do not try to restrain.

To treat methamphetamine overdose, doctors administer sedatives to calm the victim down. Doctors also give beta-blockers to slow down rapid heart rate and antihypertensives to reduce blood pressure. Activated charcoal is given to absorb remaining methamphetamine in the stomach, and tests including electrocardiogram and CT scans are done to determine damage to the heart and brain. Doctor needs to continue monitoring the Odd individual for signs of heart attack, stroke and kidney failure.

Help for meth abuse: How can it be treated?

Once you decide to break free from meth abuse, the next step is to seek help!


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Q: What does the process of treating meth abuse look like?
A: First evaluation, then detox, and treatment.

1. Evaluation. In order to treat a meth abuse disorder, doctors need to learn more about you and the scope of your meth abuse problem. You’ll go through an interview, initial assessment, and drug testing so your doctor can establish a diagnosis, define the severity of your addiction, and design a personalized treatment plan.

2. Meth Detox. At the beginning of your treatment meth needs to be eliminated from your body. This can be a harsh and uncomfortable process, which is why medical detox options include short-term use of prescription medications to address and minimize symptoms as they occur.

3. Therapy + counseling. The most effective treatments for methamphetamine abuse are behavioral therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral and contingency-management interventions. For example, the following methods have been shown to be effective in reducing methamphetamine abuse:

  • Behavioral therapy
  • Contingency management interventions and drug testing
  • Family education
  • Individual counseling
  • Motivational incentives
  • 12-Step support

Who can help me with meth abuse?

If you are wondering “Who can help me for my problem with methamphetamine abuse”…Take hope. You are not alone on your road to recovery. In fact, there are plenty of professionals and resources that aim to help any person facing a drug abuse problem quit and stay quit. Here are some suggestions:

Methamphetamine Abuse Helpline – When you CALL 1-877-364-7072, you will get in touch with a caring and non-judgmental professional who listens and can relate to your struggles. You can expect hotline staffers to ask questions in order to offer information and adequate treatment options for meth abuse that suit you and your unique situation.

Drug treatment centers – Can be inpatient and outpatient treatment centers based on whether they offer residential services. These facilities offer structured programs and readily admit and treat individuals addicted to methamphetamine.

Pharmacists – They will dispense medicines that contain methamphetamine (Desoxyn) only with special prescriptions. If needed, your pharmacist can also dispense medicines used for the treatment of meth abuse.

General physicians – Your physician can use medical tests to diagnose a meth use problem, help refer you to local treatment resources, and provide medical help in the case of an overdose.

Psychiatrists –These medical professional provide health services to individuals recovering from methamphetamine addiction. They work with individuals diagnosed with co-occuring disorders and can prescribe medications to help manage these disorders.

Licensed clinical psychologists – Psychologists can provide psychological help to people recovering from methamphetamine. They work with you to help uncover and resolve any underlying reasons that may have contributed to the development of your substance use problem.

Social workers – These professionals can help people with a meth use problem seek affordable treatment, and make arrangements for the families of recovering individuals if needed.

Addiction Specialists – Doctors who are Certified Addiction Specialist (CAS) treat methamphetamine users who have attempted to quit meth on several occasions in the past, but have also relapsed many times, or suffer from multi-drug addiction.

Drug abuse questions

Find out more about abuse, methamphetamine addiction treatment, and more by exploring the content of our site. We invite you to ask questions and share your personal opinions or experiences and post them in the comments section below. All legitimate inquiries will be provided a personal and prompt response.

Meth Abuse

Appalling Things Meth Does to Your Body

Appalling Things Meth Does to Your Body

November 21st, 2018

Meth can cause permanent damage to the cardiovascular system, nervous system, and your behavior. More on the real ways meth works here.

Detox From Meth

Detox From Meth

November 20th, 2018

A detailed guide on how to safely detox from meth, plus a list of medications that can help. More here.

Rehab for meth

Rehab for meth

June 19th, 2017

Methamphetamine addiction is very hard to overcome. But you can do it. How? Meth rehab is an effective start. Learn more about rehab for meth and take the first step toward recovery here.

6 Can you get high on meth?

Can you get high on meth?

May 18th, 2017

After using meth, an initial rush is felt quickly and is followed by an euphoric feeling that may last for more than 12 hours. More about getting high on meth and its side effects, here.

3 Meth rehab cost

Meth rehab cost

October 11th, 2016

The average cost of meth rehab is from $7K for 10 weeks of intensive outpatient treatment up to about $20K for inpatient rehab. Ideas on how to reduce costs here.

29 When to seek medical attention for meth withdrawal

When to seek medical attention for meth withdrawal

December 22nd, 2014

When you should seek emergency or medical help during meth withdrawal? A review of problematic symptoms and protocol for their treatment here.

17 When does meth kick in?

When does meth kick in?

September 14th, 2014

The time it takes for meth to kick in varies by HOW you take it. However, once methamphetamine is absorbed, the biological effects are the same regardless of the route of exposure. More on meth onset here.

13 How is meth abused?

How is meth abused?

September 8th, 2014

You abuse methamphetamine any time you use it for euphoric effect (to get high). More on how meth is abused and its side effects here.

245 Does meth show up on drug tests?

Does meth show up on drug tests?

August 24th, 2014

Yes, meth shows up on most urine-based test 2-3 days after use (longer for chronic or high dose users). More on types of meth testing and its detection window here.

14 Signs and symptoms of meth addiction

Signs and symptoms of meth addiction

August 5th, 2014

What does a meth addict look like? Severe cravings, restlessness, and anxiety can characterize meth addiction. More on how you can help a meth addict here.

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