Methamphetamine or meth is an illegal drug widely used in the United States and in other places. This long-lasting stimulant can be compounded from elements obtainable in everyday life. Methamphetamine labs are everywhere and the number of people using meth is on the rise. Methamphetamine (MA) is a derivative of amphetamine, which was widely prescribed in the 1950s and 1960s as a medication for depression and obesity, reaching a peak of 31 million prescriptions in the United States in 1967 (1).
Methamphetamine dramatically increases the levels of multiple neurotransmitters in the brain. Dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine are elevated by methamphetamine. These neurotransmitters act in the pleasure center of the brain and are responsible for the addicting effects of methamphetamine. Meth is similar to cocaine or crack but is longer lasting. The euphoric high from methamphetamine lasts for hours instead of minutes. Not only is this drug addicting but individuals become addicted to making the drug in their “meth labs.” Methamphetamine is very powerful in causing addiction and dependency. The elimination half-life of smoked crystal meth and methamphetamine administered by intranasal or intravenous routes is about 11 hours (2).
Detox, withdrawal and cravings from methamphetamine are similar to that seen in cocaine or crack addiction. After prolonged use, the individual goes into a “crash phase” once stopping methamphetamine. During this “crash phase,” the methamphetamine addict experiences extreme fatigue, without of pleasure, depression and hunger. This phase is due to decreased levels of neurotransmitters which were used up during the methamphetamine use.; and this decline is responsible for the detox, withdrawal and cravings associated with the addiction. These symptoms are unpleasant; however, they are not life threatening.
Prolonged use of methamphetamine CAN be life threatening, Methamphetamine can have serious effects on the heart and blood vessels. Strokes, heart attack, abnormal heart beat and high blood pressure are shared. The psychological effects are horrible. Paranoia, seizures, anxiety and psychotic behavior are not uncommon. This long-acting stimulant simply wears the body out. Methamphetamine use destroys families, jobs and has been related to congenital birth defects.
The legal consequences of methamphetamine use, addiction or dependency are also horrific. Life sentences are not uncommon with meth addicts. Repeated offenses are shared with individuals who use or make it. complete families get into methamphetamine use and manufacture. It becomes a way of life and a livelihood.
Treatment, therapy and recovery from methamphetamine use, dependency, addiction, detox, withdrawal or cravings are different. The majority of medications used to treat methamphetamine addiction provide symptomatic relief. Inpatient treatment for individuals strung out on methamphetamine is great if the person can provide this costly treatment. Several antidepressants have been used to treat the addiction.
Home treatment or home therapy for methamphetamine addiction, use, dependency, detox, withdrawal and cravings is a more affordable way to go into recovery. This provides the addict the opportunity to receive specialized help in the privacy of their home.
different medical or natural treatment for methamphetamine addiction is a rational choice. There are promising results for the treatment of methamphetamine addiction, dependency, detox, withdrawal and cravings using herbal formulations and supplements. This natural approach uses non-addicting substances that are comparatively inexpensive. The addict should use these natural remedies for an average of two years to normalize the electrical and chemical balance of the brain that was disrupted during the time of addiction to methamphetamine.
12-Step programs should be included in any recovery program for methamphetamine addiction. AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), CA (Cocaine Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous) are examples of successful 12-Step groups. Groups such as these are necessary for long-term recovery from methamphetamine addiction.
1 Anglin MD, Burke C, Perrochet B, Stamper E, Dawud-Noursi S., April 2000, History of the methamphetamine problem., J Psychoactive Drugs. 2000 Apr-Jun;32(2):137-41., http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10908000
2 Stephen J. Kish, PhD, June 17, 2008, Pharmacologic mechanisms of crystal meth, CMAJ. 2008 June 17; 178(13): 1679-1682., http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2413312/