People seeking treatment for addiction to methamphetamines is once again on the rise after dropping between 2007 and 2010, according to data from the state of Colorado. The most recent data showed that meth accounted for about 19 percent of treatment admissions in Colorado, second only to alcohol for the substance with the most treatment admissions.

The 25-to-34 age group has the most treatment admissions for methamphetamines, with just over 40 percent of admissions coming from that group. As abuse and overdoses from opioids like oxycodone and heroin have risen in recent years, they have overshadowed meth addiction in the press, but meth remains a major drug of choice for many in Colorado and elsewhere.

How Meth Impacts the Body

Meth is one of the most addictive drugs there is. It works by flooding the brain with dopamine, which gives users intense feelings of pleasure, more energy, confidence, and even delusions of grandeur. The drug requires a larger amount each time to give the same high, and soon destroys the dopamine receptors, causing permanent cognitive damage. Impairment of the memory, judgment, and motor coordination can be long-lasting or even permanent in many cases.

Meth users often experience extreme anxiety, paranoia, aggression, insomnia, hallucinations or delusions, and use can be fatal. Symptoms of meth abuse include depression, agitation, excessive sleeping, headaches, decreased appetite and weight loss, teeth rotting rapidly and falling out, suicidal thoughts or actions, and vivid or lucid dreams.

Long-term meth users may have sores on their face or other parts of their body because the meth use restricts their blood flow and causes acne and other skin problems. Users may also contract STDs including HIV from risky sexual behavior that occurs when users are high and their inhibitions are lowered because of the drug. Meth addicts often continue to use meth even after it no longer produces an effect and lose control over whether to continue using the drug.

Meth addiction can profoundly affect users’ lives.

Treatment for Meth Addiction

Treatment for meth addiction is challenging, but some treatment methods have found some degree of success. Medication-assisted detox will remove the drugs from the user’s system, and behavioral therapy and individual counseling can help users learn to handle temptations to use and understand what got them started in the first place.

Long-term treatment is usually needed to treat meth addiction because intense cravings for the drug often return between 45 and 120 days after detox and make relapse all too common. While medications may decrease the cravings for some drugs and alcohol, no medications currently available are effective for treating meth addiction.

Treatments may sometimes involve help for health conditions resulting from meth use, such as skin lesions and sores, STDs, dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring disorders and treatment for other drugs used at the same time as meth.

Contact Recovery Village at Palmer Lake to get help for meth addiction and other problems that come with the use of this highly addictive drug.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.