Among the most dangerous illegal narcotics available today is methamphetamine, known as “meth.” Methamphetamine goes by several names: Meth, crystal meth, speed, ice, glass, crank, etc. It is typically snorted or smoked, but many meth addicts also inject it. This drug is a central nervous system stimulant that signals the brain to release massive amounts of Dopamine which is why people like it and get addicted. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that controls our reward center and pleasure responses. The euphoria that Meth brings will modify the reward center’s neural pathways, which is why addiction happens. The meth user will eventually rely on the drug beyond the desire to get high but, in a sense, to feel normal.
What is The Reward Center?
The reward center is a system in the brain that is activated every time we experience something rewarding, such as eating chocolate, having sex, loving someone, or using an addictive drug. Critical dopamine pathways form the reward system in the brain. The majority of dopamine is produced in an area of the brain called the ventral tegmental area (VTA). The circuits in the VTA detect rewarding stimuli and signal the individual to repeat the action to get the reward. Likewise, this message has the brain recall what the reward is and asks the brain’s memory centers to pay attention to each detail of a rewarding experience for it to be repeated in the future. The typical actions of the reward center are what lead to addiction, especially to methamphetamine.
What Does The Research Say About Meth Addiction?
The National Institutes of Drug Abuse conducts specialized research and study about methamphetamine since it is a dangerous and addictive substance. They describe the impacts it makes on the brain in-depth.
Psychotic symptoms and other problems reflect significant changes in the brain caused by misuse of methamphetamine. Neuroimaging studies have demonstrated alterations in the activity of the dopamine system that are associated with reduced motor speed and impaired verbal learning. Studies in chronic methamphetamine users have also revealed severe structural and functional changes in areas of the brain associated with emotion and memory, which may account for many of the emotional and cognitive problems observed in these individuals. (NIDA)
Meth addiction leads to a wide range of physical, emotional, and behavioral problems.
Is It Possible To Be Physically Addicted to Meth?
Meth is a physically addicting substance. Anyone is abusing Meth with experience degrees of depression and psychosis because of how intensely it affects the brain’s structures. The only way to repair the brain from meth use is through time and behavioral therapies that are evidence-based that retrain the brain’s reward pathways. Evidence-based methods include cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy and help the person physically heal their brain, emotions, and mental health. In addition, we provide professional behavioral therapy that targets meth addiction to help the person recover.
How to Identify Meth Addiction?
Because Meth eventually damages the brain cells and synapses that release dopamine, people on Meth have severe mood swings and suffer depression. Other signs to look for to identify meth addiction include:
- Dilated pupils
- Noticeable and sudden weight loss
- Tooth Decay
- Burns, particularly on the lips or fingers (from smoking meth)
- Erratic sleeping patterns
- Outbursts or mood swings
Effective Treatment For Meth Abuse at Evoke Wellness
Meth addicts must have access to various forms of effective treatment, and the best option for them depends on their circumstances. Evoke Wellness provides personalized meth addiction therapy and treatment plans to target each person’s history of drug use and personal needs. We recommend that every person addicted to Meth begin detox as a first step and doorway to start their custom treatment program. Evoke Wellness Provides Evidence-based therapy as the basis for Meth addiction treatment. Call now for immediate admission to Evoke Wellness Centers.