Methamphetamine Detox in Charlotte
Detoxing is Hard – We’re Here to Help
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse:
- 5 million people reported using methamphetamine in the past 12 months in 2021
- 6 million people had a methamphetamine use disorder in 2021
- In 2021, approximately 32,537 people died from an overdose involving psychostimulants other than cocaine (primarily methamphetamine)
Methamphetamine is a stimulant that was originally prescribed as a decongestant and was available in tablet form. The Food and Drug Administration restricted and regulated it once it was revealed that many people were misusing the drug. Meth affects the central nervous system by producing a rush of dopamine, which makes it extremely addictive. Meth can be smoked, snorted, injected or swallowed in pill form.
Methamphetamine is particularly addictive for two reasons. The high it creates starts and stops quickly, and people often take repeated doses in quick succession. The methamphetamine high targets the reward areas of the brain as the drug causes a fast release of dopamine, creating a feeling of elation and hyperactivity. Short-term effects of methamphetamine are:
- Increased alertness and physical activity
- Irregular and/or rapid heartbeat
- Decreased appetite
- Increased body temperature and blood pressure
- Rapid breathing
Long-Term Use and Dangers
It is common for people who use meth to stay awake for multiple days in a row and get dangerously fatigued. Meth usually has “binge and crash” cycle of use (quick, repetitive dosing) that quickly destroys relationships, the ability to maintain employment or participation in daily living and healthy routines.
Injecting the drug can lead to collapsed veins, and sharing needles increases the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. Snorting meth can damage sinus cavities and overwhelm the cardiovascular system, leading to heart attacks, strokes and seizures.
Long-term effects of meth include:
- Extreme weight loss
- Changes in brain structure and function
- Sleeping problems
- Severe dental problems
- Intense itching, causing skin sores or infection from scratching
- Memory loss
- Violent behavior
Long-term methamphetamine use causes changes in the brain’s dopamine system, which can affect verbal faculties and coordination. It can also create cognitive problems and affect emotion and memory. These changes may reverse after prolonged sobriety, though there is potential for some of these changes to become permanent.