Are you a slave to meth?
Every day you promise yourself, “I will never use again.” Yet, before you even know what’s happening you find yourself back to square one. You’re using again and no matter what you say, you can never keep your promise to stop.
Feelings of betrayal, hopelessness, and despair creep in and begin to wreak havoc. You start to question your value as a person and wonder if life will always be this way. Day after day the nightmare of addiction becomes your reality.
If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction, you’re not alone. Did you know that 23.5 million Americans need help with an addiction to drugs or alcohol? That means 1 in every 10 Americans has some type of addiction problem they need assistance with.
You never chose to become an addict, but you can choose a life of recovery. Crystal methamphetamine addictions are one of the most powerful types to battle. The chemical composition of the stimulant can cause your body to quickly form a dependency. After you stop using crystal meth, you’ll begin to experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
Read on to learn about what you can expect from a meth detox and how to prepare.
What Is Meth Addiction?
Before we begin to delve into meth detox expectations, it’s helpful to clearly understand what meth is and why it’s so addictive. Getting a behind the scenes look into meth will help if you’re personally struggling with a meth addiction, or if your loved one needs help.
Remember, an addiction doesn’t have anything to do with choice or willpower. Instead, it deals with an individuals lack of choice in the matter.
Let’s start by looking at the chemical composition of meth. Crystal methamphetamine, or meth, is mainly made up of dangerous household chemicals. Florida meth has many names such as ice, crystal, glass or shards.
The moment a user takes a hit of meth, euphoric emotions flood their entire body. Positive, pleasurable feelings begin to train your brain to love meth. Your body will want to repeat the behavior that makes it feel so good and happy. In order to “feel good” again, your brain will tell you to get more of the drug you were using before.
3 signs that you’re dealing with an addiction:
- Loss of control
- Continuing to use (even with bad consequences)
Many people turn to drugs to help mask some type of emotional pain their experiencing. Childhood traumas, PTSD, mental health conditions and more, can all help lead to someone experimenting with drugs.
Over time whatever drug is being used to mask the pain will wear off. Users will find themselves needing more and more of the substance to feel any semblance of happiness or normality. The more of the drug you use, the higher your tolerance will grow. The body will always want “more”, but it’ll never be enough.
Why Do I Keep Craving More?
People who are quitting meth are probably dealing with major problems and consequences from their drug use. They are “sick” of using the drug and never want to touch it again. So why then would the body send out a craving to get more?
Your body remembers the rush of euphoric feelings you had when you were using meth. It’s very similar to the way your body can remember feeling good after eating sugary junk foods.
Think back to a time when you were craving a certain type of junk food and ended up getting it. After you ate all of your food, you were probably very full. You might even feel “sick” of the food you were craving just moments before.
However, after a few weeks, you forget about the discomfort of overeating. When Friday night rolls around your body once again sends out a pizza craving, demanding that you fulfill it.
Craving meth is more intense than a food craving, but it’s a similar process. Your body wants to feel good, and no matter how much pain meth causes you, your body will keep placing an order for more.
When you decide to stop filling your body’s order for more meth, you’ll begin to experience physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Next, we’ll look at the different physical symptoms you might experience.
Physical Symptoms of Detox
Don’t assume that your detox will be anything like someone else’s. Every detox experience is different and unique. While one person might have a lot of physical symptoms, another person might battle with more psychological symptoms.
Physical symptoms of detox:
- Dry red eyes
- Body aches
- Itchy eyes
- Increase in appetite
- Low energy levels
- Change in brain structure
Earlier, we were discussing how meth trains your brain to want more. That’s because your brain structure begins to alter from the very first hit of meth.
The euphoric feeling, associated with early meth use, is a result of dopamine. After taking a hit of meth, the body releases an abnormal amount of dopamine into the bloodstream.
Impaired Motor Functions
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that’s responsible for the brain’s pleasure centers. However, abnormal amounts of dopamine can have negative effects on your ability to function. Too much dopamine activity can impair your motor speeds and ability to learn words.
When you stop using meth your brain will want to rewire itself back to “normal”. For a while, it may be difficult to learn new things or perform simple tasks. With the right help, your brain over time will heal and adjust to new ways of doing activities.
Physical symptoms are some of the easiest ones to prepare for. That’s because you can see them happening and easily understand their cause. Psychological symptoms, on the other hand, are more tricky to combat. Let’s look at the part psychological symptoms play during the detox journey.
Psychological Symptoms of Detox
One of the biggest problems with any type of withdrawal symptoms is their ability to break down your resolve. Over a period of time, depression and anxiety can wear down your once strong choice to quit using. After a while, individuals become powerless to their cravings and are more likely to go back to using.
Psychological withdrawal symptoms can be scary to handle without the right help. That’s because it’s difficult to be strong during treatment when your thoughts are constantly attacking you. Negative and untrue thoughts are a common part of detox.
Psychological symptoms of detox:
- Anxiety disorders resurface
- New types of anxiety
- Vivid dreams
- Memory problems
The timeline of experiencing any type of symptom varies from person to person. In many cases, one symptom can cause another symptom to intensify. For example, if you suffer from insomnia during detox, you’ll be more susceptible to depression.
Agitation will also become exacerbated if your sleep levels are inadequate. Having help while you detox can help you minimize any feelings of despair or hopelessness. Left unattended, negative feelings can evolve into more difficult problems like chronic depression.
Psychosis is one of the most intense psychological symptoms you can experience. That’s because it’s a combination of different symptoms, happening at the same time. Individuals experiencing a psychosis lose touch with what’s real and what isn’t. Let’s take a closer look at the causes and dangers of meth-induced psychosis.
Meth Induced Psychosis
Any type of drug-induced psychosis can be terrifying for everyone involved. The psychosis state presents itself during the early stages of the withdrawal process.
3 signs of a psychosis:
- Obsessive behaviors
All 3 symptoms can put someone at risk of causing great harm to themselves. Delusions are an altered state of reality, where someone believes something that isn’t true. They might believe they’re in danger or under the control of another person.
Sometimes hallucinations can be more deceitful and difficult to diagnose. That’s because any of the five senses are susceptible to a state of psychosis.
An individual could hear sounds that don’t exist, like voices or background noises. Other hallucinations could involve sights and sounds, where someone sees things that aren’t really there.
In some cases, someone going through detox will hallucinate different unpleasant smells or odors. Everywhere they go they’ll sense the smell following them, taunting them and picking away their peace of mind.
Some of the scariest hallucinations are the ones that cause obsessive behaviors. It’s very common for people detoxing from meth to perceive bugs to be under their skin. In an attempt to stop the “meth mites” from moving, the person will obsessively pick at their skin.
When someone’s experiencing these types of hallucinations, they need supervision. Left alone, they’ll use sharp objects, like needles, to violently attack the imagined meth mites.
Crystal meth withdrawal can start a psychosis that lasts a few days or a few months. Different factors like age, history of substance abuse and treatment plans can impact how long the psychosis lasts.
Basics of Meth Detox
Do you know how you want to do your detox? You might be considering detoxing by yourself in the comfort of your home. Or maybe, you want the support a professional team to guide you through your detox.
Let’s look at the main differences between detoxing by yourself or with a team of experts.
Detoxing on Your Own
When you detox on your own you won’t have any medical help to relieve withdrawal symptoms. Being by yourself could make it difficult to resist turning to meth for relief from undesirable detox symptoms.
Detoxing alone means you’ll have to constantly battle the urge to use. However, a safe detox environment will remove the option for using altogether. That’s why it’s always a good idea to have help when going through detox.
Detoxing with a Team
Having support on your journey to battle addiction can help keep you safe. You’ll be in an environment where they understand how meth works. Experienced professionals will be able to customize your detox program to target your specific needs.
For example, they might provide you with medications like suboxone to help ease the discomfort of your detox. Your mental health will also be better knowing you don’t have to go through withdrawal alone.
When someone stops using meth, their brains neurochemistry doesn’t forget about the substance. Even though you’re sick of meth and everything it causes, your body hasn’t made the connection. After a little while away from meth, your body will crave it even stronger than before.
Cravings can come out of nowhere, but they’re usually triggered in some way. A trigger is something that happens that causes someone to have a craving. Anything can trigger the brain into remembering the drug and wanting more of it. Common triggers include familiar friends, places or types of music.
A safe environment will minimize and eliminate obvious triggers during your meth detox. Medically assisted detox centers can remove triggers while also helping to ease withdrawal symptoms. Using a systematic approach, medical professionals will be able to walk you through the detox process.
Coastal Detox would like to help you, or your loved one create a customized plan for detox. A customized detox program empowers the individual by surrounding them with the support and encouragement they need. Our treatment experts will work around the clock to help remove withdrawal symptoms like pain, anxiety or discomfort.
Addiction can happen to anyone at any time. What matters now is the next step you take towards recovery. You don’t have to go through the detox process alone.
Contact us today and let us tell you how we can help.