How to Overcome Methamphetamine Addiction

How to Overcome Methamphetamine Addiction

Why is Methamphetamine Addiction so Hard?

Methamphetamine addiction involves the brain’s pleasure chemicals: dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine delivers feelings of pleasure and reward. Normally dopamine is used by the body to motivate and reward you for doing positive things. But methamphetamine addiction hijacks this mechanism. Meth significantly raises the brain’s dopamine levels creating a euphoric rush. Meth addiction raises levels of serotonin too. Among other things, serotonin regulates mood, focus and appetite. When meth wears off, your brain is extra low on both dopamine and serotonin. This creates powerful depression and anxiety. That starts a cycle of craving. The brain desperately wants to feel good, or even normal again and the quickest way to do that seems to be more meth. This is the addiction cycle we need to break.


How Can Meth Addiction Rehab Help?

Ending the cycle of methamphetamine addiction requires more than just putting down the drug. Just putting down the drug is hard enough all by itself. If a person wants to stay drug-free they need to get through the first several weeks of meth withdrawal symptoms without picking up. That is just the start though. After that, the key to putting substantial clean time together is building a personal system of recovery. Each person needs to find what works best for them. But this isn’t something anybody should try to do alone. There is no good reason to try and quit meth by yourself. The best meth addiction rehab programs can make this difficult process so much easier. More important than that, meth addiction treatment near me will greatly improve your chances of staying off drugs for the long haul. That’s the most important part. Recovery is hard work. Quitting meth is hard work. So why would you want to have to do it more than once? It’s worth going all-in and getting it done right.


Some of the Ways Meth Addiction Rehab Can Help You

Bear in mind, we’re only scratching the surface here. It would take much more than an 800-word article to really explain how meth addiction rehab completely transforms lives. But trust us, it does. We have seen the miracle of recovery happen for many people just like you and the people you love. Here are just a few of the ways rehab for crystal meth addiction can help:


  1. Providing a safe, secure place to get through the withdrawals and cravings.
  2. Making sure you get enough rest and nutritious food.
  3. Getting a psychiatric evaluation to identify and treat any symptoms, like depression and anxiety.
  4. Teaching you about addiction so you understand common pitfalls and triggers.
  5. Helping you learn more about yourself so you can love yourself and grow.
  6. Introducing you to recovery and habits and practices which will help you stay drug-free for the long term.


Life After Methamphetamine Addiction

You can recover from methamphetamine addiction. Millions of people just like you or your loved one have. It is a challenge to be sure, but the secret is you don’t have to do it alone. If you want to know how to overcome meth addiction, that’s the first thing you should know. You are not alone. So, let go of the idea that getting off of meth is impossible and you can’t do it. That’s nonsense. The reason it seems impossible to you now is that you’re imagining you have to take it all on by yourself and there’s nothing anyone can really do to help. That is a lie we tell ourselves. Start by calling that lie what it is. If you can make room for even the smallest amount of hope in your mind, that’s a start. The fact you are reading these words means you’ve already done it. A person who had no hope that they or their loved one could recovery from methamphetamine addiction wouldn’t have even bothered to read these words. That means you know there is help out there and a reason to have hope!  The truth is if you allow yourself the help you need, at least a month in a solid meth addiction rehab, then your chances are better than most. Take the hand that’s been offered to you. Life after addiction is amazing if you invest in recovery. The key is understanding that recovery is a lifestyle. If you give your recovery after treatment even half the effort you gave pursuing meth, you will be amazed at where you are in a year. So pick up the phone and give us a call at (888) MAT-1110 and we’ll take that first step together.

Crystal Meth Addiction

Crystal meth addiction can be devastating.

Crystal Meth Addiction

There is almost no area of a persons life that is not affected by crystal meth addiction. The drug destroys their health, relationships, finances, reputation and more. One of the more shocking aspects of crystal meth addiction may be the speed with which it can turn someone’s life into chaos.

No one wants to be caught in the throes of meth addiction. But it can be incredibly difficult to find your way out. If meth addiction is ruining your life or the life of someone you love, this article is for you. If you want to halt crystal meth addiction and begin healing, it is vital to educate yourself. The best place to start is a treatment centers which can help people to overcome addiction.


Defining Crystal Meth

Crystal meth is a potent drug. It is one of the drugs that people most commonly abuse throughout the United States. It has spread far and wide. There are a couple of reasons for this. One is that it can be manufactured relatively easy. It doesn’t need to be grown and transported. Another is that it is inexpensive.

Similar to other stimulant drugs, meth abuse causes symptoms such as:

  • Euphoria
  • Increased energy
  • Excitation
  • Staying up for a few days without sleeping
  • Binging on the drug to keep the high

The symptoms occur due to the way this drug interacts with a person’s brain. Meth affects the pleasure center of the brain and releases dopamine. Dopamine is a pleasure chemical that also reinforces behaviors, whether they are negative or not. Some research shows that dopamine is partially the cause of addiction because of its effects on the pleasure center of the brain.


Street Names for Crystal Meth

People who have an addiction to crystal meth know the street names for this drug. For those who don’t know the street names, they are the following:

  • Speed
  • Meth
  • Crystal
  • Ice
  • Glass
  • Crank
  • Blade
  • Yaba
  • Quick
  • Shards

Knowing the street names may help family members and friends to recognize a crystal meth addiction in their loved ones.


Abuse of Methamphetamine

Research shows there are few ways that someone can abuse methamphetamine. Most people will abuse meth in powder form. Many drug users will  snort the powder. Others might put crystal meth into a drink, smoke it or inject a solution with it into a vein.

The most potent form of meth usually comes in the form of shards. People usually smoke that version instead of ingesting or snorting it.

The main differences between the two forms are intensity and purity. Each type of use takes a different length of time to reach the bloodstream, such as:

  • Injecting or smoking meth takes effect almost immediately
  • Snorting the drug takes approximately 3 to 5 minutes
  • Ingesting meth takes about 15 to 20 minutes

Most people who have a severe addiction to crystal meth inject or smoke the drug. By doing that, they get the high faster than through the other methods.


Meth Addiction Statistics

There are a lot of people throughout the United States who have an addiction to crystal meth. Sometimes, it can be challenging to understand the entirety of the addiction epidemic. However, looking at statistics can often help people better understand just how serious the crystal meth problem is in the United States.

A 2017 study by National Institute on Drug Abuse shows the following statistics about meth addiction:

  • Approximately 440,000 adults in the United States used meth in the prior month before the study
  • Just over 1 million people in the United States said they used this drug in the previous year before the study
  • Approximately 1% of 12th, 10th, and 8th graders in the study said they used this drug in the prior year
  • About 103,000 emergency room visits in 2011 were due to crystal meth use
  • During the first part of 2012, crystal meth was the most common drug addiction to be treated in San Diego and Hawaii
  • The economic burden of meth is around $23 billion every year

As you can see, the statistics of meth use and addiction are alarming. Many people are losing their lives to this drug.

These tragedies can be avoided. But people must educate themselves and know about the help that is available.


Getting Treatment for Meth Addiction

If you or someone you know is using crystal meth and can’t stop, don’t wait to reach out for help. The sooner you get treatment, the better the chances for a good outcome. Crystal meth addiction is deadly serious. If you know someone who is using meth, don’t take it lightly. No one remains a “casual” meth user for long.

There are numerous treatments people can get for this type of addiction. Some of those include:

  • Detox services
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Inpatient treatment
  • Partial-hospitalization treatment
  • Outpatient treatment
  • Individual and group therapy
  • Attending support groups
  • Using recovery resources

The more help you receive, the better your chances will be to overcome meth addiction. We want to note that outpatient treatment is usually not enough by itself to overcome an addiction to crystal meth. You should always get the most help you possibly can. There’s no such thing as “too much” help for a problem after all.


Contact us at Midwood Addiction Treatment if you or someone you love is dependent on crystal meth. We are here to listen and help.



Outpatient Treatment For Meth Addiction

outpatient treatment for meth

What About Outpatient Treatment For Meth Addiction?


Methamphetamine, or meth, has become one of the most widely misused substances in the US. Studies suggest over 1.5 million Americans have used meth in a given year. Unlike some drugs, meth can cause addiction after just one or two uses. The long term medical effects of using meth can be traumatic, and even deadly. Fortunately, treatment options are available to help patients reclaim their lives. Outpatient treatment for meth addiction allows patients to receive more care while gradually returning to normal life. We will explore the following topics:

  • Why is meth so addictive?
  • What does outpatient treatment for meth look like?
  • Is outpatient treatment right for me?


Why Is Meth So Addictive?


Meth is a man-made drug that comes from pseudoephedrine. Like cocaine, meth is a stimulant. Because it is manmade, though, it is far more potent than cocaine. Meth can be used in several form, but in the US it is most commonly smoked. When it hits the bloodstream, meth triggers the brain to dump large levels of dopamine, which causes a “high.” Users may feel an immediate sense of wakefulness and burst of activity. Patients may also experience a rapid heart rate and hyperthermia.


After repeated use, the brain forms a dependence on meth. Although the brain continues to produce large amounts of dopamine, the hormone’s receptors are slowed. This causes the user to need more of the drug to feel the same effects. As the addiction deepens, patients may begin to feel the following symptoms:

  • Significant anxiety
  • Mood disturbances
  • Confusion
  • Severe dental problems
  • Drastic weight loss
  • Violent behavior
  • Hallucinations


Once addiction has formed, users cannot simply quit using on their own. When the brain detects an absence of meth, it sends out distress signals to the body. These signals are known as withdrawal. Meth causes severe withdrawal symptoms, and in some cases can be deadly without proper medical treatment. Fortunately, programs like ours at Midwood Addiction Treatment have a high success rate.

What Does Outpatient Meth Treatment Look Like?


If you are currently using meth and looking for treatment options, you have completed the first step to recovery. Every treatment program is unique to the patient, so no two recovery journeys are exactly the same. At Midwood, we offer a comprehensive set of treatments for meth addiction. Before you begin treatment, you will first need to go through detox.




If you have developed a dependence on a substance, the first step is to safely remove the substance from your body. This process is known as detoxification, or detox. For substances like meth, it is strongly recommended that you seek a medically supervised detox. This is where your care team provides medication to control withdrawal symptoms while the body cleanses itself. In some cases, this can be done in an outpatient setting. In other cases, you may need to use a detox center for 24-hour monitoring by a medical team. Our intake staff will coordinate this step for you as part of your overall care plan.


Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)


Ridding your body of meth is a vital step to recovery, but it is only the first step. Your care team will likely need to continue a medical treatment regimen to help your body adjust. MAT can be used during the course of your treatment, and generally lasts no longer than 12 months. During this time, you will be working through your rehab plan in a structured setting.


Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)


Once you are finished with detox, you will most likely start in our Partial Hospitalization Program. This plan is a perfect fit for those needing continued medical care, but not 24-hour monitoring. During the day, you will attend therapy and support groups, and meet with doctors as needed. At night, you will stay in one of our sober living homes. This setting will give you the creature comforts of home without the stress of trying to avoid relapse. You will be around others on the same journey, as well as the center staff who can care for your needs.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP)


This stage of treatment allows you to begin to slowly integrate back into daily life while still receiving treatment. You will still likely be living in a sober living house. However, in addition to treatment, you may spend time on activities like working or looking for employment. IOP is structured to be a flexible and more cost-effective alternative to PHP and residential treatment. Patients benefit from a longer overall stay in recovery, and the transition back to normal life is much smoother.


Contact Us Today


If you are currently living with meth addiction, it is not your fault. You deserve a full life free of addiction. Contact us today for more information on outpatient treatment for meth addiction.

Is Speed as Addictive as Meth?

Is Speed as Addictive as Meth

At first glance, it’s not difficult to see why people confuse amphetamine and methamphetamine. They both produce a stimulant chemical high that can rapidly lead to dependence. Both are also highly addictive. They even have a similar chemical makeup, which helps to create even more confusion.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, both drugs have the same short-term effects, namely a quick onset of intense euphoria, a burst of energy, and appetite suppression. These three effects largely contribute to their popularity as recreational drugs. But what are the differences between the two drugs, and would taking one be more harmful than the other?

Difference Between Amphetamine and Methamphetamine

Since both drugs are used recreationally, you would often hear their “street names” used when referring to them. Amphetamines are known as “speed”, while meth goes by a range of names, with “ice” or “crystal meth” being the most widely known. The latter’s wide recognition may be attributed to the popular series Breaking Bad.

Let’s take a closer look at each substance.


Amphetamines are drugs that stimulate the central nervous system. After taking amphetamines, the user will experience a greater ability to focus on tasks, as well as an increased sense of productiveness.

Doctors prescribe amphetamines to people with ADHD to help with focus and concentration, and you may be familiar with one of the most well-known brands of the drug: Adderall.

When prescribed, amphetamines come in either pill or tablet form. For street use, however, “speed” looks like a loose powder that is snorted, smoked, or injected.


Since methamphetamine (meth) is very similar to amphetamines (speed) in terms of their chemical make-up, they also have similar effects. There is one key difference, however, and this difference goes a long way toward explaining why meth tends to be much more addictive than ‘regular’ speed.

In short, methamphetamine crosses the blood-brain barrier more rapidly and in greater amounts than amphetamines. The result of this is an almost immediate and incredibly intense euphoric high.

Why Meth is Highly Addictive

While both substances are classified as Schedule II controlled substances by the DEA, doctors are warier to prescribe meth because of the extreme reaction triggered by the drug. Since meth is more fast-acting, people are more prone to getting addicted to the effects and going on binges to “chase” the high, which can lead to addiction much faster.

Another reason why people are more prone to getting addicted to meth is the method of consumption. Smoking or injecting meth results in the drug getting into the bloodstream much quicker compared to ingesting a pill or snorting powder.

Are There Harmful Long-Term Effects?

Yes, there are harmful long-term effects for both speed and meth if they are taken for recreational use, rather than under a strict and controlled prescription. These effects include:

  • Headaches
  • Blurry vision
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Psychosis
  • Weakened immune system
  • Heart damage
  • Permanent brain damage

Is Speed as Addictive as Meth?

In a nutshell: no, speed is not as addictive as meth because of the speed at which meth crosses the blood-brain barrier and becomes active in the body’s metabolism. However, this does not mean that speed is safe to take without a doctor’s prescription. As with any prescribed drug, the only way to safely take amphetamines is to follow the prescribed amount and schedule. Although experimentation with speed is very common, recreational use of it nearly always leads to negatives outcomes.

If you feel that you have a problem with meth addiction, please contact Midwood for information about our recovery programs.

Methamphetamine Effects on the Body

woman struggling from meth addiction sitting uncomfortably

What Is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine (or “meth” for short) was discovered in 1893. During World War II, combatants on both sides of the Atlantic used methamphetamine to stay alert (1). Methamphetamine belongs to a class of drugs called amphetamines. They work by speeding up the functions of the brain. As prescribed by a doctor, amphetamines can be used to treat attention deficit disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy, and obesity. Some research also indicates that therapeutic doses of amphetamine can improve focus, concentration, and memory (2). Methamphetamine may resemble shards of glass or crystal. For this reason, it may be referred to as “crystal,” “glass,” or “ice” on the street. Other names for it include “tweak,” “speed,” and “tina.” Meth can be consumed by smoking, snorting, swallowing, or injecting.

How Does Meth Affect The Brain?

Meth is a stimulant. It mainly affects the brain’s central nervous system (CNS). This part of the brain that assists in regulating our emotions and behavior. The nerves in this part of your brain are called neurons. As a stimulant, meth makes the natural processes of the neurons work faster. When consuming meth, you experience a heightened sense of energy. Your heart rate increases and your breath quickens. Your blood pressure and body temperature escalate. Your appetite will be suppressed so you won’t feel hungry. Meth also deteriorates the glial cells of the prefrontal cortex. These cells are responsible for judgment, abstract thought, and attention (3). Glial cells are likewise responsible for protecting the body against infection.

Effects of Prolonged Use

Methamphetamine is inexpensive to produce, and it is also incredibly potent. As a result, it is highly addictive. Since its production involves toxic chemicals, making meth can be just as dangerous (if not more so) than consuming it. Labs are known to combust, killing or injuring those nearby. Prolonged use of meth can lead to severe weight loss and malnourishment, memory loss, and repetitive scratching. You are likely also familiar with “meth mouth” via images of users with rotten teeth and gums. Those who inject methamphetamine put themselves at risk for hepatitis B and C, as well as HIV. Living with a constant elevated sense of awareness leads users into paranoia. Combined with a lack of sleep (often for days at a time), hallucinations result. Meth’s hold on the brain is so strong, that users can even experience psychosis during withdrawal or detox. Symptoms of meth psychosis can include stronger hallucinations, delusions, agitation, and violence (4). Between 2011 and 2018, the number of methamphetamine-related deaths increased five-fold (5).

Is Recovery Possible?

Definitely! Recovery is always possible, even from a substance as noxious as methamphetamine. A recent study (6) indicated that a combination of an oral medication (bupropion) and an injection (naltrexone) might aid in treating meth addiction. At present, there are no medication-assisted therapies for recovery. That makes this study a first of its kind. Current treatments for meth addiction include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and motivational incentives (7).

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction to methamphetamine, take heart. Treatment is available, and recovery is possible. Call Midwood Addiction Treatment now at 888-628-1110.



What is Crystal Meth Psychosis?

Shows the pain of comorbidly occurring anxiety disorder and addiction

For anyone who’s ever experienced crystal meth-induced psychosis, there’s no need to ask what it is. In fact, most of these people understand it all too well, at least from the first-person perspective. This post is designed to describe the general characteristics of crystal meth-induced psychosis to drug users, their loved ones, and the general public.

A Quick Look at Methamphetamine

A thorough discussion of methamphetamine (or crystal meth) is beyond the scope of this post. However, a generalized understanding of the drug is necessary to understand the phenomenon of crystal meth-induced psychosis.

Here’s a summary of what you need to know about methamphetamine to understand the psychosis that can be associated with it:

  • Crystal meth is a highly addicted central nervous (CNS) stimulant that creates a powerful but temporary sense of euphoria in the user
  • It also increases activity and talkativeness, while decreasing the appetite and the need for sleep
  • The euphoria and increased productivity associated with crystal meth are powerful at first, but the user quickly requires more and more of the drug to achieve the same effect
  • Even after just a few uses, people who imbibe crystal meth can start to experience frightening withdrawal symptoms

This is a very incomplete description of methamphetamine, but it will suffice to give some insight into the phenomenon of crystal meth-induced psychosis.

Crystal Meth Induced Psychosis: An Overview

Crystal meth-induced psychosis is an example of a broader class of stimulant psychoses. Interestingly, the symptoms of crystal meth psychosis can arise as a result of a binge or during acute withdrawal.

Crystal meth-induced psychosis is marked by the following symptoms:

  • Paranoia, including delusions that someone is ‘after them’
  • Feelings of grandiosity
  • Extreme agitation and irritability
  • Erratic movements
  • Auditory and/or visual hallucinations
  • Irrational thinking and speaking
  • Extreme feelings of fear and panic

The symptoms of crystal meth-induced psychosis can resemble those associated with schizophrenic psychosis, but the drug-induced variety tends to resolve much quicker than the type associated with schizophrenic disorders.

It is difficult to predict when (and if) a methamphetamine user will crystal meth-induced psychosis, but there is a definite correlation between the condition and the frequency of use. Long-term users are also more likely to experience crystal meth psychosis, but there are many hidden factors involved as well. Needless to say, it is imperative to seek medical help immediately if you or a loved one experiences any form of drug-induced psychosis.

The Aftermath of Methamphetamine Psychosis

Typically, the worst symptoms of crystal meth-induced psychosis start to improve a day or two after the amphetamine use is discontinued. There may be a few lingering symptoms beyond this time frame, but they can usually be managed without medical care.

However, anyone who experiences crystal meth-induced psychosis should seek emergency medical attention immediately and strongly consider entering a drug treatment facility to get started on the path to long term recovery.

Signs of Meth Use

Signs of Meth Use | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Methamphetamine (meth) is an illicit stimulant similar to amphetamine, a prescription drug used to treat Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD and narcolepsy. Meth is typically more potent than other amphetamines, however, and is only rarely used (i.e. Desoxyn) for any legitimate medical purpose.

Meth is usually obtained illegally – “cooked” at home, or bought from a dealer. On the street, meth is also known as crystal, glass, ice, and crank, among other names. It generally appears as a crystal/rock-like substance that is clear, semi-transparent, or bluish in color, but occasionally can be found in a powdered or tablet form.

Signs of Meth Use

1. Changes in Lifestyle

Meth abusers are often secretive and try to disguise their use. However, over time, it will become increasingly difficult to hide their habit, as they continue to spend an escalating amount of time and money obtaining and using the drug.

As meth use becomes more central in a user’s life as a priority, they will often fail to live up to obligations at work, school, and home. For example, expenses surrounding drug making and/or using may cause financial difficulties, and binges are often followed by long periods of inactivity in which child-rearing and other critical responsibilities are neglected.

2. Mood Swings and Mental Health Changes

Like other psychoactive substances, meth use causes the brain to release massive amounts of dopamine. Over time, the brain becomes less able to produce dopamine on its own terms (without meth.) This effect can leave the user with depression, anxiety, and other adverse feelings during periods of abstinence.

Long-term meth use can also lead to paranoia, delusions, and even psychosis. Users may suffer from irrational fears and adverse mental/emotional effects that persist long after meth use has ended. Unpleasant withdrawal symptoms are common among chronic meth abusers when they try to quit or cut back.

3. Behavioral Changes

Because meth is a powerful CNS stimulant, increased activity in the brain and body results in feelings of euphoria and high energy. Users are often extraordinarily talkative and hyperactive and may engage in obsessive and repetitive activities such as cleaning.

Meth users can also experience tactile sensations that cause itching or the feeling of bugs crawling on their skin, leading to compulsive scratching and tell-tale sores from pruritis.

Finally, long-term use typically results in appetite suppression, and thus profound weight loss. Over time, users begin to look malnourished and gaunt from poor eating and sleeping habits.

4. Physical Signs

In addition to itching, non-healing sores, weight loss and a generally run-down appearance, long-term meth users also experience “meth mouth” – a loss of tooth enamel due to poor hygiene and dry mouth, which leads to tooth decay.

The method of use can also affect a meth user’s physical symptoms. For example, people who smoke meth face a higher risk of bronchitis, pneumonia, and other infections, and may suffer from coughing and congestion. And snorting meth, like cocaine, can lead to frequent nosebleeds and permanent damage to the nasal septum and surround tissues.

Finally, injecting meth, not unlike heroin, can lead to open wounds and sores on the skin (track marks) as well as vein damage.

5. Meth Paraphernalia

Paraphernalia for using meth may include any of the following items:

  • Razor, mirror, rolled paper, hollow tube for snorting
  • Glass or metal pipe, bong, foil, light bulb with a hollow tube attached for smoking
  • Spoon, lighter, syringe, surgical tubing for injection

Signs of a Meth Lab

Not all meth users, by any means, cook their own meth. However, the following includes signs that may indicate someone you know is operating a meth lab:

  • Extensive or threatening home security measures such as “Beware of Dog” or “Private Property” signs, fences, or over-the-top alarm systems, etc.
  • Concealment features such as blackened windows, drawn curtains, high fences, etc.
  • Chemical smells are detectable around the home, garage, or yard
  • Garbage contains a number of suspicious bottles, containers, coffee filters, or sheets stained from filtering chemicals
  • Evidence of dumping chemical waste such as burn pits

Treatment For Meth Addiction

Signs of Meth Use | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Our Approach To Addiction Treatment
We provide a comprehensive, holistic method to treatment, encompassing a wide array of different evidence-based practices in combination. All of Midwood Addiction Treatment’s primary therapists are either licensed or master’s level clinicians.

Our programs are structured with various components of evidence-based treatment practices and holistic approaches to treatment that provide our patients with the knowledge and tools they need to be successful in their recovery.

If you or your loved one is suffering from substance abuse, please seek help as soon as possible.

Call us now to learn about our treatment options.


⟹ READ THIS NEXT: Crystal Meth Effects

What Is Tweaking?

What is Tweaking? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Tweaking is the 4th stage that meth users experience, and is also the most dangerous. The condition occurs when the user has come to the end of a meth binge, and the drug is no longer is providing the user with the desired rush or a high.

Methamphetamine (meth) is a potent and addictive stimulant drug that can have long-term effects on a user’s body. Meth is a human-made drug that, with the arrival of other more effective and less harmful prescription stimulants, currently has minimal therapeutic use in rare cases of difficult-to-treat ADHD and severe obesity.

Crystal meth is methamphetamine in the form of a semi-transparent white or bluish rock-like crystal, which is usually heated and then smoked in a glass pipe – less commonly it is snorted or injected. The desired effects of both meth and crystal meth effects include increased energy, euphoria, and suppressed appetite.

What Is Tweaking?

Tweaking is a physical and psychological state that can occur following a meth binge, which can sometimes last several days. During a binge, the person continues to use meth to delay the “comedown,” a state that is hallmarked by the increasing loss of desired effects, and positions the user squarely at the onset of highly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

After prolonged use, the person is no longer able to experience a high, and the user begins “tweaking.” At this time, the person will feel intense cravings and desperation that can no longer be sated. It is at this point that psychotic symptoms may manifest and the user begins to suffer from delusions, hallucinations, and other altered perceptions.

The experience of a tweaking phase precedes a point in which many users seek and enter addiction treatment programs. Due to psychosis, they may begin sobriety in an inpatient mental health facility before being transferred to medical detox or inpatient rehab.

After experiencing days of insomnia and a loss of appetite, most people do little more than sleep during the days following an episode of tweaking. After this crash comes a period – one that can last up to two weeks – in which the person will be hungry, thirsty, and fatigued as their body tries to re-balance itself after exposure to the substance.

Short-Term Effects of Using Meth

What is Tweaking? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Prolonged use of meth can result in severe anxiety, paranoia, and insomnia. Additionally, thoughts of suicide or violence against others have manifested in some users.

People that use meth are typically looking for the immediate, long-lasting and intense effects for which the drug has gained its reputation. Because meth acts as a powerful stimulant, there is a near-instant euphoric effect after exposure that can last up to 30 minutes, followed by a significant increase in energy, alertness, motivation, and confidence that can last for up to 12 hours.

The desirable high of meth, however, quickly gives way to the much less pleasant effects of the substance – even short-term use can result in erratic and violent behavior when consumed in large doses.

Other side effects of crystal meth include:

  • Poor appetite and weight loss
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Severe mood swings

  • Unpredictable behavior
  • Tremors or convulsions
  • Hyperthermia

  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Irregular heart rhythm

Long-Term Effects Of Using Meth

When used for a prolonged period, meth use can result in severe physical and psychological issues as acute effects increase in intensity.

Signs and symptoms of long-term meth use include:

  • Cardiac Arrest
  • Stroke
  • Coma
  • Sores from skin-picking
  • Confusion/bizarre behavior

  • A feeling of bugs crawling on the skin
  • Psychosis—delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia
  • Depression, anxiety, and social isolation
  • Breathing problems caused by smoke inhalation
  • Irreversible damage to blood vessels in the heart and brain

Chronic Methamphetamine use can also cause outward signs of premature aging. Because the drug damages tissues and blood vessels and hinders the body’s capacity to heal, users often develop acne and other skin blemishes, and the skin begins to lose its elasticity. “Meth mouth” is a condition that is characterized by the widespread deterioration of teeth and gum disease.

Meth Dependency

Because meth use causes the brain to release an increased amount of dopamine – a chemical responsible for feelings of reward and pleasure – the drug has a high potential for addiction.

Researchers believe this elevated activity of dopamine plays a vital role in the development of chemical addiction to certain drugs. Moreover, the positive feelings produced by excessive dopamine are so powerful and intensely rewarding that it reinforces the behavior that was the catalyst for its release.

As users build a tolerance to meth, they need increasing amounts of the drug to experience the desired effects, putting themselves at risk for overdose and continuing to fuel the body’s dependency on it.

After prolonged use, dopamine receptor activity becomes impaired and can cause the user to experience decreased happiness and pleasure (dysphoria) and even result in irreversible cognitive impairment.

Symptoms Of Meth Withdrawal

  • Itchy eyes
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Increased appetite

  • Feelings of depression and anxiety
  • Intense drug cravings
  • Loss of energy and fatigue

Getting Help For Meth Addiction

Tweaking is dangerous and withdrawing from meth can be very unpleasant and may compel users to relapse in an attempt to relieve symptoms. Participating in a medically supervised detox program, however, can ensure that symptoms are managed and relapse is prevented.

Ideally, successful medical detox should be followed by a long-term stay at a residential rehab program or participation in a structured and intensive outpatient program.

Residential or inpatient programs can be very effective at treating addiction, as they allow the person to concentrate on recovery with minimal distractions and temptations. Most programs range from 30-90 days, but some may offer longer stays for more severe cases of addiction.

You can reclaim the life you deserve and enjoy long-lasting wellness and sobriety! Contact us today and find out how we can help!

Our Approach To Addiction Treatment
We provide a comprehensive, holistic method to treatment, encompassing a wide array of different evidence-based practices in combination. All of Midwood Addiction Treatment’s primary therapists are either licensed or master’s level clinicians.

Our programs are structured with various components of evidence-based treatment practices and holistic approaches to treatment that provide our patients with the knowledge and tools they need to be successful in their recovery.

If you or your loved one is suffering from substance abuse, please seek help as soon as possible.

Call us now to learn about our treatment options.


⟹ READ THIS NEXT: Signs of Meth Use


Meth Mites and Meth Sores

Meth Mites and Meth Sores | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Meth Mites and Meth Sores – Methamphetamine use can result in devastating effects on a person’s health and well-being. Much of the damage induced by meth happens internally, but the most obvious harm can be seen on a person’s skin, and much of it is caused by the hallucinatory presence of “meth mites.”

People who use meth are infamous for exhibiting sores, scratches, scabs, and scars. These injuries are often attributed to hallucinations that make them believe they have insects under their skin. Meth users often pick or scratch at their skin to try to remove the nonexistent bugs. However, several other factors can contribute to meth sores, including injection track marks, malnutrition, and poor hygiene.

What Are Meth Mites?

“Meth mites,” “meth bugs,” and “crank bugs” are all street terms for the same type of hallucination. People who use meth tend to stay awake for several days, and sleep deprivation itself can induce hallucinations in otherwise healthy individuals. Researchers have not identified an exact cause of meth hallucinations, but there are many well-founded theories, including the following:

Cause 1: Meth use can cause itchiness, anxiety, and paranoia. After many days without sleep, people who use meth may begin to perceive the itching is caused by something under the skin.

Cause 2: People who use meth may have unhealthy skin because of malnutrition, poor hygiene, or the toxic ingredients used to produce meth. When high on meth, users may compulsively scratch or pick at their already weakened skin, causing irritations and sores.

Cause 3: Sleep deprivation and/or psychotic features of “tweaking” may cause a user to begin hallucinating and erroneously believe that bugs are causing their existing skin problems.

Tweaking is a word used to describe erratic and bizarre behavior caused by stimulant abuse.

Meth Sores

Meth sores and scabs are hallmarks signs of meth abuse or addiction. In general, those who abuse meth more frequently or for longer periods are likely to exhibit more sores than others. In addition to being unappealing to look at, meth sores can cause health problems if they become infected. Some meth sores can be treated with disinfectants, but sores that become infected will likely require medical treatment.

What Do Meth Sores Look Like?

Meth Mites and Meth Sores | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Meth sores can vary in appearance depending on the cause, the presence of infection, and how long they’ve been on a person’s skin. However, meth sores on the skin tend to appear as red dots, rashes, and cuts. On the face, meth sores can appear similar to acne.

Sores can also develop around the lips or on inside the mouths of people who smoke crystal meth. These sores can look like canker sores or cold sores, and they are one of the symptoms of what is referred to as “meth mouth.”

On other parts of the body, meth sores may appear similar to chickenpox blisters that the person has scratched. When a sore gets infected, it may look like a bad blister with a brown or black center. The blister may also be swollen and pus-filled.

Without treatment, the infection can spread. If a user with meth sores treats the sores appropriately and stops abusing meth, the wounds will eventually heal and scar, and some will ultimately fade away.

Health Impact of Meth Sores

Meth sores are associated with health risks similar to those of other types of open wounds. If the sore isn’t properly cleaned and protected, bacteria can enter a person’s body and cause infections, which can be anywhere from minor to severe.

Minor infections can result in pain and discomfort, and if the infection spreads and becomes severe, it can lead to fever, fatigue, and diarrhea. Such infections that go untreated can be life-threatening. Signs of worsening infection include redness and soreness around the afflicted area, as well as swelling and the presence of pus or blood into the wound.

Meth sores that are related to unsterile injections may also indicate the presence of a contagious disease. Meth users often have weak or compromised immune systems, so any wound they sustain may take longer to heal. Likewise, their infections may become more severe and spread more rapidly.

How to Treat Meth Sores

The simplest way to treat meth sores is to live a healthy lifestyle, wait for them to heal on their own, and protect them from infection in the process. Clean the wounds with disinfectants or antiseptics, such as hydrogen peroxide, and then bandage them. Avoid picking, scratching, or in any way interfering with the wound’s healing process.

And, of course, you should stop using meth immediately. Quitting any habit-forming substance is much easier said than done, and people who are addicted to meth should seek professional treatment. Once you’ve quit using crystal meth for good and adopt a healthier lifestyle, your skin and overall health will improve.

Treatment for Meth Addiction

Midwood Addiction Treatment offers outpatient detox and comprehensive programs in both partial-hospitalization and outpatient formats. These programs employ services clinically-proven to be highly beneficial for the recovery process, including psychotherapy, counseling, group support, aftercare planning, and more.

If you are suffering from an addiction to meth, other drugs, or alcohol, contact us today. Discover how we can help you free yourself from the abuse of substances and foster the healthy and satisfying life you deserve!

Meth Detox and Withdrawal

Meth Detox and Withdrawal | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Methamphetamine (meth, crystal meth, or ice) is a powerful, highly addictive stimulant that has become increasingly popular among drug users in recent decades. Meth is typically found in the form of a crystalline powder or as small, blue or white rocks. It is customarily snorted or smoked, but can also be combined with water and injected.

This drug is often manufactured in small clandestine home labs with simple ingredients that can be obtained at pharmacies and stores that sell common household chemicals, such as paint thinner and ammonia. It has also become increasingly available through large drug cartels, especially from Mexico.

Meth Comedown

When meth is administered, the drug enters the brain where it initiates the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. These chemicals increase energy, alertness, and sociability. Meth’s effects may persist for up to eight hours, but when the drug begins to wear off, the comedown effects can cause the person to feel very ill.

The process of comedown is somewhat different from withdrawal, but there are a few features and effects that are similar. Meth comedown symptoms include:

  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Depression and moodiness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Decreased appetite

  • Fatigue/lethargy
  • Loss of motivation
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia

  • Erratic sleep patterns
  • Headache
  • Jaw clenching
  • Muscle pain

The symptoms of comedown may continue for several days after heavy use, especially mental health changes that may have occurred, such as depression or anxiety. If the person refrains from further meth abuse, these symptoms will resolve on their own, no treatment needed. Of note, similar to cocaine, a comedown will likely occur even in non-frequent meth users as an inevitable product of meth use itself.

Withdrawal from Meth

There is a substantial amount of research that has documented withdrawal effects in chronic meth users. The timeline for meth withdrawal is predictable and offers insight into what medical personnel and those in recovery can expect during the process.

Meth withdrawal symptoms are primarily emotional in nature with various related physical effects. Withdrawal from meth is typically less severe than withdrawal from other intoxicating substances, such as alcohol, benzodiazepines, or opioids. Any related symptoms are unlikely to be physically damaging unless the person attempts to detox alone and becomes emotionally volatile, a situation which can lead to self-harm and suicidal ideations and behavior.

Meth has a half-life of around 10 hours and is a fast-acting drug. According to research, the timeline for meth withdrawal is reasonably consistent among users:

  • Withdrawal symptoms begin within the first 24 hours of abstinence.
  • Symptoms peak within the first 7-10 days following discontinuation of drug use, and there is a consistent decline in the intensity of symptoms following this peak.
  • Extended emotional symptoms have an average duration of about two to three weeks, but they most commonly abate after about 14 days.

Meth Detox and Withdrawal | Midwood Addiction Treatment

According to research, the primary symptoms during the withdrawal period usually include the following:

  • Dry mouth
  • Jitteriness

  • Feelings of fatigue and excessive sleepiness
  • Increased appetite

Also, a number of people report feeling depression or apathy, which tends to subside gradually throughout the withdrawal timeline. These depressive symptoms can be severe, however, and may be connected to thoughts of suicide. Intense cravings for meth can also occur during the withdrawal period but also tend to decline over time.

Psychotic symptoms, including delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia, have also occurred for many people. These symptoms require treatment in a medical environment. Research has shown that these psychotic symptoms tend to be the most dangerous symptoms, along with severe depression.

Also, research has suggested that people who engage in meth use for an extended period may exhibit some cognitive deficits in mental processing speed, attention, and memory that may not be fully recovered within six months of abstinence.

Withdrawal Medications

Currently, the FDA has not approved any pharmaceutical treatments for use during meth detox. However, there are a number of medications that can help manage some of the symptoms encountered during the process of withdrawal. These medications include the following:

Wellbutrin (bupropion)An antidepressant that may be useful in reducing some of the symptoms of meth withdrawal, such as drug cravings.

Provigil (modafinil)A prescription stimulant medication that is commonly used for the treatment of ADHD and narcolepsy. The mild stimulant properties of this drug may reduce disruptive sleep patterns, as well as help those in detox temporarily experience bouts of energy and improved concentration, which may be vital components to moving forward in recovery.

Paxil (paroxetine)A selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which is an antidepressant that has been found in some research to reduce cravings in abstinent former meth users undergoing withdrawal.

Remeron (mirtazapine)An atypical antidepressant that may help prevent relapse during the withdrawal process.

Treatment for Meth Addiction

If a person stops using meth abruptly and encounters intense withdrawal symptoms, this is a hallmark sign of chemical dependence, a significant component of addiction. People who undergo detox in a clinical environment (strongly recommended) or at home are encouraged to enter a comprehensive treatment program at a specialized facility such as Midwood Addiction Treatment.

We employ a highly-skilled team of health professionals and addiction specialists who collaborate to evaluate each client and develop individualized programs. Our evidence-based services include psychotherapy, counseling, peer group support, health and wellness programs, aftercare planning, and more.

If you or someone you love is suffering from an addiction to meth, please contact us as soon as possible. Discover how we help clients free themselves from the grip of addiction and reclaim the healthy and fulfilling lives they deserve!