Methamphetamine (meth) is a dangerous stimulant and “upper” that has a reputation for destroying lives. The stories about meth abuse and addiction are realistic and not understated. If anything, the portrayal of meth in tv shows like Breaking Bad only scratches the surface of just how bad a life that has been ravaged by meth can be.
It’s a mistake to tell untruths about drug use, misuse, and abuse. If you tell a person that the first time they use a drug they will become addicted, they may discover this is not the case and discount the very real threat and dangers associated with drug abuse. Part of the reason meth is so addictive is because of its powerful high. A person who abuses meth can initially feel empowered and strong. They can feel on top of the world. But these feelings of grandeur are fleeting. The euphoria and good feelings are quickly swallowed up by the horrible feelings of withdrawal and the cravings to use more and more meth that fuels the cycle of abuse.
If you or someone you care about is experimenting with drugs, especially meth and related street drugs, early intervention can make a massive difference. While it’s always possible to find lasting recovery, early intervention can mean a person and their loved ones, family, friends, and colleagues do not have to go through the painful experiences that drug abuse and addiction bring into the lives of everyone in a person’s orbit. Meth addiction quickly takes over a person’s life and alters their personality and behaviors. To learn more about recovery options for meth addiction, reach out to the professionals at Oasis Recovery to learn more meth addiction treatment.
5 Important Discussion Topics about Meth Addiction
1. “Mountain Dew Mouth” can look like “Meth Mouth”
For those who are not familiar with “meth mouth”, it’s probably best that you do not search for photos. It’s an extremely unpleasant and embarrassing side effect associated with meth addiction.
Smoking meth corrodes teeth. Those who abuse meth for a prolonged period of time are likely to lose teeth and have other teeth break down. Aside from teeth loss and damage, gum disease is common. There is also the risk of abscesses in the mouth which results in a medical emergency.
Mountain Dew soda was originally created as a chaser for moonshine. Perhaps it’s no wonder then that those who live in Appalachia have a special affinity for this soda. Unfortunately, Mountain Dew and some other sodas have corrosive chemicals that can result in extreme tooth decay, tooth loss, and gum disease.
There are people who consume upwards of a dozen cans of soda a day. Others drink large numbers of energy drinks. The contents of these products can cause extreme damage to teeth. If you are drinking large quantities of soda on a regular basis, you may want to consider the lasting damage you are causing to your body.
It’s important to remember that just because a certain product is considered legal, such as soda, does not mean it cannot cause harm to your body. If you have questions about the safe use of everyday products, reach out to a medical doctor for more information about making healthy and positive lifestyle choices.
2. How is Meth different from Adderall?
Adderall is a prescription medication that is designed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Adderall contains an amphetamine and that does put it in a similar category as methamphetamine (meth) in terms of its chemical makeup. Both drugs are stimulants and fall under the category of “uppers” that can be misused and abused.
The reality is that meth is a more potent substance. Street meth, often referred to as crystal meth, glass, ice, is made in a lab using dangerous chemicals that no one would intentionally want inside their body.
Adderall is made in a safe pharmaceutical setting that must conform to standards that require a high degree of safety. The intention of an Adderall prescription is especially geared towards helping children and young adults who struggle to focus and concentrate on their school work be able to do so. Controlled stimulants like Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, and related ADHD medications, can be given in carefully titrated dosages with the goal of increasing attention, focus, alertness, and productive energy.
Meth does not have any practical applications. Meth quickly makes reasonable and rational people go down a dark path. The cycle of meth abuse and addiction is not unlike the dangers associated with the opioid epidemic. Early intervention can save lives and prevent people from facing the negative consequences associated with prolonged addiction. Addiction harms everyone an individual interacts with in their day-to-day life. If someone you care about is experimenting with drugs like meth, it’s important that you reach out to seek intervention options including meth addiction treatment. Recovery is always possible if you give someone the chance to turn their life around.
3. What is in Street Meth?
Unlike pharmaceuticals like Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, street meth is made in uncontrolled and dangerous labs, or homemade. Chemicals in street meth have the potential to cause severe harm to those making and handling the drug as well as those who consume it.
Common chemicals used in the production of meth include:
- Ingesting this substance can result in anxiety, hypertension, arrhythmia, dizziness, and vomiting. Exposure to large doses can result in renal failure and seizures.
- Consumption can cause hypertension, arrhythmia. Substantial exposure can result in renal failure, seizures, stroke, and potentially be lethal.
- Ethyl alcohol
- When gas from this flammable substance is inhaled, the results can be extremely dangerous. Side effects can include GI problems and even put a person into a sudden coma.
- Inhalation is damaging to the lungs and can result in cardiac arrest.
- Can cause the lungs to fill with fluid and lead to accidental asphyxiation.
- Hypophosphorous acid
- Has the potential to release phosphine gas which can result in an explosion.
- Lithium metal
- Extremely dangerous if it comes in direct contact with the body.
- Hydriodic acid
- Exposure to vapors can damage the respiratory system, eyes, and skin. Ingestion can cause potentially fatal consequences.
- Red phosphorus
- Can easily result in an explosion if excessively heated.
- Iodine crystals
- Vapors can result in damage to lungs and eyes. Will burn skin if it comes in direct contact. Ingestion can result in damage to internal organs.
Dangerous household items are often used to create street meth. Examples include but are not limited to:
- Paint thinner
- Nail polish remover
- Battery acid
- Ammonia from household cleaner
- Drain cleaners
- Brake fluid
- Lithium from car batteries
4. Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) and Meth
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), also sometimes simply referred to as “body dysmorphia”, is a condition in which people do not see themselves in a realistic way. They have false presumptions about their body. When they look in a mirror, they see a different person. A person they do not like and a person they do not want to be. This is tragic for many reasons. For one, self-love is an important goal that healthy individuals should aim for. No one is perfect but we should try to find ways to feel good about ourselves in the bodies that we have.
A person who has BDD spends a great deal of time focused on their appearance. This might sound like vanity but it is really and truly a mental health disorder. People with BDD tend to focus on a perceived “flaw” and obsess over this. Preoccupation with perceived flaws can result in damaged friends and negative life choices.
Body dysmorphic disorder (BBD) is all about perception. Really misperception. It is not an eating disorder (ED) but instead is on the spectrum associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Because those with BDD often focus on their weight as a perceived “flaw”, substance abuse can be appealing if the drug is an appetite suppressant. Meth is a potent stimulant and those who use meth tend to go on binges. This can result in a person not eating for days. A common side effect of meth abuse is rapid weight loss. A person with BDD who is aware of this knowledge may think meth is a way they can quickly make themselves look the way they want to look. Meth also warps a person’s sense of what is real. The reality is that meth ravages a person’s body at an alarmingly quick rate.
Meth addiction can result in negative consequences after a short period of abuse. Side effects of abusing meth can include:
- Rapid weight loss
- Mood swings
- Increased anxiety
- Sleep problems
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common therapeutic technique for those who struggle with body dysmorphia. Through CBT, a person with BDD can learn to form more accurate perceptions of themselves and develop realistic goals that are not harmful to their personal well-being. In CBT, counselors help clients address compulsive thinking and other negative thought patterns and learn to manage them in healthier ways.
5. Sensible Meth Addiction Treatment Options
Meth addiction is serious and can irreversible harm to those who abuse the drug for prolonged periods of time. Meth abuse and addiction can destroy a person’s body and mind. The hazardous chemicals in meth can result in “meth mouth” and other negative consequences including brain damage, premature aging, rapid weight loss, heart problems, risk of organ damage, and early cognitive decline.
If you or someone you care about is struggling with meth abuse, reach out to the professionals at Oasis Recovery about meth addiction treatment. Our treatment programs and mental health services can help you turn your life around. Reach out to us today to speak with a specialist about treatment options suited to your particular life circumstances.