Methamphetamine, commonly referred to as meth, is an incredibly powerful stimulant that you can get addicted to very quickly. It is more potent than cocaine and opioids, much harder to quit than regular drugs, and has a far more devastating impact on your brain and body. Meth addiction should be taken very seriously and timely intervention and treatment are of utmost importance.
In this article, we take a look at the effects of meth on your brain and why it could be more harmful than other drugs.
Getting addicted to drugs is one of the worst things that can happen to you (it could destroy your life). It harms you on a physical and emotional level, affects your career and social life, and ruins your life in the long run. Some drugs, however, are infinitely worse than others in terms of just how addictive they are and the kind of damage they could cause. Meth is one such drug.
The term ‘meth’ is the shortened version of methamphetamine, which is an extremely potent and highly addictive stimulant drug. Methamphetamine is commonly available in two different forms – meth (which comes in the form of pills or powder) and crystal meth (which comes in the form of crystalline rocks). People generally take meth by snorting it directly through the nose or by smoking it using a pipe. Some even prefer to inject it or take it orally.
The moment you take meth, your brain produces abnormally large amounts of dopamine, which is known as the pleasure chemical. Your brain naturally produces dopamine whenever you do something pleasurable like eating your favorite food or having sex with someone you love. It is nature’s way of rewarding you for doing things that are necessary for your survival.
When you take meth, your brain could release as much as 10 times its normal level of dopamine. So, you get addicted and start craving more and more of it. It is true with other drugs like cocaine, heroin, and opioids too, but meth has certain unique characteristics that make it an extremely dangerous drug.
Neuroscientists say that meth users tend to develop a sense of dependency much faster than people who use cocaine or opioids. There have been cases where people who used meth only once or twice got addicted to it instantly. It is three times as potent as cocaine and is much harder to quit permanently.
There are two stages of meth addiction – voluntary and involuntary. The first couple of times you take meth, you do it consciously. Your prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for voluntary actions, makes the decision. You are completely aware of what you are doing.
By the third or fourth time, you get addicted to such an extent that your prefrontal cortex no longer makes the decisions. It is your hind brain, which is responsible for involuntary actions like breathing, blinking, and sneezing, which makes the decision. At this stage, you no longer look at meth as a recreational drug, but as something that is essential for your life.
Like having to drink water or needing to sleep!
Repeated meth use changes your brain so much that it starts treating the drug as something that is vital for your survival. Over a period of time, snorting meth becomes as involuntary as breathing or blinking – you do it without even realizing it. Every time you take the drug, the reward center in your brain gets highly activated, which motivates you to do it again and again.
Researchers say that even after you quit meth completely, its effects on your brain could remain for up to two years. Also, treating meth addiction is much harder, because the risk of relapse is significantly higher. There have been instances where people who stayed off the drug for as many as ten years got sucked right back into the web of addiction.
This is not something you ever want to try. If your friends are into this, then you have the wrong friends. You want to reward yourself? Watch a fantastic movie like Transformers or Star Trek Beyond and relax. There are far better things to spend your money on other than meth. If you have that much extra money in your pocket, donate the money to charity, or if you want to splurge on yourself, go buy some steak and shrimp at a nice restaurant and call it a day.
Get dessert too!
Fortunately, there are a wide range of resources available today for people who are struggling with meth addiction. Though it is very hard to do, it is indeed possible for you to quit meth completely. With the right kind of treatment and support, you can stay off the drug, nurse yourself back to good health, and restart your life.
Northeast Addictions Treatment Center is a Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment Center in Quincy, Massachusetts. Our team has been helping individuals with Drug or Alcohol Addiction live a life of Recovery since 2016.
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