Craving the High: Exploring Why Is Meth So Addictive

Meth causes physical symptoms typical of stimulants such as increasing blood pressure and heart rate and also changes how a person’s brain works. Methamphetamine was developed early in the 20th century from its parent drug, amphetamine, and was used originally in nasal decongestants and bronchial inhalers. Like amphetamine, methamphetamine causes increased activity and talkativeness, decreased appetite, and a pleasurable sense of well-being or euphoria. Meth abuse and dependence can cause anxiety just as someone struggling with anxiety may take a drug like meth to self-medicate difficult symptoms of an anxiety disorder. Either way, meth abuse worsens anxiety in the long run and can make treatment for both the anxiety disorder and addiction more complicated. Your withdrawal symptoms will be strongest during the first 24 hours or so and typically last about 7-10 days.

Instead, I stayed in sober-living houses and eventually moved out on my own. After an incident at Disney, where I worked, I decided to seek professional help and checked into rehab. Ultimately, I went to rehab six times, but the programs didn’t take into account my family dynamics and the environment I was returning to afterward. My resentment toward my parents and my coming-out trauma fueled my addiction. Each of your brain cells has your genetic code stored in long strands of DNA. For all that DNA to fit into a cell, it needs to be packed tightly.

How many people have a methamphetamine use disorder?

Addiction is a severe substance use disorder that causes chronic, compulsive drug-seeking. Skin sores and infections from picking, tooth decay and “meth mouth,” and increased risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease are other common consequences of habitual Meth use. People who regularly inject the drug may also suffer from collapsed veins and are at a higher risk of contracting blood-borne pathogenic diseases such as HIV/AIDS or hepatitis due to shared needles. The vast majority of Meth that is distributed today comes from illegal laboratories and imports.

A national survey on people aged 12 or older shows that 0.6% of the U.S. population, or about 1.6 million people, may have a methamphetamine use disorder. That means more than half of people who use meth go on to misuse the drug. Meth is extremely addictive, and you may find yourself pulled toward using it more often once you feel the positive effects. You may continue to use meth because of uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that come once the drug leaves your system. It may take some time for your brain to restore its dopamine circuits when you stop using meth.

Risk factors

If you feel calmer when drinking alcohol, you might assume it’ll help you feel less restless or jittery when you take meth. The euphoria you experience meth addiction when using meth may last only a few minutes. But other effects, like increased energy or higher body temperature, can linger for hours.

Multiple drugs may also be taken as a way to counteract the effects of each. For example, people taking drugs may combine an upper with a downer in order to avoid falling asleep, or alternatively as a way to help them fall asleep after using a stimulant drug. Depression, a common symptom of meth addiction, can also linger into recovery. This mental illness affects how a person thinks, feels and handles daily activities. A combination of therapy and medications can help improve mood and reduce depressive thoughts.

What Is Heroin?

Using meth triggers the release of large amounts of the chemical dopamine in the brain, resulting in feelings of extreme happiness and pleasure. This high is addictive and causes people to crave the drug repeatedly in order to achieve it. Methamphetamine, commonly referred to as meth, speed, or crack, is a powerful stimulant drug that affects the central nervous system.

what is meth addiction

This is achieved by winding the DNA around “spools” of protein called histones. Areas where DNA is unwound contain active genes coding for proteins that serve important functions within the cell. Research hasn’t conclusively demonstrated that the intake of methamphetamine makes people more aggressive. These calls are offered at no cost to you and with no obligation to enter into treatment. Neither this site nor anyone who answers the call receives a commission or fee dependent upon which treatment provider a visitor may ultimately choose.