10 Reasons for Quitting Meth
Before the opioid epidemic, there was a meth epidemic. Unfortunately, it looks as if meth is making an unwelcome comeback in some parts of the nation. So it’s time for a reminder of the benefits of quitting meth.
According to data from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), more than 14.7 million people have tried meth at least once. NSDUH also reports that almost 1.6 million people used methamphetamine in the year leading up to the survey. Meth is one of the most commonly misused stimulant drugs in the world.
If you are using meth and want to stop, our experts can answer your questions and find your help. Call us today at 623-263-7371. If you are on the fence, read on for ten reasons that point to the health benefits of quitting meth and getting help.
Meth is one of the most commonly misused stimulant drugs in the world. Continue reading below for more information on what to do if you, or some you know, are suffering from addiction.
1. Meth Is Highly Addictive And Hard To Quit
Unlike some other drugs, it is straightforward to fall into meth’s rabbit hole of addiction. The reason for this is that meth increases the amount of natural chemical dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is involved in body movement, motivation, and reinforcement of rewarding behaviors. The drug rapidly releases high levels of dopamine in the reward areas of the brain
Meth quickly enters a person’s bloodstream and mind when injecting or smoking it. This flood causes an immediate and intense “rush.” It lasts only a few minutes but has a description of being very pleasurable. Those few minutes are enough to increase meth’s potential to get you hooked fast greatly. The rush is brief, so users tend to “binge” on meth to keep the high going. This binging can go on for hours or even days, during which users don’t sleep or eat. You can find yourself being held hostage by this drug.
2. Psychosis And Paranoia
Here’s another benefit of quitting meth. You may think those short-term highs are incredible, but you’re courting some severe and scary problems in the future. People who use meth long term may exhibit symptoms that include significant anxiety, confusion, insomnia, mood disturbances, and violent behavior.
That’s not all. You can also display several psychological disturbances such as paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations, and delusions, such as insects’ sensation creeping under your skin. Psychotic symptoms can sometimes last for months or years after a person quits using meth. Stress triggers spontaneous recurrences of meth psychosis in people who use the drug and have experienced such psychotic events.
3. Meth Changes Your Brain
It’s safe to assume that a drug that makes you feel great and then becomes scary is doing quite a number on your brain. Meth produces significant changes in the brain. Neuroimaging studies have shown differences in the dopamine systems associated with reduced motor speed and impaired verbal learning. Other studies on chronic meth users have revealed severe structural and functional changes in areas of the brain that are associated with emotion and memory. Researchers say those changes may account for the emotional and cognitive problems observed in long-term meth users.
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), research in primate models has found that meth alters brain structures involved in decision-making and impairs the ability to suppress useless or counterproductive habitual behaviors. Researchers speculate that these changes in brain structure and function could explain why meth addiction is hard to treat and why a relapse early in treatment is so high.
NIDA reports on another study that shows recovery in some brain regions after at least 14 months of not using meth. Recovering meth users showed improved performance on motor and verbal memory tests. However, the news is not all good: function in other brain regions did not return even after 14 months of abstinence. For researchers, this indicates that some meth-induced changes can last a very long time. According to another study, former long-term meth users showed a higher incidence of Parkinson’s disease. This should underline the health benefits of quitting meth sooner rather than later.
4. You’ll Be Vulnerable To Infections
Another benefit of quitting meth is reducing your chance of contracting or transmitting HIV and hepatitis B and C. This affects not only meth users who inject the drug but also those who swallow, snort, or smoke it. These diseases spread primarily through the re-use or sharing syringes, needles, or drug paraphernalia.
5. Worsens HIV Infection
Looking for another health benefit to quitting meth? There is a very strong possibility that meth misuse may also accelerate the progression of HIV. In animal studies, meth shows an increase in viral replication.
Also, clinical studies in humans suggest that current meth users who are taking highly active antiretroviral therapy to treat HIV infection may be at greater risk of developing AIDS than non-users. The reason for this is possibly due to poor medication adherence. Meth users with HIV also have shown greater neuronal injury and cognitive impairment due to HIV than those who do not misuse the drug.
6. You Can’t Hide This Addiction
Here’s a benefit of quitting meth that you can see on your face. Meth addiction is literally visible on your face and in your actions. Long-term meth users exhibit extreme weight loss, severe tooth decay and tooth loss (otherwise known as “meth mouth”), and skin sores. The dental problems are likely caused by poor nutrition, lack of good dental hygiene, dry mouth, and tooth-grinding caused by the drug. The sores are due to picking and scratching the skin in a vain attempt to eliminate insects the users imagine are crawling underneath. You can also start losing your hair.
7. A Threat To Mother And Baby
Meth also has many detrimental effects on infants whose mothers used the drug before giving birth. Research indicates higher premature delivery rates, separation of the placental lining from the uterus, and small infants who are lethargic and have heart and brain abnormalities. A NIDA-funded study examined the development of infants and children born to mothers who misused meth.
According to the report, these infants were more likely to show a decrease in arousal, increased stress, and poor movement quality. When the infants reached ages 1 and 2, the toddlers showed delayed motor development. As they moved to their preschool and school-age years, a study found they had “subtle but significant attention impairments and were more likely to have cognitive and behavioral issues in school, related to difficulties with self-control and executive function.”
8. Overdoses Are Real
Now here’s one big benefit of quitting meth — you won’t overdose. Many people are surprised to know that you can overdose on methamphetamine. If a person uses too much of the drug, he has a toxic reaction. That reaction results in serious, harmful symptoms or death. In 2017, about 15 percent of all drug overdose deaths involved the methamphetamine category. Of those overdose deaths, 50 percent also involved an opioid, with half of those cases related to the synthetic opioid fentanyl. This should be a reminder that cheap, dangerous synthetic opioids are sometimes added to street methamphetamine without the user knowing.
9. Meth Deadens Your Emotions
When you have an addiction to meth, your emotions disappear as you chase a continuous high. One of the important health benefits of quitting meth is that you will feel real emotions again. You’ll feel joy when something wonderful happens and genuine sadness when it’s appropriate. Drugs and the pursuit of drugs can deaden a person’s real emotions. And this isn’t true just for meth. Alcohol, heroin, sedatives, marijuana, and opiates can leave a person with no reactions when both good and bad things happen. Meth and other stimulants, on the other hand, give users emotional reactions based on paranoia and delusions, which are no better.
10. People Like The Real You
Probably the best benefit of quitting meth is that the people around you will like this non-paranoid, non-delusional, non-violent person significantly more than the person you were on meth. Drugs highjack your real personality. When you quit, this takes a heavy burden off your family and friends. There’s nothing worse than having the people you love to watch you change into another person — one who sometimes has to be taken to an emergency room to stay alive.
Do any of these 10 reasons for quitting meth resonate? Want to look in a mirror and see the face of the person you once were? Do you want to regain your health and your friends? If you said yes to any of these questions, it’s time to reach out and help. You’re ready, and we can connect you to the resources you need. Call us today at the number below.
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