Meth Abuse & Addiction in Orlando

What Is Meth?

Crystal meth, or meth, are two terms used for crystal methamphetamine. Meth is a drug that’s very potent and addictive. It affects the central nervous system, and it has no legal or medical uses in the United States. Crystal meth looks like pieces of glass or rocks. Meth is similar in structure to amphetamine, which is a drug that’s available by prescription and is used to treat symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy.

Meth can also come as a powder or a pill. Meth can be used by inhaling or smoking it, swallowing it, snorting it, or injecting the dissolved powder in a liquid. When a person uses meth, they will likely feel high quickly, but that initial rush doesn’t last long.

When a person uses meth, it affects the level of dopamine in their brain. There is a sudden flood of dopamine into the brain which is why a person feels high. Some of the short-term effects of meth might include:

  • Increased wakefulness
  • Increased energy and activity
  • Reduced appetite
  • Rapid breathing
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased body temperature

People often wonder, “What is meth?” and, “What is meth made of?” Crystal meth is made primarily with something called pseudoephedrine, which is in many cold medicines. Due to its use in meth-making, there have been limits placed on the purchase of medicines containing pseudoephedrine. Along with pseudoephedrine, meth can contain many other ingredients, most of which are harmful chemicals. For example, meth might include chemicals that are used as cleaners, and they may be very volatile and flammable.

Most of the meth in the United States comes from large labs in places like Mexico, but some people operate labs in America, including in their homes. Making meth is very dangerous and can lead to chemical explosions.

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Is Meth Addictive?

Meth is one of the most addictive illegal drugs. When someone uses meth, they get a nearly instantaneous and very powerful high. It’s a rush that’s incomparable according to many people. This feeling is the result of the dopamine that floods the brain. It creates pleasure, a false sense of well-being, energy and confidence. Due to the powerful effects of meth, many people become addicted almost immediately. It’s possible to become addicted to meth after using it only once. Developing a tolerance to meth also occurs quickly. Someone who uses meth will often need higher doses within a short period to get the same desired effects.

Meth use also tends to lead to cycles of binging. Because the effects of meth are powerful but short-lived, someone might use the drug repeatedly in a relatively short period to maintain the same results. Along with being addictive, using meth can lead to severe dependence. If someone’s dependent on meth and they stop using it suddenly, withdrawal symptoms can be severe and can include depression and psychosis. As someone is coming off meth, even if they aren’t necessarily dependent on it, the crash can create intense psychological symptoms.

Meth is addictive because of its effects on dopamine in the brain as well as serotonin. Dopamine is a brain chemical that creates pleasure, reward and motivation. Serotonin regulates mood and appetite. Meth causes dopamine to rush into the brain at extremely high levels. Meth isn’t a drug that can be used recreationally in most situations. Typically if someone is using meth, they are very quickly addicted, and they need professional treatment for their addiction.

Meth Addiction Statistics

In America, the meth statistics are saddening. Based on research from For several years, the use of meth was declining, but recently its use has become more prevalent again. While the number of labs has decreased across the country, there is still more meth on the streets, and more people die from it because of meth labs and distribution channels that start outside the U.S.

In 2011, there were an estimated abuse. It was the fourth-most-cited illegal substance in emergency room visits. In 2012, an estimated 1.2 million people abused meth, and there were reportedly more than 130,000 new users.

Individual states have a more significant meth problem than others. For example, some of the states that have the largest numbers of meth labs include Indiana, Tennessee, Missouri and Ohio.

Methamphetamine is a very potent and very addictive stimulant drug. If you or a loved one needs help for a meth addiction, treatment is available. To learn about meth addiction treatment options, please contact Orlando Recovery Center.

Medical Disclaimer: Orlando Recovery Center aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

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