There is nothing easy about drug and alcohol addiction, but more than that there is nothing obvious about them either. You can be addicted and not even know it until you are forced to go without your vice against your will. This is especially true for methamphetamines.
Most people are surprised to find that certain medications are locked in cabinets or require identification to buy. The reason for this is usually that they either contain or are ingredients to meth. Meth, as you might know, is an extremely potent and addictive narcotic drug.
The big danger of meth is how it interacts with the human body: It quickly overrides all nervous system functions and basically turns the body into a means to the end of getting more meth.
For that reason, it is critical that you understand how to spot meth dependency early, either in yourself or a loved one. Once you spot it, you should know the treatments. And on top of all of this, you should remember that recovery is possible. Many people forget that.
So, let’s get started by talking about what meth addiction looks like.
Remember, addiction tends to occur at the nervous system and find its way outward. Part of the nervous system is sending signals to the body to accomplish all sorts of tasks, including muscle control. That makes it very easy to spot meth addiction early on by looking at their hands.
You can spot this the easiest if you spend a lot of time with the sufferer of addiction. As time goes on and they go longer without a fix, the shaking will get worse.
Another thing you can spot through the hands is the damage that meth does to the glands that moderate skin tissue. Chronic meth use will result in the hands appearing to age faster than the rest of the body as dried and damaged skin is no longer replaced with fresh skin.
This is one of the most well-known signs of meth addiction. It comes up a lot because it is extremely obvious and unpleasant. But do not be overly reliant on this sign to decide if you or a loved one has developed a meth dependency, as it only appears after a long addiction battle.
Severe Acne or Sores
Teenagers think that they know what severe acne is. We are not talking about having pimples and scars on the cheeks. We are talking about pustules that look like they come from a biblical plague. These can be the size of a fingertip and hang heavily off of the skin.
Lots of drugs can cause a sense or paranoia. The root of this is the drug’s effect on the perception of time. Rather than causing any particular emotional state to be better or worse, some drugs will make these emotional states take lesser or greater amounts of time.
The result is that meth makes you process your emotions so fast (due to the chemical signals involved in the emotions being processed fast) that they hit you all at once. This effect can leave people traumatized by normal emotions, resulting in frequent episodes of paranoia.
So, we have talked about how to spot meth addiction. But how do you treat it?
This is always the first step to recovery from meth addiction. Detoxification means getting the meth and the chemicals it produces in your body out of your body. This can take time, and the simplest approach is to just let your body process them. It being simple does not make it easy.
Medication is critical when dealing with meth withdrawal. Of all the drugs out there, meth, heroin, and alcohol all have the worst withdrawal symptoms. And the worst part of it is that there is no pill you can take that will allow you to “skip” over withdrawal. You have to deal with it.
There are, however, pills you can take to help you deal with the symptoms. Some people think that they are not “legitimately” kicking the habit if they use these. The truth is the opposite.
Never underestimate the value of counseling. The idea behind counseling is not to just talk about your feelings. It is to get an outside perspective on your struggles. Part of the problem with addiction is that it causes your body to lie to you, in particular by telling you that you will die without meth. Counseling helps you understand the world outside that perspective.
It also serves to remind you of the realities of recovering from addiction. Many addicts think that relapsing is the end of the world, that it somehow proves that recovery is impossible. But the truth is that relapse is a normal part of breaking a bad habit.
This essentially boils down to having contacts you can connect with that will help you stay away from meth, as well as places you can go to do the same thing. People tend to forget that meth addiction is usually the product of a certain kind of environment.
And if you change the environment, recovery is much easier.
Remember That Recovery is Possible
It is so easy for people going through recovery of meth addiction to forget this. Of all the drugs in the world, meth is perhaps the least socially acceptable. And it is easy to understand why.
But that stigma can end up extending to the people who suffer from it, making them feel hopeless. That is beneficial to no one, particularly the person suffering from the addiction.
Addiction is a disease, not a personality flaw. Obviously it can come about as a result of one’s actions taken due to actual personality flaws, but the addiction itself is never intrinsic to the addict. And like any disease, an addiction, even to something as bad as meth, can be treated.