Methamphetamine has both an unusual and unfortunate unique attribute; it is the only illegal substance abuse by both men and women equally. We shall briefly explore the reasons for this, but first some statistics is in order.
Methamphetamine is a toxic synthetic substance that releases more dopamine in the brain than any other substance. It not only floods the central nervous system in an uncontrollable supersaturation of dopamine, it also simultaneously causes that dopamine to stay on the brain’s receptors in a manner that the brain is not designed to withstand. It is vastly more powerful than any other stimulant, such as different forms of cocaine. It takes the brain on average a period of 10 days to refill itself with a natural and organic supply of dopamine. Although our brains may take six months or longer to recover to normal functioning after extended use, there are thankfully, medical treatments that can make this recovery period much more comfortable. This severe hijacking of the brain’s dopamine system often causes an individual who was suffering from addiction to experience problems in every category other functioning. There can be substantial consequences to a person’s body, finances, issues with the legal system, damage relationships, and a complete loss of one’s true character and personality.
Methamphetamine use is actually a worldwide pandemic with over 25 million people needlessly suffering the catastrophic effects of this devastating addiction. Well over half of the victims of stop terrible affliction are in Asia, closely followed by North America/Europe followed by South America and Africa.
Methamphetamine use is initially attractive because in its early stages it can enhance sexual pleasure, give the user tremendous motivation and energy, assists the individual in rapid weight loss, and is extremely effective in separating an individual from their emotional pain/trauma/past. Often meth abusers cross addict and become sex addicts.
The popularity of methamphetamine use with young people makes it seem like a socially acceptable and fun way of making friends and being popular. At first, this may seem enticing because it makes the user feel like a member of a very select and cool club. This, of course, is a naïve and dangerous illusion.
Why is methamphetamine so particularly compelling for women? Unfortunately, many women have a history of emotional/sexual/physical abuse and trauma. Women are also unfairly overly burdened in most societies with an unrealistic. image of body consciousness (hence the compelling promise a quick weight loss). Women are also more likely to be overwhelmed by conflicting responsibilities of taking care of home and family while working (hence the usefulness of endless energy).
Women also often have special issues to deal with later in recovery. Many women find themselves in a situation of using sex as the only alternative of getting drugs, and some women have suffered the overwhelming feelings of shame and guilt of not having had the ability to provide their children with the love and protection that they otherwise would have had they not been suffering the devastating consequences of this terrible disease.
Survivors of this epidemic are often faced with tremendous wreckage in every aspect of their human functioning. Special care is needed to support and assist an individual in slowly repairing the different categories of their lives over time. Special attention must be given to compassionately address the tremendous remorse and pain that an individual experiences as a result of all this wreckage.
However, people are successfully and wonderfully recovering at our outpatient rehab from this terrible drug. Recovery through our treatment at our rehab from meth abuse is absolutely and completely possible (we get to see it all the time!) Interestingly, success in recovery is just as high for individuals who were forced into treatment, as it is for those who voluntarily applied themselves. This is really good news. Over time the brain will succeed in its ability to heal itself. The individual will reclaim their true self, their authentic personality, their inherent values, and their basic essence is only given the right support system and treatment. Our outpatient treatment center is here to help you with your meth abuse and co occurring disorders.
According to the DSM-V, there are 11 symptoms of Stimulant Use Disorder and in order for a person to be diagnosed with this disorder, he or she must have two of the following symptoms in the past 12 months.
- Larger amounts of using the stimulant happen over a longer period of time then the individual originally intended. (“I can’t believe I am still ‘tweaking’.”)
- Although there is a desire to control the using, efforts usually prove to be unsuccessful and do not last. (“Crap, I didn’t mean get that ‘fried’.”)
- More and more of a user’s waking hours are either used to get high or recover from using. (“It’s always time to ‘party and play’.”)
- A person experiences an intense need to use. (“Damn, I need some ‘chalk’.”)
- Using interferes in a person’s ability to function at home and in work. (“I will be in a little late to work today.”)
- Someone continues to use even though their drinking has caused personal problems, such as marital problems, conflicts with children or parents, and peer problems. (Your wife says, “It is either me or the meth!”)
- Activities in the workplace, at home or with friends are missed as a result of using. (“I was hungover and couldn’t make it.”)
- Using causes an individual to be in harm’s way. (“How did I make it home last night?”)
- A person continues to use even though they have physical or psychological issues with drinking. (Your doctor says, “If you don’t stop using, you are going to die.”)
- A person needs more and more of the stimulant to get high or a person appears less high when consuming the same amount of alcohol that previously caused them to be high. (“Wow, I have had three lines and I don’t feel the rush.”)
- A person gets agitated, uncomfortable in their own skin, irritable, sweats or shakes when stopping use and, as a result, a person starts to use again to stop these negative effects. (“I don’t feel good, I need a line.”)