Crystal meth has been around for decades. Sadly, the drug is on the rise again, particularly in small rural parts of the country. The drug was first synthesized over 100 years ago and used by World War II troops to stay awake. Meth became a problem when amateur chemists discovered a way to make the drug using over-the-counter cough medicine. Since then, crystal meth has plagued our communities by being dangerous, potent and highly addictive.
Meth is making a comeback, and unfortunately, it’s affecting many of the areas that are still recovering from the opioid crisis. It’s important to be on alert for this drug and the symptoms of its use. In this article, we’ll discuss the resurgence of crystal meth in our communities, why it’s addictive and how outpatient meth treatment can help.
What is Crystal Meth Exactly?
Crystal meth is a psychostimulant from the methamphetamine family that includes “speed” and “MDMA.” These drugs stimulate dopamine production in the brain for increased feelings of happiness, pleasure and well-being. Once a person snorts, injects or inhales the drug, it creates a rush of confidence, hyperactivity and energy. People lose their appetite, too. One dose of crystal meth usually lasts 6-8 hours, though it can last up to 24 hours.
The man-made stimulant has been around for more than 100 years. Not only were soldiers in World War II given meth to stay awake, but also people have used methamphetamines to lose weight and ease depression. Today, the only legal methamphetamine on the market is a tablet that is used to treat obesity and ADHD. However, it’s rarely prescribed as there are safer alternatives available.
Why is Crystal Meth on the Rise Again?
Crystal meth was popular in the 1990s when amateur chemists began producing their own meth using cold medications and household cleaning products. It wasn’t until 2006’s Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act that the drug’s production decreased. This act limited over-the-counter access to certain cold medications.
While meth lab seizures were their lowest rate in 16 years, the drug didn’t disappear. Instead, it shifted to a new market – Mexico. Today, most of our country’s meth comes from “superlabs” that are run by the drug cartels (mostly the Sinaloa cartel). These labs produce tons of meth that’s cheaper and purer than ever – some with 95 to 99 percent purity.
Moreover, Mexican superlabs are comfortable pushing out industrial size orders, as they’re responsible for synthetic opioids like fentanyl, too. They target areas that have already been ravaged by addiction, as well as new markets on the East Coast and Southern United States. Despite an increase in seizures, plenty of meth makes it over the borders of Arizona and California by means of drones, fuel tanks, batteries and juice bottles.
How to Know if Someone is Using Meth
Do you think that a friend or loved one is using crystal meth? There are specific physical signs to look for. Meth addiction carries the same psychological and social effects as other drugs, such as withdrawing from friends and family, losing interest in hobbies and having problems in relationships.
People who abuse crystal meth may show the following physical signs:
- Mood swings or outbursts
- Twitching/jerky movements
- Dilated pupils
- Reduced appetite
- Sudden weight loss
- Rapid eye movement
- Erratic sleeping patterns
- Burns or skin sores
- Rotting teeth
How Outpatient Meth Treatment Can Help
An addiction to meth is very serious, and without medical intervention, it’s almost impossible to stop using the drug. The first step in quitting crystal meth is detox. You should never detox at home, as this is incredibly uncomfortable and dangerous. Seeking medically supervised detox in a structured environment allows you to detox safely and successfully.
Once you are clean, you can start holistic outpatient drug treatment. Some people start this program immediately after detox while others complete an inpatient program first. One option is not necessarily better than the other, though we do recommend following up with counseling immediately after detox so that there is no lapse in treatment.
Here are the benefits to seeking outpatient treatment for meth addiction:
- Convenient. Outpatient rehab in Phoenix is convenient because you don’t have to uproot your life for several weeks or months. You can receive treatment several days a week or more and return home in the evenings.
- Easier transitioning. One of the hardest parts of recovery is transitioning into everyday life without drugs and alcohol. Outpatient meth treatment gives you the skills, tools and resources to ease into your life. Plus, you’ll get practice at this everyday since your time is split between home and rehab.
- Various treatment options. Outpatient treatment gives you a wide range of therapies to use in your recovery, such as counseling, holistic healing, medications and aftercare. You can explore all of these options in a rehabilitative setting to see which ones are the right fit.
- Cost-effective. In many cases, outpatient care is more affordable than inpatient care. Continuum Recovery Center works with most commercial insurance as well as AHCCCS healthcare plans, making healing available to the broadest possible pool of people. You also have more flexibility in the number of hours you seek treatment each week. With more affordable costs, outpatient treatment centers like Continuum Recovery Center in Phoenix are a practical solution for many families.
Don’t Delay: Get Help Today
An addiction to crystal meth is very serious. The rush of euphoria that people get is highly addicting, which is why they seek out more and more of the drug. As tolerance builds, you’ll need larger quantities of the drug to feel high, increasing the risk for overdose and death. Long-term effects from using crystal meth include damaged blood vessels in the brain that can lead to heart attack or stroke, as well as kidney, lung and liver damage.
Continuum Recovery Center is a holistic outpatient treatment center in Phoenix, Arizona that treats crystal meth addiction. We have a number of programs that will support your recovery, regardless of the stage you are in. We offer comprehensive psychotherapy, group and one-on-one counseling, yoga, mindfulness, and life-skills taught by licensed clinicians and addiction specialists in a safe, peaceful environment. When you leave, you’ll have all the tools you need to take back your life.
Contact Continuum Recovery Center today to learn more about our programs and how we can help you heal in body, mind, and spirit and recover a life of freedom, joy, and impact.