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The Rise of Methamphetamine Use and Abuse

drugs in the form of crystals on a black background, methamphetamine in a plastic bag

Methamphetamine addiction is something that’s crept up in the United States behind other epidemics and pandemics in the last few years.

Methamphetamine often gets lumped into the category of drugs that “other people” get addicted to. In other words, a lot of people don’t imagine that their friends, brothers, parents, or selves would ever start using meth.

That said, it’s one of the most powerfully addictive drugs available, and it’s available all over the nation. We’re going to talk about how methamphetamine addiction has grown in recent years, also exploring why it’s so addictive and how to get help.

Hopefully, the information below serves as a basic overview of the situation so you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Let’s get started.

Current Methamphetamine Addiction Rates

One metric that tends to be a good indicator of addiction rates is overdoses. The rate of methamphetamine overdose almost tripled from the mid-2010s up to 2019.

That’s a clear sign that something in the landscape has changed, driving individuals to use and abuse methamphetamine. During that time, research shows that the population of users has expanded. The number of uses didn’t rise as much as overdoses, though.

Instead, meth is branching out into wider demographics and impacting individuals of various social groups. One reason that overdoses have jumped is the fact that fentanyl gets included in a lot of methamphetamines, cocaine, and heroin.

Fentanyl is an extremely powerful opioid that’s used in very small doses as a tranquilizer for large animals. Its effect on human beings, even in infinitesimal amounts, can be deadly. Street drugs get cut with fentanyl to increase the effect on the user.

Small amounts of the substance enhance the power of drugs like meth and allow dealers to get more money. That said, those dosages aren’t regulated at all and a minor mistake might lead to dozens of people overdosing.

Why Is Meth Use Expanding?

It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact reason that meth is expanding into different demographics at such high rates. A common reason for this kind of growth is a reduction in cost for users.

Availability of different ingredients, fluctuation in the economy, and demand all influence the cost and availability on a regular basis. The availability of cheaper foreign chemicals from political trade deals is also something that could change the presence of particular street drugs.

The interesting thing about meth and other chemical drugs, though, is that they require a fair amount of chemistry knowledge to produce.

Someone who makes meth might cook it like you would cook a complex meal for dinner, using a recipe. That said, there’s always someone behind that process, designing the drug in the first place.

Some underground chemists today use the P2P method of cooking meth, allowing them to produce the drug a lot cheaper and more rapidly. Chemistry allows these individuals to create drugs that are more addictive, more cost-effective, and easier to spread to new groups.

Why Is Meth So Addictive?

First and foremost, methamphetamine is a stimulant. It’s a drug that binds with receptors in such a way that the central nervous system spikes and keeps the user very alert. It’s a cousin of legal medications like Adderal or Concerta, which aim to treat ADHD and other mental illnesses.

Those drugs have a similar effect, producing a sense of alertness and focus in the individual. That said, methamphetamine is in a different ballpark. In addition to a spike in alertness, meth also causes the brain to release a lot of dopamine.

Dopamine is the little reward our brain gives us for doing something that’s beneficial to our survival. Eating a meal, experiencing intercourse, or achieving a difficult goal are all instances when we receive dopamine from our brains.

It feels great, and it’s part of the reason that we continue doing those things. We experience one reward, and we want another.

Addictive drugs, more often than not, allow us to access that dopamine in large amounts without any effort. The experience of that much dopamine is often euphoric, happy, and exciting at first.

The other side of that process is that you might not sleep for days, you might feel invincible, and your mental state might degrade. Hallucinations, delusions, and a whole host of physical side effects aren’t uncommon when someone gets addicted to meth.

At the same time, the experience of such a dopamine rush is powerful enough to produce a heavy addiction.

Is There Help for Methamphetamine Abuse?

It’s important to know that you can come back from methamphetamine addiction if you’re suffering from it. A methamphetamine treatment center is equipped to help individuals recover in each area of their lives.

Getting through such a powerful addiction without the help of professionals is a great challenge. It’s something that few people can do, and the ones who do are very lucky.

In most cases, the availability and strength of methamphetamine draw users back in. Even if it’s their heart’s deepest desire to stay away from the drug as long as they live, addiction has a funny way of working itself back into the front of a person’s mind.

When it’s there, it produces justifications, tells you lies, and does anything it can to get you back to your dealer’s door. A treatment center is a place where you can purge yourself of those thoughts without the chance of relapsing.

It’s a safe environment with people who are trained to help your body, mind, and soul recover from an often earth-shattering addiction. There’s help, and all you need to do is reach out.

Interested in Methamphetamine Recovery?

If you want to learn more about methamphetamine addiction and recovery, you’re in the right place. Addiction is a complex issue, and there are a lot of factors to understand if you want to move forward and progress.

We’re here to help you learn as much as you need to. Contact us for more addiction resources, information on methamphetamine and other drugs, and a whole lot more.

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