A synthetic chemical, meth is made by mixing various forms of amphetamine or derivatives of other chemicals to boost potency. The strength of meth stimulates the brain’s pleasure response system which creates a high and a desire to keep using to experience the same high over and over again. Explore some of the effects of meth, how long the effects last and what to do if a loved one needs help quitting meth.
The norepinephrine system is located in the peripheral nervous system which is impacted by methamphetamine. The dopamine system is also impaired which causes changes to the brain in those who use meth including emotions, pleasurable feelings, motivation and movement. Serotonin function in the body is changed along with appetite, affection, mood, motor function, body temperature, personality and sexual activity. Euphoric feelings peak over time which causes addicts to seek out the effect when using, often binge taking the drug to make the duration last longer.
Stages of a Meth High
A meth ‘high’ is experienced in stages, over a short period of time (unless an individual binges). Generally speaking, here are the stages and what to expect.
The Rush – the initial response to meth when smoking or injecting the drug. The heartbeat races and metabolism, blood pressure and pulse increase at a rapid pace. A meth rush can last up to thirty minutes.
The High – During this stage, a person may become argumentative, prone to interrupting people and finishing sentences. Delusions and fixations may occur. The high stage can last anywhere from four to sixteen hours.
The Binge – Uncontrolled use of a drug or alcohol is considered a binge. This stage may last three to fifteen days during which time hyperactivity begins (mental and physical), with more meth being taken until no rush is experienced (or high).
Tweaking – the most dangerous phase of meth addiction occurs at the end of a drug binge when meth no longer provides a high or rush. When craving and withdrawal start to kick in, a person may experience extreme itching and become convinced bugs are crawling under the skin. Sleeplessness for days at a time is common. A psychotic state with hallucinations may begin. The individual may experience a hostile attitude and become a risk to self or others. Self-mutilation may also occur during this stage.
The Crash – the body begins to shut down, unable to cope with the overwhelming effects of meth. Long periods of sleep are common which can last one to three days.
Meth Hangover – severely starved, dehydrated and exhausted, a person will be in this stage from two to fourteen days. To avoid the bad feelings, a person will take more meth to feel better.
Even with treatment, a person may relapse several times before quitting meth. The drug is highly addictive and requires support and professional help to quit for good. It is not recommended a person quit meth cold turkey without medical supervision.
The Villa provides specialized treatment programs and resources for treatment of meth addiction. Even if you have tried to quit in the past, today is never too late to start over. Call us to find out how we can help you quit meth and begin recovery.