What Is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine (referred to most commonly as “meth”) is a drug closely related to amphetamines, but which differs in scope and structure. Methamphetamine is a stimulant like Adderall and other amphetamines, but it contains a different—and even more dangerous—chemical structure that allows the drug to interact with the brain faster, making it stronger and more addictive than prescription stimulants.
A particular danger of meth is methamphetamine psychosis, sometimes referred to as crystal meth psychosis. Meth-induced psychosis is a mental illness brought on by the use of methamphetamines, and can occur after the drug has worn off or during the high itself. Signs typically include hallucinations, delusions, and obsessive behaviors, and individuals undergoing meth psychosis may be highly aggressive or irrational. The psychosis is triggered by a cognitive imbalance brought on by the rapid dopamine surge caused by meth consumption.
What Are Amphetamines?
Amphetamines, a class of narcotic psycho-stimulants that include drugs like Adderall, Ritalin, and other ADD and ADHD medications, have been over-prescribed among young people for decades. This has resulted in a generation of individuals with easy access to stimulants and little comprehension for just how dangerous they can be.
Amphetamines are often prescribed for ADD and ADHD, disorders thought to be caused by an under-stimulation of dopamine in the prefrontal cortex. They have also been prescribed as treatments for obesity, narcolepsy, and Parkinson’s disease. As a treatment for ADD and ADHD, amphetamines are thought to be effective because they stimulate increased dopamine production, allowing the prefrontal cortex to maintain more balanced control over the rest of the brain and the body.
However, individuals are abusing amphetamines not as a treatment for ADD or ADHD but as a way to get high. Amphetamines operate similarly to speed, and like speed, they come with an inherent risk of serious negative health effects. These include drastically increased heart rates and blood pressures, as well as a restriction of blood flow around the heart. Long-term use of amphetamines, especially when mixed with other substances, can also have serious mental side effects, including aggression, psychosis, suicidal behavior, and hallucinations.
Treatment for Amphetamines & Methamphetamines
For individuals who want to figure out how to quit meth, it’s important to acknowledge that detoxification and recovery almost always require professional oversight. Withdrawal can be intense and painful, and psychosis can set in as well. At Retreat’s centers for residential drug treatment in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, we oversee a safe inpatient detoxification program where patients are monitored and managed 24/7 by a skilled psychological and nursing staff. After detox, patients are transitioned into our qualified rehabilitation treatment programs, which include therapeutic treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy and psychotherapy. Our goal is to safely guide those suffering from addiction into recovery and then provide them with the tools that they need to sustain their recovery long-term.
Seek Out Recovery Now
If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction to amphetamines or methamphetamine, know that help is only a phone call away. We accept new admissions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at our treatment centers in Palm Beach County and Lancaster County. We provide free ground transportation to and from our facilities, and we are always available to answer your questions.