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What is Methamphetamine? Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment


What is Methamphetamine? Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment

Methamphetamine acts as a powerful central nervous system stimulant.

Methamphetamine acts as a powerful central nervous system stimulant. It is similar in structure to amphetamine, but in addition to being more potent, its half-life is longer compared to amphetamine. Like many stimulant substances, it causes euphoria (a state of great happiness, excitement and well-being that may be abnormal), thus leading to strong psychological addictions. Although it varies among users, most of the time its effect starts and ends quickly. This situation creates a desire to repeat the dose.

Methamphetamine stimulates the dopaminergic (nerve wires that secrete dopamine) and noradrenergic (nerve wires that secrete noradrenaline) nerve endings, causing the secretion of hormones called dopamine (the hormone directly related to pleasure, motivation, satisfaction and happiness) and noradrenaline (the hormone that affects happiness, brain and body functions). it causes. Ephedrine or pseudoephedrine molecules can be transformed into methamphetamine through various chemical processes.

While its bioavailability is 70% orally, this rate reaches 100% in intravenous administration. [5]. It is metabolized in the body via the hepatic pathway and excreted renally. Half-life is approximately 8-10 hours [10].

It can be found in powder or pill form. Among the users, the names meth, crystal, ice, crystal meth, crank, tina, ice cocaine, water blunts, and fire are also used.

What is Methamphetamine Addiction?

During methamphetamine exposure, cells receive constant stimulation. The human body inherently reduces the number of receptors to which methamphetamine binds in order to regulate the number of stimuli. Since there is a decrease in the number of receptors to which methamphetamine binds, the person cannot get the same effect as he did with the previous dose. The person uses higher doses of the substance to achieve the pleasurable feeling he had in previous uses. This situation is known as “tolerance development” and each time the user needs to use more substances than the previous use, and substance addiction develops with chronic use.


How Does Methamphetamine Addiction Work?

Methamphetamine stimulates dopaminergic and noradrenergic neurons located in the central nervous system neurons. This stimulation causes the uncontrolled release of chemicals called dopamine and noradrenaline. As a result of uncontrolled secretion, these substances bind to various receptors and create many signals. These warnings can be observed in the person as follows:

  • sudden increase in body temperature,
  • Feeling of excessive energy, excitement and vitality due to excessive secretion of the adrenaline hormone,
  • Euphoria, feeling of extreme excitement,
  • Increase in sexual desire,
  • Depersonalization to surrounding events,
  • Hallucinations and paranoia,
  • Agitation and overreaction to events,
  • Increased social life, talking more than normal,
  • Loss of appetite,
  • Increase in heart rate and blood pressure.

What are the Symptoms and Psychological Effects of Methamphetamine Addiction?

Symptoms of methamphetamine addiction may appear differently for each user. But we can list the main symptoms and psychological effects as follows:

  • Sensitivity, redness and burning sensation in the eyes,
  • Paranoia, delusions and hallucinations,
  • Desire to withdraw from social life, lack of energy,
  • Decrease in sexual desire,
  • Sleep problems and feeling of insomnia,
  • Depression and anxiety,
  • Persistent feeling of weakness and fatigue,
  • Increased appetite.

Young age, low education level, psychoactive substance use, negative living conditions, inappropriate social environments, depression, anxiety disorder, various psychological disorders, traumatic losses, desire to lose weight, desire to commit suicide, curiosity and many other factors lead to substance use. It is among the reasons that can lead to addiction.

What are the Consequences of Methamphetamine Addiction?

Many of the neurochemical events are under the control of the central nervous system. Since methamphetamine is a powerful central nervous system stimulant, it directly affects neurochemical events such as insomnia, appetite, heart rate and blood pressure, communication, attention, mood, body temperature:

  • Methamphetamine can cause severe pulmonary edema due to its consumption route. [3],
  • It may cause deterioration of the entire oral health, including the gums. [3],
  • Liver and kidney failure is one of the most well-known consequences. [3],
  • Acute poisonings can result in severe hypothermia [3],
  • Sudden increases in blood pressure and heart rate can cause stroke and heart attack [1],
  • Violent behavior, depression and anxiety are observed in the user [2],
  • The possibility of contracting infectious diseases such as hepatitis B and C and HIV as a result of shared use of methamphetamine use devices is quite high. [1],
  • It can cause fatal weight loss, skin sores, confusion and memory loss. [1],
  • May increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease [6],
  • In addition to all these, it can directly cause death of the person. [3].
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Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment

There is no approved drug for the treatment of methamphetamine addiction, but pharmacotherapy methods are applied as a complement to behavioral therapies as the second step of treatment.

The person using methamphetamine is treated under the control of counselors in order to maintain his motivation. Small motivational rewards for encouragement during the therapy applied to the patient can be moves that will move the person forward.

Physical activities have a significant impact on people who have decided to stop using methamphetamine. Physical activities are very important in reducing depression, anxiety disorder and anxiety, and in increasing vigor and quality of social life.

Cutting down on consumption, especially avoiding intravenous use, avoiding drug interactions that may cause serotonin syndrome, exercise, involvement in social life, regular nutrition, and taking care of body and oral health can help the person feel better psychologically and contribute to alleviating the challenging parts of the treatment.

Information for People Who Have a Relative Struggling with Methamphetamine Addiction

Methamphetamine addiction treatment is a very difficult process. Change is difficult and time consuming. In this process, various duties fall on the patient as well as the relatives around him. The most important thing is to be patient and understanding during this process. Things you can do for your loved one include:

  • During substance addiction, the person loses time management. This addiction causes frequent idle time during the day, and these gaps lead to substance use again. For this reason, a person’s free time should be structured and the gaps created during the day should be filled with various activities.
  • Addicted people are often individuals who are seen as a problem within the family. Family members attacking the person may cause the person to become overwhelmed after a while and cause the person to want to move away from the family environment and return to the life they had during the addiction period. For this reason, people in the treatment process should be given as much attention as other family members, addiction should not be constantly talked about, the person should feel like a part of the family and should not be subjected to marginalization.
  • After addiction treatment, past conflicts with the person should not be constantly talked about. Constantly blaming and looking at it as a danger will not have a constructive effect on supporting the treatment.
  • Allowing the patient to take responsibility and assigning tasks within the family by including the person in daily tasks will enable the patient to think that he is still a part of the family, like a normal individual.
  • Talking to an addicted or treated patient using I language produces more constructive results. “You are disturbing me.” instead of “I was disturbed.” sentence should be preferred.
  • While speaking, the person should not be judged or blamed, the conversation should not turn into an argument, the other party should be listened to calmly and empathy should be established.
  • Clear boundaries and rules should be determined within the family, these rules should apply to all family members, and if these boundaries are violated, a sanction must be applied.
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During the addiction treatment process, both the individual who will receive treatment and their family relatives must be in consultation with specialist physicians. Do not forget to visit our page and hospitals to receive reliable health services from specialist physicians at Anadolu Health Center.


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