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Methamphetamine, colloquially referred to as meth, is a highly addictive, synthetic, neuro-toxic stimulant. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), classifies meth as a Schedule II Controlled Substance, which is defined as a drug “with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence.” The half-life, meaning the length of time the substance will remain in one’s system until the concentration in one’s blood has been reduced by half, of meth is approximately ten hours. Additional studies have found that when taken orally, “concentrations of methamphetamine peak in the bloodstream between 2.6 and 3.6 hours, and the amphetamine metabolite peaks at 12 hours.” If, however, meth is taken intravenously, the elimination half-life is a bit longer at about 12.2 hours.

Meth works by acting on certain neurotransmitters. The presence of methamphetamines in one’s system creates a surge of dopamine (a neurotransmitter that carries signals between brain cells) in one’s brain while simultaneously decreasing one’s serotonin (the key hormone responsible for maintaining one’s mood balance) levels. A decrease of one’s serotonin levels can produce extreme mood changes, such as impulsiveness, depression, and aggression. When simultaneously paired with a rapid and excessive release of dopamine, delirium and/ or a rush of euphoria may be experienced.

Addiction Recovery

Addiction, also known as substance use disorder (SUD), is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), as a chronic, relapsing neurological disorder. It is characterized by “clinically significant impairments in health, social function, and voluntary control over substance use.” Relapse is defined by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), “as the recurrence of behavioral or other substantive indicators of active disease after a period of remission.” According to the National Institute of Health, methamphetamine relapse rates are considered to be significantly high due to the potency and addictive nature of the substance. Studies show that nearly 61% of recovered meth users experience relapse within the first year after undergoing addiction recovery treatment. The National Library of Medicine (NLM) does indicate a correlation between how long it takes for someone to receive help for meth abuse (the sooner, the better) and their long-term prognosis. Additionally, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the length of time an individual spends in substance abuse treatment can directly increase his or her outcome in recovery.

For Information and Support

If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-258-6792. You are also welcomed to contact anytime us via email at admissions@hhtxc.com.

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