Recovering from substance abuse is a challenging journey. The process of recovery can be long and arduous and, in some cases, individuals may experience multiple relapses before achieving sustained abstinence. Given that addiction is a chronic relapsing disease, overcoming it is often a grave challenge that is conquered in stages. Depending on the substance used most frequently, relapse can be more prominent. Meth relapse rate, for example, can be higher than other substances such as cocaine. Learn more about the struggles of meth addiction below.
It’s important to identify factors that contribute to relapse in order to develop effective treatment strategies. Methamphetamine (meth) is one of the most commonly abused substances worldwide. Additionally, meth dependence is associated with high rates of relapse.
If you or someone you know is struggling with meth addiction, it’s important to find support as soon as possible. AspenRidge Recovery offers meth addiction programs in Colorado. Contact us directly to discuss recovery options at 855-281-5588.
What Is Meth?
Methamphetamine, more commonly known as meth, is an illicit drug that is commonly used recreationally and possesses a high risk of abuse as it is characterized as a highly addictive and potent substance that can cause significant damage to the body and the mind.
The substance has been linked to numerous health problems including:
- Cardiovascular issues
- Neurological disorders
- Liver disease
- Weight loss
- Death due to overdose
In addition to these physical side effects, there are also psychological consequences such as depression, anxiety, paranoia, aggression, insomnia, agitation, and hallucinations. These symptoms can lead to increased feelings of guilt, shame, and self-blame which can further increase the likelihood of relapse.
Why Is Meth Addictive?
Meth is a stimulant that acts on the central nervous system by increasing levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. This causes a feeling of euphoria similar to cocaine or amphetamine. It is believed that the brain becomes dependent upon the release of dopamine caused by methamphetamine.
When the user stops taking the drug, the brain begins to produce less dopamine, causing withdrawal symptoms such as:
- Irritability and violent outbursts
- Sweating, shakiness, nausea, and vomiting
- Diarrhea and abdominal pain
- Muscle aches and joint pain
- Fever and flu-like symptoms, backaches, tremors
- Difficulty concentrating and cognitive impairment
Substance Abuse Rates With Meth
The drug boosts the release of a neurotransmitter called dopamine, leading to an increase of this chemical in the brain. Dopamine is associated with motor function, motivation, reward, and the brain’s pleasure centers. For these reasons, methamphetamine is one of the most accessible and abused substances, impacting many communities nationwide.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 5.4% of individuals over the age of 12 will use meth at some point in their life.
Additionally, the meth relapse rate is incredibly high given the potency of the substance. As life moves forward, more problems arise, as they do for everyone. However, for a recovering meth addict, these problems contribute to a mounting world of stress that meth had once erased. As more and more stressors mount, the urge to return to old behaviors, like using meth, increases. Toward the end of the line of dominoes, the weight of all the problems and stressors becomes too much, and the result is meth relapse.
The Effects of Meth
How does meth critically impact our body and mind? Risks of abuse
Meth is a powerful potent drug that can have devastating effects on your body and mind. Here are some of the ways that meth impacts your body:
Meth increases heart rate and blood pressure. As a result, you may feel lightheaded, dizzy, faint, or even pass out. High doses of the drug can cause severe hypertension and stroke.
Meth damages the brain’s ability to regulate blood flow. This results in strokes and seizures. Long-term use of the drug can lead to permanent brain damage.
Methamphetamines affect the way the brain works by changing its chemistry. The drugs can cause changes to the structure of the brain cells and their connections. These changes can be permanent.
Long-term use of meth can lead to liver failure.
Meth use can trigger psychotic episodes. The hallucinations experienced during these episodes include hearing voices, seeing things that aren’t really there, delusions of persecution, and paranoid thoughts. These effects can be more prevalent in individuals suffering from co-occurring disorders.
Meth Addiction and Co-Occurring Disorders
Co-occurring disorders refer to mental illnesses that occur alongside another disorder. Those suffering from a meth addiction may also experience a co-occurring disorder such as:
- Depression and other mental health disorders
- Substance Use Disorder
- Bipolar Disorder
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Eating Disorders
- Anxiety Disorders
What Is the Half-Life Of Meth?
The time in which meth stays in the body varies from person to person. Meth’s half-life is approximately 12 hours. Therefore, it takes around 12 hours for the substance to be metabolized by half of the total amount previously taken. After this time period, the concentration of the drug will start to decrease rapidly.
If the individual continues to take the drug after this point, they will most likely experience negative effects. The term half-life is characterized by how it takes a certain amount of time for a substance in the body to be metabolized by 50%. Whilst some substances take several hours, others take several days for them to be flushed out of the body’s system.
What Is Meth Relapse?
The meth relapse rate raises many concerns for addiction specialists and recovery center. Relapse is defined as when an individual returns to using drugs after a period of abstinence. There are many factors that contribute to a person experiencing a relapse. Some of these include:
- A lack of support from family and friends
- Stress and overwhelm
- Addiction triggers
- Negative peer influence
- Co-occurring mental disorders such as depression and anxiety
Some of the most common warning signs of meth relapse include:
- Feeling overwhelmed, distressed or hopeless about life
- Isolating from close friends and family
- Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
- Poor self-care
- Reminiscing about substance use
- Experiencing symptoms of craving
If you or someone you care for is experiencing any of the symptoms listed, it’s highly advised that you seek help from a health professional as meth addiction is known to consist of a treacherous journey to recovery that requires all the dedication and support you can get. For more information and advice on what steps to take next, contact us directly on 855-281-5588.
Meth Relapse Rate & Statistics
According to the National Institute of Health, Meth relapse rates are considered to be significantly high due to the potency of the substance.
Studies show that nearly more than 60% of people suffering from meth use relapse after their first year even after starting recovery. Hence, though relapse is recognized as a common process to recovery from meth addiction, the rate of relapse can be significantly reduced by undertaking a prolonged and ongoing treatment to maintain sustained sobriety.
Ways Of Preventing Relapse
Prevention is key when it comes to avoiding relapses. It is important to understand what causes one to relapse so that you can prevent yourself from falling into old habits again. Below are some techniques to practice that may help in prevention.
- Identify and avoid your triggers
- Speak to a trusted individual whether it be a family member, friend, or sponsor
- Start therapy
- Attend a support group
- Journal and practice mindfulness
- Seek treatment and begin a reliable program
AspenRidge Can Help
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction or are worried about relapsing, now is the time to seek help. Carrying a high risk of abuse, the misuse of meth can lead to significant long-term consequences that can have a drastic impact on the body and the mind.
There are many different treatment options available to those who suffer from meth addiction. These range from detoxification to rehab programs. At AspenRidge Recovery we offer an array of services designed to provide you with the best possible care. We understand that each client has their own unique needs and therefore tailor all treatments to suit their specific requirements. Our team of qualified professionals works closely together to ensure that every aspect of your recovery is tailored to meet your personal goals. Our treatment options for meth addiction include; inpatient and outpatient substance abuse treatment as well as ongoing therapy for co-occurring disorders.
For more information on the treatments and programs available, contact us today at 855-281-5588.