How Long Does it Take to Become Addicted to Meth?

Drug addiction can turn your entire world upside down. Even if you believed you could have used the substance once and then moved on or used it recreationally on occasion, some drugs are highly addictive even after a single use. Meth is one of them. As it comes from the classification of drugs known as stimulants, it can take only a single use for a person to become addicted.

Realizing you have a serious substance use disorder involving meth can be emotionally jarring. You might have believed you had things under control, but you suddenly find yourself craving more and more, to the point where you can’t even function without the drug. Meth, in particular, is highly addictive due to the “high” euphoric feeling it can give you. This is due to the way it stimulates dopamine in the brain. When you achieve this feeling, you want to get it more and more, which explains why people who abuse meth continuously take it for long periods of time. However, just like any substance, once you realize you have a serious problem and want to stop, you cannot do so cold turkey as it can lead to serious withdrawal symptoms. It’s important to understand how meth can seemingly take over your entire life.

What Is Meth?

Meth, short for methamphetamine, is a stimulant drug that affects the central nervous system. Traditionally, it was prescribed to help overweight and obese people to lose weight and was widely available, especially in tablet form throughout the country. However, it proved to be very addictive, leading the Food and Drug Administration or FDA to place some strict regulations on it. Since 1970, it has been classified as a Schedule II controlled substance, with only one prescription form still available on the market.

Sadly, most people who take meth and become addicted to it abuse its illegal form, usually known as crystal meth. It can be taken in the form of crystals that are smoked. In another form, meth is a powder that is abused through injecting, smoking or snorting. Sometimes, meth is combined with other drugs to increase the side effects the user achieves when taking it. This can only increase the addictiveness of the substance.

How Quickly Can You Become Addicted to Meth?

Many people who even try meth for the first time can end up becoming instantly addicted to it. Additionally, it’s often even more addictive when a person combines it with another substance. Commonly, meth is combined with Xanax, opioids, alcohol or morphine. All of those substances can make for an even more highly potent drug.

What Are the Most Common Side Effects of Meth Addiction?

When people abuse meth, they often do so for that sense of high that they get. As a stimulant drug, meth causes you to get a rush when you smoke or inject it. Your heart rate and blood pressure increase as the pleasure center of your brain is stimulated. Snorting meth can also give you that euphoric feeling, but it’s not quite the same as the rush experienced when smoking or injecting the drug. When you constantly crave that feeling, you might end up abusing the drug multiple times in a short period of time, which can lead to wakefulness for consecutive days at a time.

There are a number of side effects that come with an addiction to meth. They include the following:

  • Aggression
  • Agitation
  • Alertness
  • Anxiety
  • Collapsed veins if injecting
  • Confusion
  • Elation
  • Hyperactivity
  • Insomnia
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Paranoia
  • Skin sores or lesions
  • Talkativeness
  • Tooth decay
  • Tremors
  • Weight loss

Individuals who abuse meth are at a higher risk of contracting diseases like hepatitis and HIV if they inject the drug. They also have a higher risk of sexually transmitted infections due to the inhibition they experience when under the influence of the drug when taken in any form.

What Are the Mental Signs of a Meth Addiction?

There are also mental signs that indicate you have a meth addiction. They include the following:

  •  Obsessively thinking about the drug and consuming it
  • Wanting to constantly take the drug
  • Failure when you attempt to quit
  • Severe withdrawal symptoms after quitting
  • Overpowering urges to abuse the drug and having difficulty concentrating
  • Having a continuous supply of the drug

Meth addiction can be consuming to the point where your life spirals out of control. If you have realized that you have a serious substance use disorder and need help, it’s the first step toward getting that help and regaining your sobriety. If you’re finally ready, contact us at 833-497-3812 to get started immediately.