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Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment

Providing the best meth addiction treatment in Bakersfield, CA, Synergy Recovery Services can help you or a loved one defeat the devastating cycle of meth addiction, enjoy a successful recovery and finally embrace sobriety. Our experienced and compassionate addiction specialists understand how difficult it is to overcome a meth addiction and will give you the kind of clinical and medical support proven to treat a methamphetamine addiction.

If you're ready to put your methamphetamine addiction behind you, please contact Synergy Recovery Services today to speak to a caring staff member about entering our meth addiction treatment program in Bakersfield, CA.

Facts About Methamphetamines

A powerful stimulant that targets the central nervous system by increasing levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, meth is also one of the most highly addictive substances known because of its rapid ability to make users feel euphoric, incredibly energetic and invincible.

Meth is an extremely difficult drug from which to detox. The brain becomes quickly accustomed to having excess dopamine stimulate its pleasure and reward center. In fact, meth users report feeling as if they are already addicted the first time they use it, unable to think about anything else but re-experiencing the intensely euphoric sensations of a meth high.

Why Is Meth So Addictive?

The problem with "trying" meth and thinking you will not ever do it again lies in its ability to greatly increase the amount of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that, when released in excessive amounts, produces a prolonged, intense feeling of euphoria, pleasure and invincibility. This feeling is so desirable that it compels the person to "try" the drug again. However, the consistent introduction of methamphetamine into the body also makes the brain think that it is overloading on dopamine, which results in the brain reducing natural dopamine levels to counteract this assumption.

Methamphetamines force brain receptors to release massive amounts of dopamine into the limbic system and cortex areas by inhibiting reuptake of dopamine, which is responsible for controlling emotion, memory, learning and pleasure. These brain regions quickly become accustomed to feeling good, fueling powerful cravings and the onset of a serious addiction. Over time, methamphetamines destroy brain receptors, so meth users can no longer feel pleasure without injecting, smoking or snorting meth.

When a meth high wears off, users “crash” and suffer cravings they cannot control as the chemical imbalance in the brain compels them to use meth repeatedly.Synergy Recovery Services' meth addiction treatment program in Bakersfield, CA not only addresses the biochemical reasons for a meth addiction, but also works to effectively extinguish cravings and significantly reduce the risk of relapse.

Is Smoking Meth As Addicting As Injecting Meth?

Two primary differences exist between smoking and injecting meth. One is the instant, powerful rush a user experiences upon injecting the drug directly into a vein. The other difference is the use of ritualized behaviors leading up to the injection, which ultimately becomes a part of the addiction itself.

Although people who smoke meth will remain under the drug's influence longer than those who inject it — four hours for smokers versus two hours for injectors — many addicts report that the actions leading up to injecting methamphetamines are almost as pleasurable as a meth high. This peculiar addiction to ritualized behavior is why you sometimes hear about hardcore meth addicts who do not have access to the drug resorting to injecting salt or sugar water just to experience the rush of handling the needle, the spoon, the tourniquet and any other behavior associated with injecting methamphetamines.

7 Signs and Symptoms of Methamphetamine Abuse

If you’re concerned about a loved one, look for these 7 signs of methamphetamine abuse:

  1. Tweaking

In addition to releasing large amounts of dopamine, meth also causes adrenaline levels to spike. At the height of a meth high, users tweak, which can include acting anxious, agitated, sweating profusely and talking rapidly, often unintelligibly. Heavy users may exhibit delusions, paranoia and aggressive behavior when tweaking, such as attacking people at random and even tearing off their clothes in public because they think insects are crawling under their skin.

  1. Sores and Scabs

Methamphetamines destroy blood vessels and tissues needed to promote the body's natural healing processes. Meth users who never had acne before will suffer severe outbreaks of facial pustules and boils as their skin's health deteriorates. In addition, hyperactive, obsessive behavior is a classic sign of a meth addiction and compels users to pick at their skin blemishes so they never have a chance to heal.

  1. Tooth and Weight Loss

Poor oral hygiene, poor dietary choices and tooth grinding are all common signs of meth abuse. Called "meth mouth," the severe loss of teeth contributes to drastic changes in the physical appearance of methamphetamine users. Gums shrink and recede if no teeth are supporting them, cheeks become sunken and hollow, and significant weight loss can make meth addicts appear 20 years older than their true age.

  1. Frequent Arrests

Meth addicts will do anything to get money to buy their drug, including robbery, prostitution and assaulting others. Withdrawal symptoms are not only physically disabling, but will also produce chaotic, irrational thought processes. These thoughts can lead meth addicts to commit serious crimes such as manslaughter or murder to get a fix.

  1. Mental Illness

Meth users may exhibit symptoms similar to psychosis or schizophrenia, especially rampant paranoia, auditory hallucinations and uncontrollable panic. They may lapse into catatonic behavior as well, a condition common to schizophrenia and characterized by extreme rigidity of arms and legs and a total break with reality.

  1. Drug Paraphernalia

Methamphetamines can be smoked, snorted or injected intravenously. Users keep a variety of drug paraphernalia with them at all times that may include hypodermic needles, pipes, short straws, pieces of rubber to tie off their veins, spoons to melt meth in water and razor blades to cut lines of meth when snorting it.

  1. Hair Loss

In addition to sores, scabs, tooth decay and weight loss, meth addicts will experience a noticeable thinning of hair or bald patches due to malnutrition and the detrimental effects of meth on all body systems. Contributing to hair loss in meth users is the fact they also neglect their hygiene and may have body lice, scabies and scalp infections.

Does a Meth Addiction Make Someone Psychotic?

Long-time meth addicts typically develop symptoms resembling schizophrenia or psychosis, such as delusional thinking, irrational and aggressive behavior, and hallucinations. Because methamphetamine, like cocaine, is a psychostimulant and triggers the release of huge amounts of dopamine in the brain, users may develop signs of mental illness that are the natural result of elevated levels of dopamine.

In fact, it has been theorized that a possible cause of schizophrenia may have something to do with dopamine release, especially when someone with schizophrenia is exhibiting positive symptoms such as hearing voices and experiencing visual or auditory hallucinations. Because many meth addicts go without sleep for days at a time, they often suffer psychotic-like symptoms due to sleep deprivation rather than the effects of meth use.

Licensed addiction therapists and counselors working at Synergy Recovery Services' meth addiction treatment program in Bakersfield, CA can also provide compassionate, insightful help for mental health issues often responsible for perpetuating the cycle of addiction. Because many meth addicts suffer from undiagnosed depression, anxiety or PTSD, talking with addiction psychologists is crucial to the successful completion of our recovery program.

Short-Term Effects of a Meth Addiction

Meth users experience a range of emotions, such as:

  • Overpowering sense of well-being, false sense of confidence or delusions of grandeur
  • Hyper-vigilance (increased alertness responsible for paranoid thoughts)
  • Tachycardia, chest pain or breathlessness
  • Convulsions or muscle tremors and twitching
  • Insomnia (Meth addicts have been known to stay awake for days at a time.)
  • Disinterest in food, friends and even family members
  • Severe depression, especially when they cannot get their fix
  • Exhibition of borderline personality disorder characteristics

Long-Term Effects of a Meth Addiction

In addition to the short-term effects, meth users are also susceptible to long-term health consequences, such as:

  • Severe lung, liver and kidney disease
  • Permanent changes in brain functioning and structure (shrinkage, neuron death)
  • Irreversible psychosis or dementia
  • High blood pressure
  • Impaired immune system functioning leading to recurring illnesses
  • Suicidal and/or homicidal ideation
  • Strokes and heart attacks

Get Help Immediately at Our Outpatient Meth Addiction Rehab in Bakersfield, CA

Our meth addiction treatment program consists of a combination of psychosocial group- and individual therapy along with prescription medications for the treatment of withdrawal symptoms and / or cravings (if indicated). A major problem with methamphetamine addiction is the intense psychosocial desire to use more (= cravings) and not many medications are available today to treat meth cravings.

Our medically supervised meth addiction treatment program in Bakersfield, CA offers individual- and group counseling that will help you or your loved one start on the path towards sobriety and a long, productive life. Synergy Recovery Services also provides long-term assistance for maintaining sobriety following completion of our recovery program.

Synergy Recovery Services has helped many meth addicts defeat their addiction and find peace and meaning in their lives. Contact us today for more information about our meth addiction program in Bakersfield, CA.

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