When you struggle with meth addiction, life seems smaller and narrower every day. What begins as an occasional recreational activity becomes all you think about, all you do. Meth makes your decisions and tells you what to think and how to act. It can leave you feeling lonely or lost. But you are neither of these things!
An addiction treatment center like Talbott Campus can help you or a loved one break free from meth addiction and take back control of your life. But first you need to speak up and ask for help. And statistics show this isn’t as simple as it sounds.
Crystal Meth and the Brain
Meth impacts your ability to make logical, healthy decisions. From the very first time the drug is used, neurological shifts start to occur. Meth changes the brain’s reward pathways and overall circuitry.
The original euphoric high can never quite be recreated—but the desire to try becomes deeply ingrained in your brain. This means addiction isn’t a choice. It isn’t a moral failure or a personal weakness. Addiction is a mental and physical health issue that requires professional treatment for recovery.
Who Gets Addicted to Meth?
Meth addiction crosses all boundaries of age, race, gender and ethnicity. High school students, college students and athletes all use meth. White-collar, blue-collar and jobless people use meth. Anyone can become addicted. However, there are certain risk factors and demographic trends. For example, gender can influence meth addiction statistics.
The journal Gender Medicine found that women tend to use meth at a younger age than men.
They become more dependent but also respond better to treatment. Men tend to use other drugs and alcohol while also using meth, and this may explain why they face greater challenges in treatment.1 Other factors like race, income level and family history influence who gets addicted, how they get addicted and what treatment needs to involve for the greatest chance at success.
Meth Relapse Rates
Recovery requires change. This change takes time and practice, and it may involve periods of relapse especially if someone chooses to recover without professional support, gets inadequate treatment or doesn’t stay in treatment for the full length of time. Staying away from meth can be very difficult, especially in the early stages of sobriety. Acute withdrawal symptoms can last weeks or even months. But the longer sobriety lasts, the easier it becomes. Prolonged abstinence gives the brain time to heal.
The longer a person can stay in a treatment program, the better.
This provides extra support and supervision during the most challenging phase of recovery. Detox alone will not provide the support needed. Addiction shares a study that found, “Detoxification did not reduce methamphetamine use at any follow-up relative to the quasi-control group. Relative to quasi-control and detoxification groups combined, residential rehabilitation produced large reductions in the frequency of methamphetamine use at 3 months.”2 Relapse rates remain high for meth users, but recovery is more than possible with personalized, comprehensive treatment.
How Dangerous Is Meth?
Not only can meth addiction be treated, it should be. Untreated meth addiction is dangerous. The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains that in 2011, “methamphetamine accounted for about 103,000 ED visits; it was the fourth most mentioned illicit drug in ED visits following cocaine, marijuana, and heroin.”3 People are facing potentially fatal health concerns. Meth is a big problem, and it is a growing one.
The New York Times explains, “At the United States border, agents are seizing 10 to 20 times the amounts they did a decade ago.”4 Meth also contributes to other crime. In Portland, “More than one in five burglars and nearly 40 percent of car thieves were also charged with meth crimes.” For these reasons 30 percent of law enforcement agencies see meth as the greatest drug threat and the drug threat that uses the most resources.5
- 897,000 people 12 and older currently use meth
- 225,000 people began using meth in 2015 alone
- Meth addiction treatment admissions rose 3 percent from 2014 to 2015
- 135,264 people got treatment for meth addiction in publicly-funded facilities in 2015
- 85-90 percent of stimulant-related drug deaths involve meth
- 5,716 people died as a result of stimulant overdose in 2015
- Stimulant-related deaths rates rose 225 percent between 2005 and 2015
Meth is dangerous. It puts lives at risk — immediately through overdose or drug poisoning and long-term through addiction. However, this risk doesn’t have to be there. We can come together and change crystal meth addiction statistics through intervention, treatment and aftercare support.
Ending Crystal Meth Addiction
Protect your life or the life of your loved one. You don’t have to be another statistic. If you suspect meth addiction, seek help as soon as possible. Crystal meth addiction treatment is available, and it is effective. Join our welcoming community of peers and professionals; find recovery by reaching out today at 678-251-3189.
1 Dluzen, Dean and Liu, Bin. “Gender Differences in Methamphetamine Use and Responses: A Review.” Gender Medicine. Mar 2008.
2 McKetin, Rebecca, et al. “Evaluating the Impact of Community-Based Treatment Options on Methamphetamine Use.” Addiction. 7 May 2012.
3 “Methamphetamine.” National Institute on Drug Abuse. Sep. 2013.
4 Robles, Frances. “Meth, the Forgotten Killer, Is Back. And It’s Everywhere.” New York Times. 13 Feb. 2018.
5 “2017 National Drug Threat Assessment.” U.S. Department of Justice. Oct. 2017.