The Fight Against Meth Addiction In MS
Mississippi has taken strides to reduce methamphetamine use — in 2010, a law was passed which banned the sale of one of methamphetamine’s main ingredients without a prescription  — but in 2017, methamphetamine and related drugs still accounted for almost 1 in 5 drug-related deaths. 
Our goal at Extra Mile Recovery is to help anyone affected by addiction to methamphetamines and other drugs, and we believe one of our greatest weapons in this fight is education. Below you can read about methamphetamine: what it is, how it affects those using it, what to expect from withdrawal, and how our Mississippi drug rehab program can give clients the tools they need to recover from methamphetamine addiction.
What Is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine, also known as crystal meth or just meth, is an extremely potent stimulant that triggers a massive, and rapid, release of dopamine in the brain. Normally, dopamine is linked to an internal reward system that makes people feel good for completing certain activities. Meth floods the brain with dopamine, quickly causing feelings of euphoria, a sense of clearheadedness, increased energy, and decreased appetite. Meth is illegally manufactured and used, and is smoked, swallowed, snorted, or injected.
Other Types of Amphetamines
Methamphetamine falls into the class of drugs called amphetamines, which are stimulants most commonly used to treat ADHD. Several of these drugs can be abused and become addictive, but none are as potent as methamphetamine, in part because they usually take longer to start and stop working. Amphetamines include:
All amphetamines can lead to “stimulant psychosis,” a mental disorder that causes psychotic symptoms. It’s usually caused by overdose, but can occur in any user after enough use, and methamphetamine psychosis is more common than with other stimulants.
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Signs and Symptoms of Methamphetamine Addiction
Because a methamphetamine high comes on and fades so rapidly, many users will binge and crash in distinct phases. Users sometimes do what’s called a “run,” where they forego food and sleep for several days while using methamphetamine often.
During these periods, they may exhibit the following symptoms:
- Increased activity
- Increased talkativeness, not making sense, and rambling
- Erratic gestures and twitching
- Dilated pupils and rapid eye movement
- Grinding teeth
- Faster breathing
- Increased blood pressure or heartbeat
- Dangerous fluctuations in body temperature
- Frequently becoming ill
- Decreased appetite
- Mood swings, from euphoric and hyper to agitated and angry
- Borrowing, selling, or stealing to get more money
- Violent behavior
Methamphetamine makes people feel well even when they’re not taking care of themselves, which can lead to a lack of hygiene, dull skin, weight loss, and a rapidly aging appearance. It causes dry mouth and serious dental health problems so frequently that this set of issues has a name, “meth mouth.” It can also cause itchiness and hallucinations of insects crawling on the skin, and because users don’t know how hard they’re scratching their skin, this often leads to open sores.
Long-Term Effects of Methamphetamine
Abuse and Addiction
Methamphetamine causes serious long-term damage to the body, including extreme weight loss, permanent dental issues, and damage to multiple organs. It’s linked to an increased risk of HIV and hepatitis B and C, and because it also weakens the immune system, it frequently makes these conditions worse. Many makers of methamphetamine use dangerous chemicals — like Drano or battery acid — that can cause their own severe health problems.
Methamphetamine can actively change the brain’s structure and function, leading to:
- Memory loss
- Sleeping problems
- Decreased coordination
- Impaired verbal learning
- Emotional turmoil
- Violent behavior
Not all symptoms of methamphetamine use can be reversed quickly, and some never can be. These vary from person to person, but long-term effects on the brain are often hard to heal.
Methamphetamine Detox &
Withdrawal in MS
At Extra Mile Recovery, our mission is to provide addiction rehab programming and recovery services that are as compassionate as they are effective — and to us, that means giving our clients truly personalized treatment that sets them up for success well after rehab ends.
As part of that mission, we’ve found that many clients are interested in sober living following their time with us, and we’re happy to help clients find solutions. Whether they’re gender-specific sober living arrangements in MS or separate, retreat-style experiences for men and women at one of our sister facilities, Brightside Sober Living or Ascension Sober Houses in Austin, TX. Upon completion of our Residential Inpatient program, we can facilitate a seamless transition and provide transportation to either residence to ensure there are no gaps in treatment.
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Methamphetamine Abuse Treatment in MS
Overcoming methamphetamine addiction can be an arduous process, and a dangerous one when attempted solo, but at Extra Mile Recovery, we have the experience and compassion to find solutions for every unique person we treat. Our custom treatment plans use evidence-based and holistic therapies alongside other Recovery Services, and take into account every client’s personal substance, circumstances, and relationship to addiction.
We keep clients healthy with proper nutrition and hydration as they detox from methamphetamine and enter our rehab programming. Because methamphetamine uses dopamine and the body’s reward systems, we often use behavioral and motivational therapies to replace substance abuse with other actions and rewards both external and internal.
We make sure our clients are never alone on our serene Mantachie campus and tranquil Tishomingo estate, and we keep our groups small and gender-specific so our residents can bond with their peers and get the attention from our staff that they need. Addiction affects the mind, body, and spirit, and through proven and holistic services, we address all aspects of recovery. If you or a loved one is struggling with methamphetamine addiction, please call Extra Mile Recovery at 662-351-3255 today.