Methamphetamine Abuse Understanding Meth Addiction

About 1.6 million Americans across the nation use methamphetamine, with the average new user being just over 23 years old. Moreover, deaths associated with these drugs have been on the rise over the past 2 decades, with over 10,000 American deaths in 2017.

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Most people have heard the term methamphetamine before but knowing and understanding are two completely different things in the case of methamphetamine. Understanding what this substance is and how serious meth addiction can be helps individuals better realize how dangerous this drug can be.

What is Meth?

Methamphetamine is a psychostimulant drug which has a high potential for abuse and addiction. It comes in both powder form and rock form, powder is taken intranasally and rock is normally smoked.

Methamphetamine was developed in the 20th century from its parent drug amphetamine. When it was first synthesized, meth was used for nasal decongestion. Today it is mainly created in illegal laboratories for the recreational uses as it is a Schedule II drug on the Controlled Substances Act.

While meth may not be as commonly used as other substances like opioids or alcohol, it is one of the most dangerous and addictive drugs on the market.

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Methamphetamine is one of the most addictive illicit substances available and has been shown to be incredibly potent and have long-lasting and harmful effects on the central nervous system. These characteristics cause the drug to have high potential for widespread misuse.

There are many harmful effects of meth use, but most people use the drug for the intense rush and feeling of energy which can last in the body from minutes to hours.

Is meth addictive?

Meth is a highly addictive substance which affects many different parts of the body and can lead to withdrawal symptoms, overdose, and more. It is also worth noting crystal meth is even more addictive than the powdered form.

Meth works by triggering the brain to create large amounts of the pleasurable chemical dopamine in the brain. While this may feel good for a short amount of time, it is also something which can lead to damage in the cells which make the dopamine, essentially it makes it harder to feel pleasure over times when the drug isn’t in the body – this is one of the first steps leading to addiction.

This lack of dopamine in the body when the drug is not present causes people to crave the drug in order to get the pleasureful feeling. In turn, the increased use of the substance causes people to build a tolerance to the drug, causing them to take more in order to get the desired effects.

This is how addiction forms and how it can become a cyclical problem which absorbs your life.

How Long Does Meth Stay in Your System?

The answer to the question “how long does meth stay in your system” is that methamphetamine, or meth, can stay in your system for about 2 to 4 days, but it might be detectable for up to a week in some cases. This depends on factors like how much you’ve used, your metabolism, and the type of drug test being used.

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ACEs and Meth Addiction

One of the biggest risk factors for meth addiction, and addiction in general is exposure to childhood trauma. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is a term used to describe traumatic experiences a person may have dealt with in their childhood. These can include emotional neglect, physical or sexual abuse, and more. These problems are strong indicators of problems which may occur later in life, such as addiction.

Risk Factors for Addiction to Meth

Along with ACEs, there are other strong signals a person may be more likely to deal with substance abuse issues such as meth addiction. Some of the most common risk factors associated with this problem include:


Studies have shown males are more likely to deal with meth addiction than females.


Meth addiction has also been associated with fewer years of education.


Meth addiction is more common among Caucasians than African and Asian Americans, but less common than Latin and Native Americans.

Other Substances

Studies have found meth use is more common among people who also use other substances like alcohol, opioids, nicotine, and more.

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It can be difficult to break loose of the grip meth addiction can have on your life. For many, meth isn’t the only problem, many people who abuse drugs are polydrug users using other substances like alcohol, prescription drugs, and more to satisfy their cravings and get the high they are chasing.

Moreover, many of the people dealing with meth addiction, and addiction in general, suffer from underlying mental health disorders which may be contributing to their substance abuse problems. This problem is known as a dual diagnosis and if you want to overcome the issue, both problems need to be treated simultaneously.

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Recovery from meth addiction is possible The Hope House can help.