All substance use issues are problematic and can lead to severe addiction and a high-risk lifestyle. But there is something particularly troublesome about crystal meth, a type of methamphetamine that produces a rush of energy, pleasure and euphoria.
So why is crystal meth such a dangerous drug and why do people have such a hard time kicking it? In this post, we’re going to explore what crystal meth does to the brain, why it’s difficult to quit and what type of treatment center in Arizona works best.
What is Crystal Meth?
Crystal meth has a similar chemical compound to methamphetamine, though it’s always synthetic and illegally manufactured. There are absolutely no medical uses for crystal meth. And because all meth is made illegally in street labs, there are no standards.
People who use the drug can be ingesting other harmful chemicals like ether, acetone, iodine crystals or red phosphorus. Illegal drug manufacturers add these chemicals to increase production and make more money. Unfortunately, they can have dire consequences for users.
What Makes Crystal Meth So Addictive?
Crystal meth is highly addictive and difficult to quit. It boosts dopamine production in the brain, a neurotransmitter associated with reward and pleasure. In fact, the dopamine produced in the brain is far more from crystal meth than it is for cocaine.
Experiencing unnatural levels of dopamine causes a strong desire to continue using the drug. The body becomes dependent on it to feel good and maintain a euphoric state, which leads to redosing and binge-like behavior.
Binges are common during methamphetamine use. A person will continue to take more and more of the drug to maintain a euphoric high, and they’ll ignore other bodily needs. However, repeated use will decrease each subsequent high, making it impossible for users to achieve these same levels of euphoria.
Why is Crystal Meth Hard to Quit?
Stopping any drug is not easy, but crystal meth users face some unique challenges. First, the withdrawal symptoms are intense and extremely uncomfortable. Common symptoms include fatigue, lethargy, depression, paranoia, hallucinations and strong cravings. Medical detox does help the person better manage their symptoms so they can quit.
Second, methamphetamine users experience anhedonia, which is the inability to feel pleasure. This occurs because the drug significantly boosts dopamine levels in the brain, which is how the user gets pleasure. But once the drug user stops using the drug, dopamine levels drop and the person is unable to experience pleasure from normal things like food or exercise.
Is it Possible to Recover from Crystal Meth Addiction?
At times, it may seem like there is no end to a crystal meth addiction. But with the right Arizona residential treatment center, recovery is possible. The brain can recover, though it’s important to know that it can take a long time for brain chemicals to normalize.
That being said, crystal meth does cause damage to brain cells. While some parts of the brain can heal, others cannot. Therefore, recovering from crystal meth depends on where the damage occurred. If it occurred in a place where the brain cells can’t grow back, repair will be difficult.
Nevertheless, many people have successfully quit methamphetamine use, citing improvements within six to 12 months such as:
- Fewer nightmares
- Less depression and anxiety
- Better focus and attention
- Normalization of brain receptors and transporters
- More consistent moods
- Reduction in emotional rages
Start Your Crystal Meth Recovery Today
Crystal meth recovery is not easy, but it is not impossible. Whether you are looking to start or continue your journey, contact Wolf Creek Recovery today. We are a drug rehab in Prescott AZ that offers Phase One, Phase Two and Extended Care treatment that will provide you with the foundation for a successful recovery.