Methamphetamine Addiction & Abuse: Causes, Symptoms & Detox in Wisconsin

Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth or crystal meth, is one of the most dangerous street drugs in existence. It is extremely addictive, and long-term use can have lasting negative effects on your health and well-being. This is why it is so important to seek out a meth detox program as soon as possible. If you or someone you love is addicted to meth, a supervised detox with a provider like Midwest Detox is the first meaningful step toward sobriety.

But if you’re not sure about starting detox yet, continue reading to learn more about meth abuse, addiction, and recovery:

In This Article
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    What is Meth?

    Meth is a powerful and highly addictive central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. It is a synthetic drug that affects the brain and body by increasing the release and blocking the reuptake of certain neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. This leads to increased activity, energy, and feelings of euphoria.

    Meth is often found in the form of a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder. Users can take meth orally or by smoking, snorting, hot railing, or injecting the drug. Meth is known by various street and slang names, including crystal, ice, yaba, and glass. It is often associated with a wide range of drug paraphernalia, including meth pipes and needles.

    Methamphetamine is classified as a Schedule II substance in the United States, meaning it has a high potential for abuse and limited medical use. It is sometimes prescribed in low doses for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or obesity under the brand name Desoxyn, but its medical use is rare due to the availability of safer alternatives. Additionally, the drug’s risk for abuse is very high, making it a significant public health concern.

    Signs & Symptoms of Meth Addiction

    If you think that someone close to you may be addicted to meth, there are various signs and symptoms that you should look for:

    • Unnaturally high energy levels (sometimes known as “tweaking”)
    • Agitation
    • Rapid mood swings
    • Paranoia
    • Risky or impulsive behaviors
    • Rapid heartbeat
    • High blood pressure
    • Dilated pupils and yellow eyes (sometimes known as “meth eyes”)
    • Increased body temperature
    • Sleep disturbances
    • Poor hygiene
    • Decreased appetite and weight loss
    • Tremors or muscle twitching
    • Meth sores, abscesses, or infections
    • Hallucinations or delusions
    • Aggressive or violent behavior
    • Confusion
    • Memory problems
    • Skin sores or acne, often resulting from obsessive scratching or picking due to the sensation of "bugs" crawling under the skin (known as "meth mites" or "crank bugs")
    • Tooth decay, gum disease, or tooth loss, commonly referred to as “meth teeth” or "meth mouth"
    • Premature aging, often known as “meth face”

    Meth Withdrawal Symptoms

    Meth is a very potent drug, and as such, the withdrawal symptoms can be quite severe. While withdrawal is not always life-threatening, it is extremely uncomfortable, which is why so many meth addicts return to the drug as quickly as possible. It’s also important to note that many people who abuse meth do so for extended periods of time. A person may use an 8-ball of meth for hours or days on end.

    In any case, here are some of the most common meth withdrawal symptoms:

    • Intense cravings for meth
    • Lethargy or excessive sleeping
    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • Suicidal thoughts
    • Psychosis
    • Increased appetite
    • Insomnia
    • Vivid dreams or nightmares
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Body aches
    • Slowed movement and speech

    Meth withdrawal symptoms typically begin within a few hours to a couple of days after the last use and can last for several days to a few weeks, depending on the individual and the severity of their methamphetamine use. In some cases, protracted withdrawal symptoms, such as anhedonia (inability to experience pleasure), depression, and anxiety, can persist for months after stopping meth use.

    How Long Does Meth Stay In Your System?

    Meth is metabolized relatively quickly compared to some other drugs, but detection times can still vary based on the type of drug test used. The half-life of meth is estimated to be around 10 to 12 hours for most people. However, individual factors can cause the half-life to range from 4 to 16 hours. Based on the type of detection method used, you can expect meth to remain in your system for anywhere from 1 to 90 days or more:

    • Blood Test - Meth can be detected in blood tests for up to 1-3 days after the last use.
    • Urine Test - Meth can be detected in urine for up to 3 to 5 days after the last use.
    • Saliva Test - Saliva tests can detect meth for up to 1 to 4 days after the last use.
    • Hair Test - Hair tests can detect meth for up to 90 days or longer after the last use. However, these kinds of tests are far less common due to the increased cost and complexity of the testing process.

    Short & Long-Term Side Effects of Methamphetamine Abuse

    Meth produces a wide range of effects over the short and long term. Some of the most common side effects include:

    Short-Term Side Effects

    • Increased energy and physical activity
    • Euphoria
    • Rapid heartbeat
    • Increased blood pressure
    • Elevated body temperature (hyperthermia)
    • Dilated pupils
    • Reduced appetite
    • Insomnia
    • Increased respiration rate
    • Dry mouth and bad breath
    • Twitching
    • Scratching
    • Increased libido
    • Aggression
    • Paranoia
    • Hallucinations
    • Psychosis

    Long-Term Side Effects

    • Cognitive decline
    • Emotional and mental health issues, including frequent mood swings, depression, and psychosis
    • Physical health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, kidney and liver damage, respiratory issues, and an increased risk of infectious diseases
    • Meth mouth, which can severe tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss
    • Premature aging (meth face)
    • Skin sores and scarring
    • Chronic insomnia
    • Social and legal difficulties

    Meth Detox In Brookfield, Wisconsin

    Meth addiction affects thousands of people throughout the state of Wisconsin. If you or someone you love is struggling to beat an addiction to meth, there is no time like the present to seek out help. Fortunately, Midwest Detox has the tools and expertise you need to get meth out of your system and out of your life for good.

    Do you live in Brookfield, Waukesha County, or the larger Milwaukee area? Are you in need of a private meth detox center to begin your recovery? If so, Midwest Detox can provide everything you need to detox from meth in a safe, comfortable environment. Visit our site or call us directly at 414-409-5200 to take the first step toward sobriety.