The medical term for methamphetamine addiction is “bipolar disorder.” It is a neurological disease in which patients have extreme and rapid swings of the level of dopamine in their brains. Dopamine is an important neurotransmitter and chemical in the brain that allows people to experience pleasure. In short, it is what makes us happy or make us angry. Meth abuse increases dopamine levels in the brain significantly and often leads to an intense, racing sensation, or “meth high,” which can be compared to cocaine addiction or heroin addiction. Like other substances, meth addiction produces both short-term and long-term physical effects, as well as psychological ones. Long-term physical effects include heart attacks, strokes, and infections. Short term effects include lethargy, swollen palms and feet, insomnia, and weight gain. People with meth addiction also usually experience significant changes in their sex drives and performance. There is a greater risk of developing HIV if one abuse meth.
Meth can be used to recreate feelings of euphoria, excitement, or happiness, and to help relieve pain, such as arthritis or an injury. When people use meth, they often do so for the first time, and their bodies quickly adjust to the high. The problem is that people with a history of abuse are at a greater risk of overdose when using this compound for the first time. The first time you use a recreational dose of meth can cause your dopamine levels to drop to a dangerously low level and an immediate trip to the hospital or emergency room may ensue.
Meth Addiction psychological symptoms
Meth users also experience psychological symptoms that can be confusing, intense, and unpleasant. People with meth addiction experience depression, anxiety, agitation, restlessness, paranoia, mood swings, memory problems, irritability, and sexual dysfunction. These symptoms can be especially severe during the early stages of withdrawal, which occur between the first time someone uses meth and the last time. When a person first gets out of bed in the morning, they may feel great, but by the afternoon, they may feel terrible. If you or a loved one is experiencing these symptoms, it is important to get medical attention as soon as possible. While meth does elevate the levels of dopamine in the brain, continued use can result in devastating health consequences.
Short-term symptoms of meth use can range from mildly annoying to seriously dangerous. These include: difficulty sleeping or concentrating, frequent urination, weight loss or gain, increased heart rate, extreme restlessness, slurred speech, paranoia, impaired judgment, feeling extremely alert or underweight, numbness in the hands, blurred vision, and constant anxiety or fear. Long-term symptoms can include: depression, anxiety, constant fear or paranoia, uncontrollable anger, severe sleepiness, heart palpitations, and extreme optimism or moodiness. Unfortunately, many meth users develop both short term and long term symptoms. The very long-term effects can cause serious health complications, such as liver disease, heart attack and stroke. Many times, people who suffer from meth addiction will begin to display these symptoms before they have gotten help for their addiction.
Even if someone only uses methamphetamine on a rare basis, the chances are that they could become addicted to the drug. However, there is no clear evidence of this happening in a first time user. Meth use is typically performed by those who have experimented with other drugs and has not been used by anyone without doing some type of drug abuse in the past. Those who try it for the first time may experience feelings of cravings or anxiety that may seem similar to those who have been abusing alcohol, but these are not considered true addictions because the drug is not being used for pleasure, only for a medical purpose.