Identifying a Meth Addiction

Methamphetamine (meth) is an extremely powerful, highly addictive stimulant that has destructive effects on not only the user but of society as a whole as drug-related crimes such as burglaries and robberies will undoubtedly increase when there is a high presence of meth users in the area. This has resulted in an increase in meth addiction in Florida.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Methamphetamines target the brain’s pleasure centers by increasing the release of naturally occurring dopamine in the brain. Responsible for motivation, body movement, and pleasure reward function in the brain, it is no surprise that users keep coming back for more of the drug. High levels of dopamine, released quickly, are the rush and euphoria that keeps the addict coming back for more. In fact, the drug effect’s onset and dissipation happen so quickly that the user continuously returns to the drug in a series of binging activities. The short-term effects of the drug include increased alertness, decreased appetite, rapid heartbeat, and faster breathing. Additionally, the user will feel very confident when under the influence of the drug.

But why do people take meth? Well, it is the initial rush that causes meth addiction in Florida to become rampant, causing many users often become addicted simply because they are chasing the feeling of when they first used. Following the rush there is a long high, commonly referred to as ‘the shoulder’, where the user will feel incredibly intelligent and will often be rather argumentative. This is when the delusional effects will set in. The binging stage will occur shortly after, when the high has gone the user will chase the initial feeling by consuming as much meth as they can, in a desperate attempt to get the sensation of the rush back. This, of course, is not successful and the user will then begin ‘tweaking’, losing all sense of who they are as a person. This is when they are at their most dangerous, and often are having hallucinations that are so vivid that they are at risk of harming themselves or others.

The Cause of Meth Addiction in Florida

The increasing number of people that have a meth addiction in Florida has led to the state cracking down and introducing much stricter laws regarding the possession of the illegal stimulant. At the present time the form of the meth is not important, if you’re not a licensed practitioner then it is illegal for you to possess, sell, package, manufacture or distribute the highly illegal stimulant. Florida also has extremely aggressive laws associated with the manufacturing of meth. Meth is readily available and often abused in rural areas, and is increasingly available in more suburban and metropolitan areas. In areas of central Florida, an area that in the past has had a widespread meth addiction in Florida, the availability of meth seems to have spread from the rural location of Polk County.

Meth Production in Florida

Meth is more commonly available in rural areas, but in recent years it is has begun to have an increased presence in metropolitan and suburban areas too. In central Florida, in particularly the Polk County area, the availability of locally produced meth has spread in a worrying fashion. In southern Florida, meth was rarely readily available but in recent years there has been an alarming increase in the amount of locally produced meth. Most local meth production takes place in locations such as single-family homes, apartments, storage buildings, cars, and wooded areas. Law enforcement officials state that those who are involved with the production of meth often steal anhydrous ammonia, which is a common fertilizer, from farms, and then store the liquid in all manner of containers, such as propane tanks and fire extinguishers. As most of the types of containers that are used are not specially designed to store the anhydrous ammonia (a highly toxic and a corrosive chemical) it creates an enormous hazard. When manufacturers are collecting other essential ingredients, for example, pseudoephedrine, it is common that larger retail stores are avoided as employees are often trained to report suspicious purchases and will be much more likely to detect thefts. It is more likely that manufacturers of meth will collect the ephedrine from inner-city neighborhoods and the less well-off areas of rural communities.

How Meth is Used

The addictive qualities of meth are massive. A stimulant, methamphetamines have a profound effect on the brain and causes the body to release upwards of ten times the normal levels of dopamine in the brain’s pleasure receptors. Obviously, the manner in which the drug is taken has an impact on how quickly a user can become addicted. Needless to say, injecting the drug intravenously might lead to faster addiction rates than swallowing a pill for instance, but the road to addiction is on just about every user’s map.

Methamphetamine can be used in a variety of forms that include:

  • Smoking
  • Snorting
  • Swallowing
  • Intravenous

As mentioned, the method of use can boost the speed in which a user might find them addicted to meth, but the process is an inevitable one for regular or even casual users of the drug. Not unlike cocaine, the addictive properties of methamphetamines in general, and stimulants, in particular, are well documented.

What are the Signs of Meth Addiction?

If you or a loved one suspects that someone in their life has a meth addiction, there are numerous physical and social signs that should alert you to the fact that a drug addiction problem is occurring. Physically speaking, drastic weight loss, insomnia, hyperactivity, tooth decay, and increased distractibility are all signs that someone is showing signs of meth addiction. Other health concerns include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Rapid pulse
  • Heightened blood pressure

Clearly, when taken in tandem, these symptoms can have serious short and long-term health effects for the addict.

Beyond the physical manifestations, signs of meth addiction include changes to their social routine. Spending excessive amounts of money and time in search of their drug of choice, and often times you will note that the addict has replaced their friends with an entirely new crowd of people to better facilitate their drug use. Because of the stimulant use, the addict might also demonstrate an increased sense of importance that presents as aggression and grandiose behavior. These physical and social cues are indicative of a meth addiction problem.

What are the Withdrawal Signs of Meth?

When the user is unable to get their supply of methamphetamines, withdrawal signs quickly become evident. Outbursts of anger and irritability serve as an indicator that they are going through withdrawal symptoms.

Physically, however, they will experience shaking, fever, profuse sweating, nausea, and vomiting. Sleep disturbances can lead to serious side effects like respiratory failure, heart palpitations, and hypertension. The withdrawal signs of meth are serious and dangerous, but not as serious and dangerous as continued use of the drug.

Call Lumiere Today

If you or a loved one are struggling with meth addiction in Florida, give Lumiere Detox Center a call now at 855-535-8501. The specialists at our detox and treatment program in Florida are available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have about the admissions process. Break free from addiction now and live the life you are destined for.