The History of Methamphetamine Addiction
Originally developed in the early 1900s as a nasal decongestant, methamphetamine has few medical uses today. During World War II, it was given to soldiers to keep them awake. In the 1950s, it was prescribed for weight loss and depression. In the 1960s, methamphetamine was easily obtainable and often used by college students, truck drivers, and athletes.
In the 1970s, the US government made it illegal for most uses. Street gangs and Mexican drug trafficking organizations began producing and distributing the drug in rural communities that could not afford the more expensive drug cocaine. Today, 70% of midwestern United States law enforcement agencies consider methamphetamine to be the greatest drug threat to their communities.
Recent research data shows considerable increases in methamphetamine addiction in the United States. In 2017, an estimated 964,000 people struggled with methamphetamine addiction, up from 684,000 in 2016. That same year, approximately 15% of all overdose deaths involved methamphetamines.
Problems Associated with Methamphetamine Use
Methamphetamine addiction is a pattern of using that can be described as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking, continued use despite harmful consequences, and long-lasting changes in the brain. Methamphetamine addiction is considered both a complex brain disorder and a mental illness caused by repeated use or misuse.
Methamphetamine Addiction Withdrawal
Withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person and can set in within hours after reduced or completed consumption. Signs and symptoms can include:
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- Dry mouth
- Suicidal thoughts
- Increased appetite
- Muscle spasms or tremors
- Low energy or fatigue
- Intense cravings
Risks Associated with Prolonged Methamphetamine Addiction
Methamphetamine addiction can cause serious health problems including:
- Repetitive motor activity
- Changes in brain structure and function
- Deficits in thinking and motor skills
- Aggressive or violent behavior
- Mood disturbances
- Severe dental problems
- Weight loss
- Heart and cardiovascular damage
- Overdose and death
Detoxification from Methamphetamines
At Gateway Recovery Center, the detoxification process for methamphetamine addiction is highly monitored and medically assisted to minimize withdrawal symptoms complications. Individuals are closely monitored and medicated to ensure comfort, stability, and safety during the detoxification process.
How to Get Help
If you or someone you know is in need of methamphetamine detoxification services, a compassionate, trained professional is waiting to answer all of your questions. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer calls or provide information on immediate admissions. We know the first step can be hard. We’re here to guide you.