When someone who has used meth for a long period of time suddenly stops, very intense painful withdrawal symptoms are likely. While withdrawal from stimulants is relatively harmless, many people who quit using meth can have severe drowsiness, violent mood swings, anxiety and depression. The emotional effects of meth withdrawal can put people at a high risk for self-harm and even suicide.Continue reading
Methamphetamine Use Linked to Heart Failure
Methamphetamine is nasty stuff that can cause serious harm to one’s mind and body. Despite being heavily abused and highly addictive, we don’t hear much about the drug these days. With everyone’s focus fixed firmly on opioid use disorder, it’s easy to forget that others drugs are impacting people’s lives.
Veterans Day was last weekend, a time to honor the brave men and women who’ve served their country overseas. It’s no secret that many of those same Veterans come back from armed conflict changed; experiencing trauma can wreak havoc on an individual’s psyche. Some veterans receive therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder, but not all; those whose PTSD is left untreated turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with their symptoms. This is a choice which regularly leads to addiction and makes the symptoms of any form of mental illness more severe.
Being in the field of addiction medicine, we have treated numerous cases of co-occurring disorder involving clients who served in the armed forces, developed PTSD, and self-medicated their way to alcohol or substance use disorder. In some cases, such individual’s drug of choice is/was meth.
Methamphetamine Impacts The Heart
A new study looked at the medical records of heart failure patients at San Diego VA Medical Center between 2005 and 2015, CNN reports. The researchers found a link between heart failure and methamphetamine use. What’s more, instances of heart failure involving meth are on the rise. In 2005, 1.7 percent of the VA hospital’s heart failure cases involved meth; compared to 8 percent in 2015. The researchers presented their findings at the annual scientific meeting of the American Heart Association.
The researchers found that heart failure was occurring at a younger age (average 61) when methamphetamines were involved, whereas 72 was the median-age for non-meth users. Not surprisingly, the data revealed that Veterans who used methamphetamine were more likely to struggle with PTSD and depression.
“Methamphetamine is an addictive drug, which could have a wide range of effects on patients’ physical and mental well-being,” said Dr. Marin Nishimura, the study author and internal medicine resident at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Nishimura adds, “Heart failure patients with methamphetamine abuse were younger, more likely to be homeless, unemployed and diagnosed with other substance-abuse and psychiatric conditions.”
Stimulant Use Disorder
Meth is an exceptionally toxic substance, made in a crude manner that often involves caustic chemicals. Scientists are still making discoveries about the drug’s actual impact on the human body. Fortunately, stimulant use disorder (i.e., amphetamine and methamphetamine addiction) is a treatable condition, and recovery is possible. However, it’s vital that both the addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders like PTSD and depression be treated with the use disorder simultaneously. At 10 Acre Ranch, we specialize in the treatment of clients with dual diagnosis. Please contact us today.
Methamphetamine Related Overdose Deaths
Opioid overdose deaths are common. The family of drugs associated with the ever-rising death rates, causes severe respiratory depression. Simply put, a dose that is a little bit too much can cause individuals to stop breathing. Without intervention by way of the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone, there is a high likelihood of death.
The health care system in America has been put, arguably, to its greatest test in modern times. Hospitals emergency departments have been increasingly bogged down in the last two decades due to opioid use disorder and all that can come with it. Anything from potentially deadly infections, blood-transmitted disease and overdoses. One could say that all other health problems related to other types of drugs had become an afterthought. After all, you don’t hear much in the news these days about stimulants.
However, make no mistake about it, cocaine and methamphetamine while not typically associated with overdose, have not gone anywhere. Kilogram after kilogram of stimulant narcotics makes its way into the United States via the southern border. Trafficked by Mexican drug cartels whose ability to operate with relative impunity is very real. In Mexico can be found huge super laboratories manufacturing methamphetamine on a scale never seen before. The days of Americans buying all the Sudafed available in local pharmacies to make the drug in clandestine labs are seemingly behind us, due to government crackdowns. But in Mexico, the meth manufacturing business is booming.
Methamphetamine Is Still a Threat
A number of states have seen a resurgence in meth use, and federal officials fear that the problem is only going to get worse, KTOO Public Media reports. More and more people are using the drug, and many of them are dying from it. Not just the slow death of addiction, people are overdosing on the stimulant in Arizona, New Mexico and Oklahoma to Montana, Wisconsin and Minnesota and beyond.
“The beginning of the opioid epidemic was 2000 and we thought it was just localized,” said Kimberly Johnson, director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). “Now we know that drug outbreaks aren’t likely to stay localized so we can start addressing them sooner and letting other states know of the potential for it spreading.”
When most people think of the ugly side effects of meth use, they typically envision weathered looking individuals with bad skin and rotting teeth. This the result of the caustic chemical used to make the drug in inexpensive ways. Beneath the surface, methamphetamine addicts suffer from heart and kidney failure, according to the article. To be sure, the chance of an overdose from opioids is much greater than meth. Yet, people do, in fact, fatally overdose on methamphetamine.
Here are some numbers to consider. Around 3,700 Americans died of a meth-related overdose in 2014, more than double the number of deaths in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If 3,700 deaths were not alarming enough, nearly 4,900 meth users died of an overdose in 2015, an increase of 30 percent.
Treating Stimulant Addiction
Are you struggling with meth addiction, please contact 10 Acre Ranch. We have helped a significant number of people break the cycle of meth addiction and go on to live a rewarding life in recovery.