For some people, ice addiction can occur after a single use. Anyone who has emotional issues or mental illness is a prime candidate for ice addiction. The user forgets about everything else and focuses on acquiring and using the drug. An inpatient treatment center is the best chance a user has to detox and recover from ice addiction.
Ice is an extremely strong stimulant, and much of it comes into the country illegally from Mexico. Some is manufactured in the US in small scale illegal meth labs. Ice is a very pure form of meth and can be smoked. The addict experiences an excitement and sense of euphoria that can last a few hours or a full day. Users feel confident, and display a sense of well-being. Their energy level is high as long as they are using the ice. Confidence, euphoria, and energy come at a high price to the ice and meth user. Ice addiction afflicts the user with terrible damage to gums and teeth (meth mouth). When users smoke meth, the effects begin almost immediately. When ice is smoked, the user's high can last several days, and he or she goes without sleeping or eating. Weight loss is common with ice addiction. After the ice runs out, the addict will crash and may sleep for a day or more.
Meth addiction causes a sensation under the skin, and many users hallucinate and think there are bugs crawling under their skin. The scratching and picking of the skin leaves sores and areas of broken skin on the face and arms. Users seem to age prematurely and appear gaunt and sick-looking after using meth for a length of time. Some of the meth addiction side effects include:
Long term effects of meth addiction include changes in brain structure and function (some can be permanent), psychosis, hallucinations, paranoia, repetitive motor activity, memory loss, violent behavior, memory loss, extreme weight loss, and changing moods. The meth addict is also prone to criminal activity to support their addiction. Researchers claim meth has 50 times the stimulant effect of cocaine, and users can stay awake for days. Cognitive function is impaired and that contributes to extreme paranoia. Users can hear voices and hallucinate. Violent actions can cause harm to the user or others around them. Everyone becomes the enemy to the meth addict including spouse, children, parents, friends, and authority figures. When in a state of psychosis, the meth addict can be dangerous.
There is hope for the addict if they are willing to accept help. Some families find an intervention is able to convince their loved one to get help from a drug treatment center. Meth addiction recovery programs are the only safe way to go through detox. The withdrawal effects are severe and the person really needs to be in a professional setting where there is dedicated staff monitoring the detox process. During the first stage, the crash, you will feel very tired and probably sleep for long periods. Your appetite is back, and you will want to eat a lot. Depression sets in and dealing with exhaustion results in low activity levels. The second stage brings cravings for meth. Some people feel this stage is the most difficult because they feel the loss of the euphoric feeling and energy is depleted. This stage of craving meth can last up to 10 weeks. Stage three brings fewer cravings and can last up to 30 weeks. This is a fragile time of meth addiction recovery, with occasional cravings occurring. It's important to stay on your schedule of therapy, medications (if prescribed), and counseling.
If you or a family member is addicted to meth, help is a phone call away. Don't wait another day to take action to rid your life or that of a loved one from the horrors of meth addiction.