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Treatment for Meth Addiction in Maine

a woman looks concerned as she starts the meth addiction treatment Portland Maine offers

Methamphetamine, sometimes known as meth, is a highly addictive and strong substance. It is a stimulant that impacts your brain and central nervous system. Most Americans who use meth take it in the form of illegal street drugs like crank, ice, and speed. It can appear as a white powder, pills, glass fragments, or blue-toned rocks. It can be ingested, snorted, smoked, or administered intravenously, depending on how it’s manufactured.

Methamphetamine was created from the stimulant amphetamine early in the 20th century and was first utilized in bronchial inhalers and nasal decongestants. Methamphetamine produces similar effects to amphetamine, including heightened activity and talkativeness, decreased hunger, and a pleasant feeling of well-being or pleasure.

Alarming Increase in Meth Use and Fatalities in Maine

Although there is a Meth crisis among the states, Maine, in particular, appears to be seeing an increase in meth usage and overdoses. About 23,837 persons died in 2020 from overdoses employing stimulants with a different addiction potential than cocaine (primarily methamphetamine). In 2020, 2.6 million persons over age 12 reported taking methamphetamine, which is 0.9% of the total population. According to estimates, 0.2% of 8th graders, 0.2% of 10th graders, and 0.2% of 12th graders reported taking methamphetamine in the previous year in 2021.

In Maine, the CDC reports that between 2018 and 2019, there was a 63% rise in queries about the distribution of methamphetamine. Furthermore, since 2018, the number of deaths linked to methamphetamine has risen. About 26 deaths were reported to the Maine CDC in 2018 versus 47 deaths linked to methamphetamine in 2019. Meth is growing more prevalent in Maine communities and more potent, which raises the probability that individuals who use it may die from its effects.

According to Maine official data, fentanyl contributed to at least 77% of overdose deaths in 2021, which is up from 67% in 2020. The majority of drug users, according to narcotics agents and advocates for rehabilitation, mix many substances together, not just one. In 2021, fentanyl and methamphetamine killed more Mainers than any other combination. In contrast to 2020, methamphetamine was listed as the cause of 27% more overdoses.

Meth Trafficking Is at an All-Time High in Maine

As drug trafficking into the state hits new heights, narcotics officers in Maine are seizing more methamphetamine than in previous years. More than 8,500 grams of methamphetamine were taken in 2021 by the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency. Agents found 2,117 grams the previous year. Over 2,700 grams were taken in 2019. Agents said they have already captured over 1,400 grams as of March 2022.

The Dangers of Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine is different from amphetamine in that, at equivalent doses, far more levels of the substance reach the brain, making it a more effective stimulant. On the central nervous system, it also causes more damaging and long-lasting consequences. It has a strong potential for widespread abuse because of these properties.

Methamphetamine abuse typically forms “binge and crash” behavior, like with many stimulants. Methamphetamine users attempt to sustain the high by taking more of the substance since the enjoyable effects of the drug fade even before the drug concentration in the blood diminishes noticeably. “Run” is a type of binging where abusers skip meals and rest while using meth for several days.

Meth Addiction Symptoms

Methamphetamine is one of the most addictive substances in the world due to its strength, potential for binges, and impact on the brain. If you don’t know what to look for, it may be tough to identify a methamphetamine addiction. Fortunately, there are various indicators of methamphetamine addiction.

The following are some of the most typical warning signs and symptoms of methamphetamine addiction:

• Abrupt loss of interest in activities, relationships, and professional life
• Skin ulcers
• Hyperactivity
• Jerky motions, facial tics, and twitching
• Sudden fits of rage
• Paranoia
• Hallucinations
• Irregular sleeping habits
• Diminished appetite
• Agitation
• Burns, specifically on the lips and fingernails
• Mood changes
• Severe dental problems
• Tweaking
• Noticeable, unexpected, and unaccounted-for weight loss

Suppose you or a loved one exhibits some of these symptoms. In that case, it may require drug addiction therapy even if it may not fully match the requirements for a diagnosis of methamphetamine use disorder. In addition, it may be time to receive professional assistance if your methamphetamine use interferes with your ability to live the life you desire and you have found it impossible to stop using on your own.

What Makes Meth So Addicting

Dopamine

Dopamine levels in the brain rise due to the drug’s increased release of this neurotransmitter. Dopamine is linked to pleasure areas in the brain, motivation, reward, and motor performance. Crystal meth produces a considerably more intensely heightened or high feeling than cocaine. There is a strong urge to continue using the drug when these abnormally high amounts of dopamine are experienced. Your body develops strong desires to sustain the incredibly euphoric state, frequently prompting frequent redosing and binge-like behavior to accomplish that aim. This is how methamphetamine gets addictive.

Strong High

Because methamphetamine is so potent, even a tiny quantity of the drug may provide a strong high. Even though it is impossible to regulate the dosage of illegally produced methamphetamine, even one meth high can lead to overdose or abrupt death.

Methamphetamine has such a high potency that users might quickly become addicted. This implies that though users may have ingested a tiny quantity of methamphetamine the first time, they will require more of the drug to get the same high the second time. Unfortunately, this makes addiction more likely.

Binges

Consuming methamphetamine frequently results in binges. People binging on methamphetamine ignore their bodies’ nutritional requirements to consume more and more of the drug. The majority of individuals do this to prolong their first euphoric highs. Unfortunately, continued usage will reduce the intensity of each successive “high,” making it challenging for people to replicate their original highs. Sadly, this frequently results in more significant methamphetamine usage, leading to addictive feelings.

Overdose Signs

When someone uses methamphetamine accidentally or on purpose and has adverse symptoms, they have an acute methamphetamine overdose. These adverse consequences may be fatal.

A habitual user of methamphetamine may experience health problems that are referred to as a chronic methamphetamine overdose. If you experience any of the following signs of an overdose, get emergency assistance immediately.

Signs of an overdose can include:

• Stiffness in the muscles
• Furious, combative, and confused behavior
• Abrupt dizziness or lightheadedness on rising from a lying or sitting posture
• Dark urine
• Irregular heartbeat
• Cramps, spasms, discomfort
• Nausea
• Seizures
• Abdominal pain
• Trembling

Long-Term Effects of Meth

Diminished Brain Health

According to research, methamphetamine changes brain regions involved in decision-making and makes it more challenging to stop repetitive actions that are no longer necessary or beneficial. The correlation between the two effects suggests that the structural alteration causes the loss of mental flexibility. The reason methamphetamine addiction is so challenging to overcome and has a high risk of relapsing during treatment may be due to these alterations in brain structure and function.

Misuse of methamphetamine has also been linked to detrimental effects on microglia, which are non-neural brain cells. By protecting the brain from pathogens and eliminating damaged neurons, these cells promote brain health. However, excessive microglial activation can damage healthy neurons.

Mental Illness

Compared to their siblings, who had never used drugs, meth users had noticeably higher cognitive deficits. Moreover, meth-induced brain deterioration plays a role in developing schizophrenia, anxiety, paranoia, and depression.

Health Problems

The use of methamphetamine raises blood pressure, heart rate, and stroke risk. Meth can cause users to become hyperthermic, which can cause convulsions. Long-term methamphetamine use also causes dramatic weight loss, severe dental issues, and skin sores brought on by scratching.

Other Risks From Meth Misuse

Misuse of methamphetamine increases the risk of acquiring or spreading hepatitis B and C, as well as HIV, not just in injecting users but also in noninjecting users. HIV and other infectious illnesses are most commonly passed between drug users who inject drugs by sharing or reusing contaminated syringes, needles, or accessory items. Nevertheless, methamphetamine’s potent effects can affect inhibition and judgment and can cause users to engage in unsafe activities like unprotected sex.

Methamphetamine abuse is linked to hazardous sexual conduct in both heterosexual and homosexual cultures. This association may be explained by the fact that methamphetamine and other similar stimulants can boost desire. However, long-term use of methamphetamine may be linked to a decline in sexual function, at least in men. HIV infection may become more prevalent among methamphetamine users than among other drug users due to injecting habits and sexual risk-taking, and certain epidemiologic studies already indicate this tendency.

Maine’s Meth Prevention Project

The Methamphetamine Prevention Project in Maine aims to educate people in order to raise awareness about the dangers posed by the use and manufacture of methamphetamine. In addition, the project aims to strengthen the ability of important organizations and individuals in the community to stop methamphetamine manufacture and usage in Maine.

Some initiatives of the project include making it illegal to purchase ingredients used to make methamphetamine. The group also wants to enforce laws governing the functioning of a lab for producing methamphetamine and maintain the Maine Meth Watch Program.

Meth Addiction Treatment in Maine

At Liberty Bay Recovery Center in Portland, Maine, we can assist you in controlling the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms of methamphetamine, such as cravings, exhaustion, and body pains. Additionally, we can help you with any mental health issues you may be dealing with, such as transient signs of psychosis or despair.

Our goal is to promote the beacon of hope all through the state of Maine while also offering those who are struggling with addiction help, information, and resources.

There are several different methods of therapy for meth addiction, making it difficult to choose the best one. There are presently no drugs that can counteract the particular effects of methamphetamine, extend abstinence from the drug, or prevent a person addicted to the drug from abusing it. However, pharmaceuticals have shown promise in treating various substance use disorders.

Here are some of the methamphetamine treatment options in Maine:

Contingency Management Intervention

This type of addiction therapy works through rewarding motivation. Motivational incentives are frequently employed in the treatment of stimulant addiction and have successfully assisted patients in their recoveries from methamphetamine addiction.

In exchange for receiving treatment and continuous abstinence, participants in this program get rewards in addition to counseling. Motivational Rewards for Enhancing Drug Abuse Recovery (MIEDAR), a program that uses such incentives, is a successful method of treating methamphetamine addiction.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Changing habits to break harmful patterns is the primary goal of this kind of treatment. Learn new, drug-free coping mechanisms with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This option requires that you become aware of how you react to external or internal stimuli, halt the impulsive or unfavorable reaction, and replace it with a constructive one.

Behavioral Therapy

For those who battle methamphetamine addiction, there is a 16-week behavioral therapy program called the Matrix Model. It incorporates family education, counseling, a 12-step component, behavioral treatment, and drug testing, and it promotes activities unrelated to drugs.

Liberty Bay Recovery Center

At Liberty Bay Recovery Center, we offer various rehab programs for meth addiction and other substance use disorders. If you or someone you know needs assistance with a meth addiction, we are ready to assist you. For meth addiction rehabilitation, Liberty Bay offers holistic and immersive residential treatment in a peaceful, therapeutic atmosphere. Our mission is to promote compassion and healing to deliver long-lasting recovery. Call us today to get the assistance you need.