Tag: meth abuse

Recovery After a 20 Year Nightmare of Using Meth

We interviewed Jennifer, a Narconon Fresh Start graduate, about her life on meth and what she got out of the program. We put together a short video using her vocals from her interview in the background.


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Video transcript

When I was 12, me and my brother went over to my dad’s house one weekend and we got high on meth. I always wanted to do it after that and I kept on doing it.

I’ve been getting high for 20 years. I started using the needle. I had track marks all over my arms. I was not healthy. I weighed 98 pounds. I was always in the hospital because I had kidney infections and getting beat up by my boyfriend. My house has been raided by the police. I spent time in jail. My parents didn’t want to see me because I was always such a basket case. Me and my sister had a bad relationship. I was a mess.

I think Narconon Fresh Start is the best thing I ever done for myself. When I started the sauna at Narconon Fresh Start, I could actually feel it coming out. I actually started to feel like myself, like when I was 12 years old, before I started using drugs. I got energy, I actually liked communicating with people that were around me. I felt like a real normal person. I was happy with myself and with who I saw when I looked in the mirror.

I have really found out who I am and they taught me a lot about life in general and how to get your values back in life and how to respect yourself and respect your family and the people that you want to talk to and the people that you don’t want to talk to. I think it’s an awesome program. The staff there are really helpful. I really appreciate them and I am very, very thankful for them.

Jennifer


Get Help Today

If you or a loved one need help with methamphetamine abuse or any other substance abuse, call Narconon Fresh Start today at 855-734-2223 to get help. We offer free consultation services.

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About Meth…

Meth AbuseWhile meth is not the number one drug of abuse in the U.S., it is one of the most addictive and most destructive ones. Knowing the signs and symptoms of meth abuse is important in the effort to keep your loved one drug-free.

What does meth look like? This drug is often a white or light brown crystalline powder. Meth may also be found in clear chunky crystals that resemble broken pieces of ice or shards of glass; in this form it is known as Ice. It can also be found in liquid form too.

How do people take meth? When meth users take the drug there are a variety of different ways they can ingest it. Meth can be swallowed, snorted, injected or smoked. As a concerned love one, if you are looking for indications of meth use you may come across small bags of white powder or crystals and possibly syringes. Other meth use paraphernalia include crumpled aluminum foil, soda cans with a hole in the side or the shafts of inexpensive ball-point pens that have been used to snort the drug.

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Often, meth users do not sleep for long periods of time. They will use the drug over and over again; it is a form of binging known as a “run”. During this time they may ingest the drug every few hours until they have gone through their supply or have become too incapacitated to keep using.

Physically, meth causes the user to lose their appetite. This in turn causes them to lose a large amount of weight often over a short period of time. As this continues they become sickly looking and often appear emaciated. The meth user may appear unusually active and can seem nervous and anxious. Many users become paranoid of being watched or followed. Repeated meth use may result in irregular heartbeat, rapid heartbeat, mood disturbances, violent, aggressive, paranoid behavior, confusion and insomnia.

Unfortunately, many meth addicts refuse help when it is offered. It may take some time, effort and multiple interventions to get the person into a treatment program. Narconon Fresh Start drug rehab programs are able to help even the most severe cases of meth addiction. Their rehab methods drug-free, educationally based and includes a total body purifying program that effectively eliminates future physical drug cravings.  7 out of 10 people who enroll and complete the Narconon Fresh Start drug rehab program stay sober when they return home, even the most long-term and extreme cases.

The cornerstone to Narconon Fresh Start’s success is their New Life Detoxification program. This program utilizes dry sauna therapy to help the program participant flush out the residual meth toxins left behind in their fatty tissues. This phase combines time in a low-heat sauna, daily exercise and a specific nutritional supplant regimen. Once completed, the client will have improved mental clarity and significantly reduced, if not all-together eliminated their physical cravings for meth.

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Meth Addiction

What causes meth addiction? All addictive drugs have two things in common. Number one – they produce an initial pleasurable effect. Number two – they are followed by a rebound unpleasant effect. Methamphetamine, through its stimulant effects produces a positive feeling, but later leaves the user feeling depressed. This is because it suppresses the normal production of dopamine in their brain creating a chemical imbalance. The user’s brain demands more of the drug to return to normal. This pleasure vs. drug craving cycle leads to a loss of control over one’s drug use and quickly develops into an addiction problem.

Meth addiction short-circuits a person’s survival system by artificially stimulating the reward center, or pleasure areas in the brain. This leads to increased confidence in meth and less confidence in the normal rewards of life. This happens on a physical level at first; then it affects the user psychologically. The result is decreased interest in other aspects of life while reliance and interest in meth increases. In one study, laboratory animals pressed levers to release methamphetamine into their blood stream rather than eat, mate, or satisfy other natural drives. The animals died of starvation while giving themselves methamphetamine even though food was available.

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Beyond the social damage meth addiction causes, there are well known physiological effects that may take a year or more to heal once use has stopped. This includes changes in the dopamine pathways in the brain that alter how an addict is able to feel pleasure. Without the drug to stimulate these damaged areas of the brain, addicts will be unable to feel normal pleasures and subsequently fall into depression.

Meth addiction leads to withdrawal when users stop taking the drug. The severity and length of symptoms vary with the amount of damage done to the normal reward system through methamphetamine use. The most common symptoms are: drug craving, extreme irritability, loss of energy, depression, fearfulness, excessive drowsiness or difficulty in sleeping, shaking, nausea, heart palpitations, sweating, hyperventilation, and increased appetite.

Is recovery from meth addiction possible? Yes! However, retuning to a “normal” state of being takes time. Some deem the time in the interim between discontinuing meth use and feeling normal as the “wall” period. This period lasts 6-8 months for casual users and 2-3 years for regular users. This is a period of prolonged abstinence during which the brain recovers from the changes resulting from meth use. During this period, recovering addicts feel depressed, fuzzyheaded, and think life isn’t as pleasurable without the drug. Because prolonged use causes changes in the brain, willpower alone will not cure meth addicts. Entering a long-term drug rehab program is crucial to achieving lasting sobriety.

Narconon Fresh Start drug rehab centers are able to help put an end to meth addiction. Their holistic treatment methods and long-term program address meth addiction for what it really is; a mental and physical problem with underlying issues that must be resolved. During a client’s time in a Narconon Fresh Start program they will handle their addiction problem as well as the personal issues that drove them to abuse meth in the first place. This drug rehab program goes beyond helping the addicted person get off meth, it helps them develop a wide range of necessary life skills to aid them when they return to their daily life. Instead of turning to meth or other substances to handle stress, boredom, relationship issues, etc. the recovered individual now has all the tool and resources within in themselves to resolve their problems.

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