Methamphetamine is a man made central nervous system stimulant.

Dependency on Methamphetamine (commonly known as ‘tik”) develops as a result of the impact of regular use of Meth on the brain.  The Meth passes through your body to the brain where it causes the neurons to transmit unusually large amounts of the natural neurotransmitters (norepinephrine and dopamine), which then prevents the normal re-uptake of these brain chemicals.  The release of this neurotransmitters results in a short lived powerful euphoric effect and increase in energy and feeling of invulnerability.

Meth is highly addictive and can quickly move from occasional use to compulsive use.  Two of the indications of dependency are tolerance and withdrawal.

Tolerance is the increase need for more Meth in order to achieve the same high and is due to the change in brain chemistry.

Withdrawal is the presence of physiological symptoms as a result of not using Meth.  These symptoms make it very difficult to stop the use of Meth.  They include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anhedonia (inability to feel pleasure)
  • Irritability
  • Lack of energy
  • Sleeplessness
  • Teeth grinding
  • Mood swings

Other symptoms of Meth dependency include:

  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Severe tooth decay
  • Respiratory problems
  • Permanent heart, liver, kidney, lung damage
  • Brain damage including inability to give attention, make good judgements, problem solve, poor memory, movement issues, poor impulse control and loss of contact with reality
  • Panic and psychosis
  • Bizarre or erratic behaviour
  • Criminal and violent behaviour

Recovery from Meth addiction is possible with the required help.  Firstly detox needs to take place.  A place of safety and medical assistance can ease the challenging withdrawal symptoms.  Within a few days sleep and eating patterns can return to normal.

Adherence to a 12 Step recovery programme can provide the daily support and changes necessary to support abstinence.

If you or a family member are struggling with addiction please contact info@ixande.co.za or phone +27217627348.

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