OCD and Methamphetamine: Understanding Addiction Causes and Treatment Options

Last Updated: Sep 21st 2020

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky

People who suffer from co-occurring disorders often find themselves in a place of helplessness due to the lack of adequate treatment resources. Many addiction treatment centers lack the ability to help patients with mental health disorders, focusing more on the addiction problem.

Of course, people attend treatment because they want to overcome a substance use disorder (SUD). But, the best professional rehab centers work on understanding addiction causes and treatment options for their clients.

It’s important to view addiction as a problem that extends past the surface. Substance use disorders are about more than harmful drug and alcohol use. Individuals who suffer from SUDs also struggle with underlying causes and co-occurring disorders.

One of the mental health disorders that commonly occur in the lives of those who are suffering from addiction is obsessive-compulsive disorder. This disorder, also known as OCD, affects people in many different ways and often prevents individuals from leading lives of normalcy.

Sometimes, OCD can cause people to struggle to build and maintain healthy relationships with others, stay focused on work or school, and remain emotionally connected to their loved ones.

In many cases, this disorder affects people who have a SUD. And, when an individual is suffering from both addiction and OCD at the same time, it can be difficult for them to find their way out of that struggle. This is why professional treatment programs that deal with addiction and underlying causes are so important.

About Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and How it Affects People

Most people have heard of OCD but, sadly, this disorder is often misunderstood. Many people believe that OCD is less of a disorder and more of a choice. In other words, some individuals think that people choose to obsess over certain thought patterns or activities. They believe that these individuals could stop thinking or feeling that way if they’d only choose to do so.

But, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. People who suffer from OCD would certainly state otherwise. The truth of the matter is that those who are living with obsessive-compulsive disorder often feel stressed and emotionally upset because they simply can’t control their obsessions.

OCD is characterized by recurring thoughts and behaviors that are usually unwanted by the individual. So, people who have OCD usually do not want to feel or think the way they do. But, because of the disorder, it’s extremely difficult (even impossible) to control those thoughts and feelings.

Those who are living with this particular disorder may find it very hard to maintain a normal and regular daily routine because of their uncontrollable obsessive-compulsive behaviors. This can be very stressful and often causes individuals to feel even more anxious.

A person who has OCD may obsess over certain thoughts, fears, or behaviors. For example, he or she may constantly feel afraid of losing a loved one or friend to death. Some individuals deal with recurring fears of getting sick.

As a result of these recurring fears, an individual may constantly desire to keep their loved ones in sight or constantly ask their loved ones if they’re okay. They may continuously clean and disinfect their living spaces in order to avoid getting sick. Or they might wash their hands abnormally often.

Sometimes, these behaviors are misunderstood by those who don’t suffer from OCD. It can be difficult to understand people’s need to engage in obsessive-compulsive behavior. But, it’s important to understand that these actions are not choices.

Again, the fact that they can’t control the effects of their OCD often causes individuals to look for relief. Unfortunately, many people resort to alcohol or drug use. These substances offer a way of escape, even if it’s only a temporary escape.

Of course, the effects of drugs and alcohol don’t last forever. They wear off after a while. In order to return to the state of mind which substance use offers people, individuals have to use more of their drug of choice. As a result of constant substance use, many individuals develop SUDs.

When a person uses drugs or alcohol excessively, it’s likely that he or she will eventually become dependent on the substance they’re using. Unfortunately, this has happened to many individuals who also suffer from OCD.

Some individuals use alcohol in order to find relief from the symptoms of OCD in their lives. Others turn to particular drugs. One drug that is commonly used amongst those who are living with obsessive-compulsive disorder is methamphetamine.

When OCD and Methamphetamine Abuse Co-Occur

Individuals who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder often seek relief in substance use. But, after using a certain drug for a while, many people become dependent on and even addicted to that substance.

This happens often in cases where people use methamphetamine in search of an escape from stress and anxiety. This drug, commonly called “meth”, is a highly addictive and harmful drug. But, it produces euphoric results, giving its users a pleasurable experience for at least a while before the effects wear off.

Meth causes the body to release dopamine, which is a chemical that’s responsible for causing individuals to feel pleasure. This chemical also plays a role in various mental processes and some bodily functions, such as movement.

One of the main problems with meth use, however, is the fact that this drug is highly addictive, causing people to feel that they need the substance in order to feel any sense of happiness. This is dangerous because those who use this drug can become dependent on and addicted to it fairly quickly.

Meth addictions can have very serious effects on a person’s life. Some of the results of methamphetamine abuse might include:

  • Paranoia
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Moodiness
  • Violent behavior
  • Sleep problems
  • Increased anxiety
  • Delusional thinking
  • Loss of coordination

These symptoms can actually worsen the effects of OCD. So, despite the initial pleasurable effects, drug use actually does more harm than good.

1st Step Identifies Addiction Causes and Treatment Options

Here at 1st Step Behavioral Health, we work to help our clients overcome substance abuse problems. But, we also help to address addiction causes and identify the best treatment options for each individual.

So, if you’re struggling with OCD and methamphetamine addiction or any other co-occurring disorders, please reach out to us today. By calling (866) 319-6126, you will be able to speak with the professional and compassionate staff members of our facility.

We understand that successful addiction treatment should deal with underlying causes to prevent relapse. So, we help our clients to work through and address the symptoms of mental health disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder.

If you or someone you know could use some help breaking free from substance use and addiction, please contact us today.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky

Brittany PolanskyBrittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is a Primary Clinician at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.