Methamphetamine-definition

How to Recognize Crystal Meth Overdose Symptoms

Meth (methamphetamine) is an extremely potent, highly addictive drug that has wreaked havoc in rural and urban areas across the United States. The National Institute of Health (NIH) reports that in some regions, meth creates more problems than opiates. Learning how to recognize signs of meth use, and more importantly meth overdose symptoms, are some of the best ways individuals can help save lives. 

What Is Crystal Meth?

Although meth has much in common with cocaine and other stimulants, crystal meth is a neurotoxin that remains in the brain longer, where it can cause significant damage. The more meth a person uses, the faster the central nervous system functions, until the brain and body are dangerously overstimulated.

Can You Overdose on Meth?

If you’re using crystal meth, overdose is always a possibility. All too often, a drug overdose results when the body is unable to process the substance effectively. A meth overdose can lead to severe health problems, and in some cases, death.

Long-Term Crystal Meth Users

Experienced meth users sometimes fight through meth overdose symptoms because their systems have become so desensitized that they can take relatively large doses without immediate problems. On the other hand, long-term users can build a physical tolerance in which increasingly dangerous amounts of meth are needed to reach the same level of pleasure and euphoria — making a successful meth overdose more likely to be fatal.

New Crystal Meth Users

New users are more likely to use toxic amounts of meth because they haven’t developed a tolerance, and they tend to be unaware of how meth affects the body. Inexperienced meth users may take a dose equal to that used by an experienced user, or they may take a second dose before the first dose has worn off. 

Crystal meth overdose may occur when meth is cut with another substance such as caffeine, amphetamines, ketamine, or fentanyl, often without the buyer’s knowledge, or when meth is used with alcohol or other drugs. Sometimes, people overdose when they are unaware they have a health condition such as heart disease or diabetes. 

If you or a loved one is struggling with a meth addiction, give us a call at (866) 971-5531 or contact us online today

How Much Meth Does it Take to Overdose?

Several factors affect the severity of crystal meth overdose symptoms, which can impact survival rate. A heavier person may not be as likely to overdose as a person who weighs less, and a healthy person is less likely to overdose than a person with a heart condition or other physical problems. 

People who have developed a tolerance are typically less likely to overdose than newer users. The frequency of meth use also makes a difference. When meth is injected or smoked rather than snorted, it reaches the brain quickly and effects don’t last as long. Some people may use meth every few hours to stay high, which significantly increases the risk of overdose.

Purity of the meth is also a factor.

What Does a Meth Overdose Feel Like? Acute vs. Chronic

A crystal meth overdose may be either acute or chronic. An acute overdose, which occurs when a person uses a large amount of meth at one time, can be fatal. A chronic overdose refers to harmful effects that build over time. Both are devastating and potentially deadly. 

Common Signs of Meth Overdose: Symptoms of Acute Overdose

  • Profuse sweating
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Tremors
  • Loss of muscle control
  • Difficult, slowed, or stopped breathing
  • Hallucinations
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Chest pain
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Dangerously high body temperature
  • Paranoia
  • Aggression
  • Extreme agitation
  • Panic
  • Psychosis
  • Seizures

The meth overdose symptom that is most commonly the primary cause of death is usually failure of the kidneys and other organs. Meth overdose can also lead to convulsions, stroke, heart attack, or coma.

Common Signs of Meth Overdose: Symptoms of Chronic Overdose

Chronic overdose involves side-effects that may occur when crystal meth is used over a long period of time. Many of these meth overdose symptoms are temporary, but some of them can become permanent:

  • Skin sores
  • Rotten teeth (meth mouth)
  • Insomnia
  • Heart problems
  • Muscle deterioration
  • Frequent infections
  • Severe weight loss
  • Psychosis 
  • Extreme paranoia
  • Decrease in mental functioning

Spotting Meth Overdose Symptoms: What to Do When Someone ODs

Rapid response is critical if you suspect somebody has overdosed on meth. Call 911 immediately, even if you aren’t sure. The longer you wait, the higher the risk of adverse reactions, including death. 

When you call, be prepared to provide as much information as possible, such as:

  • Is the person unconscious? Has breathing stopped? 
  • Were other substances used?
  • Are you aware of other medical problems?

How to Help Someone Who Has Overdosed on Meth

After you have called 911 there are a few steps you can take. While you’re waiting for help to arrive:

  • Tilt the person’s head to one side so she won’t choke on her own vomit.
  • If the person is having a seizure, hold his head carefully to prevent injury, but don’t restrict movement of the arms and legs. 
  • Don’t put anything in the person’s mouth.
  • Be careful if the person is agitated, aggressive, or paranoid.

Good Samaritan Laws

It’s critical that you stay with the person until help arrives. If you’re worried that you may be arrested if you call emergency services, most states have enacted Good Samaritan Laws that protect you, and the person who is overdosing on meth, from prosecution for offenses such as the sale or use of a controlled substance. Good Samaritan laws in many states apply even if you’ve violated probation or parole. Don’t allow your fear to prevent you from getting help immediately.

Meth Overdose Treatment 

While there may be ways to treat individual meth overdose symptoms, there’s no specific method of treating a person in the middle of a crystal meth overdose. First responders will likely perform a toxicology screening, administer intravenous fluids, and may take other necessary steps to stabilize the person.

If the crystal meth was taken orally and help arrives within an hour or two, responders may administer activated charcoal to prevent the toxins from moving from the intestines into the bloodstream.

Once the person arrives at the emergency department, doctors will treat specific meth overdose symptoms such as stroke, heart attack, severe agitation, or organ failure.

Meth Withdrawal Occurs in Two Phases

When undergoing crystal meth detox, it’s important to understand that meth withdrawal takes place in two phase:

Phase One

Phase one generally lasts up to 10 days and typically involves:

  • Intense cravings
  • Tremors
  • Aches and pains
  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Clammy skin
  • Irregular heartbeat 
  • Exhaustion
  • Lack of energy
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Confusion
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Depression — including the possibility of suicidal thoughts or behavior

Phase Two

Phase two, which lasts for at least two weeks, is usually the time when meth withdrawal symptoms begin to stabilize. However, withdrawal during this period may involve continued cravings, nightmares, mood swings, depression, and anxiety.

After three to four weeks, symptoms continue to lessen and sleep and energy levels begin to normalize. Cravings may continue for a few months, or they may begin to diminish after about five weeks.

Unfortunately, some meth withdrawal symptoms, such as paranoia and psychosis, may last several months, even with crystal meth addiction treatment. Others, like memory problems and sleep difficulties, may be permanent. 

Detoxing off Crystal Meth: Meth Addiction Treatment

If a person is experiencing any of meth overdose symptoms, that’s a clear warning that something is very wrong. If they survive an overdose, meth addiction treatment should begin as soon as possible. Even though this overdose wasn’t fatal, the next one may be a different story. Getting into treatment and detoxing off of meth should become a top priority.

The Importance of Quality Meth Addiction Treatment

If you’re concerned about your use of meth, or if you’re worried about somebody you love, recognizing the signs of crystal meth overdose may mean the difference between life and death. Meth addiction treatment is challenging, but quality treatment provided by an experienced, compassionate team of professionals offers the best chance of success. 

At 1st Step Behavioral Health, we’re ready to help, using effective, evidence-based treatments for meth addiction. Call us at (866) 971-5531 or contact us online today.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) text on colorful sticky note

OCD and Methamphetamine: Understanding Addiction Causes and Treatment Options

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.

How a Ft Lauderdale Rehab Center Can Help with an Addiction to Meth

Although there are a number of pharmaceutical drugs that use methamphetamines that, when prescribed by a licensed physician, are legal to use, the street form of this substance, more commonly referred to as “crystal meth” or simply “meth” is illegal in Fort Lauderdale and will be for the foreseeable future. Unlike most other addictive substances or street drugs, there isn’t really any kind of substantial push by any group in the Florida to legalize meth other than by those who argue for blanket decriminalization for all controlled substances. This is most possibly due to the substantial physical damage that meth can cause to its users – damage that occurs notoriously fast and is especially visible to other people.

 

How Meth Can be Treated

In most cases, a Ft Lauderdale rehab center will be able to help those with an addiction break free from meth through either therapies or via certain medications. While there haven’t been any FDA-approved pharmaceutical products created specifically for treating crystal meth addicts, there are still a variety of medicines available that a well-informed rehab center doctor will be able to prescribe, usually as a stop-gap to help minimize the severe effects that meth withdrawal can have on an addict.

When it comes to the therapies involved with meth addiction, many of those used in nearly all cases of drug or alcohol addiction are applicable. However, due to how addictive crystal meth is and how quickly a relapse can occur in someone who recently quit or went through detox in Ft Lauderdale, inpatient rehab services are highly recommended for patients addicted to this substance.

Nevertheless, any Ft Lauderdale rehab center that offers substance abuse treatment that has meth addiction treatment programs available will be able to address you or a family member’s specific addiction, even cases of dual diagnosis. To learn about how we help detox and treat meth addictions, please Contact Us at your earliest convenience.