Crystal meth on table

Meth Addiction: Signs, Risks & Treatment Options

Methamphetamine or “meth” is a powerfully habit-forming substance that offers an intense, euphoric high. Unfortunately, this high is so addictive that prolonged meth use changes your brain chemistry, causing you to lose interest in other aspects of your life.

As recovery professionals, we have seen the pain that meth causes to individuals and families. Many of our staff are ourselves in recovery from addiction, so we know the frustration, the cravings and the hopelessness. But we also know that recovery is real and that it can happen for you, too.

You did not choose this situation — rather, addiction is a medical disease that can impact anyone. You may be feeling overwhelmed, but know that there is hope. With the right professional treatment, you can recover from meth addiction.


How Meth Affects the Body

Meth acts rapidly on your brain’s reward centers, releasing a tremendous amount of the “feel good” chemical dopamine — exponentially more than you receive from other pleasurable activities, like eating and sex. As your brain becomes accustomed to receiving these ultra-high doses of dopamine from meth, it grows difficult to feel pleasure from anything but meth.

The dangers of meth abuse are myriad. This drug takes a considerable toll on your physical health, causing damage to organs including the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, skin and brain. An overdose can be fatal, as too much methamphetamine can cause organ failure.

Man looking out windowLong-term meth abuse can impact the brain so much that it causes memory loss and a reduction in cognitive capacity. There is good news, however: studies have shown your brain may recover if you remain abstinent from meth for two years. The sooner you can begin recovering from your meth addiction, the better.

Because of the powerfully addictive nature of meth, withdrawal can be uncomfortable. Thus, people who try to detox from meth without medical supervision often end up returning to the drug. This is why it’s so important to seek professional assistance before withdrawal — multiple treatment centers in Washington State are available for this very purpose, including The Recovery Village Ridgefield.


What Are the Signs of Meth Addiction?

The physical effects of meth addiction are often visible to those around you. If you are struggling with meth addiction, you may suffer from the following conditions:

  • Acne
  • Dry skin
  • Aged appearance
  • Weight loss due to decreased appetite
  • Severe tooth decay
  • Scabs, scratches and sores on the body
  • Poor hygiene
  • Trouble breathing
  • Collapsed nose
  • Pale skin due to blood vessel constriction
  • Heightened libido while high

Like other habit-forming substances, this drug harms not only your body but also your mental health. Common emotional symptoms of meth abuse include:

  • Apathy,
  • Depression,
  • Paranoia,
  • Anxiety,
  • Memory loss,
  • Aggressive behavior,
  • Insomnia,
  • Lack of desire to engage in activities other than meth use,
  • Delusions (especially a fear that bugs are crawling beneath the skin),

How Bad Is Meth Addiction in Washington State?

Washington is experiencing a meth crisis. The Northwest HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) Program reports meth is the most prevalent drug in the state and the primary substance involved in drug-fueled violent crimes in Washington. In 2012, the Seattle area saw a stark rise in meth-related deaths, with 42 people dying from meth in King County alone.

Almost 3% of Washingtonians are dependent on or abuse illicit drugs like meth — but only about 10% seek treatment. If you are suffering from addiction, don’t wait to get help. Your life is too important. There are several options for you to undergo drug rehab in Washington State, including at The Recovery Village Ridgefield.


Meth Addiction Treatment and Recovery in Washington

Portrait of a manWhether you’re local or from another area of the country, The Recovery Village Ridgefield could be the right place for you to undergo meth addiction treatment. Vancouver, WA, and Portland, OR, are both about 30 minutes away; you can get to Seattle in less than three hours. Despite its convenience to these major cities, our beautiful campus does not have the distractions of urban life.

Tucked in the Cascade Mountains, our campus offers a secluded and quiet space for you to recover. You’ll enjoy the peaceful, rolling fog of the morning hours and the gentle breeze and sunshine of the afternoon. Sit on the porch and let the songs of native birds soothe you. You will also enjoy hotel-like accommodations, including a luxurious bedroom and daily, delicious meals prepared by our private chef. Most importantly, you will benefit from an expert treatment team, each member fully invested in helping you get better.

At The Recovery Village Ridgefield, we understand your pain. We know how difficult it is — how it sometimes feel impossible. We are here to tell you that there is always hope for recovery. Take the first step — get in touch with us.

  1. “Behavioral Health Barometer: Washington, 2015.” SAMHSA, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, 2015, www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/2015_Washington_BHBarometer.pdf.
  2. “Meth Addiction: Statistics, Causes & Effects Of Teen Abuse.” Teen Rehab Center, TeenRehabCenter.org, 13 Oct. 2016, www.teenrehabcenter.org/drugs/meth/. Accessed 8 Dec. 2016.
  3. “Methamphetamine Overdose.” Welcome to Methamphetamine and Other Illicit Drug Education (MethOIDE), Methoide, methoide.fcm.arizona.edu/infocenter/index.cfm?stid=216.
  4. Randall-Vandenburg, Amy. “Meth and Heroin Now State’s Greatest Drug Threat.” M-files Marijuana Meth Prescription Drugs Heroin, Northwest HIDTA, Aug. 2014, www.mfiles.org/home/meth-and-heroin-washington-now-state-s-greatest-drug-threat.
  5. “Short- & Long-Term Side Effects of Crystal Methamphetamine on the Body.” Foundation for a Drug-Free World, www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/crystalmeth/the-deadly-effects-of-meth.html. Accessed 8 Dec. 2016.
  6. WGBH educational foundation. “How Meth Destroys The Body | The Meth Epidemic.” FRONTLINE, PBS, 17 May 2011, www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/meth/body/.
  7. “What Are the Long-term Effects of Methamphetamine Abuse?” National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Sept. 2013, www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/methamphetamine/what-are-long-term-effects-methamphetamine-abuse. Accessed 8 Dec. 2016.