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Meth Addiction    

Methamphetamine, or meth, is a drug that people take by smoking, snorting injecting, or smoking. It causes users to experience a pleasurable rush of euphoria and wakefulness, but the “high” begins and fades quickly, so people may take additional doses in a “binge and crash” pattern. 1 Belonging to a class of drugs known as stimulants, meth affects the central nervous system and and is chemically similar to amphetamines like Adderall.

What is Meth Addiction?

People who use methamphetamine experience an increase in the amount of dopamine in their brains. Dopamine plays a role in body movement, motivation, and the reinforcement of rewarding behaviors. Because it can quickly release high levels of dopamine in the brain’s reward areas, meth can make the individual want to repeat their drug use as it reinforces drug-taking behavior.1

Is Meth Addictive?

Yes, meth is highly addictive. If an individual who is using meth stops taking it, they may experience withdrawal symptoms including:1

  • Fatigue.
  • Anxiety.
  • Psychosis.
  • Depression.
  • Intense drug cravings.

The release of dopamine in the reward circuit is a defining feature of addictive drugs. The high levels of dopamine that is released through meth use is believed to play a role in the drug’s harmful effects on nerve terminals in the brain.6

What are the Health Risks of Meth Abuse?

There are various health risks that may result from meth abuse. A meth overdose can result if an individual has a toxic reaction after taking more meth than the body can handle.

Meth users may experience two different types of overdoses:7

  • An acute overdose can happen if a user unintentionally takes too much meth in a short time span. This can cause serious and even life-threatening problems.
  • A chronic overdose refers to the cumulative health effects that occur from prolonged use of meth.


How Do I Get Help for Meth Addiction?

Effective treatment and support are available to help people dealing with meth addiction and substance use disorder (SUD).8 Treatment may be obtained through private rehab, via state or local treatment programs in either an inpatient or outpatient setting, through support groups, or in various other ways.

Where Can I Learn More about Treating Meth Addiction?

For more information about methamphetamine abuse and addiction treatment, you may want to reach out to your doctor. Or you can contact one of our admissions navigators at for the information and support you are looking for as you look for meth abuse treatment.

There are various treatment programs and strategies available for meth addiction, so don’t give up if the first program you check out doesn’t meet your individual needs.

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