Methamphetamine abuse is on the rise in Louisiana, but you may hear it called by street names for meth, especially among younger crowds. Other names for meth include chalk, crank, speed, and the “Tina” drug, and methamphetamine addiction is becoming a larger problem across Louisiana, particularly among ravers.
Today, we’re going to tell you what you need to know about meth addiction. This will include signs of meth addiction, side effects of meth use, and what you can expect when you start meth addiction treatment. But first, we’ll start with some background information on Tina drug abuse.
What Is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine, called crystal meth in its crystallized form, is a stimulant that can give boosts of energy and feelings of happiness. Because meth quickly makes its way out of the user’s system, the cycle for meth abusers is usually to binge by taking large amounts of meth, during which time they might feel like they have limitless energy.
But after a few hours, the “fun” effects of meth wear off. This is known as a meth crash or meth comedown, and it’s a period categorized by lethargy, sadness, and other unpleasant side effects. More signs of a meth comedown include:
To get rid of these symptoms, people suffering from substance use disorders often take more meth. This can temporarily get rid of the crash, but it will always return. And the longer it’s put off, the worse the crash becomes, especially if you’re dealing with symptoms of depression or another mental health condition. For more clarification, we first have to look at what meth is made of.
What’s in Meth?
Methamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant that has some medicinal values (like treating ADHD symptoms), but it also comes with a high risk for abuse. And often when someone purchases meth or Tina, drugs and chemicals of various types are being added to it. Some of the most common additional meth ingredients include:
- Paint thinner
- Acetone (nail polish remover)
- Drain cleaner
- Battery acid
During a high from Tina drug abuse, the methamphetamine increases dopamine production in the brain, which both creates the good feelings and stimulates the reward centers in the brain, thus leading to drug addiction. But when meth leaves the user’s system, the brain suddenly has little to no dopamine left, which can worsen existing mental health issues. Additionally, people often feel sick from the other ingredients of meth, which leads to the crystal meth side effects listed above.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of crystal meth and the dangers it poses, it’s time to look at common signs of meth abuse to watch out for in yourself or a loved one.
Signs of Methamphetamine Addiction
Because meth addiction affects nearly every facet of life, there are many different signs that someone is abusing the Tina drug. But in general, the signs of meth addiction can be lumped into two general categories: physical and behavioral.
Physical Signs of Tina Drug Addiction
The physical signs of meth addiction can be tricky to spot, because people often go to great lengths to hide them. However, if you notice the following symptoms in yourself or a loved one, it may be time to seek help:
- Track marks, which may look like little red or black scabs and are often on the arms, hands, ankles, or feet
- Muscle spasms, particularly facial tics
- Weight loss and/or loss of appetite
- Sexual dysfunction
- Dental problems, like tooth decay and gum disease
- Trouble sleeping
Of course, many of these issues can be caused by issues other than crank addiction. For that reason, it’s important to also watch out for the behavioral and mental health signs of drug addiction.
Behavioral Signs of Tina Drug Addiction
Drug addiction always goes beyond the physical, and so do its effects. Whether you’ve noticed physical symptoms or not, it’s important to watch out for these behavioral health issues if you suspect your loved one is using meth:
- Suddenly engaging in uncharacteristic behavior, like driving recklessly or stealing
- Lying about where they’ve been or who they’ve been with
- No longer spending time with friends or family
- Owning meth drug paraphernalia (glass pipes, tin foil, needs, or aluminum cans)
- Confusion and forgetfulness
- Making risky or dangerous decisions
If you notice both physical and behavioral signs of meth addiction in yourself or a loved one, then there’s a good chance that a substance use disorder is at work. And especially if you live in Louisiana, it’s important to get help for meth addiction before the problem gets worse.
Addiction Recovery in Louisiana
Nationally, fentanyl has made headlines as the deadliest drug in the nation. But in Louisiana, methamphetamine is involved in more overdose deaths than fentanyl, as of 2017. And this could have something to do with the ways in which people fall prey to Tina drug abuse.
For example, co-occurring disorders can increase one’s risk for overdosing. This is because co-occurring disorders (substance abuse and mental health issues that reinforce each other) make the need for a drug even stronger. The drug addiction worsens mental health symptoms, and the mental health issues make the individual rely even more on drugs to cope with these difficult feelings.
And for meth, the risk is even greater. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, co-occurring disorders were especially common among meth users. This could be because issues like depression and anxiety stem from a lack of dopamine, and meth can temporarily alleviate symptoms. Unfortunately, this makes addiction treatment especially complicated for those suffering from mental health issues and Tina drug addiction.
Thankfully, there is hope. At Baton Rouge Behavioral Hospital, we provide dual diagnosis programming that addresses both mental health issues and co-occurring addiction. With this inpatient program, individuals can receive holistic, comprehensive addiction and mental health treatment that treats both issues at the same time. In this way, we provide much better recovery outcomes for those suffering from meth addiction and mental health conditions.
If you or someone you love is struggling with meth addiction, then the sooner you reach out to professionals, the better. Addiction can feel impossible to overcome, but beating Tina drug addiction is possible.
Are you ready to talk about your recovery options? Call our friendly admissions specialists at 225-300-8470 or ask your questions online. There is a Louisiana rehab near you, and we’re ready to help you make a positive change for good!