It is a widely known fact that meth is a dangerous drug, as it physically alters the chemical makeup in the brain and produces a host of health problems the longer the drug is used.
However, recovery from meth addiction, while challenging, is not impossible. In fact, with the right detox and treatment program, you can once again live a healthy life.
Effects of meth use
Those who utilize meth experience an immediate high from the drug, as the drug remains in the brain longer than most other stimulants. This leads to high levels of toxicity in the brain resulting in severe damage — like improper functioning of the cell synapses where dopamine is released. Instead of continuing to naturally produce dopamine on its own, the brain begins to rely on meth to do it instead.
In addition, meth users experience a number of short and long-term side effects.
Short term effects include:
- Increased heart rate;
- Chest pains;
- Reduced appetite.
Long term effects result in symptoms like:
- Heart disease;
- Kidney failure;
- Liver failure;
- High blood pressure;
- Cardiac issues;
- Impaired cognitive functioning.
While these side effects are unpleasant, living with them doesn’t need to be your reality. In fact, there are countless benefits to living meth-free.
Benefits of a meth-free life
Freeing yourself from meth use opens up a number of possibilities and benefits both your physical and mental health in many ways, including:
- You have more time, money and control over your life — living with an addiction robs you of these things, as you spend most of your resources finding, purchasing and using the drug;
- Your body begins to heal itself from the physical effects of the drug;
- Your brain slowly retrains itself to naturally produce healthy levels of dopamine;
- Mental health issues as a result of meth addiction, like paranoia, depression and anxiety may begin to decrease as meth use vanishes;
- A newfound desire to engage in community, previously enjoyed habits and activities and an overall zeal for life is likely to occur.
While it does take time for the body to completely recover after an addiction, staying true to healthy, nourishing habits is a sure way to keep you on the right track.
Steps towards living meth-free
If freedom from meth addiction is your goal, there are important steps you can begin taking to ensure success and minimize risk of relapse.
- Begin crafting a healthy mindset – Living meth-free is an important choice, and one that requires vigilance, patience and perseverance. Keeping in mind that everything, from a financial standpoint to your career and to friends and family, is dependent on being drug-free. All three of those things can help you remember why you started this journey and give you the motivation when times are tough.
- Build a healthy lifestyle – Meth tears down your body’s systems, but certain habits can begin building them back up again. Daily exercise (even a 30 minute walk), selecting nutritious foods and adopting a mindful practice, like meditation or yoga, can help you feel physically better, which in turn boosts mental health.
- Begin saying no – It’s likely a certain lifestyle was created around the meth addiction. This might be anything from certain people you spent time with to the places you frequented. In order to break the addiction, it’s vital to start saying no to those people’s invitations and avoiding temptation by staying away from certain places altogether.
- Search for a strong community – A support system of like-minded people who want the best for you is an invaluable tool to your recovery. You might find support in family or old friends; perhaps it’s to be found in other individuals experiencing treatment at the same time as you, or maybe it’s the people who attend support group with you, as they offer different perspectives and insights on many shared experiences.
- Set clear goals – If you want to overcome meth addiction, you’ll need some distinct goals to begin working towards. While overcoming addiction is a worthwhile goal, smaller, less overwhelming steps need to be taken in the meantime. Steps like enrolling in and attending a detox program, completing post-detox treatment, and finding an outpatient support group for after treatment are clear “mini” goals toward the greater goal.
- Celebrate achievements – Each time you meet one of your goals, celebrate! Acknowledging how far you’ve come, despite the obstacles, is a useful tool to keep you motivated, as well as prove to yourself how strong and determined you are. Looking back and being able to say, “Wow, I did that,” is a great feeling and should be celebrated.
- Ask for help – It can feel difficult, even embarrassing, to ask for help with an addiction, but there is no shame in doing so. An addiction is rarely beaten alone, and asking for help is actually one of the bravest (and hardest) steps in recovery. Once you’ve reached out for help, you’ve overcome one of the most difficult parts. Not only that, but it can give you the peace of mind knowing you’re finally on the path towards freedom.
If you or a loved one are struggling with meth addiction and are ready to take the steps to freedom and recovery, contact October Road today at 888-201-5086.