Meth Addiction: How Do People Become Addicted to Meth?
Meth addiction may seem new, and certainly is an increasing concern in urban areas, but addiction to meth has been a problem since the 1930's when methamphetamine began being produced in an inhaler for treatment of breathing problems. It was shortly after methamphetamine started being used for legitimate, medical reasons that its euphoric side effects were noticed, leading to methamphetamine addiction.
When methamphetamine is used a chemical, dopamine, is released in the brain, bringing about a sense of well-being. When subsequent dosages of meth are taken, this chemical is depleted leading to a lesser high creating a need to take more methamphetamine in an attempt to regain the first high. This repeated use is a common cause of addiction to meth.
Meth Addiction: Addiction to Meth as a Party Drug
Crystal meth addiction can happen due to use in party settings. Crystal meth is often considered a party drug as its stimulant properties can keep partiers up and energetic for hours, or even days, without sleep. In spite of tighter drug laws in the United States, meth is still inexpensive and easy to find.
Other reasons people develop an addiction to meth on the club scene include:
- Increased sex drive
- Increased sexual pleasure
While gay men have been depicted as commonly engaging in meth addiction-fueled sex orgies, 80% of male meth users identify as heterosexual.1
Unfortunately, meth user's sex obsession makes them most likely to engage is risky sexual behavior. Addiction to meth often means extended periods of risky sexual encounters producing a serious risk of HIV or a sexually-transmitted infection.
Meth Addiction: Addiction to Meth as a Functional Drug
Methamphetamine use and methamphetamine addiction are also common in populations needing extended energy or wakefulness, or those looking to lose weight. Addiction to meth happens to these people due to their extended perceived need for the drug and the lack of knowledge of the risk.
Why is Addiction to Meth So Common?
Meth addiction is common because it's used in several populations and because there is little knowledge about the risks involved. Few people understand the substantial brain chemical changes being made during a meth binge or the long-term effects of meth on the brain and body. Few people think that by taking a drug to lose weight or work the night-shift think it will develop into a meth addiction.
Methamphetamine produces a prolonged sense of well-being and energy but after the high there is a crash often comprised of severe depression, fatigue and irritability. These highly unpleasant symptoms combined with a chemical craving for the drug lead the user to use more meth, leading rapidly to addiction to meth.
Similar to other drug addictions, it can be very difficult for someone addicted to meth to stop using the drug as meth addicts often exist in a subculture permeated by meth creation, use and sale. The person addicted to meth can find it very difficult to separate from that kind of the environment.
Tracy, N. (2021, December 16). Meth Addiction: How Do People Become Addicted to Meth?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, September 28 from https://www.healthyplace.com/addictions/meth-addiction/meth-addiction-how-do-people-become-addicted-to-meth