From 2011 to 2018, methamphetamine overdose deaths surged, increasing more than five-fold. We’ve all heard of the opioid crisis, but we are not talking nearly enough about the quiet menace that is methamphetamine.
So, we know that meth overdoses are on the rise. But how much meth does it take to overdose? Unfortunately, the answer can vary. But it is often less than you would think. Depending on the dosage, other substances in your body, and your overall health, meth can affect different people in different ways.
Can Meth Kill You?
We don’t want to believe that our habits can be deadly. But the reality is that drug abuse can be fatal. Meth death is not unheard of. Typically, meth death is due to an overdose. More accurately, meth-related fatalities are often due to the side effects produced by an overdose.
Heatstroke, multiple organ failure, and liver failure are a few of the most concerning overdose outcomes. These and others may damage the body or brain beyond repair. If they are caught soon enough, they are often treatable with prompt medical attention.
This is one reason why getting treatment for meth addiction as soon as possible is crucial. Do not wait for your symptoms to get worse to make the call. Meth abuse is linked to a wide range of serious mental and physical health risks, including fatal overdoses.
There are medications that help treat many different addictions. While meth is not one of them, other proven methods can help. For methamphetamine addiction, we rely on tried-and-true treatment methods, like supervised detoxes, behavioral therapies, and holistic remedies. We cannot guarantee the outcome you want, but we can mitigate the risks.
What Causes an Overdose?
Smoking crystal meth or ingesting methamphetamine in other illicit ways can lead to an overdose. But most overdoses are the result of a dosage that is far too high for the body and brain to handle. This happens both intentionally and accidentally.
Methamphetamine has limited medical uses because it is very addictive. Its prescription form is cautiously used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and obesity. But because it is a potent, powerful, and often addictive drug, this has become less common over the years.
And abuse has continued to rise. This rise has also resulted in an increase in meth-related overdoses. Despite there being approved medical uses for certain methamphetamines, there is always the risk of overdose.
Meth Overdose Symptoms
Depending on the dose, method, other substances in the body, and several other individual factors, the symptoms that you experience during an overdose can vary. Some of the most common methamphetamine overdose symptoms include:
- Uncontrollable jerking motions or seizures
- Bouts of unconsciousness
- Racing heartbeats
- Chest pains
- Severe abdominal pain
- Psychological distress, including agitation, paranoia, or delusions
- Severe headaches
- Dehydration and heatstroke
What to Do if You Suspect a Meth Overdose
If you are concerned that you or someone you love is suffering a meth overdose, seek immediate medical attention. The odds of recovery after a meth overdose depend largely on how quickly treatment is received.
Recovery is often possible, but treatment should occur immediately. The emergency services provider will choose and administer the right type and level of care. This might involve decontamination through oral-activated charcoal.
They will also likely perform a drug screening and may provide intravenous fluids. These fluids will help restore you to the right level of hydration and treat side effects like high blood pressure and nausea. It may also help with headaches and other side effects.
Once you are stabilized, this initial treatment should be followed up with a formal addiction treatment program. Many of these programs start with supervised detoxes, including ours. In the comfort and safety of our facility, you will be free to focus on your recovery.
During your detox, our dedicated medical team will monitor your progress and guide you through this critical stage. Our team will also help ease your symptoms by ensuring that you stay properly hydrated and eat healthy meals that will boost your energy levels.
What to Do After a Meth Overdose
After a meth overdose, recovery will take time. It’s important to remain patient and understand that the best results come from formal treatment programs. Cold turkey quitting and recovery at home are less effective methods.
There will come a time when you will need to maintain your sobriety at home, but formal treatments should come first. They will help stabilize your condition, build your confidence, and teach you how to live a life that does not revolve around drug abuse.
A large part of the initial recovery process involves understanding the root causes of your addiction. Untreated mental health conditions, high levels of stress, and toxic environments are some of the most common.
We can help you understand, evaluate, and overcome your addiction at its source. Behavioral therapies are effective in treating the symptoms of common mental health conditions. Support groups, stress management training, and healthy habit building can help with the rest.
Long-Term Effects of Methamphetamine Abuse
Believing that we are immune to risk is an easy trap to fall into. Making it through an overdose or a bout of addiction relatively unscathed does not mean that the next time won’t be worse. It can be scary and overwhelming to get treatment for addiction.
But leaving your addiction untreated only leaves you open to a wide range of negative outcomes. In high doses or chronic use, methamphetamine can cause psychosis, brain bleeding, skeletal muscle deterioration, and seizures.
It can also cause:
- Mood swings
- Violent and other uncharacteristic behaviors
- Heart and brain blood vessel damage
- Kidney, liver, and lung damage
- Hypertension that puts you at a higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke
- Tooth decay
As you can see, there are many mental and physical health impairments linked with long-term meth abuse. A high risk of overdose is only one potential problem of many. But hope is not lost. And help is available.
The Discovery House: Experts in Meth Addiction Treatment
Methamphetamine overdose treatment starts here. At The Discovery House, we offer a wide range of treatment programs and proven methods. While everyone is different, the path for most progresses as follows:
- Program intake
- Drug or alcohol detox
- Inpatient addiction treatment
- Residential treatment
- Intensive outpatient care
- Peer support and aftercare
Some may skip intensive outpatient care and move into a traditional outpatient program. In a traditional outpatient program, you continue to maintain your sobriety at home and attend meetings or other treatments for a few hours each week.
Others may skip another step, depending on their needs. But for most recovering from meth addiction, we recommend residential care. This type of program offers 24-hour access to the care, guidance, and support of our dedicated team.
It’s no coincidence that these are considered some of the most effective treatment programs available today. Longer treatments are associated with better outcomes. Experts recommend attending treatments, in some form or another, for a minimum of three months. There are no cookie-cutter addiction solutions. Our treatment programs are personalized based on your needs. We will evaluate your addiction level and help you make the right choice. Call us today at 818-452-1676 to get started.