Meth Addiction

Meth (methamphetamine) is a potent synthetic stimulant, and meth addiction is a significant concern in the United States.

If you become addicted to meth, this can bring about severe long-term complications, both psychological and physical. Meth abuse is not only dangerous, but it can also be life-threatening.

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What is Meth (Methamphetamine)?

in the form of a white crystalline powder that tastes bitter and dissolves in alcohol or water.

The substance was developed in the early 1900s, derived from amphetamine and used in nasal decongestants and inhalers. In the same way as its parent drug amphetamine, meth causes effects that include:

  • Euphoria
  • Talkativeness
  • Increased activity
  • Appetite loss

If amphetamine and methamphetamine are taken in similar doses, far more methamphetamine penetrates the brain, meaning that meth is a more potent stimulant than amphetamine. The potency of methamphetamine means it has high potential for widespread abuse.

The DEA (U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration) categorizes methamphetamine as a Schedule II controlled substance. As such, meth is legally available only with a supporting and nonrefillable prescription. The substance may be prescribed to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and as a short-term weight-loss aid. These applications are limited and seldom prescribed. If meth is indicated for these treatments, prescribed doses are normally much lower than doses of meth in instances of abuse. Meth, like all Schedule II controlled substances, has the potential for abuse, dependence, and addiction.

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Is Meth Addictive?

In the most recent data from NSDUH 2021 (National Survey on Drug Use and Health),

2.5 million people in the U.S. reported past-year meth use. Among those, 1.6 million had a diagnosable meth addiction in the same year, illustrating the highly addictive nature of this substance.

When you ingest meth in any form, it triggers the over-release of dopamine while at the same time preventing the reuptake of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter – a chemical messenger – that is associated with pleasurable feelings and sometimes informally known as the feel-good chemical. Dopamine floods the system with an intense euphoria and a surge of energy, boosting self-confidence and sociability. 

Dopamine plays a crucial role in reward and motivation. The euphoric rush provoked by methamphetamine occurs as the nucleus accumbens – the reward center of the brain – becomes saturated with this feel-good chemical. A desire to recreate this surge of euphoria is what underpins most instances of meth abuse.

Chronic abuse of methamphetamine can lead to an accumulation of dopamine in the brain and significant changes to brain function. Over time, the brain becomes unable to experience pleasure without meth – a condition known as anhedonia.

Additionally, meth adversely impacts areas of the brain responsible for emotion and memory. Long-term meth abuse may trigger emotional and cognitive difficulties, as well as meth addiction (stimulant use disorder).

Some changes brought on by long-term meth abuse may persist long after you stop using the substance, and some changes may be irreversible.

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Signs of Meth Addiction

The signs of meth addiction will differ depending on the individual, the scope and duration of meth abuse, and the route of administration. 

These are some of the most common physical signs of meth addiction:

  • Flushed skin
  • Itchiness
  • Acne
  • Uncontrollable twitching
  • Raised body temperature
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Weight loss
  • Hyperactivity
  • Damage to teeth and gums
  • Dilated pupils
  • Rapid eye movements
  • Bruised or scabbed skin

If you find that tolerance to meth is building, so is the likelihood of addiction. Taking more meth to counter tolerance initiates an abusive pattern of consumption that will speed up the development of physical dependence. If withdrawal symptoms manifest when the effects of meth wear off, you are physically dependent on the stimulant.

Meth Abuse Symptoms

Signs of a heroin addiction can vary from person to person and can be grouped as follows:

Psychological Symptoms

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Violent behavior
  • Insomnia
  • Hyperactivity
  • High energy levels
  • Increased alertness
  • Enhanced sex drive
  • Increased sociability, confidence, and self-esteem
  • Paranoia
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Obsessive behaviors
  • Repetitive behaviors
  • Psychosis

Physical Symptoms

  • Rotten teeth (meth mouth)
  • Facial sores
  • Acne
  • Emaciated body
  • Liver damage
  • Droopy skin
  • Intense scratching
  • Weakened immune system
  • Stroke
  • Convulsions

Meth Addiction Treatment at Ohio Community Health

While there are currently no medications approved by the FDA for the treatment of meth abuse and addiction, we can help you combat methamphetamine addiction at Ohio Community Health.

We specialize in the intensive outpatient treatment of stimulant use disorders like meth addiction. We also offer integrated dual diagnosis treatment for those battling addictions with co-occurring mental health disorders.

Engage with individualized treatment that combines psychotherapy, counseling, motivational therapies, and holistic therapies. All Ohio Community Health meth addiction treatment programs also include a comprehensive aftercare component to promote your sustained sobriety. When you are ready to move beyond meth addiction, call (877) 679-2132.







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Christopher Glover CDCA

My name is Christopher Glover, and I am from Cincinnati, Ohio. I am currently in school and working to grow in competence to better support our community. As a recovering individual I know the struggles that you or a loved one can go through and that there is help for anything you may be struggling with.

The hardest part is asking for help and we are here as a team to best support you and your decision to start your journey towards a better future. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn

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Amanda Kuchenberg PRS CDCA

I recently joined Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers as a Clinical Case Manager. I am originally from Wisconsin but settled in the Cincinnati area in my early 20s.  My career started in the fashion industry but quickly changed as I searched to find my drive and passion through helping others who struggle with addiction. 

As someone who is also in recovery, I wanted to provide hope, share lived experience, and support others on their journey.  I currently have my Peer Recovery Support Supervision Certification along with my CDCA and plan to continue my education with University of Cincinnati so I can continue to aid in the battle against substance addiction. Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn.

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Patrick McCamley LCDC III

 Patrick McCamley (Clinical Therapist) is a Cincinnati native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2019. Patrick received his bachelors degree in psychology from University of Cincinnati in 2021 and received his LCDC III (Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2022. Patrick has worked in Clinical Operations, Clinical Case Management, and Clinical Therapy throughout his career.

Patrick has tremendous empathy and compassion for the recovery community, being in recovery himself since 2018. Patrick is uniquely qualified to be helpful because of the specific combination of his academic background and his own experience in recovery.

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Bill Zimmerman CDCA

Bill Zimmerman is a Greater Cincinnati Area native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2018. Bill received his (Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2020.

Bill has worked in Clinical Operations in both support and supervision, and Program facilitating and 12 step recovery support during his career. Bill has a passion for the recovery community, having been in recovery himself since 1982. Connect with Bill on LinkedIn

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Taylor Lilley CDCA, PRS

Growing up in Louisiana with addiction running rampant on both sides of my family. A life away from drugs and alcohol seemed impossible for someone like me. I remember what it was like sitting across from someone thinking there is no way they could ever understand what I was going through.

Sharing my experience offers a credibility and a certain type of trust with clients that only someone who has walked down this road can illustrate. To immerse myself further into the field of addiction, I am currently studying at Cincinnati State for Human and Social Services.  I hope I never forget where I came from, if I can do it, so can you!

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Thomas Hunter LSW

Hello my name is Thomas Hunter. I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am a licensed social worker.In my scope of practice I have worked in the areas of mental health and recovery for thirty years. The clients I have worked with in my career have ranged in age from seven to seventy.

I strive each day to serve my purpose of helping those in need and I believe I do so by utilizing all of my experiences to accomplish my goal of supporting those who desire to establish their sobriety and maintain it in their recovery. Connect with Thomas on LinkedIn.

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Mary D.Porter,LICDC

 My name is Mary D. Porter. I received my Masters of Social Work in 2008 from The University of Cincinnati. I received My Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor Licensure in 2001. I retired from The Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center on April 14, 2014. Currently, I am the Associate Clinical Director for The Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers in Cincinnati.. Due to the fourth wave of the Opioid Epidemic in 2019,  I decided to enter back into the workforce to assist the addicted population.

The overdoses were astounding and I wanted to help.  I consider myself  to be an advocate for the addicted population. My compassion, resilience, empathy, wisdom, knowledge, experience and  love I have for this forgotten population goes beyond words. I consider what I do for the addicted population as a calling versus a “career,” because I too was once an “addict and alcoholic.” Today I am 45.5 years alcohol and substance free.

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Ben Lemmon LCDC III

Hello, my name is Ben Lemmon, and I’m the Vice President and Clinical Director at Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers. I’ve been working in the addiction and mental health field since 2013 and decided to enter the field after overcoming my own challenges with addiction.

When I first meet a client, I always explain to them that the reason we are meeting is because they are not capable of obtaining or maintaining sobriety, and my goal is to create a person that can maintain sobriety. I believe a person’s personality is made up of their thoughts, feelings and actions and my job is to help clients identify the thoughts, feelings and actions that have them disconnected from recovery and provide them with the tools to live a healthy and happy life. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn