Meth is a highly addictive and extremely dangerous stimulant that can lead to devastating health issues when people abuse it. The short-term effects of meth include heightened energy levels, decreased appetite and elevated heart rate and body temperature. The long-term misuse of meth can ravage a person’s physical and mental health, with symptoms such as the following.
- Disorientation and trouble concentrating
- Dramatic weight loss
- Dental problems, aka “meth mouth”
- Hallucinations and paranoia
- Itchiness, which can lead to scratching, sores and scarring
- Violent behavior
Due to the ruinous consequences of using meth, many users seek help. However, because meth causes physiological dependence, quitting the drug often leads to withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, psychosis and intense cravings.
The severe discomfort that accompanies meth withdrawal often causes recovering users to begin using the drug again to avoid the pain. According to one study of methamphetamine users, 61 percent of the sample group experienced a relapse within one year after completing substance abuse treatment.
What Is a Relapse?
Meth relapse occurs when someone resumes using meth after quitting. Even if you only slip up and use meth once, it’s still a relapse because the goal of substance abuse recovery is total abstinence.
You may be surprised to learn that meth relapse rates are similar to those of other chronic medical conditions such as high blood pressure and asthma. Therefore, recovery from meth addiction is a lifelong process that requires ongoing treatment, dedication and support.
Relapse does not mean recovery has failed or that you will never be able to break free of your addictive behavior. Instead, relapse is a natural part of the recovery process, and it means you need more work to identify the root cause of your addiction. For example, if you began using meth as a coping mechanism to manage stress, you will be more likely to relapse if you have not found a healthier outlet for dealing with your emotions.
Why Do Meth Users Relapse?
Many people who have never gotten trapped in the cycle of addiction do not understand why people relapse. When you first leave the structured environment of a drug rehab facility, you may not know how to deal with all the challenges life throws at you. Without a relapse prevention plan and a healthy support group, the urge to return to meth use grows, and your carefully balanced house of cards may be at risk of toppling over.
To keep meth relapse at arm’s reach, it is essential to be aware of the warning signs. Many people who experience a relapse report that, in hindsight, they could spot the signs long before they chose to return to meth use. Red flags of meth relapse include:
- Overwhelming stress
- Isolation from others
- Not attending recovery group meetings
- Lack of self-care
- Feeling nostalgic about the “good old days” of meth use
- Seeking out the people and places that remind you of using drugs
- Experiencing meth cravings
What to Do When You Relapse on Meth
If you relapse, remember you are not the only person to have done so. Rather than blaming yourself or assuming you have failed in your sobriety goals, take steps to get back on track. Checking yourself into a qualified meth detox program can provide you with the structure you need to regain control.
Meth relapse shines a spotlight on what has and has not worked in your recovery, and allows you to find a new treatment option that suits your needs. It is paramount to do whatever is necessary to protect your health and well-being, and at Inland Detox, we can provide you with the foundation for your future recovery. Contact us today to learn more.