As stated by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) approximately 1.2 million people reported using methamphetamine (meth) in the past year. Meth is a white, crystal-like drug that is very strong and highly addictive. Often called “ice” or “glass”, people often use this drug by smoking, swallowing, snorting, or injecting it intravenously. Meth provides a quick rush of euphoria to users and, once the brain feels that rush of dopamine (the “feel-good” chemical in the brain), it stores that pleasant, euphoric memory in the hippocampus (the brain’s memory center) for future use. There are several symptoms a person may experience when high on meth, including: hyperactivity, drastic weight loss, increased distractibility, tooth decay, grandiose behavior, aggression, and more.
Impulsivity is defined as, “the tendency to act on a whim, displaying behavior characterized by little or not forethought, reflection, or consideration of the consequences.” Impulsivity and riskiness can lead to many consequences, including troubles at school, work, home, in social relationships, and legal implications. A 2014 study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry sought to explore the difference in brain activity for impulsivity between those with meth addiction versus individuals with no addiction. Twenty-five methamphetamine users participated in the study, and twenty-seven individuals with no addiction participated to serve as a comparison group. All participants were offered one of two activities, one of which was more impulsive and risky. Results from the study indicated that those with meth addiction may experience maladaptive decision making due to brain structural changes, alongside deficits in task-attention activation.
Since those with meth addiction often have different brain circuitry (due to the drug’s ability to change both function and structural components of the brain), it makes sense that impulsivity is a higher risk factor for those using the drug. If you have been struggling with meth addiction, the only way that you can work towards restoring your mind, body, and spirit is to seek treatment and begin your journey to recovery. If you haven’t already, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center to learn more about programs to best suit your needs. Recovery is possible. It’s never too late.
Transform your life, inside and out as you find freedom from addiction. At Tree House Recovery in Orange County, California, we’re helping men create the sustainable changes necessary to build a sustainable recovery. Call us today for information: (855) 202-2138