What is Shooting Up Meth?

When it comes to dangerous drug addictions, shooting up meth is toward the top of the list.

Meth, or methamphetamine, is an extremely addictive substance.

People who are not familiar with the drug may wonder, “Can you shoot up meth?” The answer is yes – and it carries with it serious health risks.

In the last ten years, the number of people in the United States that abuse meth has risen dramatically.

So too have the number that have died from an overdose after shooting meth.

Let us help you learn more about how this substance can affect your overall health and wellness, as well as the treatment options that can help you overcome your addiction.

Understanding Meth

One of the biggest dangers of shooting up meth is how addictive it is.

Meth is a stimulant drug that is made from a combination of cold medicines and other household items that, when combined, become hazardous like nail polish remover, fertilizer, and lithium from batteries.

The United States placed restrictions on cold medicine sales in 2005, which greatly reduced the number of people making meth. However, crime organizations in Mexico produce meth and smuggle it over the border.

Users often begin by smoking meth, swallowing it, or snorting it.

When an addiction develops, however, many try shooting meth instead.

This involves dissolving meth in water and injecting it directly into your vein with a needle, which carries many serious health risks.

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The Effects of Shooting up Meth on Your Body

People who are shooting meth do so because it creates a feeling of extreme happiness, alertness, and energy.

But even if you are shooting up meth in small amounts, or just try it once, it can have many different harmful effects on your body. Meth is dangerous in the short term because it speeds up your body’s systems to dangerous levels.

It can increase your blood pressure and body temperature. It can cause a rapid or irregular heartbeat.

It can also cause a reduced appetite, nausea, and extreme insomnia. In the long term, shooting meth has even more serious risks. These can include:

  • Permanent damage to the heart and brain
  • Heart attacks, strokes, and death from chronic high blood pressure
  • Damage to your liver, kidneys, and lungs
  • Intense itching, causing skin sores from scratching
  • Severe problems with your teeth, sometimes called “meth mouth”
  • A weakened immune system

People who are shooting up meth also face other health risks.

You can end up with collapsed veins and significant scarring at injection sites.

Sharing needles can lead to HIV/AIDS or hepatitis.

And using dirty needles can give you serious skin and muscle infections that may be difficult to treat.

The Effects of Shooting up Meth on Your Brain

Problems with physical health are not the only things that a meth user has to worry about.

Like most drugs, meth affects the way that your brain works.

It does this by forcing your brain to release a flood of dopamine, a chemical that is responsible for making you feel happy.

But when your brain is flooded with dopamine, it causes you to feel “high.” Your brain gets used to these high levels of dopamine from shooting up meth and, over time, forgets how to release it on its own.

This makes your brain crave meth to feel good and is what ultimately causes unhealthy relationships and addictions.

People who have a serious addiction to shooting meth also experience many different brain-related issues like confusion, anxiety, paranoia, aggression, mood swings, delusions, and hallucinations.

Some people who are shooting meth even have violent outbursts that make them a danger to themselves and others.

The worst part of getting over a meth addiction is that these psychotic symptoms can sometimes take months or years to go away after you quit. Having the support of a rehab like North Jersey Recovery makes it far easier for you to overcome these psychotic side effects.

How to Tell if Someone is Shooting Meth

While some drugs can have very subtle symptoms of addiction, meth has very obvious signs of addictions.

People who are shooting meth will have many noticeable signs of addiction. Some of the most common physical signs of meth abuse is:

  • Significant weight loss, making them look frail
  • Acne or sores on the face or arms
  • Rotting teeth
  • Sagging skin on the face
  • Inability to sit still
  • Talking quickly, or saying things that do not make sense
  • Frequently dealing with illnesses or infections
  • Frequent complaining of feeling “too hot”
  • Insomnia
  • Frequent, intense scratching that may lead to open sores

One of the biggest dangers of shooting up meth is accidentally overdosing. When someone overdoses on meth, it causes a sudden increase in blood pressure.

This can lead to internal bleeding, heart attack, or stroke. Another risk comes from contaminants that are sometimes found in meth. These contaminants can cause organ failure or seizures.

Signs of an overdose from shooting up meth include an irregular heartbeat, chest pains, extremely high blood pressure, problems breathing, extreme agitation, dangerously high body temperature, and coma. If not treated quickly, a meth overdose can lead to death.

Treatment Options to Help You

It is very difficult for someone with an addiction to shooting up meth to recover. This is especially true if they do not receive the support of a rehab program like North Jersey Recovery Center. There are currently no medications that have been approved to treat a meth addiction.

The most effective treatments for a meth addiction are medical detox and therapy. Medical detox provides a safe and secure environment for you to allow all of the meth to get out of your system.

It also gives you the option of being able to have medical treatments to help reduce your withdrawal symptoms, which can include shaking, irregular heartbeat, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, insomnia, depression, hallucinations, and sweating.

While medical detox will not make all of these symptoms go away, it does make them easier to handle.

The next step in your treatment plan will be therapy. We find a lot of success with cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT. This type of therapy focuses on finding the thoughts and behaviors that lead to your drug use.

Once we can help you see these patterns, we help arm you with tactics that will help you avoid them in order to stay clean.

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Get the Help that You Need

Meth addiction can be very difficult to overcome. At North Jersey Recovery Center, we know that addiction does not just affect your physical health, it also affects your mental and spiritual health.

That is why we tailor all of our treatment programs to fit the unique needs of every client. We offer multiple levels of care, which allows us to help even those who have professional or educational commitments.

Our facility was designed with our clients’ comfort and success in mind, providing unique amenities, privacy and a supportive recovery environment.

You can trust our team of experienced, highly-qualified addiction professionals to help you through every step of your recovery journey.

We realize that many of our clients worry about how they are going to pay for their treatment, which is why we accept most private and commercial insurance plans.

Reach out to use and we will complete a free verification of your benefits and coverage for addiction treatment.

If your insurance plan will not cover our services, we will not simply stop helping you on your recovery journey.

Instead, our admissions team will work with you to make sure you get directed to a rehab center that your insurance plan will be willing to cover.

Once you become addicted to shooting up meth, it can be difficult to see how you can ever overcome your addiction for good.

But no matter how serious your addiction is, or how long you have been shooting meth, you can still make the choice to get clean.

At North Jersey Recovery Center, we are here to help you design your recovery plan for maximum success.

Take the first step on your recovery journey and give us a call today.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Laura Riley

Laura-Riley-Cropped-Profile-150x150Laura Riley, MA, LCADC, CCS is an Administrator with North Jersey Recovery Center.