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Addiction

Meth hooks people faster than almost any other substance. It causes an intense initial high, followed by an equally severe crash and, over time, changes the brain so the user can no longer experience pleasure.

Tolerance

Repeated doses of Meth don't give users the high they expect. Meth reduces dopamine supply—the brain's pleasure chemical—and dopamine receptors retreat in an attempt protect the brain.

Tricks

Meth tricks the brain, overwhelming its reward system. Meth's lure is an initial rush, but using compromises the user's ability to feel good, make sound decisions, and stop destructive behaviors, like taking Meth.

Desperation

Users become a slave to the drug; losing the ability to control their thoughts and behaviors. This leads them to do things previously unthinkable, like resorting to prostitution and theft.

Cravings

Because of the way methamphetamine rewires the brain, intense cravings put users into a desperate "I-need-it-now" mindset. Users will often go on "binges," using for days or weeks straight.

Prison

Meth overstimulates the brain's emotional center and impairs judgment and impulse control. Amped-up and unable to think rationally, users are prone to violence other behaviors that can lead to incarceration.

Rock Bottom

As Meth takes control users will disregard personal appearance, school, jobs, and reject family and friends. Severe depression and suicidal thoughts are common when users hit rock bottom.

Methamphetamine is one of the fastest acting and most addictive substances. It hijacks key areas of the brain, putting the drug in charge, instead of the user. How does this happen?

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Building Triggers

Quitting Meth can be difficult due to the powerful addiction it can cause. A user’s cravings are intensified by people, places, items, or emotions that are linked to getting high. These cues are known as “triggers.”

See how triggers are created

When people first use Meth, it’s a conscious decision. Over time, Meth changes the brain, and soon the drug takes over.

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As the addiction develops, the brain begins to link people, places, items, or emotions to using Meth, turning these things into “triggers.”

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Exposure to triggers, even briefly, can make it hard to stop doing Meth as they can consciously and subconsciously cause intense cravings for the drug.

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Triggers can pop up anywhere, even when the recovering user isn’t around methamphetamine.

Tap the triggers below

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Terms

  • A disease characterized by uncontrollable drug cravings and use, even when the drug, like Meth, no longer makes the user feel good and is causing severe adverse consequences. When someone is addicted, their abililty to control their thoughts and behavior is compromised. Eventually, their entire world revolves around seeking and taking the drug. Methamphetamine, especially when smoked or injected, hooks people faster than almost any other substance. Coin Toss

  • Methamphetamine users will often stay awake for days or weeks and continually use until their supply of Meth runs out. Not only is this destructive to the body, but during a binge Meth starts to change the chemistry in the brain, setting the stage for a powerful addiction. "I Was Hideous"

  • The ability to suppress a behavior—either before it starts or once it's already underway—depends upon certain brain circuits working well. Methamphetamine disrupt these circuits, so Meth users may find themselves doing things that they would normally never do. Whatever It Takes

  • People, places, items, or emotions that are linked to getting high. Exposure to these cues—even briefly, and sometimes even subconsciously—can trigger intense craving for methamphetamine, and make it very hard for someone who is addicted to stop using Meth. Mice on Meth

© Meth Project Foundation, Inc., 2014. All rights reserved.