Signs and Symptoms of ICE Use and Abuse Signs and Symptoms of ICE Use and Abuse

Ice is a purified crystalline form of methamphetamine that is also known as crystal meth. It can be manufactured using cold medicine and chemicals like battery acid, antifreeze, or drain cleaner. Ice is a central nervous system stimulant that can rapidly lead to dependence and addiction. Among the most common signs that someone is using ice are irritability, problems sleeping, tooth decay, and weight loss. A few of the symptoms of ice abuse are kidney damage, heart attacks, depression, anxiety, and intense cravings.

It can be difficult to determine if someone is using ice if you don’t know what to look for. Commonly referred to as crystal, crank, shards, glass, Tina, or crystal meth, ice has become a serious problem across the globe. Ice abuse can lead to psychological issues, co-occurring disorders, and other problems in a person’s life.

A lot of people using ice don’t know who to turn to when they want to stop, or where to go for help for that matter. If you suspect someone is using crystal meth or ice, or if you yourself are using crystal meth—don’t give up hope. There are a lot of people who want to help. Signs and Symptoms of ICE Use and Abuse_Manufacturing Meth

What Is Ice?

Ice first showed up in the 1980s and has since become popular in the United States, Europe, Mexico, and other countries throughout the world. Ice is a central nervous system stimulant that can be smoked, diluted and intravenously injected, or ground into a powder and snorted. Ice is a purified crystalline form of methamphetamine and looks like a fragment of glass. The color of the drug can be clear, gray, brown, yellow, orange, or pink; depending on the ingredients.

How Is Ice Made?

Crystal meth is characteristic of large cities, but drug trafficking brings it to rural areas as well. Make no mistake, ice isn’t only manufactured in cities or other heavily populated regions; it can be produced in what are known as meth labs. These labs can be anything from a shed, van, or even a tent in the woods. To make ice, a person cooks up ingredients like pseudoephedrine (cold medicine), battery acid, antifreeze, or drain cleaner.

Unfortunately, those preparing the drugs are often using them as well, so this can rapidly become a dangerous situation. Not only to society but also to the environment. Meth labs create a lot of toxic waste which isn’t likely disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. Not only that, the accidental explosions meth labs can cause are often detrimental to anyone nearby.

Understanding Ice Abuse

Methamphetamine is similar to amphetamine, which is used in medicine to and treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder by stimulating the part of the brain and nerves that control impulsive behaviors. The Drug Enforcement Administration has categorized methamphetamine as a Schedule II drug because of its high potential for abuse. Ice is among the most potent and addictive drugs on in the world. Abusing it can lead to serious psychological addiction and fast; it can have a person hooked after just one use. Signs and Symptoms of ICE Use and Abuse_Brain Dopamine

It’s true, crystal meth is a dangerous, addictive, and often deadly. Those who become addicted to meth might not be able to control the amount of the drug they’re using, because so frequently an addiction starts with an obsession and leads to compulsive use of a drug. So why do people use the drug? “Methamphetamine increases the amount of dopamine in the brain, which is involved in body movement, motivation, pleasure, and reward” (National Institute on Drug Abuse).

No matter how you look at it, it’s important to remember that the people suffering from addiction weren’t always that way—they’re still our neighbors, brothers, mothers, teachers, friends, and citizens who happen to suffer from a chronic disease. They’re people who need as much love and support as they can get.

Signs Someone Is Using Ice

Some people abusing ice may wind up in a binge and have hallucinations, become extremely antisocial, or even seem like there’s no hope for a cure. Even though addiction is a defined as a chronic disease, there’s always hope for recovery. If you aren’t sure if someone is abusing ice, here are some of the signs to look for:

  • Weight loss as a result of decreased appetite
  • Decaying teeth or Meth Mouth
  • Irritability and violent behavior
  • Problems sleeping
  • Trouble remembering
  • Serious emotional issues
  • Hyperactivity
  • Psychotic episodes
  • Paranoia
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Meth Mites or belief that there are microscopic parasites under the skin Signs and Symptoms of ICE Use and Abuse_Common Signs

Long-Term Effects And Symptoms Of Ice Abuse

If use of crystal meth persists, the drug can cause symptoms beyond the signs and short-term effects; some of which aren’t treatable. Ice abuse can lead to:

  • Intense Cravings
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stroke
  • Kidney Damage
  • Psychotic Behavior
  • Psychosis
  • Faster Breathing
  • Increased Blood Pressure
  • Irregular Heart Rate
  • Heart Attack
  • Withdrawal Symptoms
  • Overdose
  • Death

When a person becomes physically dependent on crystal meth, they’re likely to experience withdrawals when they stop using, or run out of the drug. These symptoms are both mentally and physically draining and can be quite painful. Some of the withdrawals embody the long-term effects of crystal meth, and “can include anxiety, fatigue, severe depression, psychosis, and intense drug cravings” (NIDA).

Is There Treatment For Ice Addiction And Dependence?

There a lot people who are addicted to crystal meth, and some of them never make it to treatment. That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t try if given the chance. It’s possible that some of them (or a lot of them) never ask for help due to fear of rejection, or because of the guilt and shame they feel. And there’s a huge scope of crystal meth abuse in the United States.

According to NIDA, in 2012 “approximately 1.2 million people reported using methamphetamine in the past year.” Not all of these people ever overdosed or developed an addiction, for that matter. Some of them didn’t need rehab to quit, but a lot of them did—sometimes it’s just a safer route to go.

With the right inpatient treatment there’s hope for a full recovery and drug-free life. Choosing to go to rehab can save your life, or the life of a person you care about; and there’s a treatment program that suits nearly everybody.

Behavioral Therapies For Substance Use Disorders

Behavioral therapies are some of the most effective methods for treating an addiction to ice. Furthermore, people come from all kinds of different backgrounds, so an individualized treatment tends to be the most effective—and there really isn’t a one size fits all method for treating addiction. The most commonly employed methods for treating a crystal meth addiction are cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and contingency management.

Cognitive behavioral therapy can prevent relapse by helping a patient to recognize unhealthy behavior patterns, and situations that would normally evoke a desire to use drugs. Dialectical behavior therapy helps a patient learn to change behaviors by teaching acceptance skills through mindfulness and distress management, and change skills through emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness. Contingency-management uses a system of rewards and motivational incentives to teach a person healthy behaviors for a substance free life.

Is There A Rehab Center That’s Right For Me?

If you would like to learn more about an ice addiction, Contact at 1-833-473-4227 to confidentially speak to someone who understands crystal meth addiction, and can help find a treatment that meets your needs.

If you or a loved one is battling methamphetamine abuse or addiction, contact us now!

For More Information Related to “Signs and Symptoms of ICE Use and Abuse” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From



National Institute on Drug Abuse –  What is the scope of Methamphetamine abuse in the United States?

Understanding The Combat Methamphetamine Act Combat Methamphetamine Act_

What is the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act (CMEA) of 2005? In short, it’s an act that was implemented by our nation’s government to do just what the name implies: combat abuse of methamphetamine and meth derivatives.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) explains that the Act was intended to regulate “retail, over-the-counter sales of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, phenylpropanolamine products.” These three drugs, among others, are ones that have either methamphetamine chemical structures, or structures similar to it. Combat Methamphetamine Act_Act

Each is used to treat conditions like asthma, congestion, narcolepsy, and cold symptoms. In higher doses, these medications can be used as stimulants for increased alertness. Because of this, these types of medication are often targets for abuse.

In response to high numbers of abuse, the CMEA is supposed to impose limitations to daily sales, monthly purchases, limits to customer access, and more strict enforcement of customer ID practices, sales logs, staff training, and regular certification for sellers.

Why Is The CMEA Important?

According to the DEA, ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine are all “precursor” products used in the illicit manufacture and sale of methamphetamine. In other words, theses drugs are bought, processed to extract methamphetamine, and abused.

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug that comes with a whole range of side effects and can lead to a number of consequences, including high risk of overdose. People abuse meth by smoking it (crystal meth) or by crushing and snorting the tablet forms, or by dissolving it with liquid and taking the oral solution.

Meth affects the body by releasing extremely high levels of dopamine, a chemical that naturally occurs in the brain. When meth releases larger doses of dopamine than the brain is used to, you feel a rush of pleasure—the brain’s response to this feeling of reward. However, the brain also changes its chemistry to this new experience; it makes you crave this feeling again and again.

Because of this, people fall easily into abuse of meth, and shortly into addiction. Side effects of meth abuse can cause a number of health issues and personal consequences, some of the most dangerous of which can be fatal overdose or coma.

The U.S. government implemented the CMEA to help regulate sales of products containing meth in hopes of decreasing numbers of abuse in the nation. While meth abuse may not be gone, regulating sales and use of prescription drugs is always an effective way to fight addiction.

For those who are already struggling with methamphetamine abuse or addiction, treatment can help them before it’s too late. At, our experts can help you find a rehab center that best suits your needs, and design a treatment plan that addresses all aspects of your health.

How Does The CMEA Work?

As previously mentioned, the CMEA regulates sale and purchase limitations for drugs that contain methamphetamine chemical properties. How does it do this?

As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) explains, sellers of these medications must:

  • Limit the amount of these medications sold daily and monthly to any one person
  • Require to see photo ID for each medication purchased
  • Keep personal information records for people who buy these products for minimum two years after purchase
  • Make sure customers don’t have direct access to these medications (i.e. keep them behind the counter and only sell after first going through all proper ID, personal information, and sales logs procedures)
  • Keep a detailed sales log for these products, including: product name, amount sold, name and address of person who bought it, date and time of sale

Essentially, the CMEA made the medications containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine “behind-the-counter” products. This means the medications are kept out of direct customer access, whether behind a pharmacy or sale counter, or in another part of the building. Combat Methamphetamine Act_Regulations

Those who sell these products must also submit proof of certification to the Attorney General to sell these products. The Act does not change the requirements for these medications; you still don’t need a prescription to buy them, but sale and use of them are regulated.

Who Is Affected By Methamphetamine Abuse?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that approximately 1.2 million people in 2012 reported use of methamphetamine in the past year. Of that number, 440,000 had used it in the past month, and 133,000 of those who reported abuse were aged 12 and above.

Meth abuse is increasing among youth and young adults, ages 12 to 20, and is seen most among white (non-hispanic) males. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, meth abuse has decreased since first being added to the survey in 2004. This means meth abuse has decreased since the CMEA was enacted.

But the NIDA also explains that while the number of emergency room visits associated with meth have gone down, meth is still quite popular as a drug of abuse, and abuse rates are still high. This is especially true in western and Midwestern parts of the nation, and increasingly in rural areas.

Effects Of Meth Abuse

What happens when you abuse meth? The immediate effects produce the rush that many people seek when they abuse it, but some of the side effects, even after a short time, can range from uncomfortable to extreme or even dangerous.

Though some of the short-term effects may seem harmless, when you begin taking meth frequently and taking larger doses due to tolerance, you enhance the short-term effects which can contribute to risk of overdose.

The following are possible short-term effects of meth abuse:

  • Decrease in appetite
  • High blood pressure and body temperature
  • Increase in alertness and activity
  • Rapid breathing
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat

In addition to increased risk of overdose which can be fatal, prolonged methamphetamine abuse can lead to a number of damaging effects to your health. These are just some of the possible effects meth can have on your health, mood, and behavior:

  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Dental problems: “meth mouth” or severe mouth sores and tooth decay
  • Extreme itching problems, leading to severe scratching, sores, lesions, and infections
  • Paranoia, or extreme issues with trust of others and fear of certain situations
  • Hallucinations, or hearing or seeing things that aren’t happening

Consequences Of Meth Abuse

Aside from all the possible health effects, meth abuse can and does infect many aspects of your life. When you become addicted, no part of your life goes untouched. To start, abuse of meth not only hurts your health, it can also cause alterations to your brain that are permanent.

The NIDA explains, “continued methamphetamine use causes changes in the brain’s dopamine system that are associated with reduced coordination and impaired verbal learning.” It can also alter the parts of the brain responsible for emotion and memory. Combat Methamphetamine Act_1.2 million

Some changes to the brain may be reversed after quitting use of meth, with treatment, but others may be permanent. Prolonged meth abuse may also contribute to development of Parkinson’s disease.

Addiction to meth brings consequences of its own. Having an addiction can take a toll on finances. Even if making meth is cheap in the beginning, abusing it can alter the way your brain works, make your life change to seek meth, which could result in troubles at work or loss of job.

When you start abusing meth, your family and others close to you may not understand. This can strain your personal relationships, or cause you to lose touch with those you love. Addiction can make you do things you normally wouldn’t, like risking your reputation or doing something illegal to get the drug.

There are so many adverse consequences possible when you abuse meth, and it really isn’t worth the risk of trying the drug. But if you’re suffering with meth addiction, then you know how hard it can be to stop. We can help you put meth abuse behind you, and move forward to a new phase of life with substance abuse treatment.

How To Treat Methamphetamine Abuse

How do you treat abuse of a drug that is so potent? You treat it with a multidisciplinary method, integrating several types of treatment modalities to ensure holistic healing.

Our rehab centers offer healing in a supportive, welcoming environment far from the triggers of abuse. We also provide licensed and trained professional staff, who have experience treating abuse of substances, including meth. For those coming to us with more than one substance abuse problem, or who also struggle with mental health issues, we’ve got you covered with excellent dual diagnosis care.

Meth addiction can result in some severe withdrawal symptoms, but medication assisted treatment (MAT) can ease these symptoms. With MAT, you receive medication to help you manage withdrawal symptoms, taper off use of drugs, and are monitored closely to ensure safe levels of withdrawal.

Addiction also affects mood and behavior, which is why behavioral therapy and counseling are important components to any addiction treatment program. We offer both at our rehab centers, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and counseling at the family, group, and individual level.

These are just some of the research-supported methods we utilize at our rehab centers. We also work closely with you to design a treatment plan that addresses all your needs and aspects of your health. Comprehensive healing is necessary with meth abuse and addiction—they affect much more than just your physical being, and we work to ensure overall wellness.

Combat Methamphetamine Abuse: Find Treatment Today

Our government has implemented measures to combat meth abuse and addiction. While this helps the fight, it isn’t enough to stop meth abuse. The only real way to stop meth abuse and addiction is to treat the cause of addiction, and help you find a way to deal with triggers as they come.

We’d like to help you get out of meth addiction, and heal today. Contact us today at to speak with a specialist and learn more about treatment, our rehab centers, and more.

For more on Contingency Management , contact us now!

For More Information Related to “Understanding The Combat Methamphetamine Act” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From



National Institute On Drug Abuse—DrugFacts: Methamphetamine
U.S. National Library Of Medicine—Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine Overdose Treatment

Methamphetamine Overdose Treatment

Methamphetamine, commonly referred to as meth, among other street names, has become increasingly widespread, as its prevalence has extended across the United States within the past several decades. With this diaspora, a continued pattern of abuse, addiction, and destruction has followed.

Meth is a highly addictive stimulant drug. Using this drug, either for the first time, or habitually, as is characteristic of an addiction, can bring great harm to a person, including a high risk of overdose.

Meth’s Background

You may be surprised to know that meth owes its roots to the medical field. Like many illicit drugs, meth was developed for medical purposes, and is yet used, albeit rarely for medical applications. After its creation in the early part of the 20th century, methamphetamine was used in nasal decongestants and bronchial inhalers, as explained by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Currently, in the now infrequent times it is used within the medical field, NIDA tells us that it is administered for ADHD or weight-loss treatments.

Methamphetamine Overdose Treatment Nasal Decongestants

In order to better understand its potency and addictive potential, it is useful to consider the fact that it is very closely related to another powerful, and also commonly abused stimulant—amphetamine. In fact, according to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, meth, like amphetamine are both within the amphetamines class of drugs. Due to its strong risk for abuse and dependence, it is classified by the DEA as a Schedule II drug.

How Meth Affects Your Body

People may choose to administer meth several ways, each of which alter the effects and risks a meth abuser incurs. Meth, like various other illicit stimulant drugs, may be smoked, snorted, injected, or more rarely, taken orally. Each of these ways exposes a person towards to the potential of overdose, which in some cases, may be fatal.

Before we speak of this risk, and the subsequent treatment, we will speak in brief of the drug’s effects on a user. Being able to understand the signs and symptoms of meth abuse and addiction may give you a greater awareness that could be helpful towards initiating the help that may avert an overdose in someone you love. Prevention is key in protecting someone from use that accelerates from abuse to addiction, and subsequently the attributed risks. When someone uses meth, they may, in the short term:

  • Become excessively talkative
  • Exhibit a more focused state of attention
  • Experience decreased fatigue
  • Have a diminished appetite
  • Exhibit signs of increased respiration (taking breaths in a greater frequency or speed)
  • Complain that their heart rate is rapid
  • Become too hot (hyperthermia)

As with any drug of abuse, as use progresses, a person is apt to exhibit more serious effects, with meth, these long-term signs of abuse may be:

  • Tolerance (a person needs more to achieve the same effect)
  • Anxiety
  • A confused state
  • Mood changes, including violent behavior
  • Psychotic tendencies (paranoia, and seeing or hearing things that aren’t there)
  • Believing that bugs are crawling on, or beneath the skin
  • Intense itching or damage to the skin from the above notion
  • Significant weight loss
  • “Meth mouth,” a variety of dental issues due to the drug’s damaging effects
  • Marks from needle use
  • Infections at injection sites
  • Wearing long sleeves to cover up the latter two signs

Methamphetamine Overdose Treatment History

In addition to these symptoms of use, meth can also damage a person’s physical and mental health, including an increased risk of various transmissible diseases, including HIV and hepatitis C and B; cognitive decline, complications during pregnancy, and damage to the heart, to name some. Two of the greatest risks are addiction and overdose.

Signs Of An Overdose

If the above signs become apparent in someone close to you, and you believe there may be concern of meth abuse, or addiction, seek treatment immediately—it may mean the difference between an overdose occurring down the road, and even life and death. Being preemptive may help a person to avoid such dire circumstances if their drug use continues unchecked.

Unfortunately, people’s drug habits are not always caught in time, and an overdose may still occur. There are even more imminent signs that may further point to more serious straits, such as those which precede an overdose. As extracted from MedlinePlus, if a person has consumed large amounts of meth, such as that which may cause overdose, they may exhibit or experience the following:

  • Methamphetamine Overdose Treatment SymptomsAgitation
  • Chest pain
  • Coma or unresponsiveness (in extreme cases)
  • Heart attack
  • Irregular or stopped heartbeat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Very high body temperature
  • Kidney damage and possibly kidney failure
  • Paranoia
  • Seizures
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Stroke

Please, we urge you, if you witness any of these conditions call emergency medical assistance immediately, your call has the potential to save a person’s life. Should you even begin to think that a meth overdose may be occurring, or that a person even be at risk of experiencing one, seek medical attention immediately. In these critical conditions, every minute manners, and the sooner you get your loved one, or yourself help, the sooner a medical intervention can work towards improving the odds that it does not result in a fatality.

As these individuals may become violent or aggressive please proceed with caution around them. If a person is seizing, do not attempt to hold down their limbs, or attempt in any other way to stop the movement. Instead, if they are experiencing a seizure, the only thing you should do is to lightly cradle their head, to help protect it from harm. If you are able, roll them off their back and onto their side, preferably the left, so that they don’t aspirate their vomit should they get sick.

Lastly, MedlinePlus urges that if you witness an overdose, to prepare crucial information for the medical support team, as much as you may know, including:

  • How much they weigh and also their age.
  • What amount of drug did they take, and in what frequency?
  • How did they administer the drug? Did they inject it, take it orally, etc?
  • When did they take the drug?

Also, if the person took any other drug(s), either prescribed or illicit, including alcohol, please make certain to tell the responders this, as this may change the course of treatment. This can be a very overwhelming and frightening situation, but remember, try to keep your head clear and stay calm so that you may assist them in getting the help they need.

Should An Overdose Occur

Again, we must remind you that a person may conceivably overdose on meth the first time they try it, or at any point along the spectrum between abuse and addiction. When this overdose happens suddenly, it is called an acute methamphetamine intoxication. In an instance that an overdose does occur, what follows are measures of treatment that will be initiated in an attempt to moderate the severity of various facets of the overdose in attempt to save the person’s life.

Foremost, when a person is overdosing on meth, due to the at times extreme impact that it can have on a person’s psyche, the medical staff will ascertain a person’s psychological standing. Within this period of time, they will also be establishing a person’s vitals. In most severe cases, a person’s mental state may be evident as extreme psychosis manifests by delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia. This is often accompanied by aggressive or violent behavior.

For the safety of both the individual and hospital staff, in these cases, the person will likely be restrained and sedated intravenously. This not only protects all parties involved, but allows for the emergency department (ED) team better, unobstructed access to be able to administer critical, and what could be lifesaving, measures. A Medscape article specifies on medicines that may be used, nothing that “Benzodiazepines diminish methamphetamine-induced behavioral and psychiatric intoxication. This class of drug is also used to terminate methamphetamine-induced seizures.”

Another medication-based approach that may be used is also outlined by Medscape, “Treat hyperactive or agitated patients with droperidol or haloperidol, which are butyrophenones that antagonize CNS dopamine receptors and mitigate the excess dopamine produced from methamphetamine toxicity.” However, they do note that despite the clinical success of these drugs in studies, some places will not use them because of a Black Box warning due to the cardiac risks of “QT prolongation and the potential for torsades de pointes.”

Within this process, as soon as they’re able, the medical staff will do a toxicology screening to confirm the presence of any other drugs that were reported and to identify any that were not. A person may also be intubated so that they can receive oxygen and breathing support through the aid of a machine.

Currently, meth, like many other stimulants has no FDA-approved treatment for addiction. Similarly, because of its stimulant nature, medical means to treat meth overdose varies from other approaches that use overdose-reversal drugs. For this reason, when a person encounters a meth overdose, the emergency department instead focuses their predominant attention on treating the physical and psychological symptoms of the meth overdose instead of an actual reversal of the drug itself.

At this point, once the situation is under control, the ED staff will begin assessing a person’s vitals more completely to determine the next measures of medical attention. As we noted above, meth may cause a person’s temperature to rise to sometimes drastic heights, a condition that is called hyperthermia. Combined with other risks—high blood pressure, increased or irregular heart rate, increased respiration, and convulsions, a person is at risk of losing their life.

To counter these risks, as explained by The Endowment for Human Development, a person may receive anticonvulsant drugs or be put into an ice bath to cool down their internal temperature. Hyperthermia may impact not only a person’s body, but also their brain, causing their brain’s temperature to rise to the point great damage may occur.

A U.S. National Library of Medicine published study on meth overdose chronicles the danger that this may have, citing that “we demonstrate that acute METH intoxication induces robust, widespread but structure-specific leakage of the BBB, acute glial activation, and increased water content (edema).” The piece continues to say that they are uncertain if these conditions may be reversed, however, that they do know that they contribute to “multiple functional and structural perturbations in the brain, determining its acute toxicity and possibly contributing to neurotoxicity.” Essentially, this means that a meth overdose may lead to brain damage. Hence, it is critical that a person receive care, so that their body and brain can begin cooling as soon as possible to advert as many aspects of damage as possible.

If a person has taken meth orally, MedlinePlus tells us they may receive a laxative and activated charcoal. These help to pass the toxins and cleanse them from a person’s system in a quicker manner than their body would on its own, in order to avoid the drug continuing to wreak havoc.

Once a person is more stabilized and the most imminent risks addressed, other medical tests and procedures may occur to determine the full extent of the damage, so that they may continue to administer even more focused medical care on other serious risks. These may include, as cited from MedlinePlus:

  • Chest x-ray
  • CT (computerized tomography) scan (a type of advanced imaging) of the head, if head injury is suspected
  • EKG (electrocardiogram, or heart tracing)
  • Other medicines or treatments for heart, brain, muscle and kidney complications

In addition to these measures, a person may receive various other drugs or treatments. As we’ve noted, meth abuse—especially in the larger amounts that would precipitate an overdose—can cause anxiety, agitation, nausea, high blood pressure, and even pain. Once a person’s state is evaluated for these concerns, they may receive a variety of medicines via an IV to address these conditions.

After a person recuperates from this event, they should seek treatment for meth abuse or addiction, in order to further protect themselves against greater risk. In serious cases, inpatient drug rehab may be best, especially programs that employ cognitive behavioral therapy, a method that has shown great success with these concerns.

Prevent The Damage

Contact us if you or a loved are considering treatment.If you or someone you love uses meth, than you are at risk of overdosing. Please, contact us at, so that we may help you to find treatment options that can put you on a path towards sobriety and better health.

Center for Substance Abuse Research — Amphetamines
MedlinePlus — Methamphetamine overdose
Medscape — Methamphetamine Toxicity Treatment & Management
THE ENDOWMENT FOR HUMAN DEVELOPMENT — Chapter 9: What treatments are effective for methamphetamine abusers?
U.S. National Library of Medicine — Acute methamphetamine intoxication: brain hyperthermia, blood-brain barrier, brain edema, and morphological cell abnormalities.

The Top 10 Most Addictive Drugs

The Top 10 Most Addictive Drugs

There are a variety of dangerous drugs in the world and the addictive levels of each varies wildly. Some are relatively non-addictive, while others cause addiction very quickly. Understanding the most addictive substances available can help you understand whether you or someone you love is at a high risk for addiction. While drug use of any kind is typically dangerous and potentially addicting, these substances are the most problematic.

The Basis Of Our Ranking

Our list is based on information gleaned from two different studies. The first was published in The Lancet in 2007, from a team headed by British psychiatrist David Nutt. The idea was to create a system for assessing the addictive level of various types of drugs. Three different aspects were measured, including physical dependence, psychological dependence, and pleasure generated by the drug.

The findings of this study were somewhat controversial because it was found that alcohol and nicotine, two legal and commonly accepted substances, were more addictive than ecstasy. Various newspapers in his homeland and the public ridiculed the studies and called for Nutt to resign.

Though he didn’t resign, the controversy led to him being fired and another study was allegedly undertaken to confirm the truth of his hypothesis. This study has been reported to agree with Nutt’s findings, though no online publication of the study has been found.

The Top 10 Most Addictive Drugs Heroin


Heroin is a substance that has a reputation for being incredibly addictive. The reasons for its addictive nature have to do with how it works on the mind and the body. When heroin is introduced into the body, it binds with opioid receptors in the mind to stimulate pleasure by releasing dopamine in a way beyond what the body can produce on its own.

Unfortunately, once heroin is removed from the system, the body won’t produce dopamine for a period of time. This will cause a variety of symptoms, including depression, nausea, physical pain, and hallucinations. To avoid these symptoms, people may continue to use heroin.

The Top 10 Most Addictive Drugs Crack Cocaine

Crack Cocaine

Just slightly under heroin sits crack cocaine, a type of cocaine that is smoked, rather than snorted. Crack cocaine is chemically very similar to normal cocaine, but it takes effect more quickly and, due to its potent nature, creates a more intense high. This high decreases in about 10 minutes, which is quicker than powder cocaine’s 30 minutes. As a result, increasingly higher doses are often necessary

Those who use crack cocaine experience a high that creates feelings of high energy, happiness, and excitement. These feelings are more extreme than naturally-occurring instances, and as crack wears off, it causes increased depression, anger, and anxiety. Though the withdrawal effects of crack cocaine are short-lived, they are extreme, and fending them off requires often increasingly higher doses. As a result, nearly half a million people in the country are currently addicted to crack cocaine.

The Top 10 Most Addictive Drugs Nicotine


The finding that nicotine was more addictive than crystal meth, and just as addictive as crack cocaine, were a major influence on Nutt being fired. However, studies have shown that nicotine stimulates the activity of a neurotransmitter in the brain, named nicotinic, and makes it necessary to ingest nicotine regularly.

As a result, withdrawal symptoms (such as anxiety, mood swings, and headaches) are common when people try to quit smoking or chewing tobacco. These symptoms are often very severe, and easy access to nicotine products makes it easier to relapse than with many other substances. As a result, it is estimated that one in every five deaths in the country was influenced by nicotine use.

The Top 10 Most Addictive Drugs Methadone


The use of methadone in opiate withdrawal cases has been common for decades, because it is a healthier and cleaner alternative. Like heroin it is an opiate, albeit one that is less addictive. In a medical setting, methadone doses are carefully monitored and tapered to decrease withdrawal symptoms and to decrease the risk of developing an addiction. Unfortunately, addiction is still possible.

Crystal Meth

Crystal meth is an alternative form of methamphetamine that does something that its parent drug does not: teach your brain to crave it. When someone smokes crystal meth, they are stimulating the areas of the brain that produce dopamine and norepinephrine, the chemical that increases your feeling of alertness. As a result, those who use crystal meth often feel increased energy and a more “focused” state that helps them perform a task more efficiently.

Unfortunately, the brain can become reliant on these artificially increased doses of dopamine and norepinephrine. However, crystal meth also damages the neurons that produce these chemicals and makes them less effective at producing them. As a result, those who suffer from crystal meth addiction may have a permanently decreased ability to feel pleasure and focus.


Barbiturates are a depressant type of drug that were once widely prescribed as a treatment for anxiety and other concerns. However, benzoodiazepine drugs have taken their place, due to their higher effectiveness. They are still sometimes used to treat epilepsy, however. Addiction to these substances are very possible, and withdrawal is often very similar to alcohol withdrawal.

As a result, cramps, seizures, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, and even hallucinations are all possible. In severe cases, heart problems, hypthermia, and even death can occur.

The Top 10 Most Addictive Drugs Alcohol

The Top 10 Most Addictive Drugs Alcohol AddictionAlcohol

The legal status of alcohol helps increase its potential for addiction, but its impact on the mind and body already create a potent addictive potential. When a person drinks alcohol, their body releases high levels of endorphins and dopamine, which makes them feel happier. It also decreases feelings of anxiety and self-control, which may make socialization easier. This is the reason that alcohol is considered a “social drug.”

Unfortunately, those who become addicted to alcohol become reliant on it to release endorphins, even as their body becomes physically reliant on it to operate. Withdrawal symptoms from alcohol are among the worst, and can actually cause death in severe cases. Sadly, this has led to an addiction rate of nearly 10 percent of the nation (nearly 18 million Americans).

The Top 10 Most Addictive Drugs Cocaine


Though less potent than its sister drug, cocaine remains dangerously addictive. It stimulates dopamine release and prevents the mind from reabsorbing it into the body. Though this symptom is only temporary, it will make a person crave cocaine at high levels.

The effects it causes (including extreme pleasure, energy, and happiness), its quick nature of use, the potency of its high, and the rapid development of tolerance make its potential for addiction severe. Though withdrawal symptoms are typically short-lived, psychological dependence is high with cocaine.

The Top 10 Most Addictive Drugs Amphetamines


Amphetamines are a type of stimulant that can be used for a variety of medical purposes, such as increasing energy, treating sleep disorders, and helping with ADD and ADHD. Adderall, Dexedrine, and Desoxyn are all legal prescription forms of amphetamines. Methamphetamines are an illegal and non-medical variety that have become a major problem across the country. However, even legal amphetamines carry the possibility of addiction, though no more than methamphetamine.

Using amphetamines improperly can cause problems with speaking, a dry mouth, dizziness, constipation, insomnia, and heart problems. It can also cause addiction due to the ways that it impacts the production of dopamine and other endorphins. The increased levels of these chemicals it causes cannot be naturally stimulated, which leads to a reliance on amphetamines to achieve them again.

The Top 10 Most Addictive Drugs Benzodiazepines


When a person suffers from anxiety, substances like benzodiazepines can help them achieve a sense of calm and stability. However, these substances are high on the list of addictive substances due to the way that the mind can become reliant on them. They cause a rapid tolerance, making severe withdrawal symptoms likely. These symptoms include severe anxiety and panic attacks, though physical reactions, such as nausea, may also occur.

Improper use of benzodiazepines is uncommon, but it does occur—in these instances they are usuallly used in conjunciton with other drugs. Unfortunately, even proper use may cause addiction. However, unlike most of the other drugs on this list, benzodiazepines do serve a medically-necessary purpose. If use is halted, it is typically done in a controlled and tapered way, to decrease the potential for withdrawal symptoms.

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Contact us if you or a loved are considering treatment.Addiction to any of these or any other substances is a dangerous problem that must be treated as soon as possible. That’s why you need to contact us at today. We can help set you up with a rehab center near you that will help you beat addiction and regain a sober and healthy life.


Independent – The 5 Most Addictive Drugs In The World
Tech Insider – These Are The 10 Most Addictive Drugs In The World
The Science Explorer – Experts Ranked The Top 5 Most Addictive Substances on Earth
The Lancet – Development Of A Rational Scale To Assess The Harm Of Drugs Of Potential Misuse
Mental Health Daily – 10 Most Addictive Drugs List
The Guardian – Government Drug Adviser David Nutt Sacked
National Institute On Drug Use – What Effects Does Heroin Have On The Body?
Medline Plus – Cocaine
Be Tobacco Free – Nicotine Addiction And Your Health
Foundations For A Drug Free World – What Is Crystal Meth?
Huffington Post – Why Alcohol Is So Addictive
National Institute On Drug Use – Well-Known Mechanism Underlies Benzodiazepines’ Addictive Properties – GHB or Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate
Project GHB – GHB Addiction
Healthline – What Is Amphetamine Dependence?
University Of Maryland – Center For Substance Abuse Research
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