Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Loving Someone Addicted to Meth: What to Do & How to Cope


Having treated countless addicts over the years who have abused a number of illicit drugs, I have never seen such devastating effects as those from serious use of methamphetamine, or crystal meth, as it is often referred to.

Before we go further, let me give you a little 411 on meth. From the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s website:

“Methamphetamine is a highly addictive central nervous system stimulant that can be injected, snorted, smoked, or ingested orally. Methamphetamine users feel a short yet intense "rush" when the drug is initially administered. The immediate effects of methamphetamine include increased activity and decreased appetite. The drug has limited medical uses for the treatment of narcolepsy, attention deficit disorders, and obesity.”

One of the terrible symptoms that comes with meth use is the inability to sleep. In fact, it’s not uncommon for a meth user to use the substance and to use it non-stop for two to three days without sleeping. This drug has horrific effects on the user, but severely impacts the loved ones of the users, as well. For example, if you your loved one has been MIA for a couple of days, you’re going to feel like a nervous wreck as you wonder where they are and worry for their safety.

If someone you love is hooked on meth, you must initially offer support. Some quick research on the internet will show you there are hundreds of online resources there to help, and you can also direct your loved one to a local mental health center for treatment. Yet you must also look out for your own needs because this drug can destroy everyone in its path. Get a good book on addiction so that you understand it, and then pick up a copy of Melody Beattie’s Codependent No More. Resources such as this one can help keep you sane when loving an addict makes you feel like you’re hanging on by a thread.