Meth is one of the most difficult addictions to defeat. It has such a profound effect on the body’s metabolism that people are physically craving more just to be active. It also creates a numbness that may be welcome to those dealing with difficult emotions. From a psychological standpoint, the amount of dopamine that is created from the first hit of meth can never be duplicated. This means the high that comes from first using meth is always be chased and never repeated.
Facts About Meth Relapse
1. About 10% of people who are addicted to meth will one day find themselves cured of their addiction. Going to rehab consistently boosts that percentage from 10% to 12%.
2. 70% of those who are addicted to meth are unemployed and on public assistance. Those who have active employment and family supports have higher recovery rates than those who do not.
3. Most meth addicts relapse within 3 years of seeking treatment.
4. 88% of people who are addicted to meth will relapse at least once during their recovery.
5. 48% of those who are trying to quit their meth habit are reportedly staying clean after 3 months.
6. The percentage of those who attempt to quit meth without any help and are successful after 3 months: 15%.
7. Only 5% of those who don’t seek professional treatment for those meth addiction will still be clean after 3 years.
8. Meth abuse and relapse are equal in both men and women.
9. People in the 18-23 age demographic are the most likely to choose to use meth.
10. Acute withdrawal symptoms may last for up to 8 months for even casual meth users.
11. For those who use meth regularly, withdrawal symptoms may last for up to 3 years after the drug is no longer used.
12. In some cases, long-term meth addicts never fully recover and suffer from ongoing psychosis, paranoid schizophrenia, and hallucinations.
13. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, over 12.3 million Americans age 12 and older have tried meth at least once.
14. The prevalence of meth use has increased by 100% in the 12-17 age demographic.
15. California and Mexico meth labs make up 85% of the drug’s supply in North America.
16. Social workers and child welfare officials remove an average of over 3,000 children from meth lab homes every year.
17. 300,000. That’s the estimated number of current meth users in the United States alone.
18. The World Health Organization claims that of the 27 million severe drug addicts worldwide, only 1 in 5 has access to the care they need.
19. Long-term users of meth have 60% more psychotic symptoms than those who have just recently started using.
20. In 2003, 6.3% of high school students surveyed in Nebraska have used meth.
21. Women are more likely to try meth when exposed to it, even though usage rates are about the same for both genders.
All of these difficulties lead to high relapse rates when it comes to meth use. Many believe that everyone who takes meth will inevitably die from that choice, whether directly or indirectly because of their addiction. The relapse statistics are so pronounced, in fact, that Stage IV cancer survival statistics are better than the treatment statistics of meth addiction.
What Can Be Done to Help a Meth Addiction?
The best way to beat a meth addiction is to never start one in the first place. More than 1,200 dopamine units are released on the first hit of meth and that one hit alone can create an addiction that can lead to chronic health problems. Meth can stay in the body for up to 6 months after it has been used, which means a true recovery doesn’t start until months after the last hit has been taken.
This means a comprehensive series of supports must be in place for a recovery to be successful. It is also important to encourage someone who does have a relapse to keep pressing forward with a recovery. As with many drugs, falling off of the recovery wagon is statistically considered a failure, but it doesn’t have to be a personal failure. Keep pressing forward, seek out professional treatment, and the recovery chances more than double.
Meth addiction creates a race that can never be won, no matter how often it is raced. Don’t try it. Not even once.