Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to COVID-19
As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at Cedar Crest Hospital & Residential Treatment Center to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, on-site visitation is no longer allowed at Cedar Crest Hospital & Residential Treatment Center.

  • This restriction has been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • We are offering visitation through telehealth services so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services are being vetted and may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff has received infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance has been provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are being monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.
  • We are in communication with our local health department to receive important community-specific updates.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Causes, Symptoms & Effects of Methamphetamine Abuse

Cedar Crest Hospital & Residential Treatment Center helps individuals who are struggling with meth addiction find long-term recovery. Located in Belton, TX, Cedar Crest is the leader in mental health care.

Understanding Meth Addiction

Learn about meth addiction

Methamphetamines (usually known simply as “meth”) are a group of highly addictive stimulants that cause tremendous damage to all organ systems, wreak havoc on personal relationships, and significantly decrease quality of life for those addicted. Methamphetamines, called on the street “crystal,” “glass,” “chalk,” “ice,” “speed,” and “crank”, are similar in structure to their parent class, amphetamines, however meth is far more potent and powerful than most other stimulants, such as cocaine. Often called the “world’s most dangerous drug,” methamphetamine is a relatively cheap way to get high. Meth is a Schedule II drug that is, upon occasion and in far smaller doses, used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. On the street, meth is abused by smoking or by dissolving the drug in water and injecting the meth directly into the blood stream. While most users begin using meth by smoking or snorting it, as addiction deepens, people may graduate to injecting the drug for a more intense, rapid high. IV drug usage carries with it a whole host of new problems, many of which are irreversible.

One of the reasons meth is so readily available and widely abused is because it is easily produced using easily found substances , including pseudoephedrine, anhydrous ammonia, ether, red phosphorous, and lithium from batteries. Despite the risk for fires and explosions, many people have taken to “cooking” meth in their own clandestine laboratories for personal use. While methamphetamine continues to be a growing concern for people in the U.S. and worldwide, with proper treatment, rehab, and support, many individuals are able to successfully ditch the meth and go on to lead much happier, sober lives.

Statistics

Meth addiction statistics

According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), approximately 0.4% of the population (or 1.2 million) of the United Sates reported using meth within the year prior, while 440,000 people (or 0.2% of the population) reported past-month usage. In 2011, the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) reported that methamphetamines accounted for over 100,000 visits to the emergency room in the U.S. In these ER visits, meth was the fourth most commonly mentioned drug, following cocaine, marijuana, and heroin.

Causes and Risk Factors

Causes and risk factors for meth addiction

Those who specialize in addiction have determined that addiction is not a result of a single root cause. Rather there is a complex interplay between genetic, environmental, and physical risk factors that leads some to develop addiction to methamphetamine and other drugs. Some of the most commonly cited causes and risk factors for methamphetamine abuse include:

Genetic: Addiction has a hereditary component— people with first-degree relatives who face past or current addictions are at a greater risk for developing addiction themselves. It’s worth noting that plenty of people who develop addiction do not have a family history of the disease.

Physical: With chronic drug use, methamphetamine actually changes the structure and functioning of the brain; notably the areas involved in impulse control, cravings, and decision making abilities. Additionally, the brains of people who are addicted to methamphetamines appear structurally different than those without an addiction to meth.

Environmental: People who begin abusing alcohol and drugs at early ages are more apt to develop an addiction later in life. Additionally, those who were born into homes in which drug abuse was common are more likely to see drug abuse as the proper way of coping with life events.

Risk factors:

  • Stress
  • Peer pressure
  • Being male
  • Underlying, co-occurring mental illnesses
Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of meth addiction

Each person who abuses or becomes addicted to methamphetamines may display different signs and symptoms of the addiction based upon individual genetic makeup, frequency of use, presence of co-occurring metal disorders, amount abused, and length of addiction. The most common signs and symptoms of methamphetamine abuse include:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Withdrawing from previously-enjoyed activities
  • Withdrawing from loved ones and friends
  • Lying to cover up meth usage
  • Hiding stashes of meth around the house
  • Poor work performance
  • Legal problems
  • Sudden need for money
  • Stealing from loved ones
  • Increased criminal activity
  • Reckless behaviors
  • Risk-taking behaviors
  • Increased libido
  • Unsafe sexual practices
  • Increase in violent behavior

Physical symptoms:

  • Meth mouth – or rotted teeth
  • Brain damage
  • Tachycardia
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Increased respiration
  • Hypertension
  • Hyperthermia
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased energy
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Malnutrition
  • Open sores
  • Stroke
  • Seizures
  • Death

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Decreased ability to pay attention
  • Diminished short-term memory
  • Global memory loss

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Mania
  • Memory loss
  • Obsessive-compulsive behaviors
  • Paranoia
  • Worsening of emotional health
  • Worsening of mental illnesses
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Meth-induced psychosis
  • Self-harming behaviors
  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
Effects

Effects of meth addiction

The effects of chronic methamphetamine abuse will depend upon the length of time an individual has been abusing meth, the amount used, frequency of use, and individual genetic makeup. One thing is certain: chronic methamphetamine abuse causes significant damage to many individuals.

Common effects of meth abuse include:

  • Anhedonia – inability to feel pleasure without meth
  • Emaciation and malnutrition
  • Loss of interpersonal relationships
  • Financial ruin
  • Joblessness
  • Social isolation
  • Mounting legal problems
  • Incarceration
  • Brain damage
  • Meth mouth
  • Anxiety, confusion
  • Insomnia
  • Mood disturbances
  • Extremely violent behaviors
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations – visual and auditory
  • Delusions – especially “meth bugs” crawling under the skin
  • Psychotic tendencies
  • Transmission of bloodborne illnesses, such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B and C
  • Self-harm
  • Death by suicide
Overdose & Withdrawal Effects

Effects of overdose & withdrawal from meth addiction

The effects of withdrawal for someone who has chronically abused methamphetamines vary wildly. Symptoms may persist for days to weeks depending upon the length of meth use. It’s important that people attempting to detox from meth do so under the supervision of trained medical personnel to manage any symptoms.

Effects of methamphetamine withdrawal may include:

  • Strong drug cravings
  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Agitation
  • Restlessness
  • Extreme sleeping
  • Vivid dreams
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Hunger
  • Suicidal ideation and behaviors

Overdose: A meth overdose occurs when a person has used a tremendous amount of the drug. A lethal dose of meth will vary depending on the characteristics of the drug and the person abusing it – each person has a different sensitivity to a specific amount of meth. Unlike other drugs, overdosing on meth shows no immediate signs to the user. Overdosing on meth is characterized by a rapid onset of physiological deterioration that will eventually lead to heart attack or stroke, which occurs suddenly and unexpectedly.

The actual effects of a meth overdose will vary depending on how much of the drug was taken and if it was taken with other drugs. Common symptoms that may indicate an overdose may include:

  • Aggressiveness
  • Confusion
  • Changes in heart rhythm
  • Fast breathing
  • Hallucinations
  • Fever
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Hyperactivity
  • Muscle pains
  • Shakes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Coma
  • Stroke
  • Death
Co-Occurring Disorders

Meth addiction and co-occurring disorders

Methamphetamine abuse and addiction often occurs with other mental illnesses. The most common co-occurring mental illnesses include:

  • Depressive disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Conduct disorders
  • Alcoholism
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Thanks to Cedar Crest, I am now free from my meth addiction. Now I can focus on the other aspects of my life and start truly living again!

– Anonymous Patient
Marks of Quality Care
  • Texas Hospital Association
  • The Joint Commission (JCAHO) Gold Seal of Approval
  • The Jason Foundation