Is Chronic Pain a Factor in Developing a Meth Addiction?

Can chronic pain due to legitimate health conditions play a role in meth addiction? Many people often focus on recovering from addiction. However, to live a life free of active addiction, we must first understand where it developed.

Unfortunately, health conditions that cause chronic pain can very seriously impact the development and severity of a struggle with addiction. How is chronic pain typically treated nowadays? What, if any, is the connection between chronic pain and meth addiction? Questions such as these are crucial for people trying to determine if chronic pain is a factor in developing a struggle with meth addiction.

What Is Meth Addiction?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) describes methamphetamine as a “[P]owerful, highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system.” A methamphetamine high “[S]tarts and fades quickly,” according to the NIDA. That causes individuals to typically use meth repeatedly “[I]n a ‘binge and crash’ pattern.”

What Does Meth Do?

Meth increases the levels of dopamine in the brain. We naturally experience a release of dopamine in our brains. This neurotransmitter makes us feel good and is usually released and associated with pleasurable activities. It is also involved in “[B]ody movement, motivation, and reinforcement of rewarding behaviors,” says the NIDA.

Unfortunately, the unnatural release of dopamine due to meth reinforces drug-taking behavior. This overflow of dopamine in the brain makes individuals want to use more meth and makes it more difficult to stop using. Individuals can usually recognize the signs of meth addiction in another person, and many people struggle with meth across the country.

Meth and the Healthcare System

In 2020, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated that about 2.6 million people over the age of 12 had used meth in the past 12 months. Many individuals are currently struggling with an addiction to stimulant prescription medications, the two most common being Adderall and Ritalin. Drugs like these produce similar highs. While street methamphetamine is quite common, we must ask how many people addicted to street meth began with an addiction to prescription stimulants.

People sometimes use stimulants such as meth and cocaine to manage chronic pain. Doctors prescribe medication, but the body adapts. To experience the same effects, individuals need to use more of the substance. How is this done? Individuals turn to street drugs like meth and cocaine, which are more accessible than prescription medication. Doctors are more vigilant when treating patients for chronic pain, but the number of people struggling and developing meth addictions is still high.

Seek Treatment Today

Regardless of how a meth addiction develops, treatment is available. The Guest House specializes in treating negative behavior patterns and treating the mind and body for long-lasting recovery. Recovery resources and medication-assisted treatment (MAT) can help you recover and manage chronic pain.

Methamphetamine addiction is prevalent in the United States. Meth use is a common struggle across the country, but people rarely ask if meth use has an underlying cause. Specifically, individuals seeking treatment for chronic pain sometimes become dependent on prescription stimulants and later turn to street substance use which is more accessible. Treatment is available, and thanks to resources and programs that offer medication-assisted treatment, recovery is maintainable. To seek treatment, call The Guest House at (855) 483-7800