Over the course of the past 30+ years in the United States, both heroin and meth have attained a kind of demon status—and for good reason. Both drugs lead chronic users to miss opportunities, lose relationships, violate their own moral codes, disrupt the family system, commit crimes, and die.
However, in some ways, meth is even worse than heroin. Methamphetamine creates a storm, gusting for some time and building strength and intensity. Its full force has tremendous damage potential and harsh consequences. During a meth addict’s psychotic, paranoid episodes, the storm of illogical and deceptive thinking disrupts the landscape. This chaos prohibits assistance from even the most caring and capable families.
Not only is meth potentially more damaging than heroin during active addiction, its aftermath—in the form of neurological damage—can be permanent (whereas heroin-damaged brains can heal). Meth causes permanent neurological impairment—actual, observable brain damage.
In a well-known interview, Doctor Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, revealed the drug’s sinister impact. She observed that with chronic use of methamphetamine, a “point of no return” arrives, after which neurological repair or restoration is impossible.
Tragically, the chief effect of this permanent damage as experienced by addicts in recovery or during abstinence is dysregulation of the endorphin system and loss of the ability to fully experience emotional pleasure. This demoralizing and common experience contributes to meth addicts’ resistance to treatment and higher relapse rates compared with other drug addicts, including heroin addicts.
Avoiding the “point of no return” is imperative, so the need for action is urgent. Earlier intervention improves outcomes for the family the addicted loved one. For the addict, earlier intervention means a better chance at a self-regulating endorphin system and a relatively normal life.
Because meth addiction is resistant to treatment and because early intervention is so important, families should seek experienced intervention providers–professionals who have clinical intervention experience spanning years of ongoing research in the field. David Petersen and his colleagues are these professionals. Do not entrust your education or your loved one to professionals who are inexperienced with advanced modes of clinical meth intervention. The sooner and more specialized your family’s intervention, the better. Contact David Petersen, a licensed clinical professional, now.
I emphatically invite and challenge people who care for meth users to take action as soon as the problem comes into view. Even if the user claims the use is infrequent, a storm is brewing.
For more information about the intervention process, go here.
Many heroin addicts are at risk for meth-related brain damage. Meth is often added to heroin in order to allow users to be more functional when using or to stay awake and enjoy the heroin high.