When someone is high on meth they love everything and everyone.
But the truth is that someone addicted to meth has only one first love—and it’s meth.
The Effects of Methamphetamines
Before we get into all that, let’s back up a step. Meth is part of the family of amphetamines. The effects of meth are similar to cocaine, but meth is longer-lasting and less expensive. It can be taken orally, injected or snorted.
When meth is used, a feel-good chemical called dopamine floods the brain, making the user more confident and energetic.
That’s the good part. Here’s the bad: Meth users have strange sleep patterns, staying awake for up to 10 days at a time. They are at a higher risk of developing HIV, as meth can increase sex drive and also lessen inhibitions. Meth users lose weight quickly and often have stained or rotting teeth. They can be paranoid and suffer from hallucinations. They may pick at their hair or skin and lose interest in their appearance.
Worst of all, addiction can happen very quickly—even after just one or two uses. Once that happens, all of the “good” aspects of meth fade away. The addict then needs meth just to feel normal.
Meth and Your Relationship
While it may seem exciting at first to think about doing meth with your partner, the fact is that meth can result in psychological issues including paranoia, memory loss, aggressive behavior, and mood swings.
Couples who use drugs together often see higher rates of violence and co-occurring mental illnesses including depression and bipolar disorder.
Couples who do meth also face difficulties when they choose to quit together. It’s common that at this point the relationship is so closely tied to drug use that romantic partners can easily trigger drug cravings in one another.
Cutting off meth use can result in irritability and aggravation, adding challenges to offering loving support to each other during recovery.
Obviously, no healthy relationship can survive meth without being damaged, but there is one type of dysfunctional relationship that possibly can.
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When Two Addicts are in a Relationship
Not much research has been done on what happens when two addicts are in a relationship. In fact, it’s easy to simply assume that these relationships are about drugs—and nothing else—and are doomed.
But one study done in 2006 shed a bit more light on the situation. It was authored by Janie Simmons of the National Development and Research Institutes and Merrill Singer of the Hispanic Health Council Inc.
The study found that the drug users who were followed “all still aspired to the same social norms that most non-drug users aspire to in their relationships: love, fidelity, material and emotional support, and the ability to maintain a home.”
What does that mean practically speaking?
According to the study, it means that it can be helpful to “work with couples, rather than against them” when they decide to get help and turn their lives around.
The bottom line? If two meth users are dating or married and both desire to get better, it may be beneficial for them to keep their relationship intact while each of them works toward recovery.
Tips for Couples to Quite Meth Together
- Set goals for yourselves during your sobriety
- Create new routines as a couple that have no ties whatsoever to drug use
- Tackle disagreements in a healthy, non-accusatory manner
- Use plenty of empathy when discussing your partner’s (past) addiction
- Make sure to practice self-care
Hope at The Raleigh House
We know how hopeless it can feel when confronting addiction, especially crystal meth. Our master’s level trained therapists have met and helped hundreds of people. We do that by addressing not only the physical aspect of addiction, but by also addressing the mental, emotional, spiritual and social aspects.