A silhouette of a man with his hands on his face in distress.

Meth Abuse in California: Is it on the Rise?

The fight against drug addiction and debilitating substance use disorders is an ongoing battle. Over the past decade, we have seen a significant shift in public policy to address the rising tide of opioid abuse and overdose deaths through increased education, decreased painkiller prescriptions and a concerted effort to provide comprehensive detox services.

While these strides have been made to try to decrease the opioid epidemic’s impacts, other substances have begun to take root in its place. In particular, methamphetamine has seen a significant rise in usage within multiple areas due to its availability and cheap cost on the street.

While the components of meth and heroin (or opioids) is obviously different, the deadly impact it can have on someone struggling with addiction is strikingly similar.

Is Meth on the Rise in California?

More commonly known as crystal meth, methamphetamine was extremely popular in the 1990’s before laws made it more difficult to access the pseudoephedrine (a common cold medicine) needed to produce it in homemade labs.

In recent years, law enforcement officials have found that there are fewer domestic meth labs, but more meth being smuggled in from south of the border. This has increased its accessibility in bordering states, like California, and made purchasing the product cheap and easy.

Highlighting this fact are the following details:

• Across the country, overdose deaths involving methamphetamine more than quadrupled from 2011 to 2017.
• Admissions to treatment facilities for meth are up 17%.
• Hospitalizations related to meth have jumped by about 245% over the same time period.
• Throughout the West and Midwest, 70% of local law enforcement agencies say meth is their biggest drug threat.¹

The reasoning behind this resurgence of methamphetamine is hard to pinpoint exactly. From accessibility to personal drug preferences, the manner in which the drug has gained steam over the past five years is gravely concerning.

That is why it is important to not only understand the dangers associated with the substance, but also the best way to get help if you find yourself struggling with a meth addiction.

Meth Abuse in California by the Numbers

Since 2011, emergency room visits related to meth in San Francisco have jumped 600%. At San Francisco General, of the 7,000 psychiatric emergency visits last year, 47% were people who were not simply mentally ill — they were high on meth.

This kind of rising tide indicates that meth use is not only a problem in California, but it is also increasing at a more rapid pace than opioid addiction and hospitalizations.

In 2017, 232 died from methamphetamine overdoes in the San Joaquin Valley alone, and methamphetamine overdoses have consistently surpassed opioid overdose deaths in that area for over four years.

That same year, 123 individuals in Kern County died from a meth overdose, as well, and treatment providers in the area have stated that 40% of all clients in county-sponsored treatment programs reported using the drug.

Recent research indicates that meth now kills more Californians than any single opioid, such as heroin or fentanyl, and while the opioid family still leads to more deaths statewide, the gap is rapidly narrowing.²

When Met with Professional Help, Meth Addiction in California Can Decline

The dangers surrounding a substance like meth are very real, but facing your addiction and overcoming its hold on your life is achievable. It requires the help and guidance of a clinically sound treatment facility to not only provide a safe environment to detox, but to also hold you accountable when the temptation to relapse presents itself.

Over the years, many different substances have posed a significant risk to the communities – and, in particular, to those people predisposed to addictive impulses.

That is how recovery programs and treatment facilities became such an important part of the recovery journey. They provided those suffering from addiction a means of facing their disease and overcoming their substance use disorder in a safe and controlled environment.

This can enable anyone dealing with an addiction to achieve a state of personal health and wellbeing once again.

Holistic Meth Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

Wherever you may be in your addiction process, the time to begin your road to recovery is now. Don’t allow yourself to become just another statistic when your life is worth so much more. Take the brave step to face your disease and begin the process of defeating your addiction once and for all.

At Ranch Creek Recovery, we understand exactly where you are and what you’re going through. You are
arguably living the hardest, most distressing days of your life. But there is hope and life-changing

Through our holistic methamphetamine addiction treatment program, we go beyond the normal 12
steps and focus on tailor-fitting treatment to address each client’s unique needs. It’s about
individualized treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery, and you can discover a new beginning here and help your entire family start anew.

Contact us today to get your questions answered.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607


¹ JAMA Network. Evaluation of Amphetamine-Related Hospitalizations and Associated Clinical Outcomes and Costs in the United States. Accessed June 19, 2020. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2707432.

² National Drug Early Warning System. San Francisco Sentinel Community Site (SCS) Drug Use Patterns and Trends, 2018. Accessed June 19, 2020. https://ndews.umd.edu/sites/ndews.umd.edu/files/SCS-Report-2018-San-Francisco-FINAL.pdf.

A man grips his chest over his heart in pain due to meth effects on the heart.

How Meth Affects the Heart

In today’s society, the only drug we ever seem to hear about is opioids. From painkillers to heroin, every news outlet and media source focuses on the impact that the opioid crisis has had on our neighborhoods and how it is affecting every area of the country.

While this is factual, there are still a number of other substances destroying people’s lives on a daily basis. Primarily, methamphetamine abuse has seen a significant rise around the country over the past two years.

In both rural and suburban areas, meth addiction has spiked due to the emphasis on opioid addiction, forcing the illegal drug game to push a new product. That is where meth has stepped in, flooding multiple states around the country with purer product and cheaper highs.

In some areas, meth has been sold for as little as five dollars to hook new addicts into a high that is as dangerous as opioids.

Understanding how meth use and addiction impacts your heart is important to know. It can open your eyes to the dangers of the substance and shed light on the deadly effects of this old drug that’s carving new paths around the nation.

Can Meth Damage the Heart?

Without question, meth can severely damage every organ within your body, from the lungs to the brain to the heart. Multiple studies have shown the profound impact that meth use has on the cardiovascular system, including:

  • Tachycardia or rapid heartbeat
  • Hypertension or elevated blood pressure
  • Cardiac ischemia or poor blood flow to the heart
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure

From minor issues to catastrophic medical emergencies, making the decision to use meth is no different than playing a game of Russian roulette. Every study conducted on the drug has made a definitive point about methamphetamine use: There is no “safe” amount of meth that can be ingested.

Because of the variable chemicals that are typically included in a “cooked” batch of meth, (including battery acid, drain cleaner, lantern fuel and antifreeze), putting this substance in your body is no different than drinking a toxic cocktail of whatever chemicals are sitting under your kitchen sink right now.

If that sounds like a completely insane notion, you’re right, but it is genuinely no different than deciding to ingest meth.1

Meth Effects on the Heart

Given what chemicals are in meth, it’s no surprise that anyone struggling with a meth addiction is subjecting their body to increasing damage. But understanding just how bad meth can affect your heart is a staggering reality.

Cardiovascular disease represents the second-leading cause of death among meth addicts, following only accidental overdoses. This is because meth causes your blood vessels to constrict and spasm, induces dangerous spikes in your blood pressure and rewires your heart’s electrical system entirely.

Eye-Opening Findings on How Meth Affects the Heart

Thanks to extensive research on how meth addiction affects an individual’s health, we now know the following impacts of meth abuse:

  • Meth users tend to show evidence of cardiovascular disease at greater intensity and at younger-than-typical ages
  • Meth addiction typically induces a dangerous level of blood pressure that negatively affects the heart and the arteries in the lungs
  • Meth use can lead to an abnormal heart rhythm, called arrhythmia
  • Meth addiction can change the structure of the heart muscle, or cardiomyopathy2

So, if you were wondering if meth abuse can negatively impact your heart or even cause a heart attack, you need only look at the mountain of evidence pointing to a plain and simple fact: Meth use has been definitively connected to both acute and chronic heart issues regardless of your age.

If you are minimizing the negative impact of your meth addiction because you don’t see the flashy headlines that are attributed to the opioid crisis, it is important to look at a recent report conducted by American Heart Association, which stated:

“When people look at overdose deaths from drugs, opioids are a much bigger problem. But what people are overlooking is the fact that meth users, while they’re not overdosing, they’re dying of other things. They’re dying of heart attacks; they’re dying of heart failure.”3

Individualized, Holistic Meth Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

At Ranch Creek Recovery, we know that undoing the damage of meth addiction can be messy, extremely
uncomfortable and some of the hardest work you do in your life. But, your addiction must end to have a
life worth living.

At our holistic recovery center, our meth treatment program delivers all-encompassing methodologies
of medical and physical treatment, psychology, holistic and experiential therapies, and preparation to forge the drug-free future you desire.

Learn more about our meth addiction treatment program to start your journey toward detox and recovery, or contact us today. We’re here to answer your questions and help you get started.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607


1 AHA/ASA Journals. Methamphetamine Use and Cardiovascular Disease. Accessed February 6, 2020. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/ATVBAHA.119.312461.

2 National Institute on Drug Abuse. What is methamphetamine? Accessed February 6, 2020. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/methamphetamine.

3 American Heart Association. Meth and heart disease: A deadly crisis we don’t fully fathom, report says. Accessed February 6, 2020. https://www.heart.org/en/news/2019/08/21/meth-and-heart-disease-a-deadly-crisis-we-dont-fully-fathom-report-says.

Where to Get Help for Meth Addiction

How to Pick the Right Meth Addiction Treatment Program

Coming face to face with meth addiction can be a startling experience. The substance itself has the power to completely destroy your physical health while eroding your mental stability and overall well-being. It can drive you to act in ways completely out of character and leave you feeling lost, lonely and confused.

We’ve all seen the pictures posted to social media or in online articles depicting a meth addict’s before appearance and the after effects of consistent meth abuse. Pock-marked skin, missing teeth, disheveled hair, dark circles around the eyes – there’s no mistaking the physical signs of meth addiction. That’s why making the decision to confront your substance use disorder by entering an addiction treatment program is an amazing decision, and one that will undoubtedly save your life.

But, how do you know which treatment program to choose? What sets one facility apart from another? With such a life-altering decision, it’s important to research your options and find the best rehab facility that bests suits your individual needs and personality.

Ready to Get Clean? Here’s Why Sobriety from Meth Matters

Methamphetamine is as destructive of a substance as you will ever find on this planet. From the manner in which it forces the body to overproduce dopamine and norepinephrine to the way it effects your central nervous system, meth is a powerful stimulant with hyper-addictive properties.

Short term meth addiction has been shown to:

  • Increase your heart rate
  • Increase your blood pressure
  • Increase your core body temperature
  • Stop you from sleeping

As if these symptoms weren’t bad enough for the overall functionality of every vital organ within your body, the long-term effects are even more concerning. Meth is a neurotoxic, which means extended use can severely damage areas of your brain. Additionally, studies have shown that meth addiction increases your risk for developing Parkinson’s disease, while also destroying the functionality of viral organs like your heart, lungs and liver.1

Where to Get Help for Meth Addiction

Beginning your recovery journey starts with a comprehensive diagnostic assessment in order to identify the extent of your addiction and the most appropriate level of care to begin your rehabilitation. Once this is completed, your two primary treatment options will consist of an outpatient approach and a residential approach.

While both treatment choices have pros and cons, allowing a qualified clinical therapist to identify the best fit for your situation ensures that your physical and mental well-being will be appropriately addressed.

  • Residential Treatment
    For meth addiction, a residential treatment program is typically the most appropriate therapeutic intervention to address the initial phase of your recovery. This is due to the physical toll the drug can have on your body and the intensity of the addiction. An in-patient treatment program allows your body to detox off meth within a safe and stable environment, enabling your mind, body and soul to heal and rejuvenate while you achieve a sustainable state of sobriety.
  • Outpatient Treatment
    This less intensive therapeutic approach is typically introduced once you have completed residential treatment and are prepared to physically and mentally assimilate back into society. This form of treatment enables you to settle back into your routine, while also attending individual and group treatment sessions.

Both of these treatment interventions are capable of addressing your meth addiction. Figuring out which one is the most appropriate option to begin your recovery is best decided with the help of a qualified clinical professional.

What to Look for in Meth Addiction Treatment Programs

To truly achieve long-term sobriety within a safe and secure treatment facility, there are a few key things to look for before beginning your recovery journey.

  • Licensed Treatment Staff
    This indicates that the clinical staff within the facility have received the proper clinical training and education to address your meth addiction with the most effective therapeutic interventions.
  • Facility Accreditation
    This indicates that the treatment facility itself has been monitored and approved by regional and state-wide oversight committees. This ensures the practices implemented within the program are of the highest quality and that you will benefit from the well-trained clinical staff.
  • Positive Reviews
    As with anything else, positive reviews are usually a good sign. Being able to read the personal experiences of past clientele, and whether or not they truly benefited from the treatment program, is a tremendous asset to have when trying to decide on a viable treatment facility.

At the end of the day, deciding to get treatment for your meth addiction will undoubtedly change the course of your existence. Being brave enough to begin the journey requires intense self-reflection and a true desire to reconnect with the most important person in your life: you.

Individualized, Holistic Meth Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

Learning to appreciate and love yourself again begins with the choice to confront your addiction in order to re-establish the person you once were.

At Ranch Creek Recovery, we know that undoing the damage of meth addiction can be messy, extremely uncomfortable and some of the hardest work you do in your life. But, your addiction must end to have a life worth living.

At our holistic recovery center, our meth treatment program delivers all-encompassing methodologies
of medical and physical treatment, psychology, holistic and experiential therapies, and preparation to
forge the drug free future you desire.

Learn more about our meth addiction treatment program to start your journey toward detox and recovery. Have questions? We’re here to help in any way we can. Contact us today.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607


1 National Institute on Drug Abuse. Methamphetamine. Accessed August 11, 2019. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/methamphetamine.