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 Pacific Grove Hospital 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 Pacific Grove Hospital.

  • 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

Signs and Symptoms of Meth Addiction

Pacific Grove Hospital is a nationally recognized 68-bed acute psychiatric and chemical dependency treatment center offering inpatient & outpatient services for psychiatric illnesses, addictions & co-occurring disorders.

Understanding Meth Addiction

Learn about meth and substance abuse

Methamphetamines, also known as meth, crystal, and ice, are a highly potent, illegal stimulant structurally similar to amphetamines. Methamphetamines are far stronger, more addictive, and provide a longer rush than amphetamines, which increases the dangers of this drug. People abuse meth in a number of ways – most begin by snorting or dissolving the drug into food or drinks. As the drug abuse grows, they may opt for a faster route of administration, such as smoking meth or dissolving it in liquid and injecting the drug straight into a vein. Methamphetamines increase the amount of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain, which provides the euphoric rush users feel after abusing meth. Repeated use of methamphetamines can quite easily lead to addiction and physical dependence upon the drug, which causes severe effects in every area of an addict’s life. With proper support, rehab, detox, and treatment programs, those who are addicted to meth can learn the skills needed to kick the habit and lead a normal, happy, and sober life.

Statistics

Meth addiction statistics

In 2012, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) found that about 1.2 million people in the United States (or 0.4% of the population) reported past-year methamphetamine use; 440,000 (or 0.2% of the population) people disclosed past-month usage. The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) reported that in 2011, methamphetamines accounted for over 100,000 emergency department visits in the U.S. Of these, meth was the fourth most commonly mentioned drug, following cocaine, marijuana, and heroin.

Causes and Risk Factors

Causes and risk factors for meth addiction

Addiction specialists have determined that addiction is not the result of a single cause, rather addiction is caused by a complex interplay between physical, environmental, and genetic risk factors. The most commonly accepted causes and risk factors for methamphetamine addiction include:

Genetic: Addiction is known to have a genetic component. People who have a first-degree relative, such as a parent or sibling who have struggled with addiction – current or past – are at higher risk for developing an addiction themselves. That said, many people who become addicted to meth have no family history of addiction and many people who do have a familial history of addiction do not go on to become addicts.

Physical: Chronic meth usage actually changes the way the brain works, especially areas of the brain involved in impulse control, cravings, and decision-making abilities. Functional imaging studies have shown that chronic meth use does affect the structures within the brain.

Environmental: People who begin to abuse drugs at a young age are more prone to develop an addiction later in life. In addition, people who are born into home environments in which addiction was present are more likely to consider abusing drugs as a way of coping with life events.

Risk Factors:

  • Increased stress
  • Peer pressure
  • Being male
  • Untreated co-occurring mental health disorders
  • Childhood history of abuse or trauma
Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of meth addiction

Every person who becomes addicted to meth will have different signs and symptoms of the drug abuse based upon genetic makeup, frequency of use, presence of co-occurring mental health disorders, other drugs in the system, and length of the addiction. The most commonly cited signs and symptoms of meth 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 – distinctly 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 attention span
  • Diminished short-term memory
  • Global memory loss

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Mania
  • Memory loss
  • Obsessive-compulsive behaviors
  • Paranoia
  • Worsening of emotional health and 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 abuse, the amount used, frequency of use, genetic makeup, and usage of other drugs (polydrug abuse). One thing is certain; chronic methamphetamine abuse causes significant damage to many individuals.

Common effects of meth abuse include:

  • Anhedonia
  • 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
  • Death from physical complications of meth use
Withdrawal & Overdose

Effects of meth withdrawal & overdose

The effects of withdrawal for chronic methamphetamine abuse vary tremendously. Symptoms may persist for days to weeks depending upon the severity of the addiction. Anyone attempting to detox from meth should do so under the supervision of trained medical personnel to manage symptoms and prevent complications.

Effects of methamphetamine withdrawal may include:

  • Intense cravings
  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Agitation
  • Restlessness
  • Excessive sleeping
  • Vivid dreams
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Hunger
  • Suicidal ideation and behaviors

Effects of methamphetamine overdose: A meth overdose occurs when a person has a large amount of meth in the body. A lethal dose of meth will depending on the purity and strength of the drug and the person abusing it – each person has a specific meth sensitivity. Unlike other drugs, overdosing on meth does not produce immediate signs; overdose is characterized by a rapid physical deterioration that may eventually lead to heart attack, stroke, or death, which occurs suddenly and unexpectedly.

The actual effects of a meth overdose will vary depending on the amount of methamphetamines abused and if it was used with other drugs. Symptoms that may indicate an overdose on methamphetamines 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 co-occurs with other types of mental illnesses. The most common co-occurring, comorbid mental illnesses include:

  • Depressive disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Conduct disorders
  • Alcoholism
Unsure of the help you need?
Marks of Quality Care
Why does this matter?
  • The Joint Commission (JCAHO) Gold Seal of Approval
  • The Jason Foundation

Everyone at Pacific Grove Hospital, from my assigned physician to the social workers were absolutely wonderful to work with. Groups were informative and useful- I learned and reinforced a lot of different coping skills.

– Brooke C.
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