Tag: Sobriety

Q: Why do I go to sleep after I use meth?

I’ve been working in substance-abuse counseling as a therapist for 10+ years. During that time I’ve encountered several patients who discovered that meth actually calms them down.

My experience regarding this is that the patients probably have biological ADHD.

In my experience, there is ADHD related to trauma and ADHD related to biology. Note that the two are not mutually exclusive.

Two forms of ADHD

When a person has trauma dissociation helps to protect them. If the trauma is chronic and repeated often times the dissociative mechanisms just remain “on”. People with this pattern will report feeling a bit more clumsy than their peers and they might appear spacey and distracted. They’ll sometimes also experience a nagging sense of loneliness.  This loneliness only goes away if they’re participating in some sort of intense activity or if they’re extremely busy.

People with the biological variety of ADHD don’t get enough blood flow to the front of their brain. The part of the front is called the neocortex.  It’s in charge of “executive functioning”. That means it’s responsible for hitting the brakes when you have impulses to do things that are socially unacceptable, dangerous or both 🙂

Why meth makes you sleepy:

Taking methamphetamine increases the blood flow throughout the body, but particularly to the neocortex. Suddenly, the brakes are able to kick on and your body says “hey, let’s take a nap.” Everybody else is taking apart their toasters and all the sudden you can’t stay awake. 

In the field in which I work we call this “being your own pharmacist.” Meeting with a psychiatrist who can prescribe time-release stimulants would probably be helpful. Besides the obvious, consistenly medicating biolocial ADHD might be quite helpful with addressing the things that make you want to use meth in the first place.  

Not to mention the fact that your meth dealer probably doesn’t have the same quality control standards as a pharmacuetical company. 🙂

For counseling and therapy related to trauma and/or meth addiction, please feel free to contact me using the form below:

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