Meth voices: How little I know after all

I’ve written a few posts on this subject with good intentions, describing my own experiences on meth with regard to hearing voices, and given some advice about the voices.

My advice is always to stop using meth, and that advice won’t change. However, I feel that I do need to mention that your experiences on meth might not be the same as mine. I didn’t start hearing voices until after using meth for about three to four years. (I don’t remember exactly how long it took, but it was definitely more than two years.) Once I started hearing those voices, they progressed quickly. (As I mentioned here.) And every time I quit using meth, the voices disappeared within two to three days.

I always assumed that this was the same for everybody. But I was wrong. From recent search strings that brought other readers here, I have been able to deduce that for some people, the voices still continue even after as much as two years clean, while for others, the voices start within seven days of first using meth. I wish the latter had happened for me – maybe then I could have quit more easily before it got to the point where I didn’t know how to live without that drug. Unfortunately for me, I did get to that point after using every day for several years… the most difficult part of quitting was learning to live without that tweaking mental state, a psychological state that I had become accustomed to, to the point of wanting to be in that state all the time.

The effects of meth addiction are pernicious… But they can be worse than I thought. In my case, the onset of the worst side-effects were gradual, but from what I now know, it isn’t the case for everybody. And for me, those worst side-effects vanished much faster than they appeared. Likewise, that is not the case for everybody. So I don’t know how long it takes other addicts to start hearing voices, or how long it takes those voices to disappear after meth cessation. But it is logical to assume that the onset of the meth voices indicates some sort of threshold, a point where you cross a line and begin doing serious damage to your brain, damage that may even be permanent if you continue for long enough. It indicates a point where quitting meth should be your highest priority. (Pun unintended.)

I’m not qualified to advise anybody on what they should do if, even after two years clean, they still hear voices. That’s harsh… I don’t know what I would do then. Most probably, I’d be torn between trying to hide it (as I did when I was using) and trying to get psychiatric help. For me, when using and suffering the various side-effects of the drug, especially the ones which obviously involved damage to my brain, I was afraid to seek help, afraid that I might find out I was permanently brain-damaged. But what I can tell you is, it is surely better to seek help than to try hiding it. And who knows? Maybe there is medication that can help… Certainly the one thing you should not do in that situation is use again, and no doubt, it would have been best never to have used in the first place.

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About Jerome

I am a senior C# developer in Johannesburg, South Africa. I am also a recovering addict, who spent nearly eight years using methamphetamine. I write on my recovery blog about my lessons learned and sometimes give advice to others who have made similar mistakes, often from my viewpoint as an atheist, and I also write some C# programming articles on my programming blog.
This entry was posted in Addiction, Methamphetamine, Recovery and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Meth voices: How little I know after all

  1. .john doe says:

    I’ve been using for twenty years and though I’m not nearly as successful in life as I should be, I haven’t experienced any mental side effects that I can solely blame meth for. Perhaps your mind is just weaker than most and you can’t accept that your weakness is your own sub par intellect should never have tried something only superior minds can control


    Note that a meth addict who searches for and reads a blog post about hearing voices, and then claims not to be experiencing any mental side effects, is not being entirely honest.

    Like

    • Jerome says:

      Meth, and all other narcotic drugs, work on your mid-brain. Intellect has no connection to that part of the brain, which exists in all animals. The affects of meth operate at a much lower level on the brain to what you assume, and ironically, assuming that a “stronger” mind won’t be affected, that there is some correlation between the effects of the drug and intellect, is incredibly stupid.

      Your words are no different to the tropes repeated too often to me by other addicts in my old days when I questioned what the drug was doing to us collectively, in their claims that it’s all about control. You can’t control your usage or your drug-twisted worldview, because when using regularly, your priorities and your very existence changes. Your perception of everything, and the results on all your relationships and how you see yourself in the world become tied to the drug’s effect, and when you use regularly, even when you are not “high”, you are still under the influence of the drug. So how can you tell? How can you trust your own senses and your own subjective reality, or ascertain that your mental state is stable? It’s impossible. The only way to be sure that what you think is correct, and not an effect of the drug, is to stop using for about a year and see if you change your mind.

      Also, according to Dunning-Kruger, assuming yourself to have a superior intellect probably means that you aren’t as smart as you think you are. (Although you might just be overconfident because you were high while typing that. Meth really messes with these things, but generally, people who proclaim their superior intellects should never be taken at face value.)

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  2. bbnewsab says:

    I subscribe to newsletters from the Hearing Voices Network (HVN): http://www.hearing-voices.org/ .

    Maybe something for you too to do?

    Like

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