What Is Meth Addiction?
Table of Contents
- What Is Meth Addiction?
- Drug Abuse and Substance Use Disorders
- The Side Effects of Meth Addiction
- Withdrawal Symptoms of Meth Addiction
- Getting Help For Meth Addiction
- Things To Expect From a Meth Addiction Treatment Center
- Addiction Treatment In Meth Rehab
- Find Treatment For Meth Addiction: Pick Up the Phone!
Meth, which is short for methamphetamine, is a potent and very addictive stimulant drug. Meth is an illegal drug, but it’s easy for anyone to get addicted to this stimulant because of the euphoria it provides.
This bitter, white and crystalline drug comes in powder or pill form and usually takes the form of white-bluish rocks, according to the NIH(National Institute for Drug Abuse). Its appearance is also where it gets the name ‘crystal meth’ from. For most users, the preferred method of ingestion is via smoking, snorting, or injecting.
Individuals using meth often lean on these methods because the drug very quickly enters the bloodstream. No doubt, meth is very dangerous because of how fast it causes the user’s health to decline both physically and mentally.
However, all hope is not lost for people suffering from the consequences of meth addiction. The right meth rehab can offer a treatment plan that combines detoxification, counseling, and psychotherapy.
How Is Meth Addictive?
Meth is a highly addictive drug and directly affects the brain as a central nervous system stimulant. It is often compared to cocaine to better understand how each drug works. These two substances have very similar effects however, the way in which they cause them as well as how long they last differ greatly.
These two drugs both affect a natural brain chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical messenger (neurotransmitter) which is responsible for the well-being of an individual as well as the pleasure and motivation within an individual.
The natural processes of the brain break down and reuse neurotransmitters; however, these substances block the brain from breaking down dopamine. This causes an excessive amount of dopamine within the brain and can be seen in the euphoric rush reported by individuals.
Although both of these substances inhibit dopamine from being broken down, meth takes it a step further and increases dopamine production as well. Not only that but the high from meth lasts significantly longer than cocaine.
Recovering from meth requires meth addiction treatment. Learn more about the effects of meth and keep reading to find out more about effective programs of recovery!
Drug Abuse and Substance Use Disorders
Drug abuse is a very difficult issue to overcome, especially with the many complications in mental health. As drug abuse affects many different aspects of an individual’s experience, an individual’s mental health can be greatly harmed in the process.
There are many individuals that suffer from psychiatric conditions called mental health disorders. These disorders affect the mood, behavior, thinking, feeling, and perception of an individual.
Individuals with mental health disorders are at an increased risk of becoming addicted to substances, let alone meth. Having to manage their mental conditions, these individuals often have a lowered quality of life in their daily experience.
Many individuals struggle with properly managing substance abuse and may have a substance use disorder. Substance use disorders (SUDs) are a form of mental disorder that affects the behaviors of individuals and inhibits individuals from control over substance use.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is the most severe case of SUD. Co-occurring disorders are other mental disorders within an individual at the same time as a SUD.
The Side Effects of Meth Addiction
Meth is one of the most dangerous and unforgiving stimulants due to its toxic effects. Meth is so potent that it can become addicting immediately after the first use. Unfortunately, with chronic meth use, meth ends up damaging dopamine receptors in the central nervous system.
Once you or a loved one form the habit of consuming this drug, it could make the body totally dependent on it for any type of pleasure. Some of the other side effects of meth addiction include:
- Distorting the normal production of dopamine in the body
- Spending their hard-earned money, energy, time and other resources to take meth
- Neglecting family, friends, and other social circles
- Lack of motivation
- Psychological impairment
- Liver damage
- Severe itching
- Emancipated body
- Low immunity
- Acne and sores
Withdrawal Symptoms of Meth Addiction
Withdrawal symptoms are one of the biggest factors that turn individuals to relapse from substance abuse. Withdrawals are often unbearable and immensely difficult to overcome, especially without proper treatment. The symptoms of stopping meth use include:
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Increased body temperature
- Severe hallucinations
- Mood swings
- Social isolation
- Aggressive behavior.
Getting Help For Meth Addiction
Getting help for individuals struggling with methamphetamine can assist them much more than giving them advice or scheduling an intervention. Although support and advice can be helpful, that type of help may not be suitable for an individual struggling with heavy withdrawals.
Because of the severe side effects of meth, people struggling with addiction have to undergo proper treatment at meth addiction treatment centers. Usually, there’s the option of choosing between an inpatient and outpatient treatment plan and program.
That choice depends totally on the patient, the nature of the addiction, and their financial means. While the final decision is on the patient, professional guidance and assistance are offered to determine which level of care would best address their mental, physical and emotional needs.
Recovering from meth addiction can be very challenging, solely because of the highly addictive nature of this stimulant. It is important to properly support the mental health of these individuals as they face difficult, psychological, relapse-provoking withdrawals.
Usually, concerned family and friends take it upon themselves to find out about the best meth rehab centers around them. Another reason why people check into meth addiction treatment centers is simple, they need genuine help.
However, if you are considering inpatient treatment options, it’s important to consider the factors including:
- One or more unsuccessful attempts at outpatient treatment
- Little motivation to complete outpatient treatment
- Less psyche to commit to permanent sobriety
- Extreme mental health issues result in anxiety, depression, erratic behavior, and paranoia
- Unsafe home environments or areas that may trigger a relapse
- Lack of support from family and friends
- Other underlying health conditions
- Use of meth with other substances like alcohol or depressants
Inpatient programs are better for individuals with chronic meth use and who have very extreme withdrawal symptoms. At this point, trying to get sober on your own may be dangerous or even unsuccessful.
It’s easier to beat addiction when you’re in a stable environment that offers the right support. Inpatient rehab centers are safer and guarantee a trigger and temptation-free environment that encourages long-term sobriety.
Such treatment programs last from a month to three months, depending on the severity of the addiction and the needs of the individual. While an inpatient rehabilitation program is excellent for meth users seeking sobriety, outpatient programs work great too. Some individuals struggling with addiction may not require intensive care.
Some experiences are not so severe and require less monitoring and treatment. Outpatient programs work part-time, allowing patients to come in on a scheduled program while continuing their education, job, or business.
An outpatient program usually takes 10 to 12 hours per week. This involves detox treatment and therapy. There are many different forms of treatment to assist individuals struggling with meth abuse.
Things To Expect From a Meth Addiction Treatment Center
It can be daunting to not know what is to come from receiving treatment and turns individuals away from actually receiving the help they need. It is important to show and allow for individuals struggling with meth addiction to know what is to come with treatment.
Substance abuse treatment in general typically begins with a detox process to properly remove a substance from the body, and then into addiction treatment to prevent an individual from relapsing and maintain recovery.
Before admitting anyone into a meth addiction program, the rehab center has to conduct some physical and mental evaluations. These tests or evaluations determine how severe, complicated, or uncomplicated an addiction is. The trained staff will consider the reasons behind the addiction and how unique the case is. This way, a personalized program can be drawn up. Right after the evaluations, an individual can then be admitted for treatment.
After admission, the next step is to start a gradual detox treatment. With this treatment method, methamphetamine is gradually and safely flushed out of the body. This detox program can be carried out whether you’re on an inpatient or outpatient treatment program however, all sessions have to be medically monitored detoxification programs.
The medical staff will monitor any reactions or vital signs all through the treatment. This allows for individuals to feel more comfortable and relax during the withdrawal phase. There are about three stages of meth withdrawal symptoms, and it’s easy for individuals to panic due to their experience. Medical staff can provide assistance to individuals experiencing difficult withdrawals.
They make use of medications like benzodiazepines to calm withdrawal symptoms that arise during recovery. As the withdrawal symptoms are monitored, after a few weeks, the patient may be ready to transition to addiction treatment and other lower levels of care that aid long-term sobriety.
Addiction Treatment In Meth Rehab
Once the detox process is complete, addiction treatment can begin. This process is very important as it allows individuals to regain control over their struggles. In the counseling sessions, individuals learn about the actual reasons they are using and receive emotional support to overcome their addiction in a lasting and healthy way.
Meth abuse treatment allows individuals to take control and manage their own experiences in their difficulties. Individuals learn tactics and strategies to overcome issues they may face, such as loneliness, stress, and depression.
Once individuals understand the habits and patterns that guide them to drug use, it’s easier for them to avoid those situations. Counselors incorporate a range of therapy techniques throughout the treatment program, some of the meth addiction treatments offered include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Counseling and therapy are termed Behavioral Therapy, and both are effective ways to help patients through their sobriety journey. Some centers use CBT to develop new learning patterns on how to cope with trigger environments or factors like loneliness. It helps patients control their impulsive thoughts to relapse. Therapy can also help introduce new and healthy habits that help deal with stress, and other temptations to use meth again.
- Narrative therapy: This is another effective way of creating self-awareness and getting individuals to comfortably open up about their addiction. It incorporates the use of meth addiction and meth recovery stories to encourage all participants. Many participants can be at different stages of their recovery journey. Individuals share their personal stories; how they started using, the treatment process, and their journey to recovery. They also share personal strategies and victories that could help others still struggling. This way, participants can learn to make better life choices, channel their thoughts and behaviors to their advantage, and lead a better life without drugs.
- Support after rehab: Treatment does not end after detox and counseling, Meth rehab treatment centers will still continue supporting patients after their treatment program is complete. Usually, patients are encouraged to join a meth anonymous support group that will keep them accountable over time. Former individuals struggling with meth help those who have just completed treatment by mentoring and supporting them, especially through hard times. Family therapy sessions can also help with support after rehab.
- The Matrix Model: This treatment plan incorporates behavioral therapy, individual counseling, family education, drug testing, group counseling, and other sources of motivation and support. It’s an intensive 16-week treatment program that encourages involvement in activities that will distract the patient from using the drug and empower them to overcome any cravings.
- Contingency management intervention: This therapy method encourages individuals to stay focused and committed to their healing journey through a reward system. It provides incentives to patients that are making progress, regardless of how slow.
Find Treatment For Meth Addiction: Pick Up the Phone!
Meth addiction is very dangerous, daunting, and even lethal, that’s why it’s important to get the help and treatment you need. Here at Find Addiction Rehabs, we make finding treatment easy!
We have a database of meth addiction rehab centers and detox facilities across the country that help patients overcome addiction. Most of these facilities provide all-around care for meth users seeking sobriety.
Battling addiction is one of the hardest things today, especially when meth is involved, but it’s not impossible. We want to help you on this important journey to self-discovery and healing. For more information on available treatment centers, and to jump-start your recovery, reach out today!
Charles F. has been an active part of the Florida recovery community for over 5 years. He began as a behavioral health technician at an addiction treatment facility in Ocala, Florida and has since begun training as a Licensed Addiction and Chemical Dependency counselor in Boca Raton. Charles’ passion involves the promotion of recovery and helping spread the hope of recovery to as many readers as possible!