How to Treat a Meth Addiction

Choosing to take a step toward treating a meth addiction is one of the most critical decisions an addict will make in their lifetime. It can be common for those going through recovery to feel lonely, lost, and weak. This is why we have put together a resource to help you learn how to find a treatment that will work to successfully treat a meth addiction. Keep reading below to learn more.

What Is Meth?

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Meth, also known as methamphetamine, is one of the most harmful drugs being sold on the streets. Meth is one of the few substances that actually does not have any legal use. Meth is a substance that produces a surprising level of dopamine in the brain when consumed. This substance is considered instantly habit-forming, meaning first-time users are usually addicts for life.

Meth is most commonly found in a crystal form, giving it the street name crystal meth, ice, and glass. Meth comes in the form of shiny rocks that are often clear and shiny in color and finish. This substance can be consumed through a number of ways such as smoking with a glass pipe, snorting, swallowing, and even vein injection.

Why Is Meth Dangerous?

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Meth is considered one of the most damaging, illegal, drugs you can take. After the first encounter with meth, users will never again be able to achieve that same level of dopamine derived from the effects. This is due to the fact that meth destroys those receptors in the brain; which then, in turn, causes users to continuously increase their dosage to chase that first-time feeling. Many addicts call this “chasing the dragon,” and it is usually the cause of overdoses.

This destruction of dopamine receptors eventually makes it impossible for users to find any level of satisfaction or happiness from anything other than the substance. The lack of feeling or positivity toward hobbies or even people the user once loved is often what causes aggressive relapses. Most rehabilitation therapies heavily touch on this aspect of living with these effects after addiction.

What Are the Signs of Addiction?

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There are many physical and psychological effects that methamphetamine can case. First and foremost, you can always expect a psychological change before you see anything physical. Meth severely alters users brain chemistry, and this almost always means a change in behavior. Most meth patients can be expected to exhibit extreme paranoia, hallucinations, aggressive behavior, and violent mood swings.

Outside of the mental state, you can expect to see some physical effects after a few days of use. Most meth users will be underweight due to the fact that the substance turns off your hunger sensors. Additionally, meth users can be expected to be overtired and dehydrated with elevated body temperatures. For more frequent users, you will see skin abscesses, osteoporosis, and decreased libido.

What Is the Best Resource to Find Meth Addiction Treatment?

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Finding the best resources to treat a meth addiction may seem overwhelming. Luckily, there are organizations out there to help such as AddictionCenter.com. Addiction Center can help connect you to the best treatment centers in your specific area. Each expert provides compassionate assistance that includes finding information on financial help, insurance, and even payment plans to help fund your recovery.

Another, renowned, organization we recommend is SAMHSA. SAMHSA stands for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. This organization features a free, national, helpline (1-800-662-HELP) that you can call to get treatment information 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Is There a Need for Rehab to Treat Meth Addiction?

Rehab to Treat Meth Addiction

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There are many different forms of meth addiction treatments. The treatments that are most common, for meth addiction, include inpatient rehab, behavioral treatment, and support groups. It is important to note that each of these treatment methods are valid and one is not considered better than the other. Treating an addiction is a personal thing, and different approaches will work for different people based on a wide range of personal, physical, and mental factors. It is also not uncommon for people to find success combining treatments such as rehab and support groups.

Inpatient rehab is not necessary to treat meth addiction, but the rate of success does increase significantly. If you are looking for a method of not just stopping addiction but treating addiction for the long term, rehab is an excellent choice to avoid the potential of relapsing after release.

How Does Inpatient Rehab Work?

Inpatient rehab is usually an environment where people can go to gain treatment in a safe and risk-free location. Most rehab programs require the patient to remain on site for a period between 30 or 90 days. However, in some cases, at select facilities, if more time is needed to gain a foothold on the addiction, more time can be allotted.

During inpatient rehab, it is not uncommon for therapists to help the patient work through the emotional and psychological aspects of addiction. One of the most essential ways rehab helps patients is through teaching each person how to confront their addiction and continue to make the right choices. Often times, being in a consistently controlled environment gives the patient the focus they need to fight their addiction head-on

Meth Addiction Treatment

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Aside from treating meth addiction through inpatient rehab, there are a number of other popular methods used today. The most common, additional, forms of treatment are cognitive behavioral training, ongoing treatment, and support groups. Additional therapy methods used to treat addiction can include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • One-on-one counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Biofeedback
  • Motivational enhancement therapy
  • Yoga therapy
  • Animal-assisted therapy
  • Art therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral

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Cognitive behavioral therapy, also known as CBT, is a therapy method used to treat various forms of addiction. Most cognitive behavioral therapists will help the patient work through their drug cravings by getting to the root cause of what triggers the person to use the substance. Once the patient has identified and accepted the cause of their usage and cravings they can begin to work through coping methods to negate this behavior.

Ongoin​​​​​g Treatment

One of the most important things to remember when working through addiction is it is a continuing process. Many patients who leave rehab, and do not seek ongoing treatment, relapse and find themselves too ashamed to seek treatment again. This is why it is so imperative to understand that patients who have been addicted to severe substances like meth will need to manage their addiction for the rest of their lives.

Rehab, although successful in many cases, is not a guaranteed cure. Rehab facilities do not promise to stop your addiction, merely help you properly manage your addiction enough to reenter society. Treatment after addiction should be ongoing, and patients should always be mindful of situations and triggers to avoid in their day-to-day lives.

Support Groups

Support Groups

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One of the best methods of treating addiction after rehab therapy is to join a support group. Support groups are an incredible way to meet people in similar situations who know precisely what you are going through. This sense of camaraderie helps patients to hold each other accountable and drives up success rates.

Support groups for individual substances can be harder to find. We recommend looking into Narcotics Anonymous and Crystal Meth Anonymous to find support groups for recovering meth addicts. Most of these programs are designed around a 12-step system that helps the patient ease into managing their addiction, one day at a time. Support groups are an excellent form of therapy because they are free for anyone to utilize.

Can Medication Help?

Can Medication Help

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For many other forms of substance abuse, there are medications that can help addicts ease off of the substance. For Meth, there is currently no medication that counteracts or prolongs abstinence from the drug. Today, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, or NIDA, is working to find a cure.

So far, the NIDA has only found a way to slow the effectiveness of the drug in an active user, not negate or cure the patient of addiction. Researchers are working toward a way to inject addicts with antibodies that would help fight off the drug in your system. It is hoped that through the clinical study they can find a way to create antimethamphetamine monoclonal antibodies.

Conclusion

Addiction is nothing to take lightly, especially when it is surrounding severe substances like methamphetamine. Meth addiction is an incredibly debilitating habit that can be very hard to treat. That is why it is important to stay diligent and provide patients with the best possible course of treatment possible.

As we learned above, there are many different forms of treating meth addiction and not every method will work for everyone. Addiction harms each person in different ways, and it is important to be understanding and thorough in finding therapies that are successful. With diligence, patience, understanding, and care you can help patients, a loved one, or even yourself fight off addiction and keep it away for life!

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