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Meth Addiction Detox & Treatment

What is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is a potent stimulating drug known by various names. Some of the names that people use for methamphetamine include meth, crystal meth, ice, crank, blue, redneck cocaine, glass, LA ice, chalk, hot ice, and speed. It can affect the body in a number of negative ways and can cause long-term problems if left untreated. 

Most of the names for methamphetamine that we just gave are street names. If you notice, many of these street names have a reference to the bluish or whitish color and the shiny and glass-like appearance of meth.

Crystal meth is very similar to a class of drugs used to treat attention deficit conditions. These drugs are famous amphetamines. However, the similarity stops here. Unlike amphetamines such as Concerta or Adderall, crystal meth is considered illegal in most states and is only sold to people to make them high.

Crystal meth is a human-made drug. Initially, methamphetamine was used to keep the soldiers awake during the height of the Second World War. For years, people have also taken the drug to ease health issues such as depression and being overweight. 

Individuals suffering from addiction may make methamphetamine using easily available local products. However, one vital component of methamphetamine is pseudoephedrine. This compound is available in most of the medications used to treat colds. It is for this reason that the federal government has a close regulation protocol on hard drugs. 

Most of the meth used and supplied in the United States of America comes from ‘superlabs’ in Mexico. However, there are also many small meth laboratories in the U.S. Some of these laboratories are located in homes and others in parks.

Where Does Methamphetamine Come From?

How Addictive Is Meth?

Crystal meth is a very addictive drug. This is because a dose of meth inhibits vital receptors in the brain. When this happens, individuals experience the inability to feel any form of pressure without the help of crystal meth.

A single meth hit can flood one’s nervous system and penetrate the brain to a devastatingly greater degree than most amphetamine drugs. In other words, meth gives its users a euphoric blast upon intake. This euphoria stays put in the brain for quite some time. During this time, it scrambles the brain and rewrites your brain’s pleasure and reward systems. This becomes the first step towards a long and painful addiction.

To treat the addiction that comes from methamphetamine, you’ll first need to have an even deeper understanding of methamphetamine and the effects that it can cause on someone.

Dangers of Methamphetamine

According to studies and research, meth is a vicious drug that can wreak devastation on your life and leave you in a terrible condition. This drug forces the brain to produce extra dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter usually emitted by your brain after you have had an enjoyable satisfaction. Dopamine induces a sense of pride during and after pleasurable moments.

Despite the positive nature of dopamine, meth uses this neurotransmitter in a way that harms you. This is because meth suddenly forces your brain to produce large enough amounts of dopamine to the point where it injures your brain. 

One way that meth creates a large amount of dopamine to injure your brain is because this sudden rush of large doses of dopamine causes you to develop an incapability to experience pleasure from other things that used to make you feel satisfied. Therefore, meth makes your brain become dependent on consuming it to feel any pleasure. 

Naturally, your brain can produce dopamine on several different occasions. Some of these occasions include while eating good food or having sex. Unfortunately, however, meth hijacks the pleasure system of the brain, which causes excessive secretion of dopamine. This excessive secretion of dopamine is unhealthy for the brain as it drains it. As a result, meth is strong enough to instantly cause addiction upon consumption. 

Due to its highly addictive nature, the first consumption of meth will likely lead to consequent intakes. With time, dopamine receptors in your brain become incapable of functioning normally. From that point on in your addiction, your only source of pleasure becomes crystal meth.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Meth Addiction?

There are countless signs and symptoms that people associate with meth addiction. Some of these signs and symptoms are listed below:

  • Weight loss
  • Dehydration
  • Lowered libido
  • Osteoporosis
  • Abscesses in the skin
  • Very high body temperature
  • Lack of sleep due to constant stimulation

Using meth causes the brain to experience radical changes. These changes alter the brain’s chemistry, which leads to behavioral changes. As a result, those who use meth may experience extreme paranoia, hallucinations, and extreme mood swings. They may also experience aggressive behavior, followed by social isolation when using meth.

What Are the Side Effects of Using Meth?

Even in very small quantities, meth is very dangerous. The effects are very similar to those of other drugs such as cocaine or heroin. These effects can be categorized as either behavioral, mood, physical, or psychological.

Mood Side Effects of Meth

  • Extreme agitation
  • Extreme euphoria
  • Feeling exhilaration
  • Blunted or dull emotions
  • An increase in sexual arousal
  • The feeling of empowerment and confidence

Behavioral Side Effects of Meth

  • Weird behaviors
  • Extended aggression
  • Little social awareness
  • An increase in sociability

Physical Side Effects of Meth

  • Extreme agitation
  • Extreme euphoria
  • Feeling exhilaration
  • Blunted or dull emotions
  • An increase in sexual arousal
  • The feeling of empowerment and confidence

Pshychological Side Effects of Meth

  • Delusions
  • Confusion
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Loss of inhibitions

Long Term Effects of Meth Use

Failure to get treatment for meth addiction can be fatal if not extremely incapacitating. Therefore, using meth can cause long-term effects on your mind and body. 

Some of these long-term effects of meth include:

  • Depression
  • Psychosis
  • Weight loss and malnutrition
  • Very severe decay of the teeth
  • Confusion, apathy, and disorientation
  • Extreme psychological dependence
  • Destruction of organ tissues, such as the nose
  • Permanent damage to vital blood vessels in your heart and brain
  • High blood pressure (which can lead to heart attacks, stroke, and even death)
  • Damage to vital organs of the body, such as lung, kidney, and liver.
  • Breathing and other respiratory problems due to the smoking of meth
  • Abscesses and infectious diseases when meth is injected into the body
  • Brain damage (similar to the damage experienced by people who have epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, or have suffered a stroke)

Psychosis and Anhedonia

Anhedonia is another symptom of meth addiction. Anhedonia is when you fail to experience satisfaction or pleasure from activities that you once enjoyed. For instance, due to meth addiction, you may fail to enjoy your hobbies, sexual activities, recreational pursuits, or even listening to music anymore. 

Since anhedonia developed as a result of damage to the brain receptors due to meth, you’ll be neurologically incapable of experiencing pleasure from former enjoyable pursuits after extended meth use. Anhedonia can also cause feelings of hopelessness, fatigue, and loneliness. Therefore, if you attempt to get off meth by yourself, you’ll be in danger of a relapse. This is because meth is strong enough to cause your brain to become a slave to the good feelings that it brings.

Steps in Treating Meth Addiction

Recovering from meth addiction calls for a very comprehensive addiction treatment plan. Meth addiction treatment includes detoxification, therapy, and counseling. Detoxification is the process of removing the presence of meth from a person’s body. This process also involves helping meth addicts get back normal functionality of their brains without using meth.

Meth addiction treatment includes counseling as a way to address and repair the damage that using meth has caused to one’s psychology. Meth addiction treatment counseling also gives reforming users guidance on how to resist meth temptations. This enables individuals to experience long-term sobriety. 

Ultimately, meth is a drug that is nearly impossible to overcome on your own. For this reason, any person who develops an addiction to meth must seek professional addiction treatment to experience recovery.

Intervention

Do you have a loved one who is undergoing the devastating effects of meth addiction? Then it is time to take action. 

People who suffer from an addiction to meth tend to be very resistant to treatment. For this reason, family members and friends may need to stage an intervention. But it is highly and incredibly important to be prepared for an addiction intervention. Those who have been suffering from substance abuse can be very aggressive, hostile, and even violent when approached in the wrong way. 

Meth addicts often provide great resistance to any sort of conversation about their addiction. In fact, most meth users will deny that they even have a drug problem. This makes an open conversation on their meth condition difficult to have.

When faced with these circumstances, it’s a great idea to seek help from a professional. This can be an intervention specialist or even a reform professional. Intervention is always the first step to recovery and rehabilitation though.

After a successful intervention, it’s time to remove any meth from your loved one’s body. Just as the term suggests, detoxification involves the removal of toxins from a person’s body. 

All patients must undergo detoxification along with either inpatient or outpatient treatment for a successful recovery. Something else that’s required for the successful recovery of a meth addict is the round-the-clock presence of a medical professional during detox.

Monitoring stimulant detoxification is very vital both for safety and observation of treatment progress. Detox is quite difficult for meth users. To help make detox from meth easier,  a detox expert keeps individuals as comfortable as possible while also prescribing them medication during their withdrawal periods. 

Detoxification experts use benzodiazepine medication to help treat patients who become panicky and agitated during detox. Once detox is complete, the patients should attend counseling therapy.

After detoxification, the meth addict patients go through counseling and other forms of therapy. This mostly happens when all the withdrawal symptoms have subsided. 

Counseling involves a series of structured and formal counseling therapies. Most therapists start by helping recovering meth users to identify the causes and reasons for their drug abuse. During these sessions, therapists also provide emotional support to the patients for a successful breakthrough. 

Therapy is important in educating meth patients on the best ways to cope with temptations. Most patients undergoing a reformative form of therapy tend to relapse during periods of boredom and stress. To prevent this from happening, the therapists teach meth addict patients about the behavioral patterns that often cause meth addicts to relapse. 

Counselors can use various methods to help meth addict patients reform and function without the use of meth. One form of therapy that is very popular to use when treating meth addicts is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). 

For treatments that involve methamphetamine, cognitive behavioral therapy is very effective. CBT therapy also helps treat countless other substance use and mental health disorders. In fact, cognitive-behavioral therapy is a great form of therapy to treat anxiety and depression on top of being effective in treating meth addiction. 

Another very effective type of therapy that’s used in the treatment of meth addiction is narrative therapy. This concept of this therapy is to get patients to talk about themselves. By talking about themselves, narrative therapy helps meth addicts recognize how their life experiences shaped their choices, good or bad. Therapists will then often use the patients’ life stories to help the patients identify various other ways that they could have handled those experiences from the past, while also helping them identify ways that they can handle similar experiences in the future.

 Every person that is suffering from addiction needs support from others. One way that addicts can gain this support is by attending support groups and other aftercare groups. In the U.S., the most well-known drug addict support groups are Narcotics Anonymous and Crystal Meth Anonymous. These support groups provide a platform that people in addiction recovery for drug use can use to meet up, support one another, and relate to one another.

Support Groups

Treatment Options

There are several factors that come into play when deciding which treatment program to attend. Due to the addictive nature of meth and the high possibility that someone using meth may relapse, meth addicts should attend residential treatment. Residential treatment is especially needed for meth addicts that have used meth for an extended period of time.  

For patients with a weaker addiction, outpatient treatment would be a great choice. People with daily obligations that don’t allow them to attend residential treatment can also attend an outpatient treatment program. Our partial hospitalization program can also help the person transition into their life, free of drugs. 

Start Your Journey at Concise Recovery

If your loved one has an addiction to meth, it’s time you took action and talk to an expert. Meth addiction can be very economically debilitating, traumatizing, and even fatal. If the addiction advances and the patient has no control over themselves, you could lose them. Let Concise Recovery be your guide to a better life. For more information about addiction treatment in South California, please contact us today.