Methamphetamine Addiction

methamphetamine addiction

Unity Behavioral Health has a dedicated staff who are ready to help you overcome your methamphetamine addiction. Our facilities promote a focused and relaxing setting which will enhance your rehabilitation process. We offer a high level of medical and psychiatric services and are fully prepared to walk with you through every step of your treatment plan.

Methamphetamine (meth) is a highly addictive drug that can cause irreversible damage to the brain. Physical symptoms of a person who is addicted to methamphetamine include weight loss, sleep deprivation, dehydration, skin abscesses, and osteoporosis. A person’s mental state is also visibly altered through signs of paranoia, hallucinations, aggressive behavior, and violent mood swings.

Methamphetamine treatment plans vary according to the depth of the addiction. Inpatient treatment is best for someone with a severe meth addiction, and an outpatient program could be a better option for someone whose meth habits are less intense.

At Unity Behavioral Health we believe that treatment plans need to focus not only on the substance abuse but also on any underlying mental health issues.

What Is Methamphetamine?

The key ingredient in the makeup of methamphetamine is ephedrine or pseudoephedrine. These are chemicals found in every day, easily obtainable over-the-counter cold, cough, and allergy medicines.

Meth can be a fairly inexpensive “high”. One hit of meth is equal to one-quarter of a gram and can typically cost the user $25. Of course, the purer the meth, the higher the price. When meth is manufactured and “cut” with additives the health risks are escalated and can lead to poisoning and overdose deaths. Additives can include such things as iodine, battery acid, and drain cleaner.

The drug, methamphetamine, is sold in two forms: powder or rock. The powder form of meth can be smoked, snorted, eaten, or dissolved and injected into the veins. Methamphetamine in rock form – also known as crystal meth – is usually smoked in a pipe or dissolved and injected into the veins.

How Does Methamphetamine Affect The User?

People are attracted to using methamphetamine because of the intense feeling of euphoria that occurs on the very first use – a huge adrenaline rush like nothing they’ve ever experienced.

Users can feel the effects of meth for up to 12 hours and can stay awake for very long periods of time – even days – while under the influence of the drug. That is until the meth wears off and the person crashes. 

As a result, the user begins to feel the drug’s side effects, such as euphoria, depression, hunger, and sluggishness. In turn, the fear of the consequences of the crash causes people to use meth on a more frequent basis, creating a larger dependence on the drug.

Some side effects for those addicted to meth also include increased blood pressure, dilated pupils, and the inability to sleep. Other physical effects can include lesions or burns on the mouth – often referred to as “meth mouth.” Meth mouth is severe dental decay in a continued meth user’s mouth.

Overall, someone who is addicted to meth typically lacks personal hygiene and may show signs of being anxious, irritable, unable to sleep, and oftentimes has aggressive behavior. Long term use of meth can cause damage to the brain, liver, and kidneys.

How Does Someone Become Addicted to Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug that boosts a person’s energy level and provides the user with an extremely high. The addiction to meth occurs when a person comes off of that high and then begins to experience the mental and physical impact of the loss of that high.

That loss causes individuals to feel the need to regain that sense of energy level, which makes them want to keep taking meth. A vicious cycle then begins.

There are many reasons why people become addicted to meth. Some common factors include stress due to overall life changes, worries about job situations, feelings of depression, having friends who use drugs, and a lack of self-esteem. 

When a person takes meth the brain produces dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that makes a person feel intense pleasure and gives them a sense of well being. Meth is so powerful that the addiction is instant.

What Are the Signs of Methamphetamine Addiction?

It is common for a person who is addicted to meth to try to hide or deny that they have a problem.

The signs of someone who is addicted to methamphetamine include:

  • Drastic mood swings or depression
  • Changes in behavior such as signs of aggression, secrecy, or paranoia
  • Physical changes such as lack of personal hygiene, red eyes, weight loss or gain
  • Health issues
  • Social withdrawal
  • Poor grades or work performance
  • Money or legal problems

It is important to know that help is available. Unity Behavioral Health has your or your loved one’s best interest at heart and we are ready to answer any questions that you have. The first step to getting help is simply reaching out to us in order that we can provide you or your loved one the assistance needed to start the recovery process.

Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment Options

The treatment of your methamphetamine addiction is a huge step forward in reclaiming your life. Our rehabilitation facility and the staff at Unity Behavioral Health will guide you towards the treatment plan that best meets you or your family member’s individual needs.

The treatment options for meth addiction are different for each person who embraces the opportunity to receive help, but overall it can be broken down into four areas:

  • Detox
  • Residential treatment
  • Intensive outpatient treatment
  • Partial hospitalization program

Detoxification is an important step that allows a person’s body to become cleansed of any trace of the methamphetamine drug. Someone who is under supervision during the withdrawal process from meth is more likely to see a higher success rate and remain drug-free versus a person who attempts to detoxify from meth on his or her own.

The residential treatment option for meth addiction allows the person to reside at a facility and receive supervised care. Treatments may include things such as yoga classes, specific nutrition plans, or life skills planning. All while being medically supervised onsite by trained staff who specialize in those fields.

An intensive outpatient treatment program is another option for those struggling with an addiction to methamphetamine. The reasons for choosing this option may include the need for flexibility due to an individual’s work schedule, the overall cost of outpatient care versus inpatient, as well as family obligations that need to be maintained.

The partial hospitalization program is an outpatient program that can be used for treating meth addiction and is offered by hospitals. This treatment option allows for those who have a stable living environment to check into a hospital for a duration of 3-5 days a week for 4-6 hours a day where they undergo observation.

Therapy Treatment for Methamphetamine Addiction

The forms of therapy that are used for treating methamphetamine addiction include individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy. Overall, therapy helps the person learn how they can cope in their daily life when the temptation of using meth arises. It teaches them how to live a healthier, happier life without the use of methamphetamine, and how to gain control of the things that they felt were out of reach.

Individual therapy focuses on the person and his or her specific plan for recovery. No two addictions are alike, therefore no two therapies can be alike. A personal plan is developed to meet the person’s needs and goals. 

Another type of therapy treatment is group therapy. Group therapy allows a person to present their situation to their peers who are facing their own addiction recovery process. This allows them to gather their strength to recover by discussing their personal fears and struggles in a group situation where they can receive feedback from others who are taking the same steps to overcome their addiction to meth. For some people, a social setting such as this is exactly what is needed to enable the recovery process.

Methamphetamine addiction is not only harmful to the person using the drug, but also to their family members. The option of family therapy creates a setting that promotes an environment for all members to explore ways to cope with the addiction to meth and how to overcome it. 

There are many questions that a therapist can help the family work through such as how to prevent relapse, how to communicate with each other better, and provide an all-around healthy environment for the person recovering from their meth addiction.

Unity Behavioral Health is ready to help you move forward on your road to recovery. We have a 24-hour helpline staffed by experienced members of our staff who are ready to help you today. Our facilities offer a sense of tranquility that promotes relaxation and healing. 

If you or your loved one are struggling with a methamphetamine addiction please contact us today to begin the journey towards recovery.

Resources

https://www.healthline.com/health/addiction/meth-addiction#signs-of-addiction

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/meth/body/