Methamphetamine, or meth as it’s commonly known, is a highly-addictive stimulant derived from amphetamine. It comes in a dissolvable white powder that’s odor-free yet has a bitter taste. The side effects – both short and long-term – can be devastating, which is why the government classifies it as a Schedule II stimulant. It’s one drug that most people need to seek treatment for in order to kick the habit.
What Is Meth Addiction?
The term meth addiction applies to those who abuse the substance and intensely crave it when they don’t have it. Since it’s a highly-addictive drug, it doesn’t take much to get hooked on it.
Statistics on Meth Addiction
Meth isn’t as common as many other drugs, but it’s still used by millions. A 2021 national survey revealed that 2.5 million people aged 12 and older admitted to using the substance, with methamphetamine use disorder affecting approximately 0.6% or 1.6 million. In 2021, over 53,000 deaths were attributed to stimulants, primarily meth, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
How Does Meth Addiction Affect the Brain?
One of the main reasons people abuse meth is because of how it makes them feel. Initially, it increases dopamine, the neurotransmitter that increases a feeling of pleasure and satisfaction. However, repeated use can lead to devastating side effects in the brain, such as:
Changes in the function and structure of the brain
Impaired verbal learning
Dangers of Using Meth
Meth is an extremely dangerous drug to use and tens of thousands of people die every year due to overdosing. It can severely impact one’s quality of life both in the short and long term.
Negative Behaviors Caused by Meth Usage
Many people who become addicted to meth will eventually exhibit negative behaviors such as:
Resorting to drastic measures to secure more drugs
Ignoring important life responsibilities
There are other dangers to using meth as well, including those that manifest physically. Some people may experience:
Excessive weight loss
Dental problems, including loss of teeth and jaw bone deterioration
Intense itching that leads to scars and skin sores
Tactics for Meth Treatment
There are a few different tactics that medical professionals at Acqua Recovery may employ in meth addiction treatment. These include group or individual therapy sessions, behavioral treatments, medication-assisted programs, and support groups.
Medicated-Assisted Treatment for Meth
While there are no current approved medications that can help treat a meth addiction, there are some that may benefit patients who suffer from dual-diagnosis disorders to help keep underlying conditions that feed into the addiction at bay. Medicated-assisted treatment is the combination of therapy with meds to give patients the best chance at success.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Meth
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a beneficial treatment for meth addiction because it helps reinforce positive behaviors by learning to eliminate negative thought patterns. It’s a type of psychotherapy.
Group Therapy Options for Meth
Group therapy is included in meth treatment for a reason: it works. While individual therapy is designed to get to the root of issues and treat them, group sessions help promote the sense of belonging, that one is not alone in their struggles. It’s a learning environment where many people end up making friends and developing a strong support system.
Top Challenges of Meth Addiction Treatment
Meth addiction treatment, while widely available and successful for many, isn’t without its struggles. Detoxing is very difficult, and sometimes people have a problem with structure, which is absolutely necessary for the path to recovery. Then, there are the cravings that don’t just dissipate overnight and the feeling of loss some experience when giving up drugs and the crowds they run with.
Successful Detox and Withdrawals
Detoxing is a very challenging stage and difficult for many, as it involves ridding the system of toxins. Many people experience debilitating side effects such as vomiting and nausea, cramping, body aches and sometimes even convulsions. However, through proper medical care, medical professionals can alleviate these symptoms and provide a safe environment for people to get clean.
Chances of Relapsing
Sobriety is a lifelong commitment, and if drug addiction were easily cured, people wouldn’t relapse, but it happens. And it’s normal. However, the chances of a person relapsing depend on themselves. Those who commit to getting clean, take all the proper steps and develop new, life-changing habits will have greater success rates.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does Meth Addiction Treatment Usually Take?
Because no two addictions and no two people are alike, the amount of time it takes to complete meth rehab is solely based on the individual. There are a number of factors, such as commitment level, the length of abuse, and the amount they were taking at the time of treatment.
What Are the Most Effective Meth Addiction Treatment Measures?
The most effective meth rehab treatment measures are those that suit each individual. Some people benefit better from individual or group sessions that may involve different types of behavioral therapy, especially those who have co-occurring disorders. Others need more of a structure, such as that of residential addiction treatment or a sober living facility.
Can Meth Addiction Be Treated Through Medication?
To a certain extent, yes. Some people who have co-occurring disorders benefit from medications that address those symptoms.
Does Meth Addiction Treatment Involve Inpatient or Outpatient Therapy?
Typically, good meth addiction care will involve both inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment. During the initial phase, residential care is the best place to be while learning life skills, undergoing treatment for mental health disorders and addressing the root causes, such as trauma. Outpatient care is a continuation of this and is less intense but still designed with accountability and commitment in mind.
Acqua Recovery for Meth Treatment
Acqua Recovery is one of the top drug treatment centers near Colorado, a mere few hours’ drive or a short flight away from getting the care you need. The programs are tailored to individual needs and even include meth treatment for military veterans.
The facilities are comfortable with luxurious amenities and 12 acres of gorgeous grounds with stunning views and a serene environment that is conducive to the recovery process.