Symptoms, Consequences and Treatment for Methamphetamine Addiction
Symptoms of Methamphetamine Addiction
Methamphetamine is a very powerful stimulant drug. It is highly addictive due to the intense feelings of increased alertness and euphoria, or the high, it creates. The short-term effects of methamphetamine are felt quickly but also fade quickly, leading users to binge on the drug, taking it every few hours while foregoing other basic necessities like food and sleep. This dangerous cycle can last for several days.
A person may become addicted to methamphetamine after just a few uses. There are several clear signs and symptoms of addiction, including:
- Needing more methamphetamine to achieve the same desired effect
- Feeling an inability to control how much or how often methamphetamine is used
- Feeling symptoms of withdrawal when the effects of methamphetamine wear off
- Experiencing severe changes in physical appearance or hygiene
- Exhibiting reckless and risky behavior
- Neglecting hobbies and other interests in favor or using methamphetamine
- Continuing heavy usage habits despite relationship problems
Consequences of Methamphetamine Abuse
Consistent methamphetamine abuse and addiction results in negative effects that affect all areas of life. This particular substance has many unhealthy physical, social and psychological side-effects and may even become deadly.
Health problems caused by methamphetamine abuse commonly include:
- Brain damage
- Dental problems
- Extreme itching that causes skin infections and sores
- Extreme weight loss
- Liver damage
- Lung damage
- Kidney damage
- Increased risk of blood-borne illness
Methamphetamine addiction can also lead to (or contribute to) psychological problems, such as:
- Homicidal thoughts
- Suicidal thoughts
A variety of social problems may also come as a result of methamphetamine addiction, including:
- Aggressive behavior/crime
- Financial problems
- Job loss
- Strained relationships
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Treatment Options for Methamphetamine Addiction
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the most effective treatment for methamphetamine addiction is behavioral therapy. If you or a loved one is addicted to methamphetamine and needs help, a clinical counselor, doctor, or substance abuse treatment specialist can help you find the appropriate level of care.
There are several different types of methamphetamine addiction treatment programs, but the type most suited to you or your loved one’s situation will depend on a number of different factors, including:
- Willingness to commit to treatment
- Previous treatment and relapse history
- Motivation for seeking help
- Financial circumstances
Based on your needs or the needs of your loved ones, methamphetamine addiction may be best treated with one or more of the following types of addiction programs.
Medically assisted detox is the process by which an individual safely secedes from the use of methamphetamine during the withdrawal period. This takes place in a safe, home-like environment with on-site medical support staff who are there to manage withdrawal symptoms and ensure that every client is safe and comfortable. Detox programs are designed based on the individual needs of each client. Individual or group counseling may also begin during this time, which helps clients prepare for ongoing addiction treatment and address emotions that arise during detox.
Residential treatment for methamphetamine addiction requires that clients reside in a substance abuse facility for at least 90 days to undergo addiction treatment. During this time, clients attend individual and group counseling sessions to uncover the root causes of their addiction and learn how to live a substance-free life by working through the 12-step principles of recovery. A balanced blend of evidence-based behavioral therapies and clinical treatment modalities provides a well-rounded treatment program. At the completion of each client’s program, a multidisciplinary team will provide recommendations for ongoing care.
Outpatient care is another effective treatment option for clients who have recently graduated from an inpatient program or for those who cannot commit to residential care. This type of methamphetamine addiction treatment requires clients to meet at a safe, convenient location several times each week for individual and group counseling sessions. These sessions provide valuable discussion about the causes of addiction, life skills and tools for sobriety, educational lectures, and insight into the principles of the 12-step program.
Sober living programs are designed for clients who have recently completed a residential program for methamphetamine addiction. These structured community living programs provide the essential support and accountability needed in early recovery. Residents each have as assigned program coordinator to guide them through the tiered sober living program and provide family support along the way. In addition, on-site support staff and resident care advocates help facilitate therapy and provide additional accountability. Sober living homes are gender-specific and may be apartments or houses. Clients are afforded more personal freedoms and flexibility while they practice living out their sobriety in this structured environment.
Recovery is a continued process, well after inpatient or outpatient treatment programs end. Aftercare programs provide peer support and community for individuals in early recovery. This type of treatment is designed for those who have already completed a residential or outpatient program. Weekly group meetings provide an opportunity for discussions on current issues and challenges and give individuals a chance to share support and insight based on their own individual experiences in recovery.
These types of treatment programs for methamphetamine addiction can be combined to create a fully immersive and comprehensive care plan that will help clients fight relapse and provide the highest opportunity for lifelong sobriety.
- Gender-specific treatment
- Evidenced-based treatment
- 12-Step immersion
- 90-day residential treatment
- Family program
- Full continuum of care
- Insurance and private pay
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