The abuse of methamphetamine is very serious and quickly leads to addiction in many cases. According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, chronic methamphetamine abuse can lead to a number of serious issues including psychosis, brain damage, homicidal and suicidal thoughts, dental problems, skin infections, stroke, lung, liver, and kidney disease, and deadly overdose. And still, many methamphetamine addicts will not be able to stop. This is part of the reason why many people wonder if methamphetamine addiction can actually be treated.
A Change Can Occur
Methamphetamine addicts, just like other individuals who struggle with different types of substance abuse disorders, can make a change and stop abusing this dangerous drug. This, of course, takes time, effort, and long-term, professional treatment.
As stated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “The most effective treatments for methamphetamine addiction at this point are behavioral therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral and contingency-management interventions.” Because there is no specific medication that has been approved by the FDA to treat methamphetamine addiction, behavioral therapies are the main treatment type used in most professional programs for this drug. The most commonly used programs are:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: A therapeutic program that involves changing the way a person thinks about their addiction and their drug of abuse through learned coping mechanisms, exercises that anticipate future triggering situations, and a comparison of the pros and cons of continued drug abuse
- Contingency management: A therapeutic program that utilizes voucher-based reward systems to help patients stop abusing dangerous drugs; the individual takes periodic drug tests to prove they have not been abusing methamphetamine (or any other illegal/dangerous substance) and receives a voucher for something that pertains to their drug-free lifestyle (ex. Food, movie tickets, etc.)
- The Matrix Model: A therapeutic program that lasts 16 weeks and utilizes concepts from other therapeutic models to create a behavioral treatment tailored to stimulant addicts; it involves a positive relationship between the therapist and the patient, worksheet use, and a number of other treatment options (including urine testing)
Will My Life Be the Same Again After Treatment?
Methamphetamine can cause a number of serious side effects to a person’s life, many of which take a very long time to change or reverse. As stated by the NIDA, “In addition to being addicted to methamphetamine, chronic abusers may exhibit symptoms that can include significant anxiety, confusion, insomnia, mood disturbances, and violent behavior.” These, among other, physical side effects, can take months and even years to reverse and still may not fully disappear even with treatment.
Addiction to methamphetamine can be treated, and a person can often stop abusing the drug with professional care, hard work, and the support of their loved ones. But it is not an easy road, and the longer one waits to attend treatment, the harder making this change will often be. This is why you should seek treatment for methamphetamine addiction immediately and start your recovery today.