Methamphetamine addictions leave a shell of the person in its wake. Whether legal or illegal, these drugs can cause serious long-term damage to the brain and body. By the time users make it into detox treatment, failing health and diminished mental capacity pose the biggest barriers to a successful recovery. Methamphetamine treatment offers the types of specialized supports needed to keep addicts in the recovery process.
Unlike the medication therapies made available to recovering opiate addicts, no known medication therapies exist for methamphetamine treatment. This makes counseling that much more important as a treatment for long-term abstinence.
While many may view detox treatment as the do-all and end-all in terms of completing methamphetamine treatment, the drug’s damaging effects on the mind last considerably longer than a 30 or 60 day rehab program. In effect, counseling is where the real treatment process begins. For many in recovery, methamphetamine treatment entails months, and sometimes years of ongoing counseling and psychotherapy work.
Meth’s Effects in Recovery
The damaging aftereffects of meth use leave recovering addicts in a perpetual state of emotional turmoil, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Continued meth use all but breaks down brain chemical processes to the point where communication pathways throughout the brain no longer work as they should. Cycles of depression, paranoia and an inability to experience pleasure persist for many people long into the recovery process.
Add to this the persistent drug cravings a person experiences and it becomes extremely difficult to maintain abstinence for any length of time without having needed treatment supports in place. For these reasons, methamphetamine treatment employs a range of counseling treatment services, some of which include:
- Behavioral modification therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- 12-Step groups
Methamphetamines essentially warp the brain’s learning processes over time. By the time an addict enters treatment, the brain has come to view methamphetamines as a top priority and motivation in a person’s life.
According to the University of Arizona, behavior modification therapy helps recovering addicts replace destructive drug-seeking behaviors with healthy productive pursuits. Strategies learned include:
- Avoiding external cues that trigger drug urges (people, places and activities)
- Rewarding abstinence behaviors
- Associating unpleasant experiences with drug use
Cognitive-behavioral therapy takes a more introspective approach to eliminating drug-using behaviors. As a methamphetamine treatment, this approach helps addicts identify the thinking and emotional patterns that drive drug use, according to the Illinois Attorney General site. In the process, a person replaces these patterns with constructive coping strategies that develop into a drug-free “mindset.”
12-Step Group Counseling
While methamphetamine treatment programs use psychotherapy approaches to help addicts work through underlying issues surrounding addiction, developing a person’s connection with others is an equally important part of the recovery process. Twelve-Step support group work offers recovering addicts a means for building a support network. This network becomes an essential component for maintaining long-term abstinence.
Considering the impact methamphetamines have on the person, methamphetamine treatment, more oftentimes than not requires an ongoing commitment to staying well. Twelve-Step support groups help recovering addicts stay engaged in the recovery process.