Becoming addicted to meth is a terrifying experience that feels endless to most users. Tweakers, or users who take meth in a binge pattern, can binge for upwards of fifteen days. By continuing to abuse the drug without sleep, they become extremely paranoid. Getting proper meth addiction treatment can help end the spiral of addiction, giving you a chance at a sober life.
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If a person begins to binge meth, it can start to feel like recovery is not an option. But the truth is there are many types of meth addiction treatment programs available. Despite the drug’s intense grip on addicted individuals, it is always a good time to ask for help.
A medical detox is recommended for someone dealing with meth withdrawal, (or about to go through withdrawal). Meth withdrawal can result in physical, and emotional side effects, making home detox dangerous.
Detox centers and inpatient facilities specialize in withdrawals. Post check in, some users are given medication to diminish certain withdrawal symptoms. Detox centers also provide therapy to help transition patients into addiction treatment easier.
Withdrawal from meth is largely psychological, and in rare cases, full-blown psychosis can occur. Patients are usually tested and treated for any co-occurring mental disorders. Depression, insomnia, anxiety, and drug cravings are the most difficult challenges faced during meth detox. Symptoms can peak in two to ten days, but some withdrawal symptoms can last for a month or longer.
Once patients have physically detoxed, they become more stable and clear-headed. This puts them in a better frame of mind to benefit from addiction treatment. In rehab, patients learn coping skills to help them avoid relapse in the future. Detox is not a treatment for meth addiction but is a necessary first step for recovery. Detox facilities will send patients to inpatient treatment centers to continue the treatment process.
Someone who is addicted to meth will need to attend a formal treatment facility to recover. Patients may come from a detox center directly, or may need to use inpatient detox facilities.
Outpatient programs are also available, which provide flexibility as patients recovery at home. However, the severity of meth withdrawal, and long-term side effects, requires constant medical oversight. Most long-term meth addicts will benefit from inpatient recovery.
Medical staff can provide medication for any side effects, and assist in the healing process. Doctors, nurses, and counselors will create targeted healing strategies for the patient. Together they will slowly work toward recovery in the manner that best suits their unique needs.
One of the most effective treatments for meth addiction is behavioral therapy. Common therapies include cognitive behavioral therapy and contingency management.
Most people in recovery benefit by continuing some form of behavioral therapy post-rehab. Treatment centers offer these therapies, as do doctor’s offices, drug counselors, and community centers.
Some of the most effective therapies for meth addicts are:
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- CBT teaches addicts a new way to view their drug abuse
- Provides strategies used to fight their cravings and triggers in their day-to-day lives
- CM uses vouchers to reinforce positive behavior
- It makes changes to the patient’s reward center which has been altered by drug abuse
The Matrix Model
- The Matrix Model is a 16-week behavioral treatment program
- It combines individual counseling, behavioral therapy, drug testing, 12-step support, and family education
- It promotes positive reinforcement for non-drug-related activities
Group therapy combines the benefits of resocialization and group reassurance
Addicted individuals help one another as well as themselves through all stages of recovery
It also fosters a sense of community that reminds people they are not alone
Therapy is particularly effective for meth addiction recovery. It emphasizes the importance of treating a patient’s co-occurring mental health disorders. Many meth addicts have underlying mental health problems that require long-term treatment.
Certain symptoms (such as paranoia, insomnia, psychosis, and anxiety) can last up to a year. For this reason, you should continue attending therapy even after completing a meth treatment program.
Support groups are a great resource during rehab. They give members a way to continue working on their addictions after treatment. Support groups are usually free and can be found in many different places. Crystal Meth Anonymous, or CMA, is a free and widely available 12-step program. Even 12-step groups that are not specifically for meth addiction, such as AA or NA, can be helpful.
Nearby support group meetings can be found by calling a treatment facility, or by researching online. Keeping up to date with nearby meetings will help create a safety net should triggers occur.
Sometimes a meth addict won’t be able to wait for admittance into a detox center. Overdose, suicidal thoughts, or other serious side effects require immediate medical intervention.
If someone using meth is displaying violent or dangerous behavior, call 911 and proceed with caution. If the individual experiences a seizure, stroke, signs of overdose or a heart attack, you should call 911. Hospitals will have the kinds of immediate treatments needed in these cases.
There is Always Hope
With professional treatment, hard work, and a strong support network, addiction to meth can be overcome. But recovery is not an easy road. The longer someone waits to attend treatment, the harder making this change will often be. If someone admits they have a problem with meth, treatment should be found immediately. Remember that recovery, and a better life, can begin right away.