Meth

If you or a loved one is struggling with methamphetamine addiction, choosing the right meth rehab center is an important step on your road to recovery. At Altus Treatment Center, we know you may be overwhelmed with the decision to attend rehab. We work hard to ensure our patients understand the treatment process and the road to recovery, so they can make informed decisions about their treatment options, or the family of an addict can make informed decisions on behalf of the patient.

Methamphetamine: The Basics

Meth has become an extremely popular drug over the past two decades. This is mainly due to the fact that it can be easily synthesized and is relatively inexpensive compared to other stimulants, such as cocaine.

Meth affects the central nervous system of those who use it and has the ability to act as both a stimulant and an appetite suppressant. In the past, these properties of the drug led to its legal administration as a weight loss aid, a decongestant, and an anti-depressant. However, these products also proved to be easy sources for illegal methamphetamine synthesis, and the drug began to be sold increasingly on the street for recreational use.

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What are the symptoms of meth addiction?

Physical dependence and psychological addiction are both common in meth users. Dependency refers to a situation where the user’s brain becomes so accustomed to regular stimulation from the drug that it thinks it cannot function properly in the absence of it. This, in turn, triggers withdrawal symptoms when use is discontinued. The following are some of the typical withdrawal symptoms that can be expected:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Excessive sleeping and vivid dreams
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Increased appetite
  • Losing teeth
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Suicidal thoughts

Psychological addiction to meth is known to last beyond the point when the drug is no longer present in the body. Lead by our two psychologists, the staff at Altus Treatment Center work hard to ensure patients are receiving the best care. Taking into consideration the psychological effects of meth addiction and recovery, we provide round-the-clock care. These symptoms can go on for weeks or even months. Much of it has to do with the addicted person’s level of use—whether occasional or chronic. Psychological addiction is generally indicated by the following behaviors:

  • Drug craving
  • Compulsion to use
  • Continued meth use, despite negative consequences
  • Loss of control of drug use

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Physical consequences of meth abuse

Meth can have severe physical consequences for those who use on a frequent basis. The conditions that arise from its continued abuse can easily degenerate into disease and illnesses that are life threatening. If you suspect a loved is using meth, then it is important to be aware of physical warning signs. These may include:

  • Weight loss
  • Sleep deprivation (the constant stimulation shorts out the need for sleep)
  • Dehydration
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Skin abscesses
  • Osteoporosis (teeth and bones become easily breakable)
  • Decreased libido

There are also behavioral warning signs to be aware of:

  • Severe paranoia
  • Isolation
  • Hallucinations
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Wild mood swings
  • Meth abusers are also prone to risk-taking and tend to have poor impulse control

Treatment for Meth Abuse

In general, there are two main approaches to treating addiction. The first is referred to as the pharmacological approach and uses approved prescription medications to help an addicted person detox and abstain from drug use. The second is the traditional therapeutic approach, which includes individual and group counseling, among many other strategies.

For some substances, prescription drugs are available that can lessen the drug’s effects in the body or help to alleviate the symptoms of withdrawal. In addition, there is a type of medication known as an “antagonist,” which creates an adverse reaction in the body when the drug is consumed. Unfortunately, however, in the treatment of meth addiction, there are no drugs yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help with the process.

Treatment in meth rehab centers, such as Altus Treatment Center, begins with a detox period that occurs under medical supervision. This is a controlled process of weaning the addict. Continual monitoring by staff and medical personnel throughout detoxification assures that the recovering patient has a stable and secure environment necessary to deal with withdrawal symptoms.

Once the drug has been cleared from the system, some form of behavioral therapy is often employed next. This may include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, the Matrix Model, or other several other approaches. Finding out what these various therapies entail is important in identifying a treatment that will best fit your needs.

1. Behavioral Therapies

Behavioral-based therapies have been the most popular choice in treating meth addiction, and have a demonstrated record of effectiveness.

One example is the Matrix Model, which is now available in many meth rehab centers. This treatment takes place over the span of 16-weeks and includes behavioral therapy, family education, and individual counseling. The approach stresses the necessity of all three factors being present for the most effective means to recovery.

Traditional 12-Step programs have also shown effectiveness when dealing with meth addiction. This form of therapy stresses the importance of having support systems in place to assist in recovery. There is also an emphasis on acquiring new habits and activities to replace the former lifestyle. By learning to successfully avoid situations where the old habit of drug use kicks in, the chances of relapse are decreased. The 12-step program also places an emphasis on turning oneself over to a Higher Power as a means of overcoming addiction.

2. Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy can include group-centered approaches, as well as those that are focused on the individual. Much of the emphasis is placed on trying to determine what lies at the root of the patient’s desire to use the drug in the first place and addressing triggers of addictive behavior. There is also usually a program of developing and practicing certain skills necessary to maintain sobriety.

3. Concurrent health treatment

There can be many other health issues associated with meth use, beyond what the drug does to your body. Concurrent health treatment attempts to educate meth users on the other dangers that can be associated with the lifestyle of a meth addict. An example might be the fact that meth addiction is tied to an increased risk of contracting AIDS or HIV.

With several locations to serve our patients, and our unique network of clinicians and treatment center relationships, Altus Treatment Center is ready to answer any question you may have about meth addiction and recovery. Don’t delay in reaching out to our friendly and understanding staff. They are professional, and can help answer any questions you have.

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