In order to discuss meth addiction treatment, it is important to understand what meth is and how it affects the user. The term “meth” is short for methamphetamine, which is a highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system. Methamphetamine causes increased activity and talkativeness, decreased appetite, and a general sense of well-being. Street names include “speed,” “crank,” “glass,” “chalk,” “crystal,” “ice,” among others.
Medical uses for methamphetamine are limited. Methamphetamine is prescribed for ADHD and certain cases of obesity. Off-label uses include the treatment of narcolepsy and for cases of treatment-resistant depression.
Meth is used recreationally for the desired “high” it produces. Besides the euphoric rush, meth users experience increased wakefulness and physical activity and decreased appetite. Methamphetamine causes cardiovascular problems, such as rapid heart rate, irregular heartbeat, and increased blood pressure. Hyperthermia (elevated body temperature) and convulsions can occur from an overdose of meth, and if not treated immediately, can result in death.
One of the most detrimental long term effects of meth use and abuse is addiction. Therefore, it is necessary for meth addiction treatment. In addition, long term meth users experience psychosis (paranoia, hallucinations, repetitive motor activity), changes in brain structure and function, memory loss, aggressive or violent behavior, mood disturbances, severe dental problems, and weight loss.
The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), which collects information on drug-related episodes from hospital emergency rooms throughout the nation, has reported a greater than 50% increase in the number of ER visits related to meth abuse between 1995 and 2002.
Meth addiction treatment and abuse has also increased substantially. In 1992, there were approximately 21,000 treatment admissions in which meth was identified as the primary drug of abuse, representing more than 1% of all treatment admissions. By 2004, the number of methamphetamine treatment admissions increased to more than 150,000, representing 8% of all admissions.
Treatment for meth addiction is crucial because the withdrawal can be at least, uncomfortable and at most, can lead to a potentially fatal situation. Once meth addicts stop using, they experience fatigue, depression, increased appetite, excessive sleeping, anxiety, irritability, headaches, and suicidal ideation (obsessive thoughts of suicide).
Treatment for Meth Addiction
Currently, the most effective meth addiction treatment is a combination of behavioral therapies such as cognitive behavioral and contingency management interventions. Contingency management interventions that are used for the meth addiction treatment provide tangible rewards in exchange for complying with treatment while maintaining abstinence. A comprehensive behavioral treatment approach includes behavioral therapy, family education, individual counseling, 12-Step support, drug testing for accountability, and encouragement for clean and sober activities, and this has been shown to be effective in the treatment for meth addiction and abuse.
As for medications, there are none whose specific purpose is that of the meth addiction treatment. However, there has been some research that shows that the use of certain anti-depressants has decreased cravings that arise from so-called “triggers” and that these medications diminish the “high” that is experienced when the meth addict actually uses.
If you or someone you love is looking for meth addiction treatment, please give us a call at 800-951-6135.