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Meth Addiction Treatment

Meth is a highly potent stimulant and extremely addictive. Methamphetamine addiction is especially common in Greenville, South Carolina. Unfortunately, this drug causes dangerous and toxic effects on the body. Additionally, meth is manufactured in underground laboratories, often causing it to contain toxic substances. These toxic substances add to the dangers of meth addiction. Due to this, if you are addicted to meth, it’s important to find help from a professional addiction treatment center near you. Meth addiction treatment consists of both detox and a comprehensive drug rehab program. This is done in order to address both the psychological and physical aspects of addiction.

Overcoming substance use disorder is difficult without professional help, especially when it comes to meth addiction. Meth abuse wreaks havoc on the mind and body of the afflicted individual. Because of this, clinical guidance and psychological support are necessary for recovery. Fortunately, there are several rehabilitation options for people afflicted by meth addiction.

What is Methamphetamine (Meth)?

Methamphetamine is commonly known as meth, crystal meth, crank, speed, or ice. Meth acts on the brain by producing excess amounts of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that stimulates the reward system in the brain. Because the reward system is overstimulated, individuals become addicted to meth. If a person abuses meth over an extended period of time, they develop a tolerance to the drug. As a result, the brain no longer produces dopamine naturally. Instead, users have to take larger amounts of the drug in order to produce the desired effect. Additionally, individuals experience withdrawal symptoms if they don’t get high.

Methamphetamine can be smoked, snorted, or injected. This substance comes as a white crystal or in powder form. Most users begin with smoking meth. However, many end up injecting it after their tolerance increases. This is because intravenous meth use produces a more intense, instantaneous high. Pure methamphetamine is dangerous enough. However, but most individuals receive crystal meth and the content can be unpredictable. Crystal meth is manufactured in clandestine laboratories using over-the-counter ingredients like pseudoephedrine, an ingredient in cold medicines. However, the drug often contains harmful and toxic substances, such as:

  • Anhydrous ammonia (fertilizer)
  • Acetone
  • Ether
  • Lithium
  • Red phosphorus

As a result of these dangers, the United States has made an active effort to shut down meth labs across the nation to prevent the crisis from getting worse.

Signs of Meth Addiction

When individuals take meth, they may be awake for days at a time. Meth produces long-lasting stimulant effects, including increasing energy, confidence, and talkativeness. However, this intense high is followed by a crash. This “crash” occurs when users stop feeling the effects of meth. During a meth crash, individuals might sleep for a long time, be fatigued, and feel anxious or depressed. In order to combat these uncomfortable feelings, people who are addicted to meth seek out more and more of the drug in order to sustain their high.

Common side effects of meth abuse include loss of appetite and increased wakefulness. Therefore, it’s common for someone who is abusing meth to lose weight rapidly. Furthermore, meth abuse causes some individuals to hallucinate bugs crawling on the skin. This results in excessive itching and picking at the skin, leaving open wounds that get infected and lead to abscesses.

Signs that someone is addicted to meth include:

  • Staying awake for hours or days on end
  • Physical and mental symptoms of meth abuse
  • Lying to friends and family about one’s drug use
  • Inability to quit using or control how much you use
  • Difficulty staying awake and functioning normally without the drug
  • Experiencing withdrawals when not taking the drug
  • Continuing to use the drug despite negative consequences
  • Dry mouth, stained teeth, or “meth mouth”
  • Dilated pupils and rapid eye movement
  • Jerky and erratic or twitching movements
  • Mood swings, paranoia, or psychotic behavior

If you or someone you love is abusing meth or addicted to it, it is vital that you seek professional addiction treatment. Early intervention is always recommended as it promotes an easier road to long-term sobriety.

Long Term Effects of Meth Abuse

Individuals who abuse any substance over a long period of time will develop an addiction. Drug addiction, or substance use disorder, is a chronic disease that is characterized by risky and drug-seeking behaviors. An addiction to any substance will cause long-term physical and mental effects. Long-term meth abuse causes chemical and structural changes to take place in the brain. While most of these changes heal after some time of abstinence, they can cause serious disruptions in an individual’s day to day life.

Meth addiction causes the dopamine system to become handicapped and work improperly. This leads to problems with emotion regulation, decision making, and mood stabilization. Furthermore, methamphetamine affects memories and perceptions. Due to this, individuals addicted to meth are prone to developing mental health conditions and mood disturbances, such as depression, anxiety, and psychosis.

Other long term side effects of methamphetamine addiction include:

  • Weight loss
  • Tooth decay
  • Memory problems
  • Skin sores
  • Poor nutrition
  • Repetitive motor activity
  • Loss of motor skills
  • Paranoia or psychosis
  • Aggressive and violent behavior
  • Decreased fertility
  • Increased susceptibility to mental illness
  • Increased risk of HIV and Hepatitis C

It is clear to see that long-term meth abuse or addiction causes devastating effects. In order to prevent these effects from becoming permanent or fatal, one must stop using meth. First, that means getting help from a professional stimulant detox.

Meth Withdrawal and Detox

By definition, detoxification is the natural process the body goes through to clear substances from the body. Addictive substances lead to uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal when drug use is stopped suddenly. Fortunately, meth withdrawal symptoms are typically not fatal. In fact, most meth withdrawal symptoms are psychological rather than physical. However, this doesn’t make the process any easier. Mental cravings and psychological symptoms are challenging to overcome without professional help.

Symptoms to expect during methamphetamine withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Psychosis
  • Drug cravings
  • Increased appetite
  • Irritability

Meth withdrawal symptoms usually set in around 24 hours after a person’s last dose. The severity of symptoms and withdrawal timeline varies from person to person depending on a variety of factors. For example, this includes the overall health of the person, how long they have been getting high, and other factors. Typically, over the course of one week, most symptoms subside. However, some symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and cravings last for several weeks.

Unfortunately, the psychological symptoms of meth withdrawal don’t disappear overnight. Due to this, individuals should take advantage of medical detox and a comprehensive addiction treatment program.

Meth Addiction Treatment

Treatment for meth addiction does not end with detox. In fact, individuals are recommended to attend an inpatient rehab and outpatient programming. Additionally, behavioral therapies have been proven vital in providing help for meth addiction. To explain, many people abuse meth to cope with emotions, past trauma, or underlying conditions. Utilizing behavioral therapy allows patients to bring these underlying issues to the surface and begin healing. Also, patients will develop healthy coping skills to replace past negative patterns of behavior.

While getting help for meth addiction, the following treatments can be expected as they are proven effective in treating people who abuse methamphetamines:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Contingency management interventions
  • Family education
  • Individual counseling
  • Group therapy
  • 12-Step facilitation
  • Regular drug testing
  • Holistic therapy
  • Recreational activities that promote abstinence

Long-term treatment and aftercare are vital for recovering meth addicts. This is because the dopamine system is severely affected by chronic meth addiction. Aftercare programs provide ongoing support to individuals in recovery while reinforcing the healthy coping skills that are taught in treatment. Recovery from meth addiction is possible with the help of a comprehensive treatment program and an aftercare support group.

Find Help For Meth Addiction Today

The first step towards overcoming meth addiction is asking for help. Meth is one of the hardest addictions to treat due to the psychological effects of this substance. However, recovery is possible with a combination of therapy, education, and support. At South Carolina Addiction Treatment Center, we pride ourselves on providing effective psychiatric care throughout the entirety of treatment.

“Our treatment services are catered toward discovering and implementing solutions for sustained, long-term recovery. With the love and support of your family, and loved ones, we make sure to treat your addiction by understanding the root reasons behind it. We do everything in our power to help you succeed in breaking the cycle of addiction, and know that with the right kind of help, everyone is capable of healing.”

If you or a loved one is looking for help for meth addiction, contact us today. We’ll help you get started with drug detox and formulate an individualized treatment plan that meets your needs.