The addictive nature and potency of methamphetamine can never be underestimated. Today, the number of meth users in the U.S. continues to grow. In 2014, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that nearly 570,000 people were meth users. The Drug Enforcement Administration has also predicted that the availability of meth will also continue to rise in the future. Their 2016 National Drug Threat Summary reported that the purity of meth was at an all-time high of 70 percent.
Why is Meth so Addictive?
Meth can be used in a wide variety of ways, e.g. smoked, injected, snorted, and orally, and that’s part of what makes the drug so easy to abuse. Additionally, meth gives its user the following desirable effects:
- Staying awake for long periods of time
- Ability to talk non-stop
- Increased levels of alertness
- Increased activity levels
- An endless supply of energy
- Decreased appetite
- A sense of well-being
- Euphoric rush
The Dangerous Side Effects of Meth Abuse
There is a part of the brain that’s responsible for producing dopamine and serotonin. Meth can destroy those parts of the brain. To avoid experiencing the depressive lows of withdrawal, many meth users continue using the drug to stay happy. You should keep in mind that this is not a healthy solution. There are serious consequences, including:
- Violent behavior (a result of sleep deprivation)
- Unplanned anorexia
- Picking at the skin (without realizing)
- Meth mouth (the drug can cause bad breath, dry mouth, and damaged teeth)
- High body temperature
- High blood pressure
- Intense depression
So, how can you treat a meth addiction? Below are some methods that have been used by professionals around the world.
Inpatient rehab programs can last between six and 12 months. These programs can be facilitated in therapeutic communities or in hospitals. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the length of treatment should last at least 90 days. The longer the program is, the more effective it is. A patient may need to go through a detoxification process, cognitive behavioral therapy, and other therapeutic sessions that address and improve their social and psychological functioning.
12-step programs can help improve social interactions. However, they are only effective if the individual regularly attends the meetings. In other words, the recovering meth addict must ensure that they are in for the long haul.
The Matrix Model
Matrix Model programs can last for approximately four months. The programs may comprise a combination of treatments, e.g. counseling and behavioral therapy, to address a patient’s anxiety and depression when meth withdrawal symptoms occur. The programs also teach the ex-meth user on how to better manage their cravings, avoiding a relapse. The environment of Matrix Model programs is usually highly structured. Staff members work toward establishing relationships with patients. This type of meth addiction treatment has seen a decent amount of success, i.e. patients from the programs stayed sober for longer periods of time.
Meth aversion therapy involves patients snorting fake meth. The substance contains one percent quinine and has an appearance of a white crystalline powder. After snorting the powder, the treatment specialist proceeds to administer an oral emetic that induces nausea to create irritation (electric shocks have also been administered). These unpleasant sensations cause the individual to not want to use meth anymore. As you can see, this therapy is not for everyone.
Call Our Meth Addiction Hotline in Dallas, Texas Today
When it comes to treating meth addiction, the process should entail a full continuum of care. It is important to reach out to meth addiction specialists in Dallas, Texas early to learn more about your treatment options. Call our Dallas addiction hotline at (469) 225-0647 today. Our caring call center representatives are more than happy to help you create an individualized treatment plan.