The First Day of Crystal Meth Rehab

first day
First day of meth rehabilitation

The decision to quit crystal meth takes courage. Stopping crystal meth use is often a terrifying, devastating, and personally humiliating experience. According to authors Lara Norquist and Frank Spaulding, (“The Truth About Methamphetamine and Crystal Meth,”) almost 10 percent of drug-related Emergency Room admissions in the past decade are methamphetamine abuse cases. About 15,000 meth abusers die every year. Coming down from a high may cause violent or aggressive behaviors. That day is not a day to be alone. Crystal meth medical detoxification is a crucial step in getting clean.

Crystal Meth Addiction Symptoms

According to “Cocaine and Methamphetamine Addiction,” a small percentage of crystal meth users do not become addicted. Unfortunately, those who do become crystal Meth addicts show crystal meth addiction symptoms relatively quickly. Before and after pictures show a rapid decline in physical appearance from months to two years of crystal meth use. Not every addict will have all symptoms, but common symptoms include:

  • Appetite loss; weight loss
  • Dilated pupils; twitching eyes
  • ‘Manic phase’ hyperactivity & seizures
  • Memory loss
  • Mood disturbances
  • Psychosis: hallucinations (auditory, visual), paranoia
  • Repetitive, aggressive, anxious, paranoid behaviors

Jeremy Harrow (“Crystal Meth”) writes that crystal users develop bulging, angry red ‘speed bumps’ or crank sores caused by crystal’s absorption into the skin. These sores erupt all over the face and body. The bumps can become infected and cause permanent scars. The user’s skin thins and takes on a yellowish cast; the eyes appear hollow. The crystal meth user looks much older than their years.

Track sores that develop from hypodermic needle use can also be a symptom of crystal meth abuse. (Researchers say that most women crystal users smoke or snort the drug, rather than inject it.) The development of “meth mouth” (simultaneous bruxism, jaw clenching, gum disease, and toxic chemicals present in meth) causes serious dental issues. Over time, the crystal user loses teeth and grinds teeth to brown or black stumps. Meth users don’t smile because of the extremely frightening appearance of their teeth and gums.

Urgent Detox Treatment for Crystal Meth Addiction

The crystal meth user often requires urgent professional detox treatment on the first day of rehab. The goals of day one involve management of symptoms, support therapies, and keeping the patient safe. He or she may be present with the crystal meth addiction intoxication and/or other drug and alcohol abuse symptoms. He or she may seem extremely agitated or unpredictable. If the patient presents with hyperthermia, cooling treatments are administered, including hydration and nutrition.

Possible Tests Needed to Treat Crystal Addicts From the First Day of Rehab

The admitting medical team performs diagnostic tests, e.g. urinalysis to determine whether crystal remains in the body (up to 48 hours after use). Hair analysis may be performed to identify the presence of heavy metals and toxins. Laboratory tests aimed at symptoms include blood testing, e.g. creatine kinase (CK), ECG, FBC, etc. Chest x-rays may be performed if the patient presents with pulmonary symptoms. Hypertension drugs (e.g. IV beta blockers) may be administered. A CT scan may be performed to identify issues relating to altered mental status. The patient may be tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) including HIV, or pregnancy testing for females.

Treatment on the First Day of Crystal Meth Rehab

Most crystal addicts report that coming down from a crystal high almost always involves the addict’s need for sleep and nutritional replenishment. The first day through the first week of rehab involves almost constant sleep. Sleep is the body’s first response in healing itself from the effects of toxic chemicals in crystal meth. This period is often called the “crash” by crystal addicts in recovery. A physical and emotional crash occurs as the brain’s impaired dopamine transmitters respond. Some crystal users report the crash is only a few days long. For other, long-term users, the crash may last up to a month. This period of recovery is also called “sleep, drink, and eat” phase. The bodies of some addicts are so weakened, they cannot immediately drink and eat without support.

The recovering addict receives the physical support needed to rest. Sleep and waking cycles may need adjustment, and the rehab medical team may prescribe sleep aids to re-establish the sleep cycle. Because the addict may not have eaten or hydrated properly for days or weeks, or may experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea as the body recovers from crystal, the doctor may choose total parental nutrition (TPN) if the patient is cleared for this delivery method.

Healthy nutrition combines carbohydrates and sugars (energy), proteins (muscle support), lipids, trace elements, and electrolytes. Administered electrolytes include chloride, sodium, phosphate, potassium, and magnesium. They are needed to maintain the recovering addict’s organ function, such as the heart and nervous system. Trace elements include chromium, copper, zinc, and manganese. These nutrients support the recovering addict’s ability to be rehydrated.

The Need for Rest and Recovery

Supporting the body’s need to sleep, the patient may practice such relaxing methods as yoga, acupuncture and massage therapy.

As the patient recovers, he is offered regular healthy meals and snacks. As the sleeping cycle regulates, the patient may ask for sleep aids. These potentially addictive drugs should not be administered to the recovering addict. The attending physician helps the addict to avoid drugs that might cause complications or extend the recovery period.

 

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