How To Treat A Meth Addiction

How to treat meth addiction

Addiction to meth is one of the types of drug addiction that many people believe is unbeatable due to the prevalence of the drug in small communities around the United States. One of the reasons why beating a meth addiction is so difficult is because stopping use of the drug results in a different impact upon the body from what might be expected of cocaine or heroin withdrawal.

Potency of Meth Addiction

Rather than just force a series of incredibly painful withdrawal symptoms on the patient, a person trying to quit a meth addiction will end up being unable to feel pleasure or happiness for several months after quitting the drug. This concept is referred to as anhedonia. Due to the lifeless feelings people experience after quitting meth, many people feel compelled to begin their addiction anew so as to feel something again. Many people tend to get just a few months of recovery under their belt before feeling the need to relapse. Having some return of feeling and pleasure in simple, ordinary circumstances may take more than a year after an addict stops using meth. The important chemical of dopamine seems to recede in the brain for several months after a meth addiction ends, and this creates an emotional deadness within the addict. This means that treating meth addiction requires more than an experience of withdrawal symptoms for a short time after ceasing drug activities. Meth detox should never be attempted alone, but rather performed in a professional addiction treatment center with treatment specialists available 24/7 to monitor the patient’s health.

Hundreds of Thousands of Users

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration conducts a regular survey to investigate current levels of drug use, and as of 2011, there were almost 440,000 meth users in the United States alone. Fortunately, recent surveys by the National Institute on Drug Abuse suggest that meth use in the United States is going down, but it’s still a problem that impacts everyone from high school students and upward through retirement.

Difficult Statistics for Recovery

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the National Methamphetamine Drug Conference, the recovery rates for a long term drug-free life are extraordinarily low. Official meth addiction recovery statistics suggest that less than 10 percent of addicts who enter a treatment program and get clean will remain drug free. Some doctors even suggest that a return to a methamphetamine addiction is all but inevitable for most users. Unfortunately, this widespread opinion regarding the difficulty of recovery from methamphetamine addiction means that some addicts don’t even try to recover because they know how difficult it will be. It also means small towns and cities dealing with a rise in meth addiction are faced with chronic drug abusers who are a danger to society.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

There are very few examples of proven recovery techniques associated with quitting meth and successfully leaving behind an addiction. There are currently efforts from scientists regarding cognitive behavioral therapy and how it might be a positive impact on those going through the pain of withdrawal and anhedonia. Some interesting studies of cognitive behavioral therapy come from a division of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, where some positive results have been seen thus far. Cognitive behavioral therapy was originally developed to help people abstain from alcohol, but success in that venue soon led to application for cocaine addicts. This type of therapy operates with the assumption that an individual who learned to become a drug addict could learn opposing behaviors and accept a drug-free existence. The therapy starts with the idea that substance abuse is a maladaptive behavioral pattern, and that stopping drug abuse means teaching someone another type of behavior. The primary focus of cognitive behavioral therapy is the teaching of various types of techniques and coping strategies to deal with addiction and fight actively against it. One of the interesting tactics involves the exploration of why drug use might be bad and the benefits of stopping the use of drugs. Cognitive behavioral therapy also requires a lot of self-monitoring from the addicted individual. Specific strategies included in cognitive behavioral therapy may include making a list of the most dangerous situations that would represent the greatest threat to a person’s successful recovery. Another topic for discussion would be how coping with cravings would be helped by specific plans and strategies so that the likelihood of relapse would decrease.

Treatment Length and Scope

When entering a treatment program that may include a type of cognitive behavioral therapy or other therapeutic options, the amount of time for such projects usually varies from one month to six months. Although such therapies are best obtained within the confines of a treatment facility in full inpatient circumstances, many people don’t have the financial resources to obtain such a long treatment schedule and must find a center that offers financing options. The amount of time each week that a person will work on developing strategies to cope with addiction may range from just a few hours a week to at least ten and perhaps more. By approaching each addict as if he has a problem that will last for the rest of his life, lifestyle changes and permanent behaviors may be taught to deal with the difficulties experienced during withdrawal and recovery. Although there is no cure for meth addiction, seeking professional addiction treatment is a truly positive step in helping ensure that addicts will find their way into recovery and will remain drug free.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *