Crystal Meth Addiction Treatment

  1. Article SummaryPrint
  2. Crystal Meth Addiction
  3. Crystal Meth Detox
  4. Crystal Meth Rehab
  5. Life After Rehab

Crystal meth addiction treatment is widely available to those seeking help in battling their methamphetamine addictions. Treatment in a detox and rehabilitation facility is recommended for those dependent on crystal meth due to the strong withdrawal symptoms encountered when stopping crystal meth use. Within a treatment program, a user can find the help needed to get through the crystal meth withdrawal period and deal with the underlying causes of the addiction. A program specializing in crystal meth addiction treatment can help to break physical dependency on the drug while reducing psychological dependency to aid in long-term recovery.

Crystal Meth Addiction

Crystal meth is a nickname given to a crystalized form of methamphetamine. The drug is a powerful stimulant that can be snorted, smoked, or injected, though most crystal meth is smoked for quick and easy access. Once in the user's system, the meth causes euphoria, an increase in energy, and a decrease in appetite. Crystal meth is often manufactured in small amateur laboratories with legally obtained ingredients. After manufacture, the drug is sold illegally under a variety of names including meth, speed, crank, and ice. Crystal meth was first synthesized in Japan in 1919 through chemist Akira Ogata's reduction of the drug ephedrine.

Use of crystal meth often begins early in life during the user's teenage years, leading many young users toward crystal meth addiction treatment. According to a Monitoring the Future survey conducted in 2009 by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1.2 percent of high-school seniors report using crystal meth in the previous year, with 2.4 percent reporting at least one use during their lifetimes. The same survey reports use by eighth graders in the previous year to be at 1 percent, with lifetime use at 1.6 percent. There are signs of use that family members can look for to catch meth addiction early.

Signs of short-term use of crystal meth include:

  • Incessant talking
  • Periods of irritability
  • Disturbances in normal sleep patterns
  • Increased aggression
  • Repetitive behavior

Signs of long-term crystal meth use include:

  • Weight loss
  • Dry mouth
  • Sores around and inside the mouth
  • Rotten teeth
  • Collapsed jawline
  • Severe depression

"Crystal meth is a party drug..."
Crystal meth addiction treatment programs are widely available due to the increasing use of the drug outside of urban areas. Crystal meth is a party drug, and has become widely available. This increasing availability has led to an increase in the number of users becoming addicted to the substance, as well as an increase in the number of users seeking out treatment. Addiction to crystal meth develops quickly due largely to the effect that the drug has on the user. Crystal meth releases dopamine, which causes cravings. With each use of the drug, the cravings created by dopamine release become more closely associated with crystal meth. This association leads the user to develop psychological dependence, which is difficult to break without crystal meth addiction treatment.

The amount of crystal meth required to achieve a high varies for each user. This makes predicting how much to take difficult. Overdoses can occur with relatively small levels of the drug. An overdose can occur in users who have not built up tolerance to crystal meth after taking only 50 milligrams of the drug. An overdose can occur very quickly.

Symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Convulsions
  • High fever
  • High spike in blood pressure
  • Sweating
  • Spotty vision

Crystal meth also provides a lasting high at a low cost per dose. One dose of the drug can keep the user high for up to 24 hours. Crystal meth addiction treatment consists primarily of a period of detoxification under medical supervision, followed by crystal meth withdrawal and intensive behavioral counseling. To learn more about crystal meth addiction and treatment, call 1-800-928-9139.

Crystal Meth Detox

"Although medication can help to reduce the withdrawal symptoms of the detoxing patient, it cannot stop the symptoms entirely."Few physical symptoms are experienced by patients going through crystal meth detox. However, the psychological withdrawal can be extremely uncomfortable, beginning as soon as the last dose wears off and peaking within 24 hours. The initial withdrawal period, during which the symptoms are most severe, lasts about three or four days, but some symptoms may continue for weeks or months after the last dose of crystal meth is taken.

The detoxification procedure for crystal meth addiction treatment involves rest and nourishment intended to help the patient's body recover from extended use of the drug. Withdrawal from crystal meth use can be uncomfortable. Patients going through crystal meth withdrawal often experience multiple withdrawal symptoms. Because there is no way to predict the severity of the withdrawal symptoms for each individual, users are encouraged to go through withdrawal while under the care of a detoxification facility.

Some symptoms experienced during crystal meth withdrawal include:

  • Fatigue
  • Lethargy
  • Increased appetite
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Aggression
  • Cravings
  • Severe depression with suicidal thoughts

Because some of the withdrawal symptoms can be severe, a crystal meth user may decide to return to use of the drug rather than continue through the withdrawal process. Going through withdrawal while participating in a crystal meth addiction treatment program, which often involves therapy and medication, and receiving care from medical personnel can help to reduce these symptoms.

Although medication can help to reduce the withdrawal symptoms of the detoxing patient, it cannot stop the symptoms entirely. Patients in detox often receive anxiolytics and anti-depressants to help with symptoms of anxiety and depression caused by psychological withdrawal. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, use of the medication may be extended until well after finishing crystal meth addiction treatment. Withdrawal symptoms tend to diminish with the passage of time. Use of crystal meth changes the chemistry of the brain, but the recovery process reestablishes healthy brain chemistry, which alleviates the negative symptoms associated with ending meth use.

Crystal Meth Rehab

Even after going through detox, a former crystal meth user still experiences cravings for the drug. In the beginning, these cravings may be so severe that a return to drug use is difficult to resist. To aid the former user in developing the means to resist a relapse, a crystal meth addiction treatment program that includes therapy and drug avoidance training is generally recommended. To locate a rehab facility in your area, you can call 1-800-928-9139, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Crystal meth counseling uses a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy, frequent drug testing, and family education programs within a crystal meth rehab facility. Treatment programs vary in length, but most programs last up to 30, 60, or 90 days. Longer programs are generally the most effective for long-term recovery success.

The goal of any crystal meth addiction treatment program is that of behavioral modification. For a treatment to result in long-lasting success, the patient must replace the addictive behavior of taking meth with less destructive behaviors. For the former user, this often means a complete lifestyle change. To remain clean, the patient must avoid those things that trigger meth use. This can include friends or family members who supported or encouraged meth use, or situations where the use of meth often occurred. The therapy process can take months, as the triggers are not easily determined. Even after determining the triggers for meth use, the therapist and patient must still take the time to develop alternative coping and avoidance techniques as a replacement for the former coping method of drug use. This time-consuming but valuable process is the primary reason why crystal meth addiction treatment programs can take many months.

"The goal of any crystal meth addiction treatment program is that of behavioral modification."Along with one-on-one therapy sessions, psychological treatment in a crystal meth rehab program also occurs in group settings. These group sessions usually consist of other patients undergoing rehab and a counselor. During a peer group session, patients are given the opportunity to share their experiences of using crystal meth while listening to the experiences of others. This sharing reduces the feeling of isolation that is typical among drug users, showing the patient that there are others out there who have the same issues with crystal meth addiction. This sharing also helps the patient develop further skills of drug avoidance. The patient can learn from the experiences of others what situations to avoid in order to prevent a relapse.

Another kind of group therapy often encountered while undergoing crystal meth addiction treatment is family therapy, which involves the patient's close family members. Taking crystal meth can be disruptive to ongoing familial relations. Repairing the ruptures caused during drug use is a large part of the process of reestablishing a new life in a clean and sober world. With the aid of the drug counselor, the family is able to confront the patient about the effects of his or her drug use on the family unit. At the same time, the counselor can help the family and the patient understand crystal meth abuse and its effects. By using a trained counselor from the crystal meth addiction treatment program as a mediator, steps can be taken by the patient and the family towards healing any damage caused through the meth use. For help in choosing a rehab center that can provide you with the help you need, contact a treatment advisor at 1-800-928-9139.

Life After Rehab

After the completion of crystal meth rehab, the recovering patient often still suffers from the extended effects of psychological withdrawal symptoms. Since these symptoms include cravings, the recovering patient needs to practice the coping methods learned during rehab to avoid a relapse. Fortunately, the patient doesn't have to face the temptation to continue meth use alone. There are a wide variety of support groups available that can help the recovering patient through the post-facility recovery process.

These support groups are much like those encountered while still in the facility offering crystal meth addiction treatment. A group of former users meets frequently to support one another through the recovery process. As with group therapy sessions during treatment programs, the group interacts primarily through the sharing of stories about each member's personal experiences with addiction and recovery. Although it is not likely that all members of the group will be former crystal meth users, the experience of drug addiction is similar enough that the recovering patient can obtain information about dealing with recovery in the world outside the treatment facility.

Along with support groups, the recovering patient can continue with therapy on an outpatient basis, either with the same counselor from the treatment facility, or with another therapist familiar with crystal meth addiction treatment. During this continuing therapy, the patient concentrates on the underlying causes of the addiction. This is done in an effort to find ways to deal with those underlying causes now that the use of crystal meth is no longer an option. With each underlying cause found and dealt with, the strength of the triggers that lead to the use of crystal meth should lessen.

Crystal meth use can cause a great deal of difficulty for users, whose lives are affected widely. Everything from the user's job performance to the user's family can be damaged by extended use of drugs such as crystal meth. In addition, heath issues can result from drug use that can seriously affect the user's quality of life.

Recovery from crystal meth addiction is possible, and a crystal meth addiction treatment program increases the chances of recovery greatly. A program that monitors the detoxification process, followed by rehabilitation treatment, can give the meth user precisely the help needed for recovery. Extended post-facility work with support groups and therapists can help users maintain their commitment to long-term recovery. A vital part of beating an addiction is commitment on the part of the crystal meth user and a desire to get better. Once that commitment is made, a single phone call to a national hotline can lead the user to a facility that will help them through the recovery process. For more information about crystal meth addiction treatment program availability and facility locations, call 1-800-928-9139 to speak to a treatment advisor who can answer your questions confidentially.