Methamphetamine is a psychoactive drug that is a psychostimulant in the amphetamine and phenethylamine class of drugs. This Schedule II drug is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of exogenous obesity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In the United States, it is dispensed as Desoxyn through prescription only without a refill option. Although the prescription is available, there are many methamphetamine labs that make the drug for street use. Methamphetamine is also referred to as ice, speed, meth, glass, crystal, chalk and crank. It is a highly addictive drug that increases energy, concentration, alertness, enhances self esteem and induces a sense of euphoria.
Abuse Symptoms and Signs of Addiction
If you are considering methamphetamine addiction treatment for you or a loved one, it is important to know what signs and symptoms to look for. Some of the physical symptoms and signs of abuse that you notice can differ depending on how the drug is administered. For instance, users who inject the drug directly into their blood stream may show marks on their arms, while users who smoke the methamphetamines may not. Other forms of administration include anal or vaginal insertion, swallowing and snorting. In addition to the physical signs of use and abuse, there are personality changes and physiological symptoms to look for. To learn more about detox and rehabilitation, call at any time.
The most frequent effects of methamphetamine abuse include violent behavior, irritability, paranoia, anxiety and aggressive behavior. The user typically experiences frequent mood swings, seeming friendly one moment and turning hostile the next. The paranoia that is experienced from the use of this drug contributes to the dramatic mood swings, hyperactive behavior and suspiciousness. This paranoia also contributes to the distorted tendency to lean toward violence. When considering methamphetamine addiction treatment, it is also helpful to understand why this drug appeals to most users. Methamphetamine users experience:
- Increased energy
- Increased alertness
- Heightened metabolism
Meth mouth is a well-known sign of abuse and addiction to methamphetamines. Meth mouth is the term that is used to describe the condition that users and addicts experience when they lose their teeth at an abnormally quick rate. The American Dental Association states that the condition is likely caused by a combination of dry mouth, long periods of poor oral hygiene, teeth grinding and the frequent consumption of carbonated beverages. It is also suggested that this condition is caused by the caustic nature of the actual drug itself.
Some of the signs and symptoms you can expect to find with methamphetamine addiction include:
- Severe dental decay
- Skin infections
- Scratching at the illusion of bugs under the skin
- Hair pulling
- Head banging
- Dismantling and reassembling objects
- Repetitive washing of self
When speaking in terms of personality changes, methamphetamine users commonly experience an artificial boost in self esteem and confidence that comes from the drug use. They may deny the need for methamphetamine addiction treatment, believing they can quit using on their own. It has been referred to as the superman syndrome, since users ignore their physical abilities and attempt feats that they normally would not be able to perform. Other personality changes include energy and hyperactivity that is not normal followed by long crash periods that can last up to 48 hours or more. Physically, you may notice involuntary body movements, sweating that smells like cat urine, weight loss and welts on the skin from excessive scratching due to dry skin and itching.
Types of Methamphetamine Abuse and Stages
“Low-intensity users typically swallow or snort the drug…”
There are three patterns of methamphetamine abuse: low intensity, binge and high intensity. Low-intensity users typically swallow or snort the drug, and are not psychologically addicted to it. Binge and high-intensity users seek a quick high that is more intense. These users prefer to inject or smoke the drug to achieve this result.
The binge abuse pattern has seven different stages: cycle-rush, high, binge, tweaking, crash, normal and withdrawal. The abuse pattern for high-intensity users includes the same stages, but does not have the normal or withdrawal stages. The most dangerous stage, whether in methamphetamine addiction treatment or at home, is the tweaking stage. This is simply the stage in which the user has not slept in several days and is extremely paranoid and irritable. This is dangerous because the user does not need to be provoked in order to react violently. The violent acts could be a result of a hallucination and are dangerous to the abuser and anyone around. If you are seeking addiction treatment at a private facility, call toll-free 24/7.
There are physical and psychological effects that are experienced when using and abusing methamphetamines. Some of the effects depend on the severity and length of time the user has abused this drug. Some of the physical effects that can be experienced include:
- Dilated pupils
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
- Stroke, heart attack, death and convulsions with high doses or chronic use
Other physiological effects that are experienced from methamphetamine use can include seizures, breakdown of muscle tissue, kidney failure and excessive fluid in the skull, brain tissue and lungs. These effects may be recognized during methamphetamine addiction treatment if a thorough examination is completed. For more information on detox and rehab, call any time, day or night. Some of the psychological effects that can be experienced include:
- Increased libido
- Increased self-esteem
- Obsessive and repetitive behaviors
- Excessive feelings of invincibility and power
- Delusions of grandiosity
- Increased energy
- Amphetamine psychosis with high doses or chronic use
When stopping the use of methamphetamines, there are withdrawal symptoms that occur that may last for a number of days or months. One dose of methamphetamine can stay in the abuser’s system for up to two days. The length of time that one experiences these withdrawal symptoms depends on the length of time the drug was used and the amount of the drug that was taken. Call for more information on detox and rehabilitation. Some of these symptoms include:
- Increased appetite
- Suicidal ideation
- Deep REM sleep
- Lucid or vivid dreams
Methamphetamine detox is a part of the addiction treatment process. The complete process of methamphetamine addiction treatment consists of detox followed by rehabilitation. There are no medications that have been approved to be used for the treatment of methamphetamine addiction. Although this is the case, there are several treatment options available for you to choose from for you or your loved one. The severity of the addiction will help determine the best treatment option for you.
Methamphetamine Rehab Centers
Depending on the extent of the addiction, as well as a number of other factors, you or your loved one may need to enroll in a methamphetamine addiction treatment program. Find a rehab facility that is right for you by calling , 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These programs are available at rehabilitation centers across the nation and include inpatient and outpatient services. Some methamphetamine rehab centers focus primarily on certified addiction counseling while others have a main focus on detoxification and residential rehab. Before enrolling in a rehab center, make sure you understand the types of programs that are offered.
“The first step in any addiction recovery process is to detox the drug out of the body.”The first step in any addiction recovery process is to detox the drug out of the body. Some rehab centers have a detox center within the same facility. Detox centers provide you with 24-hour medical supervision, psychiatric care, access to an experienced medical staff, individualized treatment plans and a withdrawal process that prevents medical complications and suffering. The amount of time that the patient spends in the detox center is dependent on the severity of the addiction. It is vital that the patient is honest with the medical provider so that the most fitting treatment plan is organized.
After the detox portion of the methamphetamine addiction treatment plan has been completed, the patient will then move onto the actual rehab program. The goal of any addiction program is to provide the patient with the tools and information needed to achieve long-term abstinence from the drug. Choosing the right treatment center may seem difficult. Contact a treatment advisor at to answer your questions. These addiction programs:
- Develop a plan for relapse prevention
- Provide the patient with education on addiction
- Improve the patient’s daily living skills
- Help improve and develop interpersonal relationships
- Address the patient’s psychiatric and medical needs
- Provide the patient with medical and nutritional management counseling
- Use a family program to help facilitate family healing
- Develop a workable aftercare plan
Each rehab center will differ in the philosophy and approaches that are used to deal with the methamphetamine addiction treatment. You can choose from some programs that are designed to handle patients in a particular age group, such as seniors or adolescents. Other types of treatment programs are designed with two different components: the medical and addiction components. The medical component includes medical supervision, medication management, ongoing evaluations and physicians who are experienced in addiction treatment. The addiction component includes various therapies such as family therapy, relationship groups, vocational rehab groups, trauma groups, life skills training, spiritual groups and alternative therapies.
The amount of time you stay at an addiction treatment center can also depend on the type of funding that is used. The typical length of treatment that private insurance companies will cover is 15 days, but can go up to six weeks. Federally funded residential centers can offer the patient treatment for up to six months. There are five different types of rehab centers and treatment options that the patient can enroll in: inpatient detoxification, inpatient rehabilitation treatment, residential rehabilitation, partial hospitalization program and intensive outpatient program.
When speaking in terms of actual methamphetamine addiction treatment programs, there are a few different types of programs the patient can choose from. The therapeutic community option is a mental health approach to the addiction recovery. The other options include a free-standing addiction treatment center, hospital-based rehabilitation unit and long-term residential treatment. Some of the specialty programs that are offered include camps, farms, religious farms and community-based substance abuse treatment.
Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment Options
Cognitive-behavioral interventions are the most effective treatment options for methamphetamine addiction. These comprehensive interventions have been shown to be highly effective when it comes to reducing methamphetamine abuse. The Matrix Model is an example of a comprehensive cognitive-behavioral treatment intervention that has proven to be successful. This approach to behavioral treatment is a combination of behavioral therapy, 12-step support, individual counseling, drug testing, family education and nondrug-related activity encouragement.
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Another treatment option that has proven successful is contingency management intervention. This type of treatment method involves the patient receiving a reward for certain behaviors. In terms of methamphetamine addiction treatment, this can include rewards for successful completion of drug screenings and regular attendance to counseling sessions. This type of intervention has shown to be efficient and effective as an addition to traditional drug treatment.
For those who have a long-term dependence and addiction to methamphetamine, inpatient hospitalization is an option. This option is ideal for severe cases of addiction because it provides the patient with ongoing care and supervision. In this case, the patient is also restricted from gaining access to the drug through outside means. After a patient has experienced the withdrawal symptoms and has detoxed, intense outpatient treatment is the next route to go. This can include completion of the Matrix Model, cognitive behavioral therapy or contingency management. Ideally, the patient should attend a counseling session from three to five days each week for at least the first three months of outpatient treatment. To find a treatment facility for detox and rehabilitation, call at any time every day of the week.
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