Methamphetamine is an extremely addictive stimulant drug that is estimated to affect at least 1 million lives in the U.S. It can be consumed in several different ways such as snorting, swallowing, injecting and smoking the substance, which makes it more accessible to substance users and abusers. The effects of the drug can vary depending on the method of consumption. Common street names include meth, speed, crystal meth, ice, and glass, as it resembles shards of glass crystals.
Methamphetamine is a stimulant that makes an individual feel more alert, active and energetic, by releasing large amounts of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine. When used under a physician’s care, methamphetamine may be prescribed for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and some forms of sleep disorders. But when abused, it can create psychoactive effects in an individual by making them feel invincible, accompanied by powerful euphoric effects. Long term use of methamphetamine creates a host of physical and mental health issues, including significant neurological issues and disorders.
Clinically Reviewed by: Charee Marquez, LMFT
Review Date: 3/1/2023
Methamphetamine creates a massive surge of energy and feel-good feelings immediately upon consumption but then quickly changes to uncomfortable, painful or negative feelings. Chronic use of meth can create long term depression and dysthmia.
Diagnosis and treatment of methamphetamine addiction happens in multiple stages. Because of the highly addictive nature of methamphetamine, relapse is part of the recovery process, so multiple iterations of treatment may be necessary.
Individuals who try to quit on their own may encounter severe withdrawal symptoms which can sometimes be fatal. It is highly recommended that treatment be provided by a licensed medical team under surveillance.
Medical assisted treatment plans may be necessary for the first step of detoxification in order to help with any withdrawal symptoms. In-house residential treatments accompanied by around the clock treatment and surveillance in a safe, sterilized environment are helpful during the critical period of removing the addictive chemicals from the body.
Outpatient Detox options that are less expensive may be offered to those with less severe addiction issues.
After completing the detox phase, all patients are recommended to complete a rehabilitation plan that’s effective for their needs. This may include a combination of several modes of therapy such as behavioral therapies, family therapy, therapy for co-occurring disorders, and mindfulness-based therapies.
Rehab plans are typically carried out within sober living facilities with the guidance of in-house case managers, therapists, counselors and other staff. Sober living facilities also usually provide support for integrating back into the society.
While relapse is not inevitable in all patients, over 75% of patients report relapsing after rehab. Support groups such as 12-step programs, and other non-12-step programs can be a long term source of strength after recovery. These can also help create a supportive network of like minded individuals who can encourage and motivate each other on their journeys.
Yes! With treatment and commitment, you can make a full recovery from methamphetamine addiction. While there is always a risk of relapse, you can go on to live normal lives.
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