Methamphetamine (meth) addiction treatment has become an increasingly urgent public health need over the decades. While its popularity has ebbed and flowed since its introduction into the illicit-drug landscape, meth has been a consistent threat to many Americans, and this threat has only increased in recent years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that meth overdoses have more than doubled over the past fifteen years. The problem has become a particularly urgent threat in rural areas in Texas, Oklahoma, and parts of Washington State. Data from the Pew Research Center indicates that in 2015, nearly five-thousand Americans succumbed to meth overdose, representing a 30 percent increase from the prior year.
Meth very quickly, and sometimes permanently, negatively impacts the body, brain, and the rest of the central nervous system. It’s imperative that users seek treatment as soon as a problem is identified. Effective meth addiction treatment must address the physical and emotional aspects of the disease, which can range from mild to severe depending upon the scope and duration of abuse. The two fundamental elements of meth addiction treatment include:
Detox and Withdrawal Management. The meth withdrawal period can be particularly arduous and unpredictable. It’s important to remember that the contents of meth can vary greatly from batch to batch, as the drug is often cooked up in makeshift domestic labs. To that end, meth users need medically supervised detox and withdrawal management to help them mitigate their symptoms and to intervene in the event of a medical emergency. Meth detox typically lasts around five to seven days but can vary according to a patient’s progress and ongoing symptoms.
Some of the more common meth withdrawal symptoms include, but are not limited to:
These symptoms will dissipate over time; however, they can take months to finally fully subside.
Behavioral Rehab. Prolonged and untreated meth abuse can severely impact a user’s mental health and quality of life; as a result, many users often require intense behavioral rehab to repair the damage and relearn certain life skills that will help them effectively transition back into their everyday lives. While meth addiction treatment is offered in inpatient, outpatient, and intensive outpatient (IOP) models, it is highly recommended that those suffering from serious addiction seek residential (inpatient) care.
The primary focus of behavioral rehab is to help patients recognize and safely manage the emotional factors that drive and sustain their substance abuse, so they can live safely, productively, and independently in recovery without the constant threat of relapse and withdrawal.
Rehab offers a variety of therapeutic resources, including:
After patients complete their initial treatment program, they may be eligible for sober-living residences where they can continue toward recovery while incrementally re-establishing themselves in their everyday lives and family dynamics. Aftercare plans feature referral resources to addiction-trained mental health professionals and recovery meetings in their area.
Meth addiction very quickly yields a variety of physical and psychological indicators. Unfortunately, those addicted seldom get help on their own, so it’s often up to friends and loved ones to identify signs.
Some of the most common symptoms of meth addiction treatment include:
It’s critical that patients experiencing these symptoms, or any others related to their meth use, get help immediately. There are more resources than ever to make meth addiction treatment affordable and accessible, including increased state Medicaid subsidies and certain employer-sponsored health insurance plans.
The longer you or a loved one engages in untreated meth abuse, the more vulnerable you become to overdose and other serious long-term health risks. You don’t have to be a victim of the endless cycle of relapse and withdrawal. Get the help you need today to start fighting back.
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