How to Find Effective Treatment for Meth Addiction
Meth ruins lives. In a rivalry that has no real winners, meth and opiate drugs compete to cut down as large a swath of the American population as they can. Both are highly addictive, but meth is particularly dangerous due to its long-lasting effects and tendency to induce psychosis and irrational aggression in users. Professional meth addiction treatment is absolutely essential in order to break the hold this drug gains over the mind and body with repeated use.
The symptoms of meth withdrawal are usually too powerful for the addict to withstand on their own, and can even be life-threatening if not medically managed. Meth also causes physical damage to the brain over time, making it harder for addicts to make rational decisions. So how does meth addiction treatment work? The series of steps below outlines the general process.
STEP 1: Recognition, Acceptance and Assessment of Problem Behavior
Though “casual meth use” does technically exist, it’s relatively rare. While the process of addiction is different for everybody, physical dependency commonly takes hold within a few weeks of use and has been known to take place almost immediately in some cases. Meth users most often end up centering their life around the acquisition and use of the drug, to the detriment of their health and social relationships.
You don’t have to be in the grips of a full-blown addiction to begin the process of recovery. Treatment is recommended for anyone whose use of the drug is causing problems in their life or taking precedence over their normal activities, regardless of whether they are experiencing meth withdrawal symptoms or cravings. The earlier in the process that recovery begins, the easier it is to shake dependency on the drug and the less lasting physical and mental damage there will be.
STEP 2: Detox
If you’ve decided to undertake meth addiction treatment, the first step is to get into a safe and medically supervised environment while the drug is cleared from your system. An appropriate medical detox facility has staff on hand around the clock to intervene with counseling and medication to help ease the withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
Meth detox will usually last at least three days and may take up to a week. Detoxing from meth use takes longer than many other types of drugs due to how long it stays in the system (typically at least three days after being taken). During this period, patients are kept in a clinical facility where they can be monitored and treated at all times. They may be administered safe and non-addictive medications to provide relief of withdrawal symptoms from meth.
STEP 3: Inpatient Treatment
Detox is designed to make sure the drug is out of the patient’s system and get them through the roughest patch of meth withdrawal symptoms. Detox alone doesn’t free a patient from the grips of physical dependency, however. There is an additional “sub-acute” period where the patient still experiences cravings and symptoms of withdrawal. This phase usually lasts for at least another two weeks past the initial detox.
During the sub-acute phase, the patient should be in an ongoing recovery program. In some cases, it is possible to do this on an outpatient basis, with the patient living at their normal residence but visiting the rehab facility most days for counseling, check-ups, medication and support groups. In cases of addiction that are serious and long-lasting, however, it’s best for the patient to be in an inpatient program during this period. They will reside at a sober facility and usually have a structured daily schedule in place designed to manage their symptoms and teach coping skills.
Meth Addiction Treatment: The Surest Road to Recovery
A period of medical detox followed by a rehab program makes meth users three times more likely to not relapse, and more than twice as likely to maintain their long-term sobriety. The numbers don’t lie; professional medical meth addiction treatment is the best path by far to getting off of it for good.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.