Methamphetamine is easy to create and obtain, making it a popular drug among people with substance abuse disorders. Approximately 1.6 million people in the United States reported using meth in the past 12 months, according to a recent study by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
Meth is a powerful stimulant that affects the central nervous system and changes the chemistry of your brain. Users experience symptoms such as euphoria, increased energy and activity, talkativeness and a decreased appetite. It can also cause dangerous behavioral changes such as aggression and other erratic behaviors that put you and others at risk.
The severe physical and psychological effects of meth make it one of the most dangerous drugs being used today. It can be more harmful than other stimulants because it stays in your body and affects your brain for longer periods. Over time, meth can destroy the synapses in your brain’s pleasure center, which makes it difficult to experience any kind of pleasure without using the drug. Physically, meth takes a toll on your body and heavy use can lead to a stroke or death.
If you are addicted to methamphetamine, you may go through stretches where you use heavily and don’t eat or sleep for several days in a row. This is one reason why people who use meth may suddenly lose weight. Another symptom is losing interest in the things that used to bring you pleasure. Relationships, hobbies, friendships and careers often get neglected when you use meth regularly.
Even though you may attempt to hide your meth use, it becomes the focal point in your life, overshadowing all your other interests. This is because meth has the power to change how you think and feel – you may have started out as an occasional “recreational” user, but meth can soon take control of your life.
Some other behavioral and physical symptoms of meth use include:
When you use meth, you may also go through a period called “tweaking” toward the end of a binge, when you experience intense anxiety and sleeplessness. This can last a few days or a couple of weeks. Tweaking can cause side effects such as paranoia, confusion and irritability. or even hallucinations and violent behavior, depending on the severity of your addiction.
After tweaking, you are likely to experience a “crash” phase after as your body adjusts to the sudden lack of dopamine the meth was previously supplying. This causes extreme exhaustion and depression. You may sleep a lot, and your cravings for more meth may become more intense.
Our meth rehabilitation program at Discovery Point begins with detoxification but also goes much further to ensure your long-term sobriety. During the recovery process, we guide you through detox and any necessary medical treatment, and we discover and treat co-occurring mental health disorders that may contribute to your addiction. Case managers, therapists and clinicians work together to create a treatment plan that fits your specific needs.
During detox, our medical staff offers around-the-clock support to administer your prescribed medications, manage your withdrawal symptoms and keep you as safe and comfortable as possible. Depending on the severity of your drug addiction, your withdrawal symptoms may range from mild to severe, which is why it is important that you go through detox in a clinical setting. Trying to go through detox on your own can be dangerous, even fatal.
After detox, once your body and brain has been cleansed of meth, we begin working on how you will avoid addiction in the future. The goal is to provide you with skills to manage your cravings, and to provide a strong support community that helps keep you on track for the duration of your recovery journey.
Recovering from an addiction to methamphetamine requires the full continuum of care to ensure sobriety. Throughout each stage of recovery we work with you on cognition skills, developing healthy coping mechanisms, challenging irrational thinking, and maintaining sobriety despite triggering environments. Your treatments may include:
This psychological support is especially important for anyone trying to beat a meth addiction. Throughout your personalized rehab program, we teach you to understand your triggers and learn positive ways to handle stress that might otherwise cause a relapse. Rehab also offers family counseling, where you closest friends and family members learn the complications, symptoms and psychological barriers of substance use disorders.
After rehabilitation, case managers and clinicians devise a follow-up plan for your post-recovery treatment. Aftercare support plans include measurable goals and continuing addiction recovery support to help you maintain your hard-earned sobriety for the long term.