How to treat crystal meth addiction
Crystal meth addiction is dangerous because use of meth is a race with time. Here, we explain how can you recognize a crystal meth addict and then present you with the big picture – what treatment options exist? Then, in the case of any questions, we invite you to ask about help with crystal meth addiction and its treatment at the end. We try to respond to all questions personally and promptly.
Crystal meth addiction treatment: Are you even addicted?
People with an addiction to crystal meth exhibit very different and easily noticeable behavior during use. When they are high, crystal meth addicts do not feel hunger, fatigue nor they orient in time and space. In fact, one of the most common signs of a crystal meth addict is to observe his sleeping schedule. If a person can stay up for days at a time followed by an extreme crash, where s/he sleeps for long period of time, this is another signal of addiction to crystal meth.
Further signs of meth addiction include extreme weight loss due to an affected immune system and malnutrition. Rotten teeth is another symptom of crystal meth addiction, accompanied with sores on the mouth and face. Crystal meth seriously affects the skin and causes abscesses that often become infected. Periods of sickness are considered to be a normal thing, but unfortunately go unnoticed by the addict. High temperature, or a minor cough could endanger vital organs. However, all of these symptom can be mistaken for other diseases.
The psychological symptoms of crystal meth addiction include:
- aggressive behavior
- mood instability
- suicidal thoughts
Treating crystal meth addiction
Specialized treatment centers offer a variety of services for treating addiction to crystal meth. Bear in mind that a combination of pharmacological and behavioral treatments usually work best, although addiction treatment should be catered and customized to the individual.
1. Pharmacological treatments
Pharmacological (medications) may help in treating crystal meth addiction. However, many medications for crystal meth addiction treatment do not have high efficacy in preventing drug relapse in the majority of methamphetamine users. The reason for this is that chronic use of meth can cause serious damage to the brain cells. At some point, brain neurons become resistant to therapeutic intervention.
But, professional addiction specialists encourage us to not to lose hope. There is always a chance for a new discovery of a medication, strong enough to address crystal meth addiction withdrawal symptoms. This is suggested by the very preliminary findings that bupropion and the opioid-receptor antagonist naltrexone can influence aspects of amphetamine cravings.
2. Behavioral and psychological treatments
A combination of treatments which target patterned responses can help crystal meth addicts remain abstinent from meth. Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on understanding the role of crystal meth abuse in a person’s life and fosters the development of coping skills to avoid addiction relapse. The Matrix model is a structured, multi-faceted and simplified approach. And contingency management employs operant conditioning principles to reinforce positive consequences. These methods have helped crystal meth addicts experience longer periods of abstinence than those who undergo little to no psychological therapy.
Treatment for crystal meth addiction
Once you decide to help a crystal meth addict, you can seek help from medical or mental health professionals who can supervise and guide the treatment. Licensed clinical social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists or you personal physician are a good place to start. Likewise, a spiritual leader can often help you deal with addiction, when you are ready to seek treatment. Other sources of treatment for addiction include:
Detox clinics – Crystal meth detox clinics are medical clinics wherein doctors and nurses supervise the process of detoxification when crystal meth is leaving the system. A period of withdrawal symptoms often requires 24/7 medical supervision and attention in order to increase chances of success.
Mental health professionals – Clinical psychologists or psychiatrists specializing in addiction treatment can offer applicable and useful advice for crystal meth addiction. Services provided by either of these professionals are often implemented within treatment programs.
Support groups – Non formal facilitated meetings among peers ochelp former addicts share and mentor one another to encourage positive outcomes in recovery. Support and understanding is what count here the most.
Treatment centers– A crystal meth addiction treatment center is a facility where patients could choose between combinations of addiction treatments, either as a resident for several months or on an outpatient basis.
How to treat crystal meth addiction questions
We hope we have managed to inform you on the basics of how to treat crystal meth addiction. However, if there are any questions you still have, feel free to post them in the comments section below. We will try to answer each questions personally and as soon as possible.
References Sources: NIH: The Burden and Management of Crystal Meth Use
NIDA: Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment
Photo credit: JohnMKimmins