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Meth Recovery & Treatment | Addressing Meth Addiction

Published on January 25, 2021
Meth Recovery & Treatment | Addressing Meth Addiction

Recovering from meth addiction may seem daunting. It is highly addictive, affects brain chemistry, and can lead to physical and behavioral health problems. However, there are several effective treatment options if you or a loved one wants to stop using meth or crystal meth

Addiction treatment can help restore healthy brain activity, improve mental health, and lower the risk of relapse and overdose. The best treatment plan for you will depend on your individual needs and circumstances.

Why You Should Quit Meth

Meth is a central nervous system stimulant that produces rapid and powerful effects. It impacts your brain’s reward system by increasing the neurotransmitter dopamine (the feel-good chemical).

Higher doses and using more frequently can lead to substance use disorder and unpleasant side-effects, such as irritability, anxiety, and mood swings. Some people may experience psychosis, a dangerous side-effect that may involve paranoia and hallucinations. 

Other long-term effects of methamphetamine abuse may include:

Due to the damaging effects of methamphetamine use and addiction, consider entering an individualized treatment program that can pave the way for a drug-free life.

Meth Addiction Treatment Programs

Your treatment plan will likely depend on the severity of your addiction, your goals, and individual needs. 

The following factors may be considered when personalizing your treatment plan:

  • length of your addiction
  • method of use 
  • mental health
  • physical health
  • use of other drugs or alcohol

Your addiction treatment plan may include:

Medical Detox

Once you become physically dependent on methamphetamine, you may experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop. Possible symptoms of meth withdrawal include severe depression, anxiety, fatigue, and intense cravings. 

Detoxing in a supervised environment can help you avoid relapse during the difficult stages of withdrawal. You are monitored 24/7 by healthcare professionals who assess your symptoms and give you medication if necessary.

Inpatient/Residential Treatment

Inpatient treatment removes you from an environment that may be associated with drug use, triggers, and influences. You are placed in a highly structured environment with supportive peers and professionals. 

You will likely have access to counseling and activities that encourage a healthy recovery. 

Your daily schedule may include the following:

  • group therapy
  • individual therapy
  • behavioral therapy
  • support groups
  • wellness activities
  • peer support groups

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

A PHP provides the structure of an inpatient program and the flexibility of an outpatient program. After being assessed, you will be given a daily treatment schedule, which may include individual counseling, groups, and healthy activities.

Depending on your treatment plan, day treatment may include:

  • individual or group therapy
  • family therapy
  • behavioral therapy
  • peer support groups
  • wellness activities
  • addiction education

You attend the treatment center during the day and return home after your sessions. These programs are best for individuals who have already completed an inpatient program and/or have a supportive home environment. 

Behavioral Therapy

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), behavioral therapy is the most effective treatment for meth addiction. Behavioral therapy is often incorporated in many inpatient and outpatient programs. 

The two most commonly used behavioral therapies for treating meth addiction include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and contingency management (CM). 

Cognitive-behavioral therapy

CBT focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviors while learning health coping skills. CBT may also incorporate individual and group therapy, family education, and motivational interviewing. 

Contingency management

CM targets the brain’s reward center (which is affected by drug use) by reinforcing positive behavior with rewards. CM may be combined with medications or other types of therapy. 

Psychiatric & Medical Treatment

Chronic meth use can cause several physical and psychological health complications. While some of these conditions may improve with abstinence, others may require pharmaceutical treatment. 

Conditions that may require pharmaceutical treatment during recovery include:

Medication-Assisted Treatment

There are currently no FDA approved medications to treat stimulant dependence or methamphetamine addiction. However, several medications are being studied for their effectiveness in reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Medications currently being studied for methamphetamine dependence include:

  • modafinil: non-amphetamine stimulant
  • bupropion: antidepressant
  • methylphenidate: stimulant
  • dextroamphetamine: stimulant
  • risperidone: antipsychotic
  • rivastigmine: used in dementia treatment
  • naltrexone: opioid antagonist

If you or a loved one would like more information about meth addiction treatment, please contact Ark Behavioral Health today.

Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
This page does not provide medical advice.
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