A Schedule II stimulant drug, methamphetamine has the ability to affect the central nervous system and is considered one of the most addictive and destructive drugs. Also known by other names, including “meth,” “crystal” and “ice,” the drug works by increasing the amount of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s pleasure, reward and motivation centers, and its rapid release in the reward region of the brain makes the drug user experience euphoric effects. Some experts also believe that the elevated release of dopamine can contribute to meth’s harmful effects on the nerve terminals in the brain.
People consume methamphetamine – usually called “meth” for short – in various ways, including swallowing, snorting, taking intravenously or smoking. Mexican drug cartels are reported to smuggle in the majority of meth in the United States.
However, small domestic meth labs also contribute to the supply. Methamphetamine addiction has reached crisis proportions in communities across the United States. While methamphetamine abuse has inspired many works of fiction, such as television series “Breaking Bad,” its consequences are all too real for millions of Americans, creating an ever-growing need for methamphetamine withdrawal treatment and meth treatment programs. In 2016, approximately 667,000 people (0.7 million) in the U.S. (aged 12 or above) used methamphetamine. According to the PBS series Frontline, “There are two current basic profiles of methamphetamine users: students (both high school and college) and white, blue-collar and unemployed persons in their 20s and 30s.”
Effects of meth use
Meth is able to boost dopamine very rapidly, thereby, producing euphoric feelings, which users call as “rush.” According to University of California, Los Angeles’ (UCLA) professor Dr. Richard Rawson, “Meth produces an extreme peak of euphoria that people describe as something like they’ve never experienced.” The effects produced generally last for 6-8 hours, depending on the quantities ingested.
People most commonly use meth recreationally and even small amounts of the drug can result in many health effects similar to those caused by other stimulants, including faster breathing, decreased appetite, irregular heartbeat and increased blood pressure.
Continued meth use creates numerous painful and dangerous side effects underscoring the need for methamphetamine detox. Following are some of the long-term effects of meth use:
- Anxiety and confusion
- Problems sleeping
- Mood swings
- Violent behavior
- Psychosis (hearing, seeing, or feeling things that are not there)
- Skin sores caused by scratching
- Severe weight loss
- Memory loss
- Severe dental problems
- Problems with thinking, emotion and memory
Meth abusers are at an increased risk of heart attacks and of particular concern is meth’s impact on the brain. Frontline reports, researchers have found that repeated use of meth destroys that part of the brain, which produces dopamine. As a result, meth users can only feel pleasure by taking an increased quantity of the drug. “It actually changes how the brain operates,” according to Rawson. “It’s a wonder that anyone ever gets off meth.” This impact on the brain underscores the challenges faced by those addicted to meth.
Treatment for meth addiction
A successful treatment for methamphetamine addiction involves a combination of medically supervised detox program and addiction therapy sessions. While the supervised detox focuses on decreasing an individual’s drug dependence by cleaning out the abused substance from the body and managing the withdrawal symptoms, the therapy sessions help a person identify the root causes of addiction and learn new behavior skills to replace the addictive behavior. These sessions also help individuals learn different ways to relax and master effective coping mechanisms to deal with daily life stressors without drugs.
Why choose us?
A leader in providing treatment for substance abuse and addiction in Texas, we provide top-notch treatment for methamphetamine abuse at its state-of-the-art treatment centers. Considered the first step in combating addiction, methamphetamine detox treatment at our facilities helps in gradually flushing the drug out of the body and preparing the recovering individuals for a gradual withdrawal from the drug. However, as methamphetamine detoxification treatment can produce a variety of uncomfortable side effects, we conduct it under careful medical supervision at all our certified methamphetamine detox centers, where clinicians monitor and treat whatever side effects occur.
However, detoxing from methamphetamine is just the first step, it is also vital for the recovering patient to understand the underlying causes and conditions fueling his/her addiction. Thus, in our addiction treatment programs, addiction therapy sessions are the next step after a successful detox. They help an individual discover the root cause of addiction and learn effective life skills to live a drug-free life.
At Texas, we are committed to treating patients with a range of evidence-based therapies and equipping them with the life skills and tools they need to thrive and enjoy lasting recovery. Our holistic approach to treatment differentiates us from other behavioral healthcare providers and helps us design and recommend individualized treatment programs to our patients.
Following are some of the evidence-based treatment modalities offered at our centers.
- Individual and process group therapy
- Stress and anger management groups
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
- Psychoanalytic therapy
- Psychodynamic therapy
- Schema treatment
- Narrative treatment
- Mindfulness training
- Biopsychosocial assessment
- Life skills education
- Experiential outings
- Couples therapy
- Continuing care program
In addition to residential inpatient treatment, Texas offers both, a partial hospitalization program (PHP) and an intensive outpatient program (IOP). Our programs provide patients the opportunity to attain recovery in a supervised setting, away from any potential distractions and with a minimum chance of a relapse.
Overcoming meth addiction can be a serious challenge but it can be a success with proper treatment, care and compassion. To learn more about our methamphetamine treatment centers or any aspect of our program for recovery, call our 24/7 helpline and speak with our admissions specialist. You can even chat online with our representatives for further assistance.