Methamphetamine, or commonly known as meth is a highly addictive central nervous system stimulant. In most cases, users turn to meth for recreational purposes, but in some situations, it can be prescribed to patients who suffer from attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder or obesity. Needless to say, meth is an extremely potent and dangerous drug with many severe side effects.
Meth addiction happens relatively quickly, after only a few uses. Even though the majority of people are aware of the host of dangerous effects meth can cause, they choose to abuse it for its ability to trigger sensations of euphoria, high energy, pleasure, and an overall better mood. These pleasurable processes occur as meth triggers the release of high dopamine levels in one’s brain.
Meth addiction can bring about severe effects on a person’s mental and physical health such as:
- Impaired motor skills
- Brain damage
- Cognitive impairment
- Weight loss
- Teeth decay
- High blood pressure
- High heart rate
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To prevent even more dangerous meth side effects, look out for the following signs that may help you determine whether the person is using the drug:
- Dental health problems
- Hair loss
- Weight loss
- Itchy skin and skin lesions
How to Approach Your Addicted Loved One
Many meth addicts are paranoid. Therefore, it is better for you to wait for the drug to wear off before the talk. That way, you can also avoid a potentially aggressive reaction of the user.
It is important for you to stay calm and try to tell your loved one about your concerns. If you do not get the reaction you hoped for, do not insist on getting through to them; instead, try another time. You do not want to cause a violent response.
The next step is to suggest your friend or a family member who is struggling with meth addiction a specialized detox and a rehab facility.
Meth Rehabilitation Process – Meth Detox
If you are using meth, please note that is strictly advised not to try to detox from meth on your own. Some withdrawal symptoms can be life- threatening, which is why constant medical supervision and vital signs monitoring are paramount.
Some of the most common meth withdrawal symptoms are:
- Sleeping problems
In some cases, medications such as sedatives or antipsychotics are necessary to ease some of the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
Also, at a specialized detox clinic, you will be in a safe, controlled environment where you won’t be tempted to relapse.
Meth Rehabilitation Process – Meth Addiction Treatment
An inpatient facility is the best treatment option for meth addicts. In the controlled environment, the user will get all the help they need along with a 24-hour supervision. In most inpatient centers an individual can undergo a detox process and counseling afterward.
Outpatient clinics offer their patients many therapy options similar to inpatients hospital but without an overnight stay. Patients come to therapy sessions a few times a week after which they go home.
Meth Addiction Therapy Options
Behavioral therapy, especially Matrix Model (a combination of behavioral therapy, family education, 12 step program, relapse prevention, and counseling) is arguably the most efficient treatment method for meth addicts.
A conventional cognitive behavioral therapy is based on learning new coping mechanisms and new ways of dealing with everyday problems without the drug.
Emergency management includes positive reinforcement to maintain sobriety.
One of the most important factors of successful abstinence is an active support system. Once the meth addict leaves the rehab facility, the real struggle just begins. They will have to incorporate every strategy of dealing with problems in their everyday life. It can be difficult without a strong support network that only family and friends of the ex-addict can build together during family therapy sessions.