Meth addiction is a chronic brain disease that can't be cured, but a comprehensive rehab program can send it into remission. Meth addiction rehab is generally available through inpatient and outpatient programs. While outpatient treatment can be successful, inpatient treatment is always the better choice due to the intense cravings and depressive symptoms associated with withdrawal.
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Although meth abuse is on a steady decline in the U.S., meth addiction is still a major concern in many cities, particularly in the West and Midwest. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the average age of new meth users is 19.7. While treatment admissions for dependence declined from 8.1 percent of admissions to 5.6 percent between 2005 and 2011, a recent survey found that 1.2 million people used this drug in the past year, and 440,000 used it in the past month.
Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant drug that's illegal and highly addictive. This drug works by increasing dopamine levels in the brain, causing feelings of euphoria and wakefulness. Abusing this drug can lead to a full-blown addiction, which is characterized by changes in the function and structures of the brain and result in severe withdrawal symptoms when the drug use is discontinued.
While meth initially produces intense feelings of euphoria, abusing this drug has a profound effect on the brain, causing a deep depression when users stop taking it. Other effects of meth abuse include appetite suppression that can lead to severe weight loss and serious malnutrition. Using this drug also causes sharp increases in body temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate.
Long-term abuse of or addiction to methamphetamine can cause devastating health problems, including:
Signs of substance dependence are those which others might notice, while symptoms of an addiction are those that the person with the addiction will feel. Signs and symptoms of meth addiction include:
Over time, engaging in certain behaviors while under the influence of meth can lead to a psychological dependence on those behaviors. These secondary addictions may include addictions to sex or gambling, or they may be characterized by eating disorders. Secondary addictions are treated along with the primary substance addiction in drug rehab.
Drug rehab for an addiction to this drug begins with medical detoxification to break the physical addiction. Medical detox is medically supervised and involves providing medications to help alleviate the withdrawal symptoms that set in when use is discontinued. These symptoms may include severe depression and suicidal thoughts, anxiety, extreme lethargy, psychosis, and paranoia.
The second phase of treatment addresses the complex psychological issues surrounding the addiction, which are unique to each individual. Treatment therapies may include cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and Moral Reconation Therapy.
The last phase of treatment is the aftercare plan, which is designed with the individual's unique needs and challenges in mind and implemented after treatment is successfully completed to help prevent relapse.