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Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation

Meth is one of the most addictive and harmful recreational drugs available. Once the addiction has been developed, it is difficult to get rid of it without a proper treatment program. Addiction Rehab Centers offer a system of highly specialized facilities that speeds up the process of recovery. The rehabilitation process requires a multidisciplinary, carefully designed approach and not just isolation from the meth. Considering aspects like using medications for the treatment of withdrawal symptoms, treatment of co-occurring conditions and use of behavioral therapies is just as important. Having in mind the fact that methamphetamine is one of the most addictive drugs, it becomes evident that meth rehabilitation is a big challenge for the patient as well as health professionals involved in the process.

Inpatient treatment programs:

Addiction Rehab Centers offer inpatient treatment program for the addicts with poor mental and physical health. It is a type of a treatment approach in which the patient lives in the rehab facility for a certain period of time that may range from a few weeks to a few months. Health professionals are available 24/7 to supervise the patient. The patient is given necessary medication and the support of psychologists and psychiatrists throughout the process. Other than that, patients are involved in occupational therapy and group counseling. Withdrawal symptoms are closely monitored. Long term, severe abusers with heavy withdrawal symptoms are highly recommended to go through inpatient treatment program. The decision about the suitable type of rehab program is not made based upon the duration of the meth abuse. Some people have very unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, although they haven’t taken meth for extended periods of time

Outpatient treatment program:

During an outpatient treatment program, the patient is not required to permanently live at a rehab center. Although, the patient may need to visit the rehab center from time to time depending upon his condition. This type of rehabilitation program is recommended for the patients whose physical and mental health is not very bad and who can handle their withdrawal symptoms with minimal risk of relapsing. Addiction Rehab Centers provide adequate medical help and occupational therapy for recovering patients. Group therapy sessions are also included. An outpatient treatment program is only recommended if:

  • The patient has not develop any psychiatric disease.
  • The patient does not suffer from co-occurring conditions.
  • The patient lives in an ideal social environment with supportve of friends and family.
  • Meth is not easily accessible to the patient.
  • The patient is not going through severe withdrawal symptoms.
  • The patient doesn’t need constant support of addictive drugs.

Use of therapy:

The most effective therapy in case of meth addiction is carefully planned behavioral therapy. The most commonly offered therapies at Addiction Rehab Centers include group therapy, individual therapy and family/spouse therapy. During the sessions, patient’s mental health is closely monitored and the patients with severe withdrawal symptoms go under the assessment for their suicidal, criminal or relapse potential. Treating the meth addiction is a complex process. It requires involvement of ex abusers social environment as well. Family education programs are contained in the therapy protocols. Depending on the complexity of the situation, there are a number of different modules on family education. Educational programs help family members understand the challenges addicts are facing in a better way. It may also help them learn how to react to specific situations, how to handle the cravings of their loved ones and how to build a healthy relationship with the addict again.

Use of medications:

Up to this day, the medications that specifically treat meth addiction have not been discovered. The medications are only available to ease down or completely treat some of the withdrawal symptoms (symptomatic therapy). For example, panic attacks are treated with anxiolytics. Unfortunately, a lot of medicines used for meth addiction treatment are addictive themselves so their usage should be closely monitored by health professionals. When an addict is taking such medications, it is important to keep an eye on them to make sure they do not end up trading one addiction with another one. Most commonly, medicines used in the treatment of meth addiction are: anxiolytics, antidepressants, OCD drugs and drugs used for the treatment of narcolepsy.

Treatment of co-occurring conditions:

Treating co-occurring conditions holds tremendous significance during the process of recovery. Sometimes, they may go unrecognized or may be mistakenly interpreted as the effect of meth abuse (although these disorders existed as a separate pathologic entity even before the addiction developed but were not significantly prominent before the addiction took place, or were established because of chemical changes in the brain due to meth abuse). At Addiction Rehab Centers, such aspects are given due importance during the treatment. Recovery from meth addiction is not possible as long as these conditions are not treated. Statistics show that, these psychological disorders are most frequently linked with drug abuse:

  • PTSD (75% of female and 50% of male addicts has some form of PTSD and the condition is most commonly associated with childhood sexual or physical abuse)
  • Depression (it may be linked to a brain chemistry changes, but in some addicts the depression was always there and it may have even contributed to meth abuse)
  • Anxiety (due to chemical and structural changes in the brain, it is a very common co-occurring condition in meth abusers)
  • ADHD (there is a proven correlation between ADHD and addictive behavior).
  • Co-occurring conditions, if not treated properly, can be a huge setback in the process of successful recovery.
Relapse prevention

The numbers say that 36% of addicts that go through inpatient or outpatient rehab programs, relapse within the first 6 months after the last use of meth. The Addiction Rehab Centers provide relapse prevention programs for ex addicts to help them cope with the cravings effectively. These programs help the patients to recognize and successfully cope with the situations that make them vulnerable to a relapse.  They also help them to handle the cravings, learn coping techniques and other behavioral strategies on how to prevent a relapse. Relapse is a real danger for ex abusers and staying clean is a big challenge that can be achieved after adequate treatment and help.