According to the most recent 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), some 14.7 million Americans (5.4% of the population) have at least tried methamphetamine once. Methamphetamine also called meth, crystal, and ice is a potent and highly addictive street drug that has destroyed the lives of so many around the world.
Although when in the depths of addiction, a Meth user may feel meth recovery is beyond their reach, it isn’t. If you or someone you love is abusing Meth, there are specific steps that are best for meth addiction recovery. Keep reading to learn more about meth treatment strategies.
Understanding Why People Use Meth
The first step in solving any problem is to understand the problem. Many, who have never touched illegal drugs, have a real hard time understanding why anyone would want to use meth. After all, the many side effects associated with meth use are horrifying:
- Nausea and diarrhea
- Meth mouth (tooth and gum decay)
- Dry mouth and bad breath
- Obsessive behavior (scratching and picking at the skin)
- Anxiety and depression
- Violent behavior
- Seizures, overdose, and even death
Much like every drug addiction including alcohol and tobacco, the addict tends to ignore the ugly side effects and health risks in favor of what the drug gives them (both real and imaginative).
Meth is a powerful stimulant. Especially in the early stages of addiction, meth users report a state of hyper cognitive ability. They find the drug helps them to focus and complete complicated tasks with ease.
Another seemingly positive effect of meth use is the ability to remain active and alert for many days at a time. Many use meth in an attempt to work harder, longer, and be more productive in their life pursuits.
Last but not least, meth tends to offer relief from common mental conditions such as social anxiety and depression. This relief is only temporary and often leads to more severe mental issues but nevertheless, it is a very real and powerful temptation for some to keep using as a form of self-treatment.
Meth Addiction Treatment: First Steps
Let us not underestimate the sheer difficulty of “getting out of the life”. As using meth is difficult to hide from others, meth addicts tend to stick together. It is not uncommon for a meth user to not have any relationships outside the use of the drug. In other words, their whole world revolves around meth.
In order to successfully recover from meth addiction, it is essential to make a strong decision to keep away from the drug and anyone that uses it. This almost always means a change of environment by moving away from where they used meth.
Keep in mind, meth is made from and contains toxic chemicals, and the longer meth is used/smoked in a home the more toxic an environment it becomes. If the meth addict is going to stay in the same home where meth was used, no matter for how long, a professional meth cleanup is needed.
Meth Treatment Center
The ideal place for an addict to withdrawal from meth is at a meth rehab facility. Depending on the length and amount of meth the user was engaged in, withdrawal symptoms range from mild to severe.
People detoxing from meth commonly experience fatigue, disorientation, difficulty eating, and depression. More severe withdrawal symptoms include uncontrollable shaking and heart palpitations.
Physical withdrawal from meth takes three to fifteen days. An impatient meth treatment center is the best place for an addict to detox as the staff there can help manage withdrawal symptoms. The most dangerous time for relapse is during the first two weeks as they go through detox.
After Detox: Building a New Life
After the period meth withdrawal ends, the body and mind begin to recover. This month or so after initial detox is known as the honeymoon phase. The addict may feel they have beaten their addiction as they feel and look noticeably better and healthier.
This is another time when relapse is very common. In the mind of an addict, it is easy to find reasons to go back to using meth. It is extremely important to remember recovery is a process.
The word “recovery” is in itself misleading as it hints towards a time when the addict will be “recovered.” The truth is once you are addicted to anything you will always be an addict and recovery gets easier over time but recovery never ends.
This is not to say life can’t be infinitely more enjoyable in recovery. It just means that an addict must be on guard and realize they are always in danger of relapse and heading down the same road they fought so hard to escape.
Tips for Staying Clean
Human beings are creatures of habit. Change is extremely uncomfortable for anyone. Going from the ups and downs of meth addiction and lifestyle to one of sobriety is unsettling, to say the least.
Recovery is not all puppy dogs and rainbows. You will have times of doubt. The struggles of life are universal to all and not only to addicts in recovery. Surround yourself with positive people and seek to be a part of something greater than your own struggles.
For many NA is the way they stay clean. For others, it is finding purpose and responsibility outside their need to stay clean. A new career, starting a family, or finding a passion or hobby that brings you joy could all be your unbreakable motivation to stay clean.
Meth Recovery: You Can Beat It
Meth recovery may very well be the hardest thing you ever have to go through. It is important to realize that so that you seek the support you will need to be successful. Remove yourself from the life, the people, the activities, and anything you associate with doing meth. Seek to build a new life, a new you – one day at a time.
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