Methamphetamine is a dangerous drug that can cause users to experience extreme psychological distress and physical decay. Abuse of meth has spread throughout the nation in recent years, creating serious risks to the mental and physical health of countless Americans. However, a drug treatment facility can offer effective substance abuse treatment programs for patients who are seeking rehab for methamphetamines.
The effects of methamphetamine are similar to amphetamines: increased energy, decreased appetite, and a feeling of euphoria. But due to its chemical makeup, meth enters the brain in greater amounts than amphetamines. Its effects on the brain and the nervous system are more pronounced and longerlasting.
Meth causes the body to release massive amounts of a neurotransmitter called dopamine. This chemical is intricately involved with the brain’s pleasure center. The activities that bring us pleasure, like sex, food, and even exercise, involve the release of dopamine.
The natural release of dopamine is in proportion to the activity causing the pleasurable sensation. Meth hijacks this process. A person high on meth is surging on dopamine. This accounts for the high energy, extreme agitation, and irrational, often violent, behavior.
Prolonged use of meth changes brain function. Numerous studies reveal that repeated meth use interrupts an individual’s ability to learn. Sustained meth use also damages those areas of the brain that govern emotions and memory. Though many will try methamphetamine detox on their own, that is not recommended as it is considered to be too dangerous to try alone.
The flood of dopamine produces euphoria. Users continue to chase this high at a terrible cost. Meth reduces the amount of dopamine the brain produces. To replicate that initial high, users must take more of the drug. The more they take, the less the brain produces dopamine. It does not take long for a user to be addicted. With addiction comes the deterioration of the body. Meth decreases a person’s appetite. It is not unusual for users to forego food for want of the drug. Chronic users drop weight rapidly, often causing a gaunt and wasted appearance.
Meth mouth comes about from poor diet, lack of oral hygiene, and relentless grinding of the teeth. Teeth crack and become infected. Users develop gingivitis, bleeding gums, and rot. Other side effects involve severe paranoia, anxiety, confusion, and hallucinations. One of the visual hallucinations heavy users report is meth bugs. Individuals pick at their skin, causing sores and scabs, all in a futile attempt to rid themselves of the nonexistent insects.
No medication exists to help users with meth addiction or to undo the drug’s ravages. A combination of behavioral therapy, individual, group, and family counseling, and 12-step support groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous, can assist in methamphetamine withdrawal treatment. Finding a dependable treatment facility can be equally difficult.
Treatment centers can help patients receive a thorough assessment during intake. Based on this assessment, specialists construct a tailored treatment plan to address each patient’s needs. Based on these individual treatment plans, patients participate in an array of therapies, including CBT, stress and anger management groups, art therapy, yoga, music therapy, and a host of others. They also provide meth detox when needed. It is tough to break an addiction, but with the right motivation and the proper clinical support, lasting recovery is possible.