Crystal Meth Addiction Treatment
Is There Rehab for Meth?
Despite claims to the contrary, crystal meth addiction can be treated. A person who enters a rehab program will undergo a medical and psychiatric evaluation and participate in detox, individual counseling, group therapy, and classes that help them develop relapse prevention and life skills. Medical care is often part of treatment because many addicts have skin problems, dental issues, and sexually transmitted diseases.
Myths about Rehabilitation
Facts on Treatment
what to Consider First
Breaking Through the Wall
Stages of Care
According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, crystal methamphetamine is a form of d-methamphetamine that is a highly addictive stimulant. Sold in crystallized shards or in powdered form, the drug produces a high-energy, euphoric experience similar to that provided by cocaine but it is more intense and long lasting. It can be smoked in a glass pipe, snorted in lines, or dissolved in water and injected.
On the street, crystal methamphetamine goes by a number of slang terms. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), these include ice, glass, crystal, meth, cristy, blade, stove top and more. The term “stove top” refers to the fact that the drug is easily made in the kitchen using common household cleaning supplies and basic chemicals. Its production is one of the dangerous problems associated with the drug in the United States, and almost as harmful as crystal meth addiction.
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The good news is that crystal meth addiction can be treated effectively by detox and addiction treatment – as long as these measures are followed up by long-term aftercare and regular monitoring by therapeutic professionals. Too often, those who struggle with crystal meth addiction relapse after a long period of abstinence; the best way to combat the issue is to provide comprehensive treatment that addresses underlying or co-occurring issues and continually checks in with the patient to ensure that they are maintaining the integrity of their program.
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What Are the Signs that Someone Needs Crystal Meth Rehab?
Crystal meth is a popular drug among young people trying to stay awake for exams or to hang out with friends longer. According to the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future Survey, about five percent of high school students report abusing crystal meth at some point in their lives while three percent say that they used the drug in the year prior to the survey. However, the drug is also prevalent among college-aged students and young adults – even suburban parents who are struggling to keep up with their kids’ schedules and urban professionals working their way up the corporate ladder abuse the drug in order to stay on top of things.
If an individual is displaying one or more of the symptoms of addiction, he or she may be a prime candidate for crystal meth rehab.
There are a number of hallmark signs and symptoms that an individual is in need of crystal meth treatment from a drug rehab facility, including:
- Decrease in appetite
- Cycles of euphoria and depression
- Aggressive behavior
- Skin abscesses
- Decaying of the mouth and gums
Crystal Meth Rehab Myths
There are a number of myths circulating about crystal meth abuse, addiction and treatment. These myths are damaging because they can encourage those who might otherwise avoid the drug to experiment with it, and they can keep those who need it from getting the treatment that will help them break free from addiction. According to the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, some common myths include:
What are the Myths about Rehab…+
- “Crystal meth addiction can’t be treated.” Though there is no cure for crystal meth addiction or any other drug addiction, there are highly effective treatment options. According to the Methamphetamine Treatment Project, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), about 60 percent of participants who had gone through treatment reported no relapses in the previous month and tested negative for the drug.
- “Meth users usually die within five years of their first abuse of the drug.” There is no research or evidence to support this claim. Perhaps this myth is based on the studies that say that the average length of time spent living in an active crystal meth addiction prior to entering treatment is 7.5 years.
- “One abuse of crystal meth will turn into addiction.” The danger behind this false claim is that those who abuse the drug once and then avoid its use for weeks or months may believe that they are immune and begin to use the drug regularly, developing a physical and psychological dependence.
- “Crystal meth addiction treatment is interchangeable with treatment for any other drug addiction.” There are very specific issues that those addicted to crystal meth must address during treatment, including memory and concentration issues, the need for regular and long-term check-ins, and depression that often hits about six weeks after the cessation of use; if they are ignored, the instance of relapse is far higher.
- “Crystal meth addicts are usually white truckers and bikers.” Though both of these demographics count high numbers of crystal meth addicts among their populations, crystal meth has been seen across cultures, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The California Alcohol and Drug Data System (CADDS) reports that 43 percent of those who entered crystal meth rehab were female, 25 percent were Latin American, and more than 10 percent were of other non-white ethnic groups.
Crystal Meth Rehab Facts
Individuals who are preparing to enter crystal meth rehab will be well served by understanding what to expect during the addiction treatment process. Here are some facts about crystal meth rehab treatment:
Get the Facts about Rehab…+
- Residential vs. outpatient treatment. An individual who has decided to enroll in crystal meth rehab can choose from one of two primary options in terms of format. Residential crystal meth rehab is an outstanding choice for those who need to get away from their environment in order to focus solely on their addiction from recovery. Outpatient drug rehab is designed for people who can attend treatment during the day but want to be with their families or support structure in the evening.
- It all starts with detox. Crystal meth detox is the initial phase of treatment right after the patient stops abusing the drug. Emotional and physical withdrawal symptoms can be an issue as the toxins leave the body, but once these pass, the patient can focus on counseling in recovery.
- Counseling is a regular occurrence. Individuals in a crystal meth rehab program can expect to get to know their counselors and fellow patients well because they will be on hand for regular counseling sessions. The sessions are a chance to explore the root causes of the individual’s crystal meth addiction and learn decision-making skills and coping strategies in order to move forward.
- When rehab is over, there are still challenges to be faced. When an individual leaves crystal meth rehab, he or she may be faced with a number of challenges. Everything from old drug-using peers to stressors at work or in the home can lead to relapse. For these situations, aftercare programs, such as 12-step meetings, help the patient transition into sober life and provide accountability for the rehab graduate. Support from other addicts and follow-up counseling both provide a lifeline during this crucial period.
Initial Considerations for Effective Crystal Meth Addiction Treatment
According to Methamphetamine Treatment: A Practitioner’s Reference, there are a number of considerations that substance abuse treatment professionals will take into account when first evaluating a crystal meth addict in order to provide appropriate and effective care. These include:
Diagnosis and Evaluation
- Psychotic Symptoms. Those exhibiting significant psychotic symptoms will need to be stabilized before entering rehab because they can be dangerous to themselves and others in recovery.
- Paranoid symptoms. Paranoia may be an acute issue that wears off with the drug, or it could a sign of psychosis brought on by long-term crystal meth addiction. Either way, the patient will require 24-hour care and monitoring and may need medication.
- Current physical safety. Paranoia, anxiety, hallucinations and other issues may cause patients to act erratically or unexpectedly – even violently or aggressively toward themselves and others. Prioritizing safety and physical health is the first step in treatment.
- Safety of dependents. If the patient has children who depend upon him or her for their care, this should be identified and addressed immediately to make sure that those dependents are safe.
- Cognitive dysfunction. Memory and cognitive function can take days, weeks or months to return to normal and, in some cases, will never quite be what they were. It is important to reiterate treatment approaches and care directives and make sure that patients are retaining that information, following up with regular intervention and check-ins to help patients remain on target.
- Medical and dental issues. Crystal meth addicts may have physical problems related to their addiction (e.g., eroding tooth enamel, gum disease, damage to liver and lungs, skin problems, etc.) that may require treatment. These should be identified early on.
- Sexual history. Either due to sexual trauma or unprotected sex while under the influence, it is common for those addicted to crystal meth to have undiagnosed sexually transmitted diseases that will require treatment.
- Method of ingestion. Those who abuse crystal meth with needles may require treatment for infection, abscesses, and blood borne viruses.
- Rate of use. Patients who abuse crystal meth daily as opposed to episodically may require much more intense levels of treatment for longer periods of time in order for optimum chances for success.
The issues assessed in patients during evaluation will be treated throughout the rehab process in order to make sure that the needs of the patient are met by the end of the program.
Crystal Meth Rehab and the “Wall”
Those in recovery from crystal meth addiction must contend with something referred to as the “wall” by treatment professionals. According to the Illinois Attorney General, the “wall” is a term that references the physiological changes that appear in patients about 45 days to 120 days into treatment; these physiological changes can lead to relapse and may mean a return to full-blown addictive behavior if the patient is not monitored or enrolled in long-term care. Characterized by depression and cravings for the drug, the phenomenon is largely responsible for the myth that crystal meth addiction is untreatable.
However, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been shown to be effective in the treatment of crystal meth addiction, due in part to the fact that it focuses on how emotions affect action. Patients have the opportunity to talk through their feelings and cravings, and substance abuse treatment specialists who are trained to identify the “wall” in meth-addicted patients will be able to help them avoid relapse.
Stages of Care in Crystal Meth Addiction Treatment
Because crystal meth addiction treatment is characterized by a return of cravings between six weeks and six months after stopping abuse of the drug, the stages of care in crystal meth addiction treatment are a bit different than for other drugs of addiction. According to “Strategies for Treating Meth,” these stages of care may include:
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According to the Congressional Caucus to Fight and Control Methamphetamine, about 1.3 million Americans abuse crystal meth and have a problem with the drug that would be helped by treatment. In more than 16 states, more patients seek treatment for crystal meth addiction than for heroin or cocaine.
If crystal meth abuse or addiction is a problem for you or someone you care about, don’t wait to connect with a treatment program that can help. Call now for the crystal meth rehab information that can change your life.
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