Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment

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What is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is a white, odorless, bitter tasting powder in the form of a pill or a shiny rock, better known as “crystal.” It is usually injected, snorted or smoked, but it can also be inhaled, taken orally or taken as a suppository.

Often called “meth,” methamphetamine is among the most addictive and dangerous drugs available, sometimes inducing exceptionally violent behavior. The body almost instantly builds up a tolerance to methamphetamine, forcing the user to take higher doses, which ultimately leads to total uncontrollable dependence. Methamphetamine addiction has devastating health and social repercussions on both the user and his or her surroundings.

  • The use of methamphetamine is prevalent across the United States, and has been known to be one of the most significant drug abuse issues affecting Dallas/Fort Worth and the North Texas region.
  • The Dallas DEA has reported a strong accessibility of methamphetamine in the area, predominately crystal meth.
  • The number of calls to the Texas poison control centers confirming human exposure to methamphetamine has increased from 279 in 2012 to 356 in 2013.
  • 59% of methamphetamine abusers entering a meth rehab treatment program in 2013 were females.
  • Though difficult to overcome, methamphetamine addiction can be successfully treated with a combination of medication and behavioral therapy.

Why is Meth so difficult to quit?

Methamphetamine changes the user’s brain chemistry, creating imbalances in the hormonal and neuronal systems. Dopamine is a hormone neurotransmitter responsible for motor function – the feeling of reward, motivation and the experience of pleasure. Meth increases the amount of dopamine in your brain, resulting in instant euphoria immediately followed by anxiety, hyperactivity and insomnia.

When using meth, the body slowly stops producing dopamine on its own until the drug becomes the only source of enjoyable feelings, making the addict more and more dependent.

Long-term meth addiction has some severe health and psychological consequences, including:

  • Anxiety and paranoia
  • Extremely violent behavior
  • Visual and auditory hallucinations
  • “Meth mouth” (broken teeth and dry mouth)
  • Insomnia
  • Confusion
  • Loss of time perception/short attention span
  • Highly elevated body temperature
  • Hunger
  • Memory loss
  • Mood disturbances
  • Ekbom’s syndrome – a delusional psychosis

Methamphetamine withdrawal brings on a severe depression so dark and painful that the user will do anything to stop it, often resulting in relapse. Users may return to the same dose they were previously accustomed to, leading to overdose and, even, death.

Meth withdrawal symptoms  include:

  • Fear
  • Nausea
  • Shaking
  • Extreme agitation
  • Extreme and painful depression
  • Memory loss
  • Even after quitting meth, the damage to the brain can be irreversible; long-term use can even result in decreased motor function and Parkinson’s syndrome

Treatment for Methamphetamine addiction

Meth addiction – like all drug addiction – is a chronic brain disease.

At Enterhealth Ranch and Enterhealth Outpatient Center of Excellence, we treat it as medical disease, with a comprehensive, evidence-based approach that includes a combination of pharmacological and therapeutic drug addiction treatment – the key to returning to a healthy, productive and stable life.

A typical program starts with supervised drug and alcohol detox – or withdrawal stabilization – before beginning long-term treatment. Recovery is more successful if the user is supervised when withdrawal cravings begin. To reduce symptoms, patients can be prescribed anti-addiction medications, such as Modafinil. A selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, such as Paxil (paroxetine), can also decrease crystal meth cravings and help ease the symptoms of withdrawal.

After drug and alcohol detox, treatment is able to begin, ideally under the strict medical supervision provided in a program such as Enterhealth.

For additional information about disease-focused, evidence-based meth addiction treatment, including methamphetamine addiction, please call an Enterhealth advisor at 1.800.388.4601 day or night.

Meth rehabilitation with Enterhealth

Methamphetamine addiction may result in feelings of despair and helplessness, but there is hope. At Enterhealth Ranch and Enterhealth Outpatient Center of Excellence, we can help your loved one along the journey of recovery through our 43-acre residential meth addiction treatment center north of Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, and our outpatient methamphetamine addiction center located in the Preston Center area of Dallas.

Our advanced evidence-based treatment approach – designed and managed by board-certified addiction psychiatrists, physicians and other experts – is proven to be more effective than traditional twelve-step programs. Our aim is to heal the patient for a lifetime.