What Is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is a potent stimulant, which is chemically similar to other amphetamines, such as those used to treat ADHD. It can be snorted, taken orally, injected, or smoked, and the effects can last up to 8 hours. However, methamphetamine is more potent than other amphetamines. According to an entry in the journal Annual Review of Public Health, methamphetamine poses an exceptionally high risk of addiction.

Methamphetamine Addiction

man standing inside white maze walls

The journey from first use to full-blown addiction is short and comes with challenging withdrawal symptoms, which further fuels a person’s drug-seeking behavior. If addiction continues without appropriate treatment, it can wear away at a person’s life, job, relationships, and health and can damage their ability to cope with even minor stressors without the use of the drug.

Any attempt to stop using meth will prove difficult, and a person may find themselves willing to go to extreme lengths to get high. With no intervention, methamphetamine addiction can be fatal.

Customized Treatment and Support

Methamphetamine addiction can be frightening for those directly and indirectly affected. The condition not only affects those who are using the substance, but also their friends and family members. If you or your loved one is suffering from addiction to meth, it is normal to feel frightened and confused. At Excel, we are proud to offer compassionate care and support for individuals and families whose lives have been disrupted by methamphetamine addiction.

Signs and Symptoms of Methamphetamine Addiction

According to SAMHSA, methamphetamine abuse takes a significant toll on a person’s physical and psychological health. The brain and body are subject to severe damage even after just one hit. One of the early signs of abuse and addiction is the loss of interest in previously enjoyed hobbies and activities.

Meth takes control over a person’s life and becomes a priority over other important areas of life, such as:

  • Work or school commitments
  • Nutrition and well-being
  • Relationships
  • Hygiene

Addiction is still a taboo subject in society, so those addicted may initially attempt to hide their addiction from others. Hiding one’s addiction becomes more difficult as the condition worsens, and the signs and symptoms of addiction become more pronounced.

According to the BJPsych Buletin, common warning signs of methamphetamine abuse and addiction include:

  • Paranoia
  • Hyperactivity
  • Significant weight loss
  • Rotting teeth
  • Skin sores
  • Lip and finger burns (due to smoking)
  • Increased irritability and agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Poor concentration and focus
  • Loss of interest in other activities
  • Neglecting personal responsibilities
  • Neglecting work, school, and relationships
  • Secrecy about how one spends their time
  • Stealing or borrowing money
  • Mood swings
  • Violent outbursts
  • Tweaking

As mentioned in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, ‘tweaking’ is one of the most telling symptoms of methamphetamine use. It is characterized by severe anxiety and insomnia. Tweaking can occur for up to two weeks after last use and happens following a meth binge when it is no longer possible to get high. Paranoia, confusion, and irritability are also challenging symptoms of tweaking. In some cases, users can experience disturbing thoughts and hallucinations and may be more likely to engage in violent or aggressive behavior.

Methamphetamine Withdrawal

The withdrawal symptoms associated with methamphetamine addiction can be tough to manage alone. Professional supervision and assistance must be provided if a client is going to have any real chance of recovery.

As reported in the journal Addiction, common methamphetamine withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Insomnia
  • Paranoia
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion, disorientation
  • Sweating
  • Shakes, tremors
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Intense cravings

After detox has been completed and the withdrawal symptoms have subsided, clients have access to comprehensive psychotherapy and behavioral therapies to address the root cause of their addiction and improve their life choices in the future.

Therapy and Behavioral Treatment

Detox and withdrawal management alone are not enough to fully overcome addiction. According to the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health, recovery programs for meth addiction require that clients engage in psychotherapy and other behavioral therapies.

At Excel, we offer a range of evidence-based and holistic therapies, including:

  • One-to-one psychotherapy
  • Group therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy(CBT)
  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
  • Somatic Experiencing (SE)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Creative and Expressive Arts Therapy

Psychotherapy is an important approach to addiction treatment. Not only does it allow our recovery specialists to address underlying issues or pre-existing conditions, but it also allows us to tackle any disorders or conditions that have arisen as a result of meth abuse.

Comprehensive Treatment for Meth Addiction

At Excel Treatment, we offer comprehensive and individually tailored treatment programs for clients affected by meth addiction. Addiction can be a complicated condition to treat, particularly when it co-occurs with another condition or disorder. Our team of expert addiction and recovery specialists initially provide new clients with a full health assessment to check for the presence of any mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, or any unresolved trauma. It is essential to check for other conditions before beginning treatment, as an undiagnosed and unrecognized condition can hinder the effectiveness of treatment.

Treatment for methamphetamine addiction involves an initial detoxification process and medical and psychological supervision throughout the withdrawal phase. Detoxification is the process of eliminating residual toxic substances from the body and is the beginning of recovery from the damage that meth has caused.  There are currently no specific medications for meth detox, so clients are provided with full medical supervision to manage the withdrawal symptoms. Supervision is essential at this crucial time because the associated withdrawal symptoms can be severe

Aftercare for Successful Recovery

Your recovery journey does not end once you finish your treatment with us. Recovery is a life-long process, and at Excel, we understand the importance of providing clients with comprehensive aftercare support. Clients are at an increased risk of relapse in the immediate short-term after treatment, so we allocate appropriate and helpful recovery support services, such as social support groups and continuation of therapy. The ultimate goal is to reduce the risk of relapse and ensure that clients know that support is still there.

Why Choose Excel Treatment Center?

At Excel, we support clients in taking charge of their health and their future. Our mission is to help those struggling to overcome their addiction. We offer comprehensive and evidence-based treatment approaches, individually tailored for each client.

Treatment at Excel begins with an initial health screening and assessment, which allows us to determine the severity of a client’s addiction. We then use this information to recommend an appropriate treatment program.

We offer outpatient treatment services to our clients to reduce the disruption to their life that would be caused by residential treatment. Though in some cases, residential treatment may be necessary, and we determine this following our initial assessment. If needed, we are happy to recommend alternative treatment services. We always aim to provide those in need the best, most appropriate treatment for their individual circumstances.

If you or a loved one suffering from addiction to methamphetamine, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our team of experienced recovery specialists is available to help.

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