According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s website, www.drugabuse.org, the most effective methamphetamine addiction treatments are behavioral therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and contingency management interventions.
What is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine is also known as crystal meth, meth, and chalk. It is a crystalized white powder that tremendously affects the nervous system and brain chemicals in a person’s body when taken.
The powder of methamphetamine is odorless and bitter, but it is easily dissolved in water or alcohol, which is a common way that people intake the drug. Methamphetamine will impact the brain’s distribution of dopamine, which is the brains ‘feel good’ chemical and cause a person to feel hyperactive, talkative, alert, happier, and euphoric as well as depress a person’s appetite.
In 2012, according to National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 1.2 million people admitted to using methamphetamine.
Methamphetamine is a dangerous drug for people to get addicted to as well as a dangerous drug to create, being that the resources to make it can cause large explosions if not handled correctly.
Treatment for Methamphetamine
A person addicted to methamphetamine should consider treatment options when they decide to quit taking the drug instead of quitting cold turkey. Methamphetamine will have physical withdrawal symptoms, which may be minimal for some people, but it will also have intense psychological withdrawal symptoms which is why therapy is highly important for a person to involve themselves in when detoxing from methamphetamine.
When a person first decides to quit methamphetamine they may want to consider admitting themselves into a rehab program. A rehab, whether inpatient or outpatient, will help a person overcome their addiction while providing them resources such as, a therapist to talk to and a medical examiner to make sure they have a healthy detox.
When a person who is addicted to methamphetamine comes off of the drug their brain chemicals, such as dopamine will take a while to get back to normal. Dopamine affects a person’s happiness levels and the majority of people who come off of methamphetamine will have a hard time sleeping as well as a hard time feeling happy again. This causes the majority of people who detox from methamphetamine to feel depressed. This is why therapy, especially behavioral therapy is important for a person to partake in when they come off of the drug.
Talking to a therapist will help ease tension and stress that a recovering addict is dealing with and will help a person deal with depression and anxiety; which is why therapy is an important factor in methamphetamine addiction treatment. A psychiatrist will be able to prescribe medication that may help with a person’s depression and depletion in dopamine and a behavioral therapist will work with a person on finding happiness again through positive and negative reinforcement tactics and therapy sessions. Behavioral therapy is more hands on than other types of therapy but has proven successful for many recovering addicts.