Everything you need to know about methamphetamine dependence and treatment options from Northlake.
Methamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant that is highly addictive. It is usually taken in the form of a pill, injected, or smoked. Another variant of methamphetamine is known as crystal methamphetamine, crystal meth, or meth. Crystal meth resembles glass shards. Meth is chemically similar to amphetamine, a common drug used to treat ADHD and sleep disorders. Long term use can cause permanent brain damage, heart damage, and stroke.
Meth can cause considerable adverse health effects and can lead to death. Meth changes the brain chemistry and increases heart rate and respiratory rate to dangerous levels. There are also psychological effects including anxiety, aggression, hallucinations, psychosis, and other serious mood disturbances. Users who take meth through injection may have additional health risks including blood borne infections, permanent vein damage and a higher likelihood of overdose and death.
Dependence on methamphetamine occurs when the brain needs meth to maintain normal function. Common symptoms of meth use and dependence include:
- Dry mouth
- High Blood Pressure
- Irregular Heartbeat
- Memory Loss
- Obsessive Behaviors
- Reduced Appetite
- Sudden Mood Swings
- Tooth Decay
Due to meth being highly addictive the withdrawal process can be very intense. Common withdrawal effects of meth include:
- Cravings lasting several weeks
Diagnosis and Treatment of Methamphetamine Dependence
Interventions in methamphetamine dependence can reduce negative consequences of methamphetamine use including physical, social, and financial costs.
Screening identifies the symptoms of methamphetamine abuse and methamphetamine dependence. Often, there are co-occurring mental illnesses identified during screening that are important to identify for effective treatment.
An individual first needs to get a comprehensive assessment that provides a full understanding of the severity of the methamphetamine dependence. If an individual goes through detox before treatment, this would be considered acute detox which can last up to several days, but it depends on the severity of methamphetamine use. Individuals with milder methamphetamine dependence can benefit from counseling sessions that are both group sessions and individual sessions that provide important insights and coping methods in a setting such as intensive outpatient and outpatient treatment. This type of treatment is also paired along with Narcotics Anonymous (AA) meetings for a support system.
Northlake offers the following types of treatments to help people suffering from methamphetamine abuse including:
- Medically Monitored Detox
- Intensive Outpatient & Outpatient Treatment
- Support Groups