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Posted by on Dec 15, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Kicking Methamphetamine Addiction Through Targeted Treatment

Methamphetamine addiction can wreak havoc on your life. As much as you cling to your habit, you know that at some point you are going to have to quit. You may be encouraged to know that there are people who have found ways to be successful through treatment and maintain their abstinence, and you can too.

Evidence-Based Treatment Programs

Evidence-based treatment centers will have a medical model to work from. Addiction affects the brain and body physically and to ignore that, is to be in denial of the facts. When you choose a treatment center, look for one that has a program specifically designed to treat meth addiction and does not just apply a general substance abuse approach to this problem, otherwise, it would be like when a soldier uses a shot gun when he/she needs a sniper rifle to hit his/her target – lots of area may be covered, but the enemy is still alive and running.

There is no specific drug at present to be prescribed for meth use as there is for some other drug addictions, but scientists are working on various treatments. That doesn’t mean a doctor can’t prescribe something to help with some of the withdrawal symptoms

One specific way a psychiatrist can help is when some has started meth use to self-medicate for mental and emotional problems. For instance, you might have been dealing with the symptoms of depression or bipolar disorder, and because it went untreated, you were vulnerable to taking a cheap street drug that made you feel better for a little while. A doctor can diagnose and treat the original problem so that you can work on your addiction without interference.

Elements of Effective Counseling Treatment

Many treatment centers include 12-Step programs and for some, these groups are very helpful for several reasons:

  • The spiritual aspects of the teachings can be comforting.
  • The group is made up of people who have “been there, done that,” and can be empathetic.
  • You can learn about other people’s journeys and how they have coped with the problems that come with addiction.
  • You are encouraged to find a sponsor to call for support when you need it. This may help you to avoid a relapse.
  • The groups don’t charge, and rely on contributions instead.
  • You can continue going to your group (or another one) after you leave treatment.

If you’ve tried a 12-step group and didn’t like it, all is not lost. You might be aware these type of programs have their critics. Some former addicts complain that the groups helped them to make new drug hook-ups, some didn’t like the religious aspects and feel there is some shaming in group ideals, and there are some safety issues that can arise from unwise befriending of members who don’t have good motives. Also, many such groups do not have a person with any specialized training to take the lead.

With comprehensive treatment, many other aspects of your life will be covered, so that you can cope with issues successfully. Cognitive-behavioral therapy will teach you to think in a new way because thoughts are usually the beginning of a chain of mental events that leads to behavior and consequences. Also, there are things in your life that are considered “triggers” that often lead you to self-destructive behaviors, and you will learn to deal with them in productive and healthy ways.

Your family and significant others will also be encouraged to come to sessions where they will receive helpful instruction and counseling to deal with their issues surrounding your addiction, and also learn how to be more supportive.


Meth increases dopamine release, so when you stop taking meth or “detox,” you will have less dopamine and you also have less dopamine receptors to take up the neurotransmitters.  Since dopamine helps you feel pleasure, you will experience an anhedonia state which is the inability to experience pleasure.

Some other symptoms you may experience could include:

  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Psychosis
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Lucid nightmares

This is a time when many people go back to using. You have to resist this by continually reminding yourself that eventually, your body will make adjustments, and you will begin to feel better.

To cope with your symptoms, you will need to get some regular exercise and this will help your body repair itself faster. You can expect an increased desire to eat and sleep for a while, but gradually this will dissipate as well. Many people find taking a multi-vitamin daily helps with some of the symptoms.

For help or if you have questions, contact a company like Nick Roselli Occupational Therapy to learn more.

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