How To Help Yourself
If you have a loved one who has been abusing methamphetamine, it may be extremely difficult some days to be as helpful and understanding as youll often need to be. This is why one of the best ways to help your friend or family member who is addicted to meth is to also help yourself.
Support groups exist for family members of addicts, and talking to a counselor yourself may allow you to be more helpful to your loved one, as addiction can often cause resentment and a number of other issues in those who are involved in the individuals life. Making sure that you are taken care of and that your feelings have an outlet can allow you to be as helpful as possible to your loved one.
Are you covered…?
Medication For Meth Addiction
Many treatment programs also offer medication to help ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings for recovering meth addicts. However, there is no specific medication designed specifically to treat methamphetamine addiction.
Addiction medicine specialists will often prescribe benzodiazepines or other anti-anxiety medications during the recovery process in order to treat the symptoms of restlessness and irritability that can accompany meth withdrawals. An anti-depressant called Bupropion is sometimes used to help combat the meth cravings that a person in recovery might experience. Other medications may be used to assist the patient in sleeping through the night and fighting panic attacks as necessary.
Overcoming Meth Addiction Can Be Achieved Through An Individualized And Holistic Healing Approach
Overcoming meth addiction can be one of the more difficult tasks for any certain individual to face. Meth use not only permanently alters the brain but it can also affect emotions and memory. Understanding what an addiction to crystal meth does to a person can help those around someone struggling from addiction not only support them but get them healthy.
Crystal meth addiction can be combated by a mixture of therapy and medication and doing so in a treatment center makes the whole process even less painful. Did you know that overcoming meth addiction comes in 5 stages?
Continue reading to learn what these 5 stages are and how addiction to crystal meth can change lives but also doesnt have to define a life.
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How To Help A Loved One Quit Meth
You may be feeling powerless when it comes to helping your loved one overcome his or her crystal meth addiction. But you dont have to feel that way. CRAFT, which stands for Community Reinforcement and Family Training, is designed to help you develop healthy communication skills. 5
CRAFT teaches family members to stop making excuses for the crystal meth addict. Once they stop lying or covering for the individual finally allowing their loved one to face the consequences of their actions healing and growth can begin.
The following are some suggestions for how to help a meth addict.
Am I Addicted To Meth
If you have to ask yourself whether you’re addicted to meth, you need to seriously consider the likelihood that you may be struggling with an addiction. Any long-term use of meth renders you vulnerable to addiction. To test whether you’re an addict, simply quit using the drug. If intense physical or psychological symptoms take you back to meth, or if you find quitting the drug is so painful you can’t do it, you’re definitely battling a dependence on meth.
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How To Bring Up Your Concerns
If youre worrying about whether a loved one is using crystal meth, your best bet is to have an open conversation with them.
Substance use can look different for everyone. Its impossible to determine what someone does need without talking to them.
The way you go about this conversation can have a big difference on the outcome. Heres how to communicate your concerns with compassion and care.
What Are The Signs Of Addiction To Methamphetamine
Addiction means losing control over your use, finding it difficult to stop using the drug, with cravings and a compulsive drive to keep using, despite adverse consequences. You can have a physical craving or a psychological need.Watch out for the following 4 key ‘Cs’:
- continued use despite consequences.
If you have been using methamphetamine often, you might not notice how much it is affecting you. Ask someone you trust if they think it is harming you and your life.
You are likely to be addicted if you are:
- using more methamphetamine than you used to
- finding it hard to stop using
- missing school, work or family commitments
- always thinking about it.
If youre not sure, test your drug use.
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Your Emotional State Improves
Having an addiction to meth can damage a persons health and emotional state. This can be for many reasons, such as physical damage and brain changes, depression from losing family and loved ones, and social consequences. Many people who suffer from addiction also suffer from mental health disorders, such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. This can often be the reason for drug use. A lot of people try to self-medicate with drugs and other substances. However, a meth addiction will only make these conditions worse.
There are also situations where meth brings out these disorders that no longer
When a person is recovering from methamphetamine addiction, they can focus on their mental health state and learn beneficial, productive techniques to help with their mental healththis is just one of the many health benefits of quitting meth. One-on-one therapy or group therapy are great tools that the person can experience to help understand their mental health and heal.
Methamphetamine Research Reportwhat Are The Long
Long-term methamphetamine abuse has many negative consequences, including addiction. Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease, characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use and accompanied by functional and molecular changes in the brain.
As is the case with many drugs, tolerance to methamphetamines pleasurable effects develops when it is taken repeatedly. Abusers often need to take higher doses of the drug, take it more frequently, or change how they take it in an effort to get the desired effect. Chronic methamphetamine abusers may develop difficulty feeling any pleasure other than that provided by the drug, fueling further abuse. Withdrawal from methamphetamine occurs when a chronic abuser stops taking the drug symptoms of withdrawal include depression, anxiety, fatigue, and an intense craving for the drug.43
In addition to being addicted to methamphetamine, people who use methamphetamine long term may exhibit symptoms that can include significant anxiety, confusion, insomnia, mood disturbances, and violent behavior.47 They also may display a number of psychotic features, including paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations, and delusions .48 Psychotic symptoms can sometimes last for months or years after a person has quit using methamphetamine, and stress has been shown to precipitate spontaneous recurrence of methamphetamine psychosis in people who use methamphetamine and have previously experienced psychosis.49
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What Should Family And Friends Prepare For During Intervention
There are many behaviors that loved ones should expect when approaching a meth addict during an intervention. Without professional help and attempting to persuade them could be very difficult. It is highly important that no family member or friend attempts to intervene with a meth addict without a crystal meth intervention counselors presence and guidance. The main behaviors that may arise from those struggling, after being confronted about substance abuse are:
How Does It Feel To Be High On Meth
To understand why a person becomes addicted to meth in the first place, you need to know what a meth high feels like.
Most addicts describe being high on meth as euphoric. Users feel pleasure, confidence, and experience an instant boost of energy.
Like most addictive drugs, meth stimulates the brains natural reward system. This is where dopamine and serotonin are produced during pleasurable activities like sex, eating delicious foods, and even riding a roller coaster.
Its this high that meth addicts continually chase. But what makes methamphetamine so dangerous is that users will never reach the same high they did the first time.
Each time they ingest crystal meth, theyll need a little more than before to feel good. This behavior puts addicts at risk for an overdose.
Not only does meth trigger these feel-good emotions, but it also confuses the brain into thinking it needs the drug to feel happiness. Meth use disrupts the brains natural production of dopamine.
Experiences that were once pleasurable, arent anymore. The brain believes the addict is receiving enough dopamine from outside sources and natural production slows down.
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Support Groups For Meth Addiction
Support Groups are a large part of meth rehab, they are the key to lasting recovery from addiction. The benefits of Therapeutic Communities in treating Substance Abuse Disorders have been recognized by the medical community. These support groups have been historically useful in fostering accountability and moral support for addicts in recovery dating back almost a hundred years.
Many people are aware of organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous, but other groups have cropped up to offer new options for people looking for other ways to surround themselves with a support system. Groups like Crystal Meth Anonymous, SMART Recovery, and Secular Organizations for Sobriety offer support groups that arent as focused on spirituality.
You Find Yourself Once Again
Dealing with an addiction to meth is very challenging. People often lose hope for getting better and living a sober life. They can fall victim to depression and other disorders that make them lose interest in activities they once enjoyed. Reading, painting, spending time with loved ones, and other interests are subject to neglect for so long that the drug consumes so much of the user that they can forget about everything they used to do and enjoy.
Recovery from meth addiction can help the person remember who they are. You will have the opportunity to focus on yourself during recovery and applying new, healthy habits to daily situations. You can take up hobbies that you used to enjoy and reintegrate them into your life. This can help with psychological addiction, especially during social detox, which is necessary for meth addiction. Regaining a sense of self is important for persons for a full recovery.
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How Is Meth Similar And Different To Amphetamine
Similarly, to amphetamine, methamphetamine caused the following symptoms:
- Increased talkativeness and activity
- Pleasurable sense or well-being or euphoria
The biggest difference between methamphetamine and amphetamines is that methamphetamine in higher doses, as the drug travels to the brain, becomes a potent stimulant. For that reason, an intervention crystal meth-related will be pivotal.
Chronic Meth Abusers Typically Will Display Characteristic Signs That They Are Abusing The Drug These Include:
- Skin sores that often lead to the person scratching or picking at these sores
- Having a constant runny nose or nosebleeds, most likely from snorting the drug
- Track marks from injecting the drug
- Rapidly decreasing dentition, including rotting teeth and teeth falling out
- Extremely bad breath
- Burns on the lips around the nose from smoking the drug
- Burns on the hands
- Significant loss of weight and a gaunt appearance
- Dark circles under the eyes
- A grayish appearance of the skin
- Dried and cracked skin
- Mood swings that range from extreme sociability to periods of isolation
- Periodic outbursts or aggressive behaviors
- Alternating periods where the person does not seem to need sleep for extended periods followed by periods where they are extremely lethargic and sleepy
- Nervous tics, jerky movements, or exaggerated movements
- A lack of attention to personal hygiene
- Significant impulsivity
- Psychotic behaviors, including hallucinations or paranoid delusions
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Choose An Appropriate Time
Timing is also an important factor when talking to your loved one about the situation. Dont argue with them when you know that theyve been recently using the substance. You wont be able to talk to them properly and at its worst, this may lead to arguments or violence.
Talk to them calmly when they are sober so that they can absorb what you have to say. When you talk to them, try not to be confrontational or combative. Usually, when thats the case, youll be met with anger and rejection. Practice what you have to say first and time it properly so that it will be received well.
Effects Of Ice On Mental And Physical Health
Ice can alter moods and sometimes makes people violent. It can also trigger mental health problems like depression, anxiety and psychosis. Users can alienate friends and family, and have work and financial problems.
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Helping A Loved One Get Treatment For Meth Addiction
If youre worried or afraid for your loved one who is abusing methamphetamine, youre probably wondering what the future holds for this person in your life. If this individual has received prior treatment or has never attempted to get rehab services before, helping him or her access effective care is always worth the effort. As you know, meth can ravage a persons life, which is why doing the following as soon as youre able is so important:
Lastly, its an excellent idea to remain an ongoing source of support for the duration of your loved ones care. This person needs you right now and can benefit greatly from your backing as the road to recovery is navigated.
Why Consider Treatment
The Emotional Signs Of Meth Addiction
Of course, there is a lot more to meth addiction than the physical symptoms alone.
The friends and family members of a meth addict will often notice and struggle to deal with the emotional consequences of meth use.
First of all, you may notice that the addict has become extremely paranoid lately. They may accuse you of lying to them, or think that you and other people who love them are out to get them. Theyll frequently blame everyone else around them for their addiction and unhappiness.
You should expect for mood swings and the addicts overall feelings and emotional state to be extreme and, usually, intense. Fits of tears, shouting matches, and sometimes even physical violence can occur.
The meth user frequently makes reckless and impulsive decisions with little regard for how theyll impact the people around them. They may steal money, prostitute themselves, or do almost anything to get their next fix.
In some cases, the meth user may also socially withdraw. They likely do this because they fear youll tell them to get help, when they may not even be ready to admit they have a problem in the first place.
Their social group has likely changed, and the people they spend time with support their use
The things and people they used to prioritize, even their own children, no longer seem to matter. Its the emotional side effects that often encourage people to stage an intervention for the addict, as the person they used to know is gone.
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Learn More About Meth Addiction Treatment At Longleaf Hospital In Alexandria La
There are only a few other drugs that exist that are as dangerous as methamphetamine. Also known as meth, this life-threatening stimulant drug is one that can destroy careers, damage relationships, and cost people their health and their lives if its abused to the point where an addiction forms. If youre one of these people and youre ready to finally free yourself from the grips of a meth addiction, you deserve heartfelt congratulations. Admitting that you cant defeat this addiction alone is courageous, and you should be commended for considering treatment at this crossroads in your life. By making the decision to accept help and prevent the effects that result from abusing meth, youre choosing life over your addiction and deciding that youre stronger than this drug.
Longleaf Hospital is truly where your meth addiction can end. This Alexandria, Louisiana treatment center is uniquely prepared to give you your life back and help you lay the foundation for a heroin-free tomorrow. With several proven effective treatment methods available, a dedicated staff, and a commitment to giving you all that you could need to recover from your substance abuse problem, Longleaf is where you can begin your successful journey towards the sober life you deserve.
How to Help a Loved One
Signs And Symptoms Of A Meth Addiction
Only a physician can diagnose a substance use disorder, but there are various signs, symptoms, and side effects of meth use. To be diagnosed with a stimulant use disorder, you would have to demonstrate at least 2 of the following symptoms within a 1-year period:5
- Experiencing strong cravings for meth.
- Having trouble completing what needs to be done at home, school, or work because of meth.
- Inability to stop using meth, even after it has caused or worsened physical, mental, or interpersonal issues.
- Quitting or cutting back on hobbies as a result of meth use.
- Spending a lot of time getting or using meth or crashing after a binge.
- Taking more meth or using it for longer than planned.
- Using meth in situations that can be dangerous, such as while driving.
- Wanting to cut back or stop using but not being able to.
- Developing a tolerance to the effects of meth, where you need to use more to feel the same effects.
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop using meth.
There are some signs of a meth addiction to be aware of if you are worried that you or someone you care about might have an issue with meth. These can include:5,6
- Behavior that is aggressive or chaotic.
- Burns on fingers or lips from smoking, nosebleeds from snorting, or track marks from injecting.
- Changes in eating and sleeping habits.
- Dilated pupils.
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