Future Drug Therapies For Meth Addiction
Researchers are currently looking into possible drug therapies for meth addiction that would ease withdrawal and prevent relapse.
Naltrexone, a drug thats used to treat alcohol and opioid addiction, has shown promise in treating meth addiction. A study by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, found that Naltrexone significantly reduced meth cravings and the rewarding effects of the drug. As a result, study participants were less likely to desire to use meth.
Ongoing clinical trials are testing combinations of naltrexone and other drugs, including bupropion, which is used to treat depression and nicotine addiction. Researchers are also developing new drug compounds to treat and cure meth addiction.
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Medications Are No Substitute For Human Support
The field of pharmacological treatment approaches is progressive and may offer real benefits, but medications will never be a substitute for active support. Group and individual counseling are an integral part of crystal meth addiction treatment. Addiction support groups, family involvement, and intensive cognitive-behavioral therapy are all equally important.
- Cognitive-behavior therapy : Often used in conjunction with counseling, CBT attempts to unravel the root of addictive behavior. This is an intensive process that takes a lot of personal transparency. During CBT, you will learn about triggers and coping mechanisms to successfully battle addiction.
- Family support: An integral part of addiction recovery, family support plays a key role in successfully becoming sober.
- Group and individual counseling: Social support and one-on-one therapy are essential to overcoming meth addiction.
- 12-Step program involvement: Being with peers who understand the challenges of addiction can help you stay and remain motivated to be sober.
Signs And Symptoms Of Meth Abuse And Addiction
Methamphetamine may cause someone to uncontrollably search for the drug, even if harsh consequences have transpired such as drug arrest and serious health problems.
Despite the ways drug use has negatively affected a person or those around them, they may continue abusing meth because of its powerful effects on the mind and body.
These effects can be physical, mental, and emotional.
What Are The Symptoms Of Meth Addiction
There are many short-term and long-term effects of using crystal meth. Some of these effects will naturally subside on their own within a few hours while others could take days or more to go away even after the last dose of crystal meth was administered.
Available in many different forms, meth can be smoked, snorted, injected or ingested orally. Each of the methods of meth use will have a different effect on the user and the amount of time that the drug is active will differ slightly from one method of use to the next.
Below is a look at how each method of methamphetamine use will affect the user:
- Smoking meth leads to a fast uptake of the drug into the brain and can amplify the addiction potential as well as many adverse health consequences such as lung tumors and other problems
- Injecting meth leads to an intense rush or flash of a high that is described as a pleasurable state which typically only lasts a few minutes
- Snorting or Oral Consumption of Meth leads to a less intense rush that lasts anywhere from 5 to twenty minutes and can linger.
Crystal meth affects the psychological system as well as the physical components of the body and can lead to a range of adverse reactions.
Short-Term Effects of Meth Include:
- Erratic behavior
- Poor sleeping habits or insomnia
- Mood swings
- High blood pressure and increased heart rate
- Suicidal thoughts
- Boils or infections on the skin
- Weight loss and malnutrition
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How Does Meth Work In The Brain
Meth shares structural similarities to amphetamine, a central nervous system stimulant sometimes used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder .
It also structurally resembles dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for controlling rewarding behaviors in the brain. Methamphetamine stops the reabsorption of dopamine.
However, it simultaneously increases levels of dopamine, creating a more intense high than other dopamine reuptake-inhibiting substances such as cocaine.
When the brain is constantly exposed to meth it becomes accustomed to the pleasurable action. As a result, dependence quickly grows.
This is why meth is one of the harshest substances of abuse. It physically and structurally changes the brain, creating severe drug-seeking behavior.
Learn more about how meth affects the brain.
Methamphetamine Research Reportwhat Treatments Are Effective For People Who Misuse Methamphetamine
The most effective treatments for methamphetamine addiction at this point are behavioral therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral and contingency management interventions. For example, the Matrix Modela 16-week comprehensive behavioral treatment approach that combines behavioral therapy, family education, individual counseling, 12-step support, drug testing, and encouragement for non-drug-related activitieshas been shown to be effective in reducing methamphetamine misuse.33,34 Contingency management interventions, which provide tangible incentives in exchange for engaging in treatment and maintaining abstinence, have also been shown to be effective. Motivational Incentives for Enhancing Drug Abuse Recovery , an incentive-based method for promoting cocaine and methamphetamine abstinence, has demonstrated efficacy among methamphetamine misusers through NIDAs National Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network.35
Although medications have proven effective in treating some substance use disorders, there are currently no medications that counteract the specific effects of methamphetamine or that prolong abstinence from and reduce the misuse of methamphetamine by an individual addicted to the drug.
Meth Addiction Treatment & Rehab
Various forms of effective treatment are available to those with an addiction to meth, and the best meth treatment options depend on each individual.10 The majority of people who are addicted to meth will go through withdrawal, and detox is from meth is a first step prior to treatment.3,5,10 Stimulant withdrawal is typically less physically dangerous than withdrawal from some other substances, such as alcohol, opioids, and sedatives.3 However, methamphetamine withdrawal can produce seizures in some people. Other potential dangers include suicidal ideation and the risk of overdose upon relapse.3
It generally takes about a week for these symptoms to go away, but the timeline for each persons withdrawal symptoms may vary.3,4,7 Detox should be followed by other forms of treatment that address the behavioral and cognitive issues associated with addiction.7
Treatment can take place in several different settings.7,8 Inpatient rehab or residential treatment occurs when you stay at a facility around the clock while receiving counseling and support. Outpatient treatment allows you to live at home and attend pre-scheduled appointments with varying levels of intensity, depending on your needs and progress in treatment.10,11
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Effective Drug Addiction Treatment Throughout Georgia
The Carter Treatment Center understands that drug addiction is difficult, and overcoming it can be challenging, too, from asking for help to managing day-to-day life in recovery. This is why at our facilities, we offer a variety of alternative therapies to help patients where theyre at in their journeys and give them the freedom to choose how they heal. From yoga and sound therapy to nutritional counseling and more, our outpatient rehab has something for everyone, including individuals who are dealing with addiction to methamphetamines. Around 2 million people in the United States reported using meth at least once in the last year, according to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Though you may feel isolated, were here to help you realize youre not alone. We can help those finding treatment for meth addiction.
Contact The Carter Treatment Center today online or by phone at for drug and alcohol addiction treatment if youre in Georgia our facilities in Cumming and Suwanee provide the same alternative therapies and accept most major insurances!
Medications That May Reduce Both Meth Use And Meth Cravings
Though more research is still needed to explore the benefits of pharmacological treatment for people who suffer from meth addiction, there have been promising results. The scientific community understands that there is a significant difference between craving meth and using it. That is why there is a robust interest in finding a medication that can address both prongs of addition. There are two known medications that have been shown to be useful.
Bupropion is the active chemical ingredient present in two different name brand medications and helps reduce both the high from meth and the desire to take the drug. This is exceptionally promising, as it suggests it might offer a clinical treatment to combat the neurological brain chemistry component of addiction.11
Naltrexone is an FDA-approved medication that helps treat both alcoholism and opioid addiction. In the brain, it functions as an opioid receptor antagonist. That means that it blogs other drugs that would have an effect on opioid receptors, like meth. More research is needed, but it might also be useful in treating the desire to use meth, which is very good news for anyone suffering from this addiction.10
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Recovery From Meth Mouth
One of the most devastating physical effects of meth addiction is extensive tooth decay and gum disease. Unfortunately, this oral damage, sometimes called meth mouth, can linger long after a person has stopped using the drug.
Oral damage from meth can be challenging to treat and repair. It may require tooth extractions and the use of dentures. But dental treatment for meth-associated tooth damage is an important part of the recovery process and can help restore a persons self-esteem and confidence.
Conquering meth addiction can be challenging, but taking those difficult first steps toward recovery could be the best and most important decision you ever make. If you need someone to talk to about meth addiction or want to find out more about treatment options near you, consider calling a meth hotline. Many of these hotlines are free to call and available 24 hours a day.
The Resurgence Of Methamphetamine
Meth is a highly addictive synthetic drug with its main ingredient being pseudoephedrine a stimulant commonly found in cold or diet medications. In 2005 Congress passed the Combat Methamphetamine Act, which placed pseudoephedrine behind the counter and under close inspection of pharmacists. Once the legislation took effect, meth cases dropped significantly. Shortly thereafter, opioid addiction began skyrocketing with the epidemic reaching a fever pitch in 2017 when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the crisis a public health emergency. The medias focus shifted from meth labs taking over countrysides to doctors offices being raided by the DEA for over-prescribing opioids. And while the nation is cracking down on prescription painkillers the demand for and distribution of meth has become a significant problem.
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Treatment For Meth Addiction: Methamphetamine Treatment
Treatment for meth addiction has become extremely important as meth use in urban centers continues to grow. And the need for meth addiction treatment continues to grow: In 2002 admissions into methamphetamine treatment programs was five times that of 1992 in the US.
Meth addiction treatment is particularly challenging, as meth addicts use meth for an average of seven years before seeking treatment for meth addiction. These meth addicts then, are more permanently attached to the drug culture and have a much harder time getting out of that culture in order to facilitate successful treatment for meth addiction.1 Long-term, structured methamphetamine treatment programs which involve frequent contact show the best success at meth addiction treatment.
Meth Withdrawal Detox Treatment
Meth withdrawal management is the process of clearing the drug from the body while a team of medical professionals helps the patient manage the symptoms of their withdrawal.5 Meth withdrawal management, or detox, is often the first step in a substance use disorder treatment program.5
After detoxification, most people will benefit from additional treatment, such as inpatient or outpatient rehab. Patients who partake in a medically-assisted detox program will receive help finding the right program to address the behavioral and social aspects of their addiction once their detox is complete.5
The benefits of medically assisted detox for meth withdrawal can include:3,5
- Monitoring for medical/mental health risks. Meth withdrawal can result in severe depression or suicidal thoughts, so medical supervision can help someone stay safe.
- Providing structure and support. This can help a person focus on recovery and help prepare them for further treatment.
- Taking someone out of the environment where they use meth. This can help reduce environmental cue-induced cravings that could lead to relapse.
- Providing nutritional support if necessary. Meth misuse can be associated with weight loss and inadequate nutrition someone who is struggling with meth addiction may need support such as larger or high-calorie meals, electrolyte supplementation, or consultation with a dietary specialist.
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Committing To The Decision
Does My Insurance Cover Crystal Meth Addiction Rehab
If you have decided to begin searching for rehabs near me, you know the process can feel overwhelming. This is especially true if you are not sure if insurance will cover the cost of treatment. Fortunately, most insurance plans cover at least part of, if not all, crystal meth addiction treatment. You can call the number on the back of your insurance card or check your insurance coverage online by filling out the form below.
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Dual Diagnosis And Meth Addiction
Dual diagnosis refers to when a person has a mental illness and a substance abuse problem at the same time. Meth use can either be the result of mental health problems or the cause of them. Its often difficult to tell which issue came first. However, both conditions must be treated at the same time if the affected individual is to recover.
Many people who have mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and attention deficit disorder turn to meth to relieve their symptoms. However, this relief is only temporary and the symptoms can come back even more strongly when they crash.
People with conditions such as schizophrenia or psychosis may even experience a worsening of their symptoms while theyre high. To compound matters, regular meth use can interact negatively with psychiatric medications and also prevent individuals from taking their medication as prescribed.
Which Medications Are Effective In Treating Methamphetamine Use Disorder
No medications have been approved by the Federal Drug Administration to treat methamphetamine use disorder. However, some medications are currently being tested, and the research is promising.
The medications that might be beneficial in helping you recover from methamphetamine use disorder are injectable naltrexone and oral bupropion . More research is needed to be able to confirm this and to approve medication-assisted treatment for methamphetamine use. For now, psychosocial treatments like the ones above remain the frontline treatments for this disorder.
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Medication Use In Treatment Facilities
There are different types of treatment available when you are ready to quit your relationship with meth. The two main types are inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment. Both offer specific advantages depending on your unique needs.
Meth withdrawal symptoms can be short or long-lasting, so being in the care of qualified medical professionals in an inpatient treatment setting can help you deal with discomfort. During an inpatient treatment stay, you will be supported by people who understand the struggles of addiction. More importantly, by being in an inpatient treatment facility, you can maximize your chances of success.
At an inpatient treatment facility, you will have access to some of the medications listed above which may increase your chances of achieving and maintaining sobriety. Depending on your financial resources, you can stay in either a standard rehab center, an executive rehab center, or a luxury rehab center.
Outpatient treatment is an option if your addiction to meth is less severe. This type of treatment is also suitable if you do not have any co-occurring disorders that would require care. Outpatient treatment allows you to maintain your existing school or work schedule while getting the benefits of treating addiction. However, if you are not sure that you can remain sober in an outpatient setting, consider inpatient treatment.