21 million Americans suffer from drug addiction. Drug addiction is dangerous, not just because of the risk of overdose, but because it can wear down your body, cause your relationships to collapse, and cost you jobs/other aspects of your life. The fraction of those who suffer from meth addiction is in a special type of danger.
If you’re addicted to meth, you need to get into meth addiction treatment as soon as you can. But how do you go about starting meth addiction recovery? How do you deal with the meth addiction of a loved one?
This article will walk you through everything you need to know about healing from meth addiction.
Know Your Enemy — What Is Meth?
You must understand what meth is, so you can better combat the enemy. Meth is an amphetamine and a central nervous system stimulant. It was originally developed in the early 20th century to combat nasal congestion, but forms — like crystal meth — have become vastly more popular in illicit use.
Over half a million people use meth every year, so it’s by no means an uncommon addiction. Meth decreases appetite, increases sociability, and induces feelings of pleasure and well-being. If you are looking to understand the addiction of a loved one, an important step could be understanding that these may be drinking your loved one into thinking meth is helping them become their “best self”.
Meth causes instant but short-lived effects. This quick satisfaction, combined with the fact that it doesn’t last very long, often causes people to seek out more and more highs, and therefore develop addictions.
Meth is usually smoked or injected, but it can be snorted as well.
Understand the Effects of Meth
You don’t have to overdose to feel the deleterious effect of meth. Meth has been known to cause higher blood pressure, damage blood vessels in the brain, increase the likelihood of heart attacks, and even cause kidney and liver damage.
Many people who suffer from meth addiction begin to lose teeth, and develop damaged gums — this is known as meth mouth. They also might rapidly lose weight as a result of appetite loss.
However, meth doesn’t just have long-term effects.
In the short term, people who abuse meth might stop sleeping, engage in unprotected sex (meth reduces inhibitions), and start to develop hallucinations. These can lead to future mental health issues.
Understand Why People Use Meth
All of these issues make meth seem unattractive — so why would people use Meth?
Meth — along with other amphetamines — has become an important part of many party cultures. The increased libido enhanced energy levels, and decreased inhibitions go well with the party life.
Many party scenes purposefully mix the use of drugs and sex to cultivate a highly pleasurable and highly addictive experience.
It’s an unfortunate truth that party scenes are often linked to gay culture. The “party and play” (PNP) aspect of gay culture encourages many young gay men to engage in these types of drugs, disguising them as part of the community.
This has been exacerbated by apps like Grindr, where people often advertise that they engage in PNP. This is especially malicious because it means that one needn’t even be at a party to get exposed to this culture.
Rather than one-time use, the PNP culture strings along with a series of encounters, combining the dangerous effects of unprotected and intoxicated sex with the general effects of meth. Many people report benders that last several days and even weeks.
Young people — particularly young people in pressed communities — are extra susceptible to manipulation. If a young person is simply trying to “fit in” to their community, they may take drugs, even if they don’t desire to. Consider the case of Ed Buck, the gay rights activist who was caught bribing young men with drugs for sex.
Understand Meth Addiction Treatment
After the addicted person understands the problems that their addiction is causing, finding a facility to treat addiction is the most important step. Spirituality, support groups, and changes in life structure are important, but they can’t happen if this key first step isn’t taken.
Let’s take a look a some of the options available for treatment:
Inpatient treatment is essentially getting hospitalized for your addiction. If your addiction is life-threatening or has led you to suicidal ideation, inpatient treatment is important. In it, you’ll be constantly monitored by doctors to make sure you don’t hurt yourself or slide back into addiction.
In inpatient treatment, your contact with the outside world is cut off, your possessions are confiscated, and what you can do becomes limited. This is crucial to making sure you can develop new frames of mind. You’ll engage in many different types of therapy, participate in therapeutic activities, and meet other inpatients.
Inpatient treatment is also important for anyone who needs to detox. Medical detox is important for anyone with severe drug addiction.
Quitting meth can have some nasty side effects. Your body because physically dependent on meth, and so quitting it make your body panic a bit. You might not be able to cope with the symptoms of addiction on your own, and so revert to using again.
Medical detox allows you medical supervision to make sure you don’t slip backward. Doctors are also able to treat some of your symptoms with medication.
Outpatient treatment is for those whose addiction cannot be treated simply by therapy or support groups, but who don’t quite need to completely uproot their lives for hospitalization. Depending on the intensity of your outpatient treatment, you may be able to continue work or school.
An intensive outpatient program usually provides around ten hours of therapy a week to patients. This allows them time to meet with multiple therapists, participate in group therapy, and try out many approaches. Usually one will stay in outpatient therapy until they “graduate”.
Good rehab facilities will often offer programs for both inpatient and outpatient therapy.
Consider the Approach
Different rehabilitation centers have different approaches to rehabilitation and treatment. Some seek to treat it like you’d simply treat sickness. Others try to get to the root of the issue.
A rehab like Recovery Beach focuses on the underlying traumas and mental health problems that cause addiction. They use a dual diagnosis approach, so they can treat both addiction and its underlying mental health issue. They wish to strengthen someone suffering from addiction’s resolve by helping them identify the situations where they’re likely to relapse, and helping them deal with those feelings.
Recovery Beach also believes in fostering the spiritual side of recovery. There’s a reason why AA is so focused on prayers — addiction often contradicts what we know about our natural world. People find answers to their addiction in the spirit world, sometimes stronger than the ones they find in our martial world.
Consider the Facility
Recovery beach features a highly modern and comfortable setting for recovery. You want to make sure that you recover in a place that you’re comfortable in. The less you can worry about your more comfort, the more you’ll be able to worry about getting better.
Take a virtual tour of Recovery Beach to see if it’s right for you. It features beautiful, rustic interiors, outdoor locations, grass, inviting opened rooms, artwork on the walls, and outdoor dining areas. The outdoor dining areas go perfectly with the healthy meals prepared in the facility.
Make Post-Treatment Plans
Exiting rehab doesn’t mean someone is cured of their addiction. It’s best to adopt the mentality that you’re never “cured” but always “in recovery”.
If you’d been around a party scene or friend group that encouraged your drug use, it’s best to say goodbye to them. This may be difficult, because you may lose individuals that you’re close to.
Replace those with friends who live sober. Use the free time you now have that you’re not spending on your addiction to focus on your spirituality, pursue an artistic endeavor, read more, take up a sport, or get some more exercise.
It’s important to treat your recovery as an option to grow. This will help you look at your addiction as part of your spiritual journey — something you need to overcome to become a better person. It will also help you stay away from regret, which can lead to depression.
Understand Meth Addiction Treatment
Meth is an unfortunately very prevalent problem in America. It’s especially prominent in certain communities that already face a lot of oppression. However, no matter who you are, meth addiction treatment is extremely important.
Make sure you understand exactly what meth is, learn the effects of meth, learn why people do it and the culture that surrounds it, understand the different treatment options, think about the rehabs approach and facility, and make post-treatment plans, and you’re far more likely to develop a healthy life.
For more information, contact us today.