Meth Detox: What You Need to Know
Not many people truly realize how prevalent meth abuse in America is, and how damaging it can be to the human body. Just the drug itself is attached to a great deal of taboo, not to mention attaching it to addiction. However, this powerful stimulant drug is used by roughly 4% of the US population. Data from a few SAMHSA reports, including Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) study and 2014 NSDUH, in recent years indicate:
- Hospital emergency room visits related to the use of methamphetamine rose from about 68,000 in 2007 to about 103,000 in 2011.
- More than 60% of these visits involved the use of meth with at least one other substance.
- In 2014, 569,000 Americans reported using meth in the past month.
There has been a tremendous focus on opioid overdose in the midst of an ongoing epidemic, but meanwhile, meth overdose deaths have also increased over the years.
- 2014- 3,700 overdose deaths were caused by meth
- 2015- 4,900 overdose deaths were caused by meth
- 2016- 7,700 overdose deaths were caused by meth
Needless to say, developing an addiction to methamphetamine is a very serious issue and should be taken seriously. That is why understanding what to look for in a meth detox program is so important. As with any addiction, there are many factors one should consider when seeking meth detox.
Meth Detox: What is Meth?
If you are looking for resources to help some struggling with meth abuse, you may not completely understand what exactly this drug is. Having a better understanding of the drug can also give you a better idea of what the individual is going through.
The term “meth” is short for methamphetamine, which is a highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system. Methamphetamine is abused because it causes increased activity and a general sense of well-being or euphoria. Street names include:
When most people think of meth, they imagine colored crystals, but that is not the only way meth is produced or consumed. Regular methamphetamine comes in powder or pill form, while crystal meth is commonly found as fragments of glass or shiny ‘rocks’ of varying sizes. People ingest meth in various ways, including:
Like any other drug, most people use meth because it gives them a feeling of intense pleasure. However, the side effects of meth can be extreme, making meth detox an effective option for addressing these issues.
For example, methamphetamine causes cardiovascular problems, so users run a serious health risk with each use. Some of the cardiovascular effects include:
- Rapid heart rate
- Irregular heartbeat
- Increased blood pressure
Meth overdoses are also very dangerous. An overdose on methamphetamine can cause hyperthermia, which is when one experiences an extremely elevated body temperature and convulsions. If the individual does not seek treatment immediately, a meth overdose can quickly turn fatal.
Meth Detox: Long-term Effects
Long-term meth users experience a number of devastating side-effects. One of those side-effects is psychosis, with symptoms that include:
- Repetitive motor activity
- Changes in brain structure and function
People struggling with long-term meth abuse also typically experience:
- Memory loss
- Aggressive or violent behavior
- Mood disturbances
- Severe dental problems
- Weight loss
Probably one of the most well-known effects of meth abuse is Xerostomia or “Meth Mouth”. This is when a meth user experiences chronic dry mouth, which causes a reduction in saliva and ultimately exposure to more bacteria. Meth mouth causes issues like:
- Gum disease
- Tooth Decay
- Tooth Loss
One of the most detrimental long-term effects of meth use and abuse is an addiction. Meth detox is one of the many necessary steps someone struggles with meth addiction should consider taking in order to get clean.
Meth Detox: Withdrawal Symptoms
One of the main reasons meth detox is so essential for many people is because the withdrawal from meth can range from uncomfortable to life-threatening. In fact, in many cases people will relapse back into using meth to avoid these withdrawal symptoms.
Some of the withdrawal symptoms one experiences when they stop using meth include:
- Increased appetite
- Excessive sleeping
- Suicidal ideation (obsessive thoughts of suicide)
Because of the side-effects and health risks associated with meth use, meth detox is often the safest and most effective way to build a foundation for addiction recovery. So how do you get help?
Meth Detox: Getting the Help You Need
There are many reasons why meth detox is such an important resource for those seeking help. Not only because you can transition off of meth in a safe medical setting, but because you also have the opportunity to work with addiction specialists to decide what the next step toward recovery is for you.
While there is no magic pill that will solve meth addiction, meeting with a professional team of medical and addiction specialists will provide you with the opportunity to consider options for medications that may ease the mental and physical discomfort of withdrawal symptoms.
Part of cultivating a healthier future in meth detox is the chance to experience holistic treatment options. This can include a variety of different methods that treat the whole person, not just the symptoms and side-effects of the drug. These treatments include:
- Behavioral therapy
- Family education
- Individual counseling
- 12-Step support
The priority in meth detox is to help the individual get off of the drug in a secure and supportive environment. Quality care means having a compassionate staff that works with each individual for the best possible future. By getting the best help available for the meth detox stage, you can begin building a personalized recovery plan that supports your life beyond recovery.