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Methamphetamine Addiction

Methamphetamines are stimulants that are similar to amphetamines but last longer and have more devastating effects on the central nervous system. It’s known by a number of nicknames including glass, speed, crystal, ice, chalk and meth. The 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (source) estimates that almost 12 million Americans have experimented with methamphetamine, experiencing the lack of appetite and physical stimulation and wakefulness that defines the drug’s high. Those who indulge in long-term usage will experience these things as well as intense irritability and paranoia, auditory and visual hallucinations, psychosis and an increased possibility of cardiac arrest or stroke.

At Orchid Recovery Center, we provide a safe haven away from the temptation to use methamphetamines and also help women who are addicted to recover after their prolonged use and build a strong foundation in sobriety while learning healthy tools and lifestyle choices that they can take with them when they return home.

Methamphetamines: The Basics

Methamphetamines stimulate the central nervous system, speeding up the metabolism and creating a long-term wakefulness-even an aversion to sleep-and an increased focus. Many people are attracted to that focus and drive that allows them to tackle large projects or stay awake to study or work. Unfortunately, this effect is highly varied and highly addictive, often turning into a “tweaky” psychosis that turns their worst fears into a hallucinated reality.

Created in rural kitchens and “super labs,” the drug is a combination of easily found, cheap chemicals that make it simple and inexpensive to produce. It’s also extremely dangerous and toxic. The labs themselves are a danger to those creating the drug, their neighbors, the groundwater supply and more. Unfortunately, the ease with which it can be made has turned it into a widely abused drug, especially in rural areas.

A white, crystalline powder, the drug is easily dissolved in water and injected or “snorted.” Each dose has a long-lasting effect, much longer than amphetamines, which means a more toxic effect on the brain and an increased risk of stroke.

Effects of Methamphetamine Use and Addiction

The long-term negative effects of methamphetamine use and addiction occur much more quickly than with many drugs. Studies comparing before and after photos of people just six months into their addiction show shockingly drastic physical changes: the user seems to age 20 years; their skin appears sallow, slack and splotchy; their eyes lose their spark and depth. The brain, too, changes on a molecular level and the length of time that these effects remain even after use has stopped is still unknown. Like addiction to other drugs, methamphetamine addiction is characterized by cravings and drug-seeking behavior and withdrawal effects include intense anxiety, suicidal depression and overwhelming fatigue.

The Most Effective Treatment for Methamphetamine Use and Addiction

The best way to treat methamphetamine addiction is to detox off of the drug under supervision and immediately follow up with cognitive and behavioral therapies. Because drug cravings tend to return to meth addicts every three months or so, aftercare is also especially important for an effective treatment. Anti-depressants like buproprion (also known as Wellbutrin) have also been shown to be useful in fending off the inclination to relapse.

Treatment for Methamphetamine Addiction at Orchid Recovery Center

At Orchid Recovery Center, we provide inpatient and outpatient drug treatment programs for women who would like to detox off of methamphetamines and/or begin a personalized meth rehab program. We offer a wide variety of cognitive and behavioral therapies, both traditional and alternative, as have been shown to be effective in meth addiction treatment and allow you to explore your options, choosing the ones that work best for you. For more information on how you can benefit from a methamphetamine treatment program at Orchid Recovery Center, contact us today.

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