Addiction Treatment for Methamphetamine Abuse - ATS

Methamphetamine Abuse, Dependence, and Treatment

Treatment for Methamphetamine Abuse and Dependence - Addiction Treatment Services

Amphetamines can provide a person with much-needed help in fighting specific disorders, but also carry the potential for addiction development. Methamphetamine, in particular, poses a great risk, due to its effective and overwhelming delivery system.

Abuse or reliance on such stimulants can lead to a stimulant abuse disorder. Recovery depends on the person in danger of addiction, and those around them, being informed of the risks and consequences, including how best to start the road to recovery.

Necessary information includes understanding:

  • What the drugs are
  • Their side effects
  • Which symptoms one may experience during withdrawal
  • What options exist to help recovery

What Is Methamphetamine?

Known by many names, including meth, chalk, ice and crystal, this stimulant drug affects the central nervous system. This highly addictive substance most often comes in a white, bitter crystalline powder that lacks any odor and dissolves quickly in water or alcohol.

First discovered in the early 20th century, methamphetamine originated from amphetamine and, at first, was used in decongestants and inhalers. Use of the drug boosted activity and talkativeness, reduced hunger and flooded a person with a euphoric feeling.

The primary difference between methamphetamine and its parent drug lies in how much of the drug makes it into the brain when similar doses are administered. Methamphetamine enters the brain in much higher quantities, making it the more powerful stimulant, and the one with the most harmful effects on the nervous system.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration classifies methamphetamine as a Schedule II stimulant, limiting the legal acquisition to non-refillable prescriptions. These prescriptions include use for Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and certain weight management regimens. However, these doses are well below the potential abuse doses.

What Is Desoxyn?

Many people ask if Desoxyn is meth, but the answer isn’t a simple yes or no. Desoxyn is a version of methamphetamine that most often sees use in treatment of children diagnosed with ADHD or exogenous obesity. The drug operates as a nerve stimulant, taking the form of a substrate acting on the neurotransmitters that produce serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine.

Desoxyn stimulates production levels of these neurotransmitters, increasing the quantity to help keep them in the body longer. This boosts attention span in children and acts as an appetite inhibitor for those suffering from exogenous obesity.

Methamphetamine Side Effects

Methamphetamine boosts the production of dopamine, while blocking the body’s reabsorption of the neurotransmitter. This keeps dopamine in the body in greater concentration. Because this neurotransmitter causes a person to feel motivated, excited or happy, accelerated release sends a person into a euphoric state.

Overuse or abuse of meth stems from a chemical change to the brain, creating a dependence. A person can develop a tolerance to ADHD drugs like Desoxyn in as little as two weeks, meaning the potential for a person to develop a dependence, either physical or psychological, is strong and likely to happen early in use.

Withdrawal Symptoms of Crystal Methamphetamine Use

For users who are cut off from methamphetamine, a series of withdrawal symptoms will manifest. During use, the users already experience some of the symptoms because they tend to binge use the drug, leading to extreme highs followed by a severe crash, leaving them fatigued and seeking more of the drug.

Physical withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Oversleeping
  • Dehydration
  • Compulsive hunger
  • Stomach pain or irritability from overeating
  • Poor coordination
  • Body shakes or seizures
  • Arrhythmia or tachycardia
  • Cardiac arrest

Psychological symptoms of meth withdrawal include:

  • Being quick to anger
  • Irritability
  • Extreme sensitivity to sensory stimuli
  • Craving drugs or something else
  • Massive mood swings
  • Anxious or depression
  • Nightmares or hallucinations
  • Suicidal ideation

Patients taking Desoxyn may take it upon themselves to boost their dosage if they start to lose the associated feelings or reactions to the drug. If use of Desoxyn is cut off, a patient may experience numerous withdrawal symptoms. These include fatigue, insomnia, irritability, nausea or vomiting, depression and personality shifts.

Treatment for Methamphetamine Addiction

The method for methamphetamine addiction treatment with the best record of success is behavioral therapy. This includes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and contingency management interventions.

One effective strategy is a comprehensive approach, which uses:

  • Behavioral therapy
  • Education for the support system
  • Individual counseling
  • Regular drug testing
  • Multi-step support system
  • Positive encouragement toward activities that don’t involve the drug

Another effective strategy lies in using an incentive-based approach, wherein the patient receives tangible prizes as a reward for taking part in treatment programs. An example would be the Motivational Incentives for Enhancing Drug Abuse Recovery, a treatment created to aid recovery from cocaine abuse. The program has demonstrated efficacy in aiding methamphetamine abusers in understanding how to quit smoking methamphetamine.

Many drug addiction recovery programs rely on medical aid to help fight withdrawal symptoms and to enable a speedier recovery. However, no medications currently exist that counteract effects from methamphetamine abuse or help extend the abstinence period from drug reliance.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) prioritized finding a drug that can help with recovery from stimulant addiction. Recent research focused on targeting activity in the glial cells, where a new drug showed it could suppress neuroinflammatory reactions.

Another approach takes advantage of the immune system, placing antibodies in the bloodstream to encourage white blood cells to learn to attack methamphetamine in the body before it reaches the brain.

Road to Recovery

While many promising approaches exist, the most effective program a person can use in their journey to recovery involves a professional recovery team such as those found at rehabilitation centers. These facilities have the right equipment to monitor a patient’s symptoms as medical professionals keep the patient as healthy as possible. They can provide needed medication and activities that promote recovery.

Many rehab centers include holistic approaches that take advantage of non-traditional treatment methods such as acupuncture and massage to help keep the body healthy.

Finding Methamphetamine Addiction Help

The threat from amphetamines and their derivative forms remains strong. Help does exist, however, as the nation takes this threat more and more seriously. From new drug tests to help dealing with withdrawal to medical centers dedicated to walking a patient through a recovery program, no one needs to face this problem alone.

If you or a loved one is struggling with stimulant addiction, seek help today. Addiction Treatment Services offers a trusted hand in finding the help you need. Reach out to us for a consultation.

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Detox From Alcohol

Why You Shouldn’t Self Detox From Alcohol

Detox From AlcoholWhile we generally applaud the DIY spirit, some challenges require professional assistance. Alcohol detox is one of them. Self-detoxing from alcohol is not only difficult to do, it’s also extremely hazardous to your health. Depending on your level of addiction and length of dependence on alcohol, self-detox may even be life-threatening. Let’s explore the ramifications of self-detox for alcohol, and how you can get help without putting your life at risk.

The Initial Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol detox produces withdrawal symptoms that can be painful, for both the person experiencing it and for loved ones to watch. Generally speaking, mental health professionals classify withdrawal symptoms into three categories:

  • Mild Withdrawal – Minor alcohol withdrawal symptoms usually present within 24 hours from the last drink. You may experience shakes, anxiety, panic, sweating, twitching, an upset stomach or insomnia. You may also notice a rise in blood pressure or elevated pulse.
  • Moderate Withdrawal – Moderate withdrawal symptoms usually occur within 24-36 hours of stopping your alcohol intake. These symptoms are more severe and may include tremors, insomnia, anxiety, hallucinations, seizures and marked increase in blood pressure or racing pulse.
  • Severe Withdrawal – In extreme cases, self-administered alcohol detox can lead to severe or life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are referred to delirium tremens (DTs) and occur between 12 and 48 hours after you stop drinking alcohol. DTs cause disorientation, irregular heartbeat, fever, rapid breathing and intense blood pressure spikes. If left untreated, about 20% of people who experience DTs will die.

It’s important to realize how alcohol withdrawal can be exacerbated by other health conditions. Even moderate or mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be deadly to someone with a co-existing heart or blood pressure condition. The longer and harder the drinking, the more severe the withdrawal and the higher the risk of life-threatening symptoms.

What Can You Do Instead?

It is clear that self-detoxing is not only dangerous, but ineffective. According to a study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, the success rate of self-detox is less than 30%.

However, the danger associated with alcohol withdrawal is not an excuse to avoid getting sober. With professional assistance, you can effectively detox from alcohol and get on the road to living a healthy, productive life. Each case of alcohol detox is unique, so your professionally guided detox plan will depend on your history with dependence and other health factors.

With professional help, you can detox safely and find new hope in recovery. Reach out to Addiction Treatment Services – we’ll help you choose a detox treatment that will keep you safe and provide successful results.

What You Should Know About Addiction - ATS

What You Should Know About Addiction

There’s a lot of information to sift through when evaluating addiction treatment. Individuals wonder if they should try to do it alone. Do they really have an addiction? How will they pay for treatment? What about the conditions that led to addiction in the first place?

Addiction Treatment Services works with treatment prospects and their families to identify their particular needs and seek a lasting solution.

What Is Addiction?

Addiction is a serious health issue that requires professional help to treat both the addiction and underlying health conditions. It’s a chronic disease.

People facing addiction seek out the substance they abuse over and over, despite negative consequences. They often try to quit but feel unable to resist the temptation to use drugs or alcohol again and again. Relapse is the return to substance use after trying to stop. Relapse is common and indicates a need for treatment.

Addiction Alters the Brain

Addiction changes the way the brain works. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that communicates feelings of pleasure in response to stimulus. Success, good food and positive personal interactions cause the brain to release dopamine and reinforce the behavior that led to the stimulus.

Drugs and alcohol flood the brain with dopamine. Users associate substance use with rewards, so they repeat the behavior. Over time, the brain reduces the amount of dopamine produced, so the individual uses more of the substance in an attempt to recreate the original feelings of pleasure.

Long-term drug use changes other processes in the brain, such as those related to:

  • Learning
  • Judgment
  • Decision-making
  • Stress
  • Memory
  • Behavior

Risk Factors for Addiction

Many factors affect who becomes addicted and who doesn’t. Some people are born with genes that make them more likely to experience addiction. Biology might cause other mental health disorders that increase the likelihood of substance abuse.

External factors also influence addiction. A person’s family and environment may contribute to whether they use drugs and alcohol. Peer pressure, sexual abuse and early drug exposure can make some individuals predisposed to addiction.

Individuals might be more vulnerable to addiction at certain developmental stages. Adolescent brains are still developing, so teens are more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors.

Addiction is a disease and can be treated. Professionals develop successful treatment plans to meet each patient’s needs.

Insurance Covers Some Forms of Addiction Treatment

Families and individuals may know they need help, but are concerned about the cost of treatment. Health insurance may help pay for rehabilitation.

Before the Affordable Care Act (ACA), approximately 45.2 million Americans younger than 65 had no health insurance, and 20.9 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 64 were uninsured. Some people relied on private insurance and others were enrolled in a public health plan.

Since the ACA, any American can go to government health care websites to find an insurance plan or apply for Medicaid benefits. If substance abuse renders an individual unable to apply for insurance, in some situations loved ones can apply for services on their behalf.

One ACA component involves substance abuse treatment. It views treatment as an essential service. It requires health plans to treat all phases of substance abuse, even the early ones.

Medicaid and Medicare cover evaluation, screening, medication, alcohol and drug testing, family counseling and other services. Private insurance companies often develop coverage based on the federal system, so many of them provide coverage for substance abuse treatment.

Private health plan benefits vary by state and insurance provider. Group health plans, such as those provided by most employers, often cover mental and behavioral health services, and substance abuse treatment usually falls under that category.

A national review of admissions to treatment centers showed 60 percent of rehab patients didn’t have any health insurance. They deemed the cost of not getting treatment to be higher than the price they paid for receiving help in escaping addiction.

Addiction Is Often Connected to Underlying Physical and Mental Health Issues

Drug Use Alters Some Processes In The Brain - Addiction Treatment ServicesPeople with substance abuse addiction often have mental health conditions. This is called dual diagnosis, co-occurring disorders or comorbid disorders.

Patients might struggle with alcohol and experience depression. Or they might be addicted to opioids and dealing with an anxiety disorder.

In many situations, the mental disorder came first. Someone with a mental illness may use drugs or alcohol to lessen the symptoms of mental illness. For a time, the substance helps them cope, but before long, it makes their situation worse.

Consequences of addiction increase the symptoms of their mental illness, and the individual often responds by using more of the substance.

In the past, health care providers viewed mental illness and substance abuse as two separate issues and treated each in isolation. People with dual diagnosis disorders need to have both treated simultaneously to successfully remain in recovery.

Quitting Some Types of Substances Can Be Deadly Without Medical Supervision

When individuals decide to quit drugs or alcohol, they often experience withdrawal. General withdrawal symptoms depend on the substance from which the person is detoxing.

With some substances, withdrawal can cause death. There’s an increased risk of withdrawal when one has been abusing alcohol, opiates or benzodiazepines. Detox from multiple addictions is even more dangerous.

Alcohol withdrawal can cause:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Delirium tremens

All of the above symptoms can result in death if they progress to a severe state.

Benzodiazepine withdrawal increases the risk of grand mal seizures and other symptoms that can kill. Meanwhile, some patients trying to go through rapid opioid detox die during the process.

Patients should enroll in a medically assisted detox program to manage withdrawal. Medical professionals will monitor a patient’s condition and offer treatment to help with withdrawal symptoms.

Planning Addiction Treatment with the Help of a Professional Yields Successful Results

There’s a lot involved in finding safe, successful treatment for addiction. Navigating the waters of the drug rehab industry can be overwhelming for families and individuals. Finding and paying for the best treatment also isn’t easy.

The professionals at Addiction Treatment Services can direct your family to a number of programs that are trustworthy and offer the best chance of successful recovery. We’ll also help you figure out which treatment programs are compatible with your insurance. Reach out to us today when you’re ready for assistance in your treatment search.