Methamphetamine is a popular illicit stimulant that affects the central nervous system. Meth takes the form of a white crystalline powder that is odorless and bitter to the taste and easily dissolves in liquid. It was developed in the early 20th century and was used in decongestants and inhalers. Meth causes euphoric feelings and talkativeness in users and has long-lasting effects on the central nervous system.
As drug use continues over time, toxins build up in the body. Detoxification programs are designed to allow clients time to rid their bodies of those toxins in a safe and supervised setting. During detox, clients will experience a number of different physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be very uncomfortable, so medically supervised and assisted detoxification programs are recommended for clients who have severe addictions to methamphetamines.
There are a number of different short and long-term effects of methamphetamine use on the body. In the short term, meth use can cause rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, high respiratory rate, insomnia, tremors, convulsions, elevated temperature, stroke, and heart attack, and there is a high risk of overdose associated with methamphetamine use. Meth can also cause psychological symptoms, including anxiety, paranoia, and aggression. Long-term meth use can cause changes in the way the brain functions, a decrease in motor skills and learning ability, dental problems, malnutrition, memory loss, chronic anxiety, delusions, hallucinations, violent behavior, and mood disturbances. Methamphetamine is an incredibly dangerous drug, and the possibility of overdose is high.
As a person goes through the process of detoxifying their body, withdrawal symptoms will likely occur. These withdrawal symptoms can vary in severity depending on a variety of factors, including the length of an individual’s addiction, the frequency with which they use drugs, and the amount of drugs they typically consume. Because of this variance, receiving personalized treatment is particularly important for those addicted to methamphetamine. This helps to ensure they are getting what they need out of treatment.
During acute withdrawal, clients will experience most of their physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Medically supervised detoxification programs are able to keep clients as comfortable as possible throughout this process. The most common withdrawal symptoms for those addicted to methamphetamines include abnormal sleep patterns, drowsiness, headaches, lack of appetite, muscle spasms, and hallucinations. Emotional symptoms include depression, anxiety, paranoia, low energy and motivation, and cravings. Getting through these withdrawal symptoms is important to get to the point where sobriety is possible.
During the early abstinence stage of detox, most withdrawal symptoms have lessened or gone away completely. However, with the body no longer under as much stress, the psychological symptoms of withdrawal can become the main focus, and cravings during this stage of treatment typically become severe. Clients are at a high risk of relapsing during this stage of addiction treatment. Getting help throughout the detox process is a good way to avoid relapse and get support when it is needed.
At this stage of a treatment program, clients often report feeling reduced cravings, and both physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms have mostly stopped. Clients should be able to clearly focus on their treatment during this part of their recovery program and can learn how to utilize skills like relapse prevention, trigger identification and avoidance, and various coping skills. These tools will help them maintain their sobriety after leaving treatment and returning home to their day-to-day life.
Most people report that detoxing from methamphetamine use takes several weeks to a month. While this is the most common timeline for detoxing, it is by no means true for every single person that detoxes from methamphetamines. The detox process varies in length depending on a number of different factors, including the length of time one spent using methamphetamine, the amount of the substance ingested, and the frequency with which the substance was used. Because there are so many factors that go into an addiction, it can be near impossible to say with 100% confidence how long detox will take.
If you believe you may be addicted to methamphetamine, getting help is important. Some of the most common signs of methamphetamine addiction include:
Inpatient and outpatient programs are both available for those who find themselves addicted to methamphetamine. Inpatient programs provide clients with the most intensive care available and are highly recommended for clients who have severe addictions to methamphetamine.
Medically assisted programs are also encouraged for those who find themselves addicted to methamphetamine. These programs allow clients to detox under the supervision of medical professionals who can intervene if and when needed to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
Holistic detoxification programs are designed to help clients heal their minds and spirit during treatment and often include various therapies along with meditation, yoga, and mindfulness practices.
Deciding to get help for methamphetamine addiction is an important step toward recovery. While hearing about withdrawal symptoms can be intimidating, the focus of getting treatment is that help is available, and there are many different programs that are designed to work closely with clients to provide them with the best care possible, just like we do here at First Steps Recovery.
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