Meth (also known as methamphetamine) is a potent stimulant drug that produces various effects within the central nervous system in the brain. The effects of meth on brain chemistry may include euphoric feelings and an increase in energy and cognitive functions.
Prolonged meth use will begin to have a negative effect on the person both through physical symptoms and psychological effects. Meth can be a highly addictive substance. Because of this, people taking meth may find themselves experiencing strong drug cravings. They may become addicted to meth, and they may become dependent upon the drug.
When people seek treatment for meth addiction, they are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms when they quit using the drug. However, with a properly supervised medical detox, symptoms can be managed and the first vital step into recovery can be made as easy as possible.
Meth withdrawal symptoms will likely differ greatly within each person, and therefore, the withdrawal process might be more intense for some people, and it might not be as intense for others. This could depend on a variety of factors including a person's genes, their age, the severity of their addiction, whether or not they injected the drug or consumed it via alternative means, whether or not they are addicted to other drugs, and other factors.
Moreover, if meth users are also addicted to other drugs, such as alcohol, this could result in more intense cravings that the individual experiences when going through the withdrawal process.
The symptoms of meth withdrawal may include:
The timeline for the withdrawal process will likely also differ from person to person. In the initial state of withdrawal, people may find that the height of the withdrawal symptoms will be experienced within the acute phase (the first 2-3 days after usage has stopped), and the symptoms may then begin to lessen in severity thereafter.
Within the first 24-28 hours (often referred to as the 'crash'), people are likely to experience a sudden shift in their energy levels as well as their cognitive abilities. They may also experience withdrawal symptoms such as profuse sweating, sickness, and muscle spasms or cramps within the body.
In the 3-10 days after quitting meth use, individuals may begin to find that their body has begun to adjust to the absence of methamphetamine, however, the withdrawal symptoms are likely to still be quite strong. In this period, individuals may suffer from feelings of anxiety, depression, severe tiredness, frequent shakes within the body, intense cravings, and aches around the body.
In the subsequent 14-20 days after the person has refrained from taking meth, the physical symptoms of meth addiction will most likely start to disappear or lessen in severity, however, the person could still find that they struggle with drug cravings, together with symptoms of depression and restlessness.
Once the detox process reaches a month, many of the symptoms will have stopped. In this stage, the attention would then turn to the underlying causes for the addiction.
The meth detox process can be separated into three distinct parts. The first part is the evaluation. In this stage, the medical professional assesses the severity of the meth addiction, as well as the person's general well-being and health at that point in time.
The doctor will usually conduct a questionnaire with the client to ascertain how frequently they consume meth. From tests such as this, the doctor can then provide a rough prediction of how long the meth detox may last, which prescription drugs might need to be provided to the person during the meth withdrawal process, and what other actions may need to be taken in order to ensure the person's safety and wellbeing.
In this stage, the doctor may also ask the person about their drug abuse in order to formulate a more structured and personalized addiction treatment plan that will ensure that the chances of a long-term recovery are more likely to be effective.
Furthermore, these questions will also help the doctor to understand if the individual is also experiencing other conditions such as mental health disorders, or if they have addictions to other drugs which could influence or worsen the meth detox process.
Once a person arrives at a drug rehab center, hospital, or medical center, they will be experiencing the most difficult symptoms at this time. As a result, the doctors and staff will need to work quickly in order to ensure that the evaluation stage is swift and carried out correctly, so that they can move to stage 2 and begin to get the person in a more comfortable state and ready to receive treatment.
In the final stage of the detox treatment process, medical professionals will begin to talk about ongoing treatment. They will help to give them an idea of what to expect moving forward, and will likely recommend that the individual continue their recovery journey within a drug and alcohol rehab center, or another type of medical facility that can provide them with the support, resources, and therapy options they may need to complete the rest of their recovery.
If the detox is already being carried out within a residential treatment facility, the medical professionals involved will help the person receiving treatment to carefully and gradually transition from the detox process to the longer-term recovery process during addiction treatment.
In this stage treatment programs may be discussed with the person in order to decide which forms of therapy would be most preferable and effective, as well as discussing the impact that treatment would have on the person's life both in the short term and the long term.
For people seeking addiction treatment, there are various different approaches in terms of how the treatment can be carried out. The medically supervised meth detox can be carried out in an inpatient treatment program or an outpatient one. People receiving a detox from meth could choose to undergo this process at a detox facility that enables them to reside at the center.
This might be beneficial for people with a particularly severe drug addiction, as they would be able to focus on their recovery journey without interruptions or the fear of temptation that could arise when they associate with other people who might be meth users (and therefore, would be a bad influence upon them) or finding themselves near locations where this sort of behavior might be more prevalent.
Alternatively, some people opt to begin recovery via an 'at home detox' under the careful supervision of a medical professional, while others choose to undergo detox at a hospital or a local medical center.
Whatever the individual chooses, they will always be carefully monitored by a healthcare professional who tracks their progress, ensures their safety, and provides prescription medications that can help to ease the pain and discomfort an individual might feel when going through the detox.
While undergoing this process, people may receive certain prescription drugs that can help to ease the symptoms and side effects of withdrawal, or which help to reduce the intensity of drug cravings.
For example, antidepressant drugs such as Bupropion might be prescribed because they are known to be effective in helping people to overcome drug cravings.
Elsewhere, drugs such as Fluoxetine are useful in the recovery process in terms of helping people to avoid feelings of anxiety, as well as preventing the potential for experiencing panic attacks (which could be exacerbated by the stressfulness of the detoxification process.
Modafinil is another form of prescription medication that can be useful in terms of alleviating drug cravings, as well as helping with disturbed sleeping patterns. This drug is typically used to treat people who are experiencing conditions such as ADHD and narcolepsy.
There are no medications being produced at this time that are specifically used for meth detoxes, but the drugs mentioned here may be used to ease a person's pain during this process.
Other than the medically assisted detox process, treatment options will also include therapy and counseling sessions with trained addiction professionals, and treatment programs such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and 12-step support.
Some people might benefit more from receiving treatment within a group situation, as they might find that sharing their experiences with other people going through the same thing might help their recovery process. Other people might find this to be less effective, in which case one-to-one sessions with a mental health professional might be more preferable.
If you or someone close to you is struggling with an addiction to meth or other drugs, the NP Addiction Clinic can help you. With access to medical professionals who operate within a world-class alcohol and drug treatment facility, you can get the help and support you need to succeed in your long-term recovery. We offer a range of bespoke treatment packages to meet your every need - start your new life in the Florida sun with us.
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