Drug Rehab for Methamphetamine
Compared to other types of disease, addiction is quite unusual. It used to be that people saw addiction as a behavioral issue and, consequently, a question of morality, but we came to realize that addiction is actually a chronic relapsing disease of the brain. In this way, addiction is actually more similar to something like diabetes or Alzheimer’s disease than a moral affliction. Further, addiction can be highly variable depending on the substance to which the individual is addiction. For example, someone who’s addicted to heroin might exhibit significantly different behaviors and effects than someone who’s addicted to methamphetamine.
Lately, opioids have garnered the most attention when it comes to mind-altering substances, but it’s important to remember that there are numerous other dangerous substances. In spite of the rising abuse of opioids, methamphetamine remains one of the most addictive substances. But what is methamphetamine and how does methamphetamine rehab work? Are there medications used to treat methamphetamine addiction and, perhaps most importantly, does methamphetamine rehab really work?
How Methamphetamine Rehab Works
Before we dive into methamphetamine rehab, let’s consider methamphetamine as a mind-altering substance. In stark contrast to substances like alcohol, benzodiazepines, and even opioids, methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant drug. This means that, while the other drugs mentioned above work to slow the body and reduce overall energy levels, methamphetamine actually works to stimulate the central nervous system as well as numerous other systems and processes in the body. In practice, the use of methamphetamine results in a marked increase in overall energy level.
In terms of its physical appearance, methamphetamine — also known as “crystal meth” for short — is typically a colorless, odorless, crystalline substance that is most often either smoked in special apparatuses or crushed and insufflated (inhaled through the nasal passage). It’s also possible to ingest the drug although this route of administration is much less effective, making it much less common. Additionally, since methamphetamine is soluble in water, some users will liquify the drug and inject it directly into the bloodstream using a hypodermic needle; this last route of administration results in the most intense effects of the drug, but all routes of administration allow the drug to achieve its effects and be highly addictive.
As with other drugs, the frequent use of methamphetamine over a period of time results in an individual’s body becoming physiologically dependent on the drug. Of course, the effects of chemical dependency vary according to the substance at hand. With the use of methamphetamine, the user’s mood and overall demeanor changes notably. Those who use methamphetamine report feeling extremely happy, powerful, and energetic. Further, the drug decreases appetite and is reported to increase sexual performance and appetites.
With the continued abuse of methamphetamine over time, an individual’s body becomes dependent on the increased stimulation to the central nervous system. In other words, the body becomes accustomed to the frequent presence of a high energy level, elevated body temperature and blood pressure, and concentrated levels of neurotransmitters associated with feelings of happiness and pleasure. Once dependence has developed, an individual will experience negative effects anytime he or she is without methamphetamine; these are known as withdrawal symptoms, which include feelings of depression, lethargy, trembling and shaking in the limbs, anxiety, paranoia, sweating, general physical discomfort, confusion, nausea, and numerous other unpleasant symptoms.
The purpose of methamphetamine rehab is to help a person overcome his or her dependence on methamphetamine. This is achieved through a combination of psychotherapy and counseling, group therapy, and numerous types of alternative or complementary therapies. The idea is to address the addiction and its various effects individually by matching those effects to the most appropriate forms of treatment. By completing methamphetamine rehab, an individual regains his or her sobriety while learning effective strategies and skills to reinforce or safeguard that sobriety for the long-term.
What Medications Are Used to Treat Methamphetamine Addiction?
Although we tend to associate rehab and recovery with sobriety, it’s actually quite common for addiction to be treated with medication. More often than not, this occurs during the detoxification phase of addiction, which is an initial period during which the individual gets acclimated to not having methamphetamine or another substance in his or her system. In short, detoxification serves as a physical cleanse through which the body is ridded of various toxins and harmful substances, helping the individual to return to a state of comprehensive physical wellness.
The use of medications as part of addiction treatment will depend on the type of addiction being treated. For instance, alcoholism is frequently treated with medication, particularly in the early stages, since alcohol withdrawal can potentially be life-threatening. With methamphetamine addiction, the use of medication is somewhat less common than with other types of addiction, but there are instances where methamphetamine addiction may be treated with medication.
One of the most common scenarios would be to use something like a muscle relaxant or sedative to help individuals detoxing in methamphetamine rehab to become more relaxed during the process. Since withdrawal can sometimes entail physiological discomfort, the use of medications affords individuals with a level of relief from that discomfort. Further, many individuals have trouble sleeping in the early stages of methamphetamine recovery; therefore, sleep aids and hypnotics may help them to sleep at night, which is incredible important for overall wellness.
Does Methamphetamine Rehab Actually Work?
Much as there are numerous different ways to become addicted to mind-altering substances, there are many ways to overcome addiction to methamphetamine or some other drug. The recovery process is designed to be incredibly personal and customizable, ensuring that each individual has his or her unique recovery needs mets over the course of treatment. This strategy of individualization is central to the efficacy of methamphetamine rehab.
Specifically, each of the components of methamphetamine rehab are crucial to overcoming methamphetamine addiction in its own way. For instance, psychotherapy and individual or one-on-one counseling are designed to help patients better understand the circumstances and environmental factors that led to their becoming addicted to methamphetamine in the first place. By better understanding how they came to be addicted, patients and their therapists can work together to develop relapse-prevention plans. In other words, the therapists help the patients identify ways to resist possible relapse triggers and reinforce their newfound sobriety as the progress to more advanced stages of recovery.
Other components of methamphetamine rehab are likewise designed to optimize each patient’s potential for success in recovery. Group therapy has become strongly associated with addiction recovery as group-style therapies tend to be ideal scenarios for things like skills building, refining social skills, repairing relationships with loved ones, and developing addiction relapse-prevention strategies.
In short, the purpose of methamphetamine rehab is to help patients achieve sobriety, learn ways to sustain that sobriety, and prepare for their eventual return home where they’ll assume total responsibility for maintaining their recoveries. As such, every element of a methamphetamine rehab program serves either one or all of those main goals. By the time a patient has reached the end of a methamphetamine rehab program, he or she should feel confident about returning home and being able to navigate their daily lives while minimizing risk for relapse.
Does Insurance Cover Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment?
Historically, individuals who required treatment for methamphetamine addiction or other forms of chemical dependency were forced to fund their recoveries out of their own pockets. This made rehabilitation extremely prohibitive as it was only accessible to those who could pay for treatment. Fortunately, this is no longer the case. With the passing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2011, substance abuse treatment was designated an essential health benefit, meaning that many private and government healthcare plans now offer coverage for addiction treatment. In turn, this has greatly improved the level of access that individuals have to quality addiction treatment.
But there are still other ways to fund addiction treatment for those who may not have health coverage. In addition to still being able to pay for addiction treatment oneself, many addiction treatment centers have begun to offer more flexible payment options. For example, some facilities will allow patients to pay for treatment in installments over time. Similarly, it’s common for treatment centers to over subsidized pricing options, meaning that the cost of treatment is adjusted based on a person’s ability to pay. In other words, some addiction treatment programs are reduced in price according to a patient’s financial need.
Beyond insurance and payment plans, there are other resources available to fund one’s addiction treatment. Many individuals who find themselves in need of rehab will research scholarships and grants; these tend to be funded by either the government or private institutions and made available according to financial need.
Finally, there are also financial institutions that offer financing options meant specifically for addiction treatment. When an individual procures a loan from one of these financial institutions, he or she is often not required to make the first payment until after a certain amount of time following completion of the treatment program. When no other options are available, loans meant specifically for addiction treatment are just another way with which to make recovery more accessible.