Crystal Meth Addiction Help & Treatment
Crystal meth -methamphetamine hydrochloride- is a stimulant drug, people tend to use it for recreational purposes to boost their energy levels..
Taking crystal meth offers users an increased potential for physical and mental activity, decreases appetite and generates feelings of pleasure and euphoria.
This makes it a powerfully addictive substance with the potential to do terrible damage to a user.
How Is Crystal Meth Different From Other Stimulant Drugs?
In comparison to amphetamines, crystal meth is a methamphetamine, meaning that it is extremely potent as larger amounts of the drug can find their way into the brain and take effect.
This makes it a highly desirable drug for people looking to experience its powerful effects, which only strengthens its potential for widescale use.
Unlike cocaine which does not remain in the body for long, crystal meth has a longer duration of action which means it will stay in the body for much longer.
Crystal Meth – Physical Effects
Crystal meth is an evolved version of the amphetamine drug category and generates physical symptoms such as:
- Rapid heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Increased risk of physical collapse
Amphetamine based drugs provide an elevated mood, making the user more energetic, alert and self-assured.
Crystal Meth And Cognitive Performance
Taking crystal meth can improve concentration and attention, particularly if people feel bored or mentally fatigued.
These effects mean that -as well as being used as a recreational drug– people will use the drug to boost their cognitive performance.
Crystal meth therefore tends to be a popular drug for students during exams and intense study periods, and hardworking people who work long hours in jobs that require intense mental effort, concentration and in-depth analysis.
Crystal Meth – Psychological Dependence
Crystal meth can be highly psychologically rewarding for people who start to take it.
Once they are aware of these positive changes, it will act as a reinforcement to encourage continued use.
Users will eventually come to rely on the psychological and physical effects that the drug provides for them.
Crystal Meth– Withdrawal Symptoms
Sudden withdrawal from crystal meth produces a range of physical and mental withdrawal symptoms, including:
- The need for sleep
This is because withdrawal symptoms tend to produce the opposite effect to the main impact the drug is taken for.
So, if a person takes a drug in order to experience a pleasurable state they will experience a low mood when withdrawing.
These can be unpleasant and challenging to deal with, but do not tend to last for too long.
Treatment For Crystal Meth Addiction
Many different areas contribute to the treatment process for people looking to recover from crystal meth addiction.
Three main goals contribute to the treatment plan for clients looking to give up crystal meth.
- Identifying the root causes of their need to take the drug
- Managing triggers and craving
- Helping them develop a meaningful life away from drug use
The detox phase is very challenging for clients to endure, particularly as there are no substitute drugs available for reducing the level of crystal meth in the body like there are for opioid drugs or alcohol.
Medical research has shown that stopping suddenly is the preferable course of action and then the medical support team can direct their treatment focus towards relieving the withdrawal symptoms that the client experiences.
Many addiction experts who are experienced in treating crystal meth addiction recommend that it is more beneficial for the client to have their withdrawal managed in a residential setting.
This is because it can be extremely challenging for some people to deal with the strong psychological withdrawal symptoms associated with abstaining from crystal meth after sustained use.
The reason for this is during the early stages of withdrawal some patients may be at risk of suicide ideation and low mood, so medical professionals need to assess the physical and mental state of each person to help them through the detox process.
Psychiatrists have dopaminergic and antidepressant drugs at their disposal to help counter the depressive symptoms that people may experience in the withdrawal phase.
If the doctor or psychiatrist is satisfied that patients are stable and not in danger of physical or mental deterioration, then the clients can switch to an outpatient basis for their psychosocial rehab.
However, they are not protected from environmental temptations if they opt for this arrangement.
Psychosocial Treatment For Crystal Meth Addiction
Research has found that behavioural therapies are the most effective for addiction to crystal meth, including contingency management and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
There are other interventions that can also contribute to the development of a successful treatment plan, all of which have been integrated into a specialised and effective treatment programme for crystal meth addiction called The Matrix model.
The Matrix Model
The Matrix Model is a 16-week comprehensive behavioural and therapeutic course that brings many different psychological interventions together to help people overcome their addiction to crystal meth.
The interventions included in the programme are:
- Individual Therapy
- Behavioural Therapy
- Family Education
- 12 -Step Work
Individual Psychological Therapies
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy will enable clients to understand the irrational and inaccurate thought patterns that underlie their use of crystal meth.
Clients may have particular beliefs and expectations about their drug use, which may not be accurate.
For example, their use of crystal meth may be maintained by the thought that this drug is the only way that their mood can be enhanced.
A CBT therapist will help them realise that there are other ways to experience a positive state that does not involve taking any psychoactive substances.
Dialectical Behavioural Therapy has proven to be a very effective therapy for helping clients find a way to deal with strong emotions, so this could form an important part of their treatment schedule.
Person-centred, psychodynamic, gestalt and transactional analysis therapies are also available to help clients understand the underlying emotional causes of their substance use.
The practitioner reviewing the client’s case notes will review their life history and recommend the therapy that they consider to be the most suitable.
Contingency management is a key component in the matrix model treatment programme and uses the behavioural psychology principles of punishment and reward to shape people’s behaviour.
Clients who join the treatment programme will be offered financial incentives or rewards if they make progress with their quest to give up taking crystal meth.
They will receive a reward if they stop taking the drug and this acts as a positive reinforcer to ensure they keep refraining from taking crystal meth in the future, realising that giving up the drug has positive results for them.
The Reward Must Be Immediate
The main reason why this technique is successful is because an immediate reward strengthens the likelihood that they will continue to maintain their abstinence.
Regular drug testing would prove if a person is successful in abstaining from using crystal meth and passing a drug test would generate a reward for the client.
Research has indicated that this has been a very successful approach in helping people give up the drug.
12 Step Work
As with all addictions following the 12-step model is a key part of the clients’ recovery.
The 12 steps proposed by advocates of the AA philosophy will be adapted into a format applicable to facilitating the recovery from stimulant drugs.
Following the 12 steps will enable clients to reflect on their life choices, spiritual beliefs and personal character traits, which will help them come to terms with their situation and give them the insight they need to embrace sobriety.
Having family therapy can help clients and their relatives resolve any unconscious communication patterns that may have negatively impacted them.
The family will be encouraged to have more of an open dialogue with each other about topics that may have previously been too uncomfortable or sensitive to talk about.
By working with an experienced therapist, families can begin to understand how their relational dynamics may have contributed to the poor mental health exhibited by some of its members.
Once these have been identified, the therapist can help the family eradicate their dysfunctional communication patterns.
Development Of Cognitive Skills
A key part of any client’s psychological rehabilitation involves providing them with key mental skills which they can implement themselves when the need arises in the future.
Humans do not possess an endless supply of willpower to enable them to sustain resistance to drug-taking for a long period.
Therefore, clients need to develop the necessary cognitive skills to help them avoid relapsing back into using crystal meth.
This is achieved by organising workshops for clients in which they will work with therapists to identify specific high-risk scenarios they may encounter that may make it difficult for them to avoid taking crystal meth.
This may include being in the company of certain friends who they usually take crystal meth with.
Once these situations have been pinpointed then the client can, with the help of the therapist, work towards developing and rehearsing particular strategies that will help them resist temptation.
An example of this would be teaching the client drug refusal skills and building their levels of assertiveness.
Stress Management And Psychological Resilience
These skills can also help them manage cravings and deal with strong emotions.
Once clients understand the nature of how their mind operates, they can become more psychologically resilient, as they now have strategies in place that they can implement.
Free Sources Of Support In The Short Term
There are many treatment services available to help treat crystal meth addiction.
Every drug rehab clinic will have developed excellent, established treatments based on valuable findings which have greatly contributed to a range of treatment options available.
Clients who can finance their own treatment will be able to begin treatment at a rehab clinic almost immediately, but those who require funding and need to wait to access treatment may have to wait until their funding has been approved which can take months.
However, in the meantime, some organisations offer specialist support that can be highly valuable to people who have developed a drug dependence, but are not able to fund treatment themselves.
Narcotics Anonymous Meetings
It is so important for people in recovery from crystal meth addiction to seek as many sources of support as they can as they strive to understand the addictive process and find out what they need to do to work towards recovery.
Attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings every week (if not more often) will put them in contact with people who have been through similar experiences and whom they can turn to for advice, guidance and support.
The whole principle of the AA movement is fellowship, and people who have become addicted cannot recover on their own but can recover through the help of others.
So, by telling your own story and listening to the experiences of your NA peers, people can establish a firm foundation to help them recover.
SMART Recovery has emerged as a key resource for people attempting to recover from drug use.
They are a non-profit company that has developed a specially prepared programme that will help people develop the mental skills to enable them to deal with negative emotions and strong cravings that lead to substance use.
SMART recovery’s programme includes a strong personal development element that helps clients find the courage and motivation to set goals and pursue their ambitions, all of which SMART Recovery views as essential in the recovery process.
Their programme is free and is delivered by trained volunteers who will raise clients’ awareness and educate them on the nature of their unhelpful thought patterns, and which strategies they can implement to change these patterns.
Get Help For Crystal Meth Addiction
Finding the right treatment service that can help you live free of an addiction to crystal meth is often a complicated and time-consuming process.
If you need urgent help and are finding the wide variety of treatments on offer overwhelming, that’s where we come in.
When you reach out to us for help with crystal meth addiction, we’re able to give you:
- A free help and evaluation service to help you choose the right treatment
- Guidance on the best treatment options for your circumstances
- Assistance in picking out the most cost-effective options
- Information on quality of care, best clinical practice and more
- Complete clarity so you can make the right choice of treatment
Call today in complete confidence on 08000 886 686 to take your first steps on the road to a happy and healthy new life.