Methamphetamine Addiction

Methamphetamine Treatment In South Carolina

Reports from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found that opioid abuse in South Carolina declined from 2017 to 2018. Sadly, it’s a different story for methamphetamines. From 2014-2018, methamphetamine abuse rose by almost 4%. Methamphetamine, or meth, is a highly addictive substance that is difficult to stop using without help.

What makes meth different from some drugs is how quickly someone can get hooked on it. Just one use could lead to a lifetime of addiction. Those suffering from an addiction to meth may feel ashamed to get treatment. Additionally, severe methamphetamine withdrawal symptoms may stop them from trying altogether. Those who feel this way should know there is a safe way to quit meth through addiction treatment.

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What Is Meth?

Meth is a type of stimulant drug. Stimulant drugs are substances that speed up the body’s systems. As for meth, it increases the amount of dopamine available in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical associated with motivation, movement, and reward-seeking. A large rush of dopamine can make a person feel intensely euphoric. People use meth by:

  • ingesting a pill version
  • smoking it
  • snorting It
  • injecting a dissolved version

A part of the reason why meth is highly addictive is that it produces intense happiness. However, the high is short-lived. When people “crash” after using meth they want more. First off, they want it because it’s uncomfortable to “crash” after meth. But it’s also the desire to experience the extreme high again. These polar feelings can make someone do more and more until they need meth overdose treatment. Other than an overdose, using meth continuously will result in serious health problems, like an addiction.

Methamphetamine Addiction

In 2017, a national survey found that 964,000 people had a methamphetamine use disorder, and over a million people admitted to trying it. The long-term effects of methamphetamine addiction are serious and can include damage to the lungs, liver, kidneys, and cardiovascular system. Long-term use can also negatively affect one’s memory, moods, and cognitive abilities. The best way to prevent long-term meth damage is to seek treatment as early as possible.

Meth addiction can be complex for many users. There is a physical dependence, but this can first be rooted in not knowing healthy ways to respond to emotional or situational stress. Also, it’s not uncommon for individuals to do meth after taking prescription opioids. Although opioid prescriptions help people in extreme pain, they can be highly addictive and act as a gateway to meth.

Those suffering from a meth addiction need treatment, just like any other medical disorder. Addictions are classified as chronic disorders. Meth specifically can be incredibly complex to quit because of psychological and physical dependence. The brain adapts to the extreme highs and lows of meth binges and can’t cope when a person decides to stop. This can result in physical and mental methamphetamine withdrawal symptoms.

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Methamphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms

The severity of meth withdrawal symptoms is different for each person. Though, the longer people are dependent on meth, the worse their symptoms will be. Rather than hitting a person all at once, these symptoms often come in waves or stages. The first few days can be especially painful.

Over the course of a few weeks, physical symptoms such as body aches, hallucinations, and exhaustion can wane. However, psychological illnesses might emerge over time. It’s important to seek professional treatment during withdrawal as severe symptoms can be fatal.

Common meth withdrawal symptoms include:

  • body aches
  • mood swings
  • headaches
  • inability to concentrate
  • meth cravings
  • increased appetite
  • weight gain
  • paranoia
  • exhaustion
  • hallucinations
  • night sweats
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • suicidal tendencies

Meth withdrawal symptoms can be deadly, but they are typically not as dangerous as a methamphetamine overdose. What makes a meth overdose so dangerous is the fact that people can die from one even if it’s their first time trying this drug. This is especially true for people using it the first time if they decide to inject it since they have no tolerance to it. Swift meth overdose treatment can prevent a worst-case scenario.

As a stimulant, methamphetamine affects the central nervous system and can wreak havoc on the user’s mind and body. Signs of meth overdose can be acute (immediately present) or chronic (lasting over a longer span).

Acute overdose symptoms can range from:

  • confusion
  • aggression
  • anxiety
  • chest pain
  • seizures
  • stomach pain
  • fever
  • sweating
  • spots in vision
  • loss of muscle control
  • irregular heartbeat
  • difficulty breathing
  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • hyperactivity
  • high blood pressure
  • kidney failure
  • coma

Chronic overdose symptoms may include:

  • psychosis
  • paranoia
  • damage to skin or teeth
  • permanent damage to organs (can lead to seizures)
  • stroke
  • paralysis
  • damage to muscles
  • chronic anxiety or other mental disorders
  • decreased brain function
  • heart failure
  • kidney failure
  • loss of consciousness
  • change in cardiac rhythm
  • coma
  • death

Previous health issues that affect the nervous or cardiovascular systems can increase the dangers of meth overdose. There is no antidote to methamphetamine overdose, so users experiencing signs of overdose should seek medical help immediately.

What Should You Do If Someone Is Having a Meth Overdose?

People experiencing methamphetamine overdose can exhibit aggressive, manic, or paranoid behavior along with delusions or hallucinations. Use caution and call 911 immediately. Don’t move a loved one with a meth overdose or attempt to hold a person with a meth overdose still In the case of seizures, gently turn their heads to the side and clear the area around them.

Myths About Methamphetamine Overdose

There is a dangerously false misconception that mixing methamphetamine with a sedative or alcohol will reverse an overdose. In fact, mixing methamphetamine with other drugs only increases your likelihood of overdose, as does taking multiple doses too close together. The only way to diminish the serious effects of a methamphetamine overdose is through methamphetamine overdose treatment.

Meth Withdrawal Symptoms and Meth Overdose Treatment

Medical Detox

The first step to take before meth addiction treatment is to detox the body from meth. This involves getting rid of the build-up of toxins as well as medical supervision in case withdrawal symptoms become too severe. Often, those with a meth addiction may need medical-assisted treatment (MAT) to mitigate the worst of these symptoms.

Partial Hospitalization Programs

There are various levels of care when it comes to meth addiction treatment. Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) are the most intense form of outpatient treatment. So, even though PHP patients won’t live at the facility, it’s appropriate for people with severe addictions.

PHPs usually meet five days a week for eight hours a day. PHPs allow patients to engage in therapy and process groups to meet their personal goals identified in their personalized plans. Patients in this kind of program will meet with a personal case manager and a medical director to help facilitate the recovery process. Holistic therapy and the 12 steps can help patients within this program achieve their goals through spirituality and mindfulness.

Intensive Outpatient Programs

Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) are one step down in terms of intensity in comparison to PHPs. Although outpatient programs don’t require patients to live at the facility, IOPs still involve a healthy amount of structure. IOPs are typically offered three to five times a week and involve psychotherapy as well as life coaching lessons.

This form of treatment program can act as a step down from PHPs or a step up from a general outpatient program. IOPs may also involve holistic therapy and the 12 steps to help patients achieve their physical, mental, and spiritual goals.

Outpatient Programs

General outpatient programs are the least intense form of outpatient care. Patients participating in this type of program may meet a couple of times each week for a few hours. This form of care is best suited for those with a mild addiction. Outpatient programs typically involve individual or group therapy.

The Owls Nest Can Help You Achieve Long Term Sobriety In South Carolina

People with a meth use disorder who seek support through The Owls Nest are given the tools they need to overcome their physical and emotional dependency and address emotional stress in a healthier way. Graduates of the program join a supportive alumni network of thousands of former drug addicts and alcoholics who have successfully beat their addictions with the help of The Owls Nest. If you or someone you know is using, abusing, or addicted to methamphetamine, please contact us today.