Methamphetamine Addiction For Users
Is Recovery from Methamphetamine Possible?
If you’ve struggled with addiction to Methamphetamine for many years it can seem impossible to recover from the effects Meth has had you. However, there is hope. You don’t have to be stuck forever with the way Meth has affected your body and mind. Studies have been done in order to evaluate the effect of long-term abstinence on brain activity when it comes to former Meth users. Temple University did a study in 2010 where they looked at the restoration of brain function after Meth users stopped using Meth. Former users who hadn’t used Meth in six months scored lower on motor skills, verbal skills, and psychological tasks when compared to people who had never used Methamphetamine before. However, after a period of 12 to 17 months the motor skills and verbal skills of former users was equal to non-users. This shows that over time the body is able to repair itself and get itself back to how it was prior to substance abuse.
Recovery does, however, vary from person to person. Restoring normal brain function depends on a few factors. Factors such as how long a person used Meth, how often they used it, and how much they used. After stopping the use of Methamphetamine, users can expect to see improvement in the following areas after six to twelve months:
- Fewer nightmares
- Improvement in depression and anxiety
- Improvement in focus and attention
- Normalization of brain receptors and transporters
- Reduction in jitteriness and emotional rages
- Restoration of neurotransmitter activity in parts of the brain regulating personality
- Stabilization of mood swings
The craving to use Meth once again may never go away. The reward system in the brain is damaged by the use of Meth. Therefore, patients should take treatment and aftercare very seriously if they truly want to stay clean long-term.
What steps should meth users take to quit?
Quitting Meth or any drug is challenging. Why is it so difficult to stop if you know you want to? Your body has gotten used to the way you function when you use Meth. The way you feel when you use Meth has become your body’s new “normal”. It can take some time for your body to adjust back to being off the drug. Withdrawal can be a challenging process to go through. Depending on a few factors, withdrawal can be more or less intense. These factors include:
- how much you have been using
- how often you have been using
- how long you have been using
- how healthy you are generally
- if you have any mental health issues
- your physical health
- your attitude.
When going through recovery it can be helpful to write a list of the pros and cons of using Meth. That way later on when you are tempted to use you will be able to look at your cons list and remember why you quit. Being able to remind yourself of all the negative impacts Meth has on your life can help keep you clean. Before you decide to quit Meth altogether make sure to take a few steps such as:
- Organizing a safe place for yourself
- Get the support you need
- Plan the days and nights ahead
- Get medication to help with withdrawal
During withdrawal, you may experience a range of symptoms such as:
- Trouble sleeping
- Aches and pains
- Moods swings
It is important to be at a treatment center so that you have all the care and support possible when going through withdrawal.
Is it possible to quit meth alone?
Quitting Meth on one’s own can be challenging. This is because of the physiological and psychological effects of Meth. Frequent use of Meth affects the brain’s dopamine receptors. Use of Meth causes dopamine releases to be driven up. When a dopamine spike happens in a certain area of the brain it is a signal that whatever is happening is very good. Once a user stops taking Meth the dopamine levels in the brain that were once spiked from the Meth, now drop. Those who have been using Methamphetamine for a long time also have fewer dopamine receptors available. So following the use of Meth there is less dopamine and there may be fewer receptors to activate.
This is why some individuals who quit Meth may be unable to feel pleasure. The ability to get pleasure or happiness out of things in life is a lot harder for someone who is recovering from Meth. It can be a big struggle and something that makes someone want to use again.
So does the dopamine ever come back? Yes, eventually. However, for some, it can take as long as two years of being clean for normal dopamine functioning to return. Relapsing can be tempting for people who just want to get back to a sense of feeling happy. It can be very difficult for individuals to go through life without Meth while feeling depressed or apathetic.
How long does it take to detox from Methamphetamine?
Withdrawing from Methamphetamine can take as long as a few days to a few weeks. It depends on the individual. Depending on how long the individual used and how much was used withdrawal can be a longer or shorter process. It is recommended that individuals go through detox in a medically supervised place where there is care and support available. During withdrawal, individuals can go through a range of symptoms such as:
- feeling very tired
- disturbed sleep
- dry mouth
- feeling anxious, paranoid, or having hallucinations
- not eating enough
- muscle spasms
These can range from milder to more severe symptoms. Individuals going through withdrawal may also experience a range of emotional symptoms. This is why it is best to go into treatment following detox. Symptoms can include:
- feeling depressed or anxious
- being paranoid
- not feeling motivated
- low energy level
- intense cravings for more meth
Once again it is best to go through detox in the care of medical professionals. Often family and friends have good intentions but are unable to properly help with the intensity of withdrawal symptoms. Have more questions or concerns when it comes to detoxing? Give us a call at 706-480-8733. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.
What’s the meth detox process like?
Detox is the first step in the recovery process. After detox patients can begin the journey to full recovery and a fresh start in life. So what happens during the detox process? During the detox medical professionals care for patients and use a variety of methods to make the detox process more comfortable. During the detox process from Meth individuals may receive:
- Muscle relaxants or benzodiazepines
- IV fluids/electrolyte repletion
- Medication to treat insomnia
Patients may go through muscle spasms and dehydration when detoxing. That is why muscle relaxants and IV fluids are necessary. Also, patients may experience restlessness and sleep disturbances for up to several weeks when detoxing. Due to the absence of Methamphetamine in the system, the body may also feel fatigued. Plenty of rest is needed throughout the detox process. At the beginning of detoxing a patient may have a lack of appetite. However, appetite should return after the initial phases of withdrawal. Acute withdrawal and the symptoms associated with it should only last for one to two weeks. However, post-acute withdrawal symptoms may last for much longer. Medical professionals can assist with extreme withdrawal symptoms and provide proper care and support. Make sure to check into a detox center prior to starting your detoxing. It is always better to seek professional help rather than doing it on your own or with the help of family and friends.
Methamphetamine Addiction For Loved Ones
What Are the Signs of Methamphetamine Use?
Are you concerned about a loved one and their drug use? Do you suspect they are using Meth? Here are a few signs to look out for if you suspect they are using Methamphetamine. Firstly, Meth is a drug that speeds up breathing and raises an individual’s blood pressure. Due to this many people become hyperactive. They have a lot of extra energy. If you are looking for signs of Meth use, see if your loved one is talking and moving around a lot. Other signs can include scratching of the skin. Individuals may have sores or burns on their lips or fingers. This is from holding hot Meth pipes.
Meth can also cause individuals to have intense and quick mood changes. Individuals may go from being excited about becoming angry and even violent. This can make them a danger to themselves and others. These strong emotions can also lead to other thoughts. They may become paranoid and believe someone is out to get them. On the other extreme, they may want to end their own life. It is important to reach out and get help for a loved one if you suspect they may have a Meth addiction. Give us a call today at 706-480-8733 to learn more about interventions and how you can get a loved one the help they need.
Can Meth Users Quit On Their Own?
Are you wondering if your loved one can quit using Meth on their own? Have they told you they can do it alone? The truth is that it is very hard to quit substance use. That is why treatment centers exist. Substances can have a stronghold over one’s mind. While it is hard to quit on one’s own, an individual can begin to do the work of getting clean prior to starting treatment. Individuals may find it helpful to write a pros and cons list when it comes to their Methamphetamine addiction. It is hard for many people to stop abusing drugs because they miss something about using that drug. If one has a list that shows the negative impact of the drug on their life it can be easier to stop when they are tempted to use it.
Withdrawal symptoms can be intense and range from person to person. Some may find it easier, while others may find it more difficult. This depends on how much an individual has been using, how often they use, and how long they have been using. Individuals may experience both mental and physical health issues during withdrawal. Due to this, it is best to get your loved one into a detox center when they are going through withdrawal. Detoxing alone can be a difficult process that many may not be able to get through alone.
What should I do if I know someone who is using Methamphetamine?
Sometimes people feel lost when a loved one is abusing substances. You may not know how to react or how to help the individual. It can be even more difficult to relate if you yourself have never abused drugs. Loved ones who are abusing drugs can sometimes be erratic and defensive. Oftentimes trying to talk to them about their addiction is challenging. We’re here to help. Here are some ways you can help your loved one during this challenging time for them. Firstly, learn about how drugs affect the body and mind. This will help you understand how drugs are impacting your loved one and why they are having so much trouble quitting. Secondly, let them know you care about them. Do this without judging them and their decisions. This allows for a more honest conversation between you and your loved one. Thirdly, make sure to be positive and encouraging with your loved one. They are going through a difficult time and negativity and nagging isn’t helpful for their addiction. Lastly, offer them practical support. Be there for them during this challenging time. Support looks different for everyone. Ask them how you can support them.
If a loved one is resistant to treatment, consider having an intervention. An intervention specialist can be there to lead the intervention. This is a time to give a loved one an ultimatum. They can decide to go to treatment or not, but if they do not there will be consequences. Interested in more information on interventions? Give us a call at 706-480-8733!
How can a loved one’s meth use affect me?
Addiction impacts everyone who is in an addict’s life. There is no way for an individual’s Methamphetamine use to only affect them. Inevitability, it will impact everyone in their life. When someone is abusing drugs frequently there are often negative impacts on their loved ones. This can be difficult for family and friends of those who are suffering from addiction. However, those suffering from addiction are often unaware of the negative impact they have on their loved ones. Addiction causes an individual to behave in ways that are out of character. Many substance abusers separate from their family and friends and they often lose interest altogether in previously loved activities. Many people feel as though they are losing their relationship with the loved one who is addicted. Due to this, you as a friend or family member may experience a lot of negative mindsets and emotions as a result of their loved one’s substance abuse issue. There may be a great sense of loss that the addict will never return to how they were before. Another issue when it comes to addiction is that many loved ones feel a responsibility to look after the addict. Family and friends take on a caretaker role. This is often a great burden to loved ones. This burden can be an emotional and/or financial burden. This can lead to resentment and conflict. It is important to seek out help if a loved one is struggling with addiction. Give us a call at 706-480-8733 for more information!
What if my loved one doesn’t want to get help for their meth use?
Are you frustrated because a loved one won’t get the help you need? Have you seen your loved one struggle with addiction for months or even years? Have they promised to get better but nothing changed? It is important to realize that your loved one does want to get better. However, using drugs repeatedly causes the brain to change and affects an individual’s self control. This makes quitting a drug nearly impossible. Treatment is an addict’s best chance at having full recovery and getting clean. Many people enter treatment after being pressured by family who no longer want to see them struggle. Many families even have interventions. However, there is no evidence to show that interventions truly motivate those struggling with addiction to change. It can be beneficial though. An individual struggling with addiction is more likely to listen to a professional rather than family members.
Prior to starting treatment most individuals will need to go through a detox. This can be difficult for substance abusers. Many of them live in fear of their drugs being taken away from them. That’s why it is important that those entering treatment know they will be safe and well taken care of the entire time. This can be a scary process to go through. It is important that an individual has a strong support system.
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