Methamphetamine (also known as meth) is an incredibly scary drug to consider if you’re loved one is struggling with an addiction. Approximately 1.2 million people report using meth each year, and while meth use has seen a decrease over the years, it’s still a major topic of concern. One of the most challenging situations we could ever experience is to discover that our sibling, friend, coworker, spouse or other family member has been dabbling in substance abuse – and illict drugs like methamphetamine can bring about terrifying thoughts and fears for our loved one’s safety. If your loved one has decided to seek treatment, it’s important to note that there is still hope for them to recover. It will be a long road – but it’s worth it.
Understanding Methemphetamine: What It Is and How It Works
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains that meth is, “A stimulant drug usually used as a white, bitter-tasting powder or a pill.”
The drug is chemically structured similarly to amphetamine, which has been used to help treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and narcolepsy (a sleep disorder). There are several ways that individuals take this drug: 1) inhaling or smoking, 2) swallowing, 3) snorting, or 4) injecting. The “high” that comes from meth tends to appear quite quickly after the drug has been initially taken, and because of this, the high also fades quickly; those who abuse this drug tend to experience the “binge and crash”, which occurs when people give up food or sleep in order to pursue the high.
Your loved one’s meth use has certainly affected their brain, as all drugs do; dopamine, the “feel good” chemical in the brain, is rapidly released when this drug is taken and because of this, your loved one’s brain is trained to crave and go after that release. What happens after the drug is taken is often what friends and family members see – an increased level of wakefulness and energy, a decreased appetite, faster breathing, increased body temperature and more – and this is what can peak concern if other signs of addiction haven’t become prevalent.
Getting Your Loved One Back to Health
The longer that meth has been abused, the greater the physical, mental and spiritual damage that can take place. Of course, recovery is still possible – but it takes a lot of persistence and effort on both their part and yours to ensure they make it through recovery. The first step towards healing is stabilization, and this often occurs as a person detoxes from their addiction. While the detoxification process may seem scary, it’s necessary for your loved one to heal and restore – this “cleansing” stage serves as a “clean slate” for promoted wellbeing. From there, your loved one can begin actively participating in a specialized treatment program designed to fit their holistic needs.
At Avalon Malibu, there are several types of treatment that can be used to help your loved one regain their sense of control in life, such as:
- Cogntive behavioral therapy (CBT) – which can help your loved one replace older, negative thought patterns with newer, more productive ones
- Couples and family therapy – so that you can work with your loved one on re-establishing firm, healthy relationships
- Group psychotherapy – where your loved one can connect with others who’ve gone through similar experiences and can build a sense of community
- Massage therapy and acupuncture – to assist in your loved one’s wellbeing, and to promote relaxation so that more mental space can be devoted to work on healing deep-rooted emotional concerns
- Relapse prevention – including strategies to directly help your loved one identify situations in which they may be at risk for relapse, and healthy coping mechanisms for handling these situations
- And more
These holistic approaches to treatment, including yoga, meditation and mindfulness, art therapy, music therapy, motivational enhancement therapy and so much more, can be explored by your loved one to truly participate in a recovery program that speaks to their total health and wellbeing.
Recovery is Possible
Unfortunately, some people experience long-term damage from meth addiction – but in most cases, the damage can be reversed. What’s most important in recovery is that your loved one continue working towards their health and wellness – and that they rely on you for additional support. As friends and family members, you’re likely unsure of where this next step will lead you – and by focusing on your own mental, physical and spiritual health, you’ll find that you have greater capacity to care for your loved one in a way that still holds them accountable for seeking help while also ensuring your own personal safety.
If your loved one is ready to get started towards healing, speak with a professional from Avalon Malibu today. It’s never too late – and there are a team of people here ready to help your loved one build the life of their dreams.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 844-857-5992 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.