An Overview of Meth Addiction and Treatment Options in Ohio
For the past few years, the conversation surrounding drug addiction in Ohio mostly involved prescription opioids and heroin. But recently, another major epidemic has been quickly cutting through the entire state. Methamphetamine, commonly known as “meth,” is now one of the most abused drugs. Research shows that the number of deaths linked to meth in 2020 was about 1,060, a tenfold increase compared to the death rates five years earlier. This drug continues to trap many people in Ohio, creating an urgent health crisis. In 2020, Ohio ranked among the states with the highest drug overdose mortality rates, with 47.2 deaths per 100,000 people.
Meth is highly addictive, and affected individuals can suffer from a range of short- and long-term issues. When left untreated, meth addiction can cause significant health damage that makes it challenging to live a normal life and manage day-to-day responsibilities. For instance, individuals struggling with addiction find it hard to care for their families and perform at work. Unfortunately, it’s difficult for people addicted to meth to stop using it on their own.
If you or someone close to you is addicted to meth, the best option is to seek help from an addiction treatment center. There, you’ll find rehab professionals who can guide you on your journey to recovery.
What Is Meth?
Methamphetamine is a drug that acts as a powerful stimulant that is highly addictive. Meth affects the central nervous system and makes the brain produces high amounts of dopamine, a chemical that causes a euphoric feeling. When meth overloads your brain, you’ll have a feeling of clear-headedness, decreased appetite, and high energy levels because of excess dopamine.
Why Is Meth Addictive?
Unlike other amphetamines, meth has higher potency levels resulting in stronger effects on your brain. You will feel the effects quickly when you inject or smoke methamphetamine, which is mostly an immediate rush that is intense and short-lived. Those who orally ingest or snort meth feel a euphoric effect within minutes. The pleasurable effects of using this drug can come more rapidly but diminish quickly. Since users want to maintain the euphoric effects, they may take high amounts and binge on the drug for days, forgoing responsibilities and sleep. Others use it as a diet pill for its efficiency in reducing appetite.
Why Do People Use Meth?
Although this drug is illegal and dangerous, people use meth for different reasons. Since meth increases energy levels, some people use it to help them complete tasks easily and quickly. For instance, roofers, factory, and construction workers can sometimes turn to meth to enhance production levels. Also, individuals involved in repetitive job roles may opt to smoke meth to turn off their minds. Workers on night shifts can also turn to meth to help them stay awake.
Another reason why some people use meth is to help them forget their problems. The mood enhancement that results from getting high gives them a sense of well-being. Also, this drug gives a false feeling of self-confidence and invincibility.
Some individuals can use meth to reduce self-consciousness about socializing. The drug makes them feel more talkative and cheerful. But since methamphetamine can cause personality changes and aggressiveness, using this drug can make your usual friends drift away, so you are only left to socialize with other meth users.
Effects of Meth Use
The long-term effect of using meth is dependence and addiction, which can cause severe effects on your mind and body. In some cases, some effects can only be partially reversed for people who use high dosages over extended periods. And even if you use meth in small quantities, it’s a very potent drug. The side effects of meth use are similar to those of other stimulating drugs like cocaine and Adderall.
Common side effects include:
- Damage to brain cells
- Lack of social awareness
- Aggressive behavior
- Decreased inhibitions
- Sores on the skin
- Feeling exhilarated
- Dental issues like tooth decay and gum disease
- Becoming delusional
- Cardiovascular problems like irregular heartbeats
- Memory loss
- Mood swings
- Constant paranoia
- Trouble sleeping
Signs of Meth Addiction
Sometimes, it can be difficult to tell whether a loved one is suffering from a substance use disorder. If you don’t pay close attention, you can confuse the signs and symptoms of meth addiction with something like stress resulting from a difficult phase in life or from a job. Therefore, if someone demonstrates at least two of the common addiction symptoms listed below, help them get assistance from our rehab center:
- Quitting hobbies due to meth use
- Strong cravings for meth
- Poor performance in school or at work
- Difficulty quitting meth use
- Poor hygiene habits
- Drastic mood swings
- Developing high tolerance to the effects of meth
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using meth
- Developing friendships with those using meth
Meth Abuse and Withdrawal
Meth withdrawal symptoms occur in two phases. The first phase usually occurs within 24 hours, and the effects gradually decline in a week. The next stage can last for about three weeks or more, especially if you fail to seek help from a rehab facility in time. Withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person depending on factors like the amount of meth used and the duration that a person has used it. These are some common meth withdrawal symptoms:
- Intense meth cravings
- Disturbed sleep
- Dry mouth
- Muscle spasms
Withdrawal symptoms result from your body struggling to re-adapt to the lack of a drug or a decrease in the usual usage. In the case of meth, when you use the drug, the brain’s chemistry gets altered temporarily. Once you stop using meth, various functions in the brain must adapt quickly and go back to what it was before the alterations.
Meth Addiction Treatment Process
Several treatment options are available for people addicted to meth in a rehab center. However, some people resist treatment because they don’t want to go through withdrawal, so trying to stage an intervention may be difficult. Some individuals may become hostile or violent due to the aggressive nature of meth addiction. Also, even if you want to help a loved one overcome meth addiction, you may not know how to convince them to seek help while others may deny they have an addiction problem. The most effective solution is to get help from our meth addiction treatment center, where there are specialists who know how to deal with people struggling with this problem.
Detoxification for Meth
Since meth is highly addictive, you need first to undergo detoxification. This process involves safely removing drug traces from the body. During meth detox, medical professionals are always present to monitor every individual in the rehab facility. This ensures that every client is stable during the withdrawal stage. Medical experts can even create a customized detox plan to address your unique needs. In some cases, doctors can prescribe medications such as mirtazapine or modafinil for clients who panic or get agitated as their bodies adjust to staying without meth.
Note that trying to detox on your own is challenging because the withdrawal symptoms lead you into a discouraging cycle where you try to quit but find yourself using the drug again because the symptoms get to be too much. Even if you have the strength and willpower to quit, you need a professional to help you overcome addiction. The first 48 hours of meth detox are intense, and you may find yourself without energy. As it progresses to a week, you reach the peak, but it can take a month to fully detox from meth.
Once all the drug traces are flushed out of your body, medical experts assist you in preparing for the next treatment procedures. Besides, removing meth traces from your body doesn’t mean that you will never have the desire to use it again. Other treatment forms help address the cognitive and behavioral issues associated with meth addiction.
Inpatient Meth Rehabilitation
A residential rehab program is a good option for people who have used meth for extended periods and are experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. Inpatient treatment centers require a person to live at the rehab facility for the entire program duration. Clients have a stable environment that ensures that they don’t fall back into using meth. Clients have a safe place free of temptations and triggers, so they can easily regain complete control of their life.
Depending on each client’s needs, inpatient rehabilitation can last about 30 to 90 days. Research reveals that inpatient drug addiction treatment programs that last 90 days or longer have better results.
Outpatient Meth Rehabilitation
You can opt for outpatient rehabilitation if you have less severe meth addiction issues or obligations you can’t abandon. This program allows clients to attend part-time while continuing daily activities like working and attending school. Because of its flexible setting, an outpatient program works well when clients have a strong support system from family and friends, motivation to return to sobriety, and a safe place to live.
What to Expect During Meth Addiction Treatment Programs
Addiction treatment centers offer various options to help individuals fully recover. Each client is different, so people who enter treatment typically take part in a mix of different types of treatment.
Clients receiving meth addiction treatment meet with a therapist for a specific number of hours per week. You discuss how meth has impacted your life and the reasons behind your addiction. These trained and certified counselors also help you establish rehab goals and offer you strategies to help you prevent relapse.
Addiction treatment therapy
One of the most effective treatments for people with meth addiction is behavioral therapy. Clients may participate in contingency management interventions and cognitive behavior therapy. Under contingency management, clients get incentives for continued abstinence from using meth. The incentives can be in the form of a voucher or other rewards as you continue availing of drug-free urine samples.
Cognitive behavior therapy involves working with professional therapists who help you develop healthy coping strategies. Research shows that cognitive behavior therapy is effective in reducing substance use even after a few sessions.
You have an opportunity to work with other people struggling with meth addiction so you can heal, grow, and learn from each other. Some of the topics covered in these groups include life skills, anger management, and coping skills. Group therapy is a great place to begin building a support system of sober peers.
Your family is integral to your addiction treatment process. Family therapy sessions help clients restructure their relationships with their family members. Dedicated counselors lead these sessions where loved ones have an opportunity to voice their struggles and teach them how to help you during this time.
After rehab, you still need ongoing support to maintain sobriety. An aftercare plan helps to meet your continuing needs, especially in the early months once formal treatment ends. This program enables you to rebuild from the wreckage and return to your everyday life. It also helps you craft a relapse prevention plan after treatment that consists of measures and techniques that help you avoid relapse.
Overcome Meth Addiction at White Light Behavioral Health
Meth addiction can negatively impact your mental and physical health, and you will find it difficult to manage your day-to-day life. If you are struggling with this substance use disorder, you can get help at our drug rehab facility, White Light Behavioral Health in Columbus, Ohio. Don’t sacrifice your health and risk your life for meth addiction. Contact us today for the help you need to take back control of your life.