Light On The Other Side: What To Know About Tackling Meth Addiction
In the media and on television shows, much of the discussion seems to center around the dealing of methamphetamine. It is a decidedly lucrative practice to those who pander the illegal drug and decidedly advantageous to law enforcement members who can further their careers with successful shutdowns of meth labs.
However, one often forgotten party in this area of the “War on Drugs” is the one most deeply affected: The victims of drug addiction. Methamphetamine is very addictive and the high level of addictiveness is what helps fuel the successful rate of trade. But for those seeking an out, it can be challenging to do alone – which is why the first step is to seek help for getting over this terrible situation.
What Does Meth Addiction Look Like?
The scariest aspect of any addiction is that a person can lose a great deal of themselves before realizing just how badly they need help. The signs and symptoms of meth addiction are simple and easy to recognize. Addicts experience a loss of appetite, usually leading to major weight loss. The longer a person is addicted, the more gaunt they will become. In addition, they begin essentially rotting, and sores appear on their mouth and face as a result of frequent meth abuse.
More startling results of prolonged addiction to methamphetamine include blindness, kidney failure, and internal bleeding. The brain is damaged due to destroyed cells and psychological trauma can include anything from delusions and suicidal thoughts to psychosis and schizophrenia.
Ultimately, meth addiction takes a heavy toll on the mind and body of addicts. It negatively impacts health the longer it is abused, and can threaten the live and wellbeing of those who use it.
Finally Deciding To Quit
For those who don’t suffer from drug addiction and have never used any type of addictive substance, quitting is common sense. We often take for granted the fact that no one wants to be addicted to any type of harmful drug. And for those who are indeed addicted, walking away from a drug like meth can seem impossible. But there are steps one can take when they are ready to try and find a life outside of meth addiction.
The first step is to acknowledge that one has a dangerous drug habit. Once one has come to terms with this, they can then move towards getting treatment for methamphetamine addiction.
Treatment Options for Those Addicted To Methamphetamine
There are different options available for those who have decided to overcome habitual meth abuse. Some methods that have been deemed effective include cognitive-behavioral therapy and contingency management interventions.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT attempts to bridge the connection between thinking patterns, emotions and the behaviors that follow. Often, drug abuse is a symptom of something that is unresolved in the life of the addict. For example, some people turn to drug abuse to cope with a traumatic experience that resulted in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Or they may be suffering from low self-esteem and depression. The goal of CBT is to get the person to stop “self-medicating” and recognize harmful thinking and emotions. These negative mental processes often trigger a need to abuse drugs. When the thought process is recognized and negative emotions and their origins dealt with at the source, which can contribute to getting away from abusing methamphetamine.
There are also programs that work to combine different approaches to form a series of treatment patterns to help kick one’s meth habit. An example of this is the Matrix Model. The therapist works directly with the patient in a positive support system rather than aggressively confronting the patient about their abuse in a way that could lead to the person shutting down and not receiving the help and support they need. Other components include a twelve-step like program, behavioral therapy, family education and support, and individualized counseling.
Also important is frequent drug testing. This keeps the person accountable by letting them know that they will be tested and that it is their responsibility to commit to treatment.
There are positive benefits that go along with sticking with the Matrix Model, including reductions in drug abuse, improvements in psychological processes and a lower risk of exposure to HIV.
Finding A Light At The End Of The Tunnel
It may seem that those struggling with this addiction has been forgotten by a society that condemns and glamourizes frequent drug abuse often in the same breath. But as scary and lonely as methamphetamine addiction may seem, one should never give up. There are always people fighting for and looking to help you. There really is a light at the end of the tunnel for everyone seeking a life outside of this harmful addiction.