Crystal methamphetamine is back, and deadlier than ever. The US DEA’s 2017 report on meth presented findings that are jarring to say the least. Stats such as:
- 897,000 people 12 and older currently use meth
- 225,000 people began using meth in 2015 alone
- 135,264 people got treatment for meth addiction in publicly-funded facilities in 2015
- 85-90 percent of stimulant-related drug deaths involve meth
- 5,716 people died as a result of stimulant overdose in 2015
- Stimulant-related deaths rates rose 225 percent between 2005 and 2015.
are staggering, dumbfounding, and necessarily beg the question of how do we begin to fix this?, and what are the most effective treatment options for meth? Here, we examine the historically most effective meth treatment options for people struggling with the addiction.
Before Treatment, Meth Detox
There are a number of treatment options used for meth addiction, and they all start with detox. A meth detox can present a range in moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms that can include, but are not limited to:
- Muscle weakness
- Decreased appetite
- Lack of motivation
- Muscle pain
- Thoughts of suicide
- Hallucinations or psychosis
- Intense cravings
Meth users who are detoxing can choose to do it at home or with the help of medically-supervision.
Meth Addiction Treatment Options
Once successfully detoxed, the patient should consider a combination of the following effective meth addiction treatment options:
Inpatient Rehabilitative Care
Going to a drug rehab facility after detoxing from meth is vital to sustained recovery from the addiction. The most effective of inpatient drug rehab for meth is at least 30 days and incorporates all of the following.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
While every rehab center approaches addiction differently, studies show that engaging in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and group therapy is highly successful in identifying use triggers and reprogramming behaviors associated with use. Doing so in a facility that is at least 30 days is ideal, as it removes the patient from their meth associations.
The Matrix Model
The Matrix Model is a behavioral psychological approach that is sometimes incorporated in inpatient drug rehab that includes individual and group counseling, family/loved one involvement, and 12-step curriculum. Again, a 12-step approach has shown success in not just finding sobriety, but maintaining it by finding a purpose outside of drug use.
Often, in conjunction with other clinical modalities, addiction treatment professionals will integrate a contingency management intervention, where there are rewards motivating the patient’s positive behavior. One well-known intervention for meth addiction, for example, is called Motivational Incentives for Enhancing Drug Abuse Recovery (MIEDAR), and has proven successful in the integrated recovery plan for meth addicts.
Outpatient Rehab Clinics for Meth
Outpatient rehab for meth addiction, to be effective in long-term recovery, should be utilized as a another level of care after inpatient drug rehab (complete with clinical psychotherapies). Outpatient programs rely on a structured schedule to help people in recovery be cognizant of long-term goals, progress made, and the tenets of a sober life. It is a support system, after inpatient rehab.
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