How Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment Works
Methamphetamine addiction can be extremely difficult on an individual, and it can take quite a long time for the person recover from it. According to the NIDA, “The most effective treatments for methamphetamine addiction at this point are behavioral therapies” because there is no medication yet approved by the FDA specifically for this condition. However, over time, methamphetamine addiction treatment can help an individual heal from their abuse of the drug and change their behavior for the better.
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Analysis of the Patient and Forming a Treatment Plan
When a patient is first brought into a rehab clinic for methamphetamine addiction treatment, they usually undergo a certain number of tests in order for the doctors to determine their personal situation and needs. Especially if they are undergoing either an acute or chronic methamphetamine overdose, the individual will likely receive “medications to calm him or her down, and get heart rate and blood pressure back to normal” (NLM).
This initial care is also extremely important if the individual is experiencing toxic psychosis, a mental illness similar to schizophrenia that many individuals exhibit after long-term methamphetamine abuse. In some cases, patients may need to be sedated and even restrained if they are a danger to themselves or others. Once these initial issues are taken care of, doctors are able to decide on the treatment plan that will most likely benefit the individual, one which may be adjusted over the course of treatment in order to reflect the patient’s changing needs.
As previously stated, the addiction syndrome for methamphetamine is mostly treated through behavioral therapies. Several of the most commonly used methods are listed below.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy works by allowing the individual to change the way they think and feel about methamphetamine and learn more beneficial ways to cope with stress, cravings, triggers, and other issues associated with their drug abuse. According to the NIDA, “Research indicates that the skills individuals learn through cognitive-behavioral approaches remain after the completion of treatment.”
- Contingency management helps patients fix the negative changes that regular methamphetamine abuse has made to the reward pathways in the brain by giving them vouchers for abstinence and other positive behaviors. These vouchers can often be redeemed for drug free-activities or necessary items. Over time, the individual is able to receive better vouchers as they continue to stay sober.
- The Matrix Model works by creating a strong, positive relationship between the patient and the therapist, using worksheets that engage the patient in their own treatment, and other, often-used components like urine tests and 12-step group involvement.
- Group therapy helps patients meet other individuals who have experienced similar issues and allows them to provide social support for one another, which is extremely beneficial to recovery. Both traditional group therapy and 12-step groups are often a part of an individual’s treatment for methamphetamine addiction.
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Methamphetamine addiction treatment works by providing patients with therapeutic treatments and a safe environment in which they can receive any necessary medical care. For most individuals, inpatient treatment is the best option for methamphetamine addiction, and over the course of their individualized treatment program, patients are able to slowly learn better ways to cope with their problems as well as ways to fight their addictions after the program has ended.