You may be wondering, "Do I need meth rehab?" Seeking assistance for meth use is a step in the right directions to regaining control of your life.
Methamphetamine, also known as meth, crystal meth, and ice among other street names, can be injected, snorted, or smoked. It primarily affects the central nervous system and brain. Habitual meth users can exhibit symptoms of paranoia, anxiety, insomnia, and aggression. Physical symptoms of methamphetamine use include weight loss, "meth mouth" or rotted teeth from the blood vessels constricting and salivary glands shutting down, sores on the face and mouth and abscesses from picking at "bugs" under the skin as perceived by the meth user coupled with poor hygiene.
Heavy meth use may produce blindness, respiratory failure, kidney failure, chest pain, internal bleeding, severe malnutrition, and insomnia. Dopamine receptors in the brain may be damaged with heavy use and there is some evidence that, with long term abstinence, these receptors may be able to recover and function again. Dopamine signals pleasure or well-being to the brain so damage to those receptors can have users feeling severely depressed and apathetic to everything when they stop using. Cognitive deficits seen in long term meth use do not show a similar recovery with long term abstinence and there is concern these changes may be permanent.
The primary issue with stopping meth is psychological withdrawal as there is no physical dependency with crystal meth. Withdrawal may cause severe depression, delusions, suicidal ideation, psychosis, and paranoia. It is important that users are aware that withdrawal will likely bring on periods of insomnia, apathy and depression due to the neurological changes that occurred with use. A medical detox may help with supporting these psychological and physical symptoms to ensure a more thorough detox of toxins is completed. Achieving long term behavioral change in your meth use may mean you will want to consider a program that can help you deal with your reasons for using meth and there are several types of programs to consider.
Although a 12 Step program may seem like the first place you should get help, you should take a deeper look at 12 Step programs before you enroll in one. For starters, 12 Step programs describe meth use as an incurable disease that you inherited from your family through an addiction gene. 12 Step programs state that you are powerless against your meth use and that you will fail in your attempts at sobriety so relapses in your use are expected as a part of a circular process of "recovery". 12 step programs promote the idea that the only treatment available is belief in a higher power, meetings for the rest of your life and abstinence - which they state and believe you will not be able to do without periods of relapse.
12 step programs use labels, judgments, and manipulations to exert control over their members. While they have more than 2 million members worldwide, they also have a 95% dropout rate, most likely due to the fact that their members are taught they can never be fully successful even with complete devotion to the process.
An alternative to 12 Step programs is a Cognitive Behavioral Education (CBE) methodology offered exclusively at Saint Jude Retreats. The program offers a four or six week CBE program to help guests use self -assessment and self-change to make choices that are more productive and enriching to their lives.
Remember, most substance users do wish to change their lives at some point. This is the same for a meth user. As long as they know they have the power and ability to change, the likelihood is great that they will change eventually. Unfortunately, traditional meth rehab programs and our disease-based culture have perpetuated the myth "once an addict, always an addict," which is not only untrue, but damaging as well. For many, this flawed belief has caused worry, doubt, and fears. Once a meth user has dispelled this myth, they are truly free to get on with their lives knowing that they have the power to change!
If you or someone you know needs help overcoming a meth problem, please call Saint Jude Retreats today at 1-888-424-2626!