Dec 272010
 

Chronic methamphetamine (meth) use can be difficult to overcome.  If you are someone looking to get clean, or know someone who does, this article can provide some help.

Some of the challenges to recovery from meth use include the following:

  • Meth recovery can take a long time, with some of the damages incurred from meth use being permanent and irreversible.  For chronic users, significant improvement may take as long as a year or two before it begins to show.
  • Concentration, decision-making and memory are all severely compromised in a chronic meth user.  These cognitive deficits may make it harder to follow treatment directions and recommendations.  Guidance from a family member will do much to help.
  • Expect to hit a ‘wall’ at about 45 days of sobriety.  Symptoms would include a sudden intensified surge of depressive symptoms and a marked inability to experience any pleasure.

Addicts withdrawing from meth generally do not need any medical attention, as the withdrawal does not produce any medically dangerous manifestations like heroin or alcohol.  However, during withdrawal, meth addicts feel significant confusion, memory problems and impaired decision-making ability.  This stage lasts for about two weeks, and is characterized by cognitive deficits, fatigue, hunger and depressive symptoms.  Some may have psychotic symptoms which will need medical attention.  Once the withdrawal period is over, focus must shift towards preventing relapse.  Here are some research-proven treatments which help addicts recover from meth addiction:

  1. Contingency reinforcement – use of rewards as positive reinforcement for meeting goals.  Typical rewards may include gift checks or restaurant vouchers given after positive events such as a clean drug test.  These small rewards have been shown to improve commitment to treatment.
  2. The 12 steps – research show that meth users who attend 12 step meetings such like Narcotics Anonymous (patterned after Alcoholics Anonymous) had better treatment outcomes than those who did not attend any such programs.  The greater involvement and commitment to the 12 step program, the better outcome achieved.
  3. Family involvement – the family lends invaluable support to the recovering meth addict, especially during early recovery.  The longer a meth user spends in treatment, the better his chances of recovery and non-relapse.  Family members can encourage users to stay in treatment, boosting the success of rehabilitation.

  4. Education – meth users should be taught about the drug, and its effects on the body, the brain and the psyche.  In addition, they should be taught about the course of relapse, recovery and abstinence.  By knowing what to expect, they feel in better control.

Methamphetamine rehabilitation is a difficult process.  Users who attempt to stay clean should be given resources and support to have the greatest possible chance for success.

This post was written by Joana Chrystal Ventura-Moises, a registered nurse and an expert on plumbing supplies and vessel sinks.

Jun 052010
 

It took me many years and leaving no stone unturned to get to that “breaking point” where I was willing to admit I had a problem.  Not a problem with drugs and alcohol but a problem living without drugs and alcohol.  I was pretty much a garbage can at the end of my using.  I would do anything that anyone had to use.  I was living on the streets some nights high on meth-amphetamins so I didn’t have to sleep, or I was nodding out on someones couch that would let me in because I had enough heroin to get them high also.  It was a miserable existence coming from an upper class family and all my life having everything that I ever needed and more.  Before I created enough chaos to no longer be welcome in either my families household I fought everything tooth and nail with both parents.  I had to get to a point where I didn’t have any other choices and eventually I did.  I had been running from my problems for about three years and really had no where else to turn.  I fancied myself a bit of a hustler thinking that if I just could make one big score things would be alright.  Eventually my actions ended me up in jail facing some sever criminal charges and I finally got to a point where I was willing to ask for help.

I think that point was crucial for me, having always thought that if people would just get off my back and let me use the way I wanted to use I would be alright.  That breaking point came when I was sitting in jail for the 4th time that year and this time they weren’t going to let me out.  I had been to drug treatment before and didn’t think that was going to work but I also didn’t know what really was going to work.  I knew I couldn’t keep living the way I was living without some serious consequences, which at the time I was already facing.

I reached out to a family member and asked them what I should do and if they could help me.  They were well trained in the arts of Alanon and basically told me that I had no other option but to go back to rehab.  During my first few months in that treatment center I was basically bogged down with legal commitments and it’s kept a good sense of fear in me to just do what I was told to do.  It was exactly what I needed unfortunately.  This healthy fear kept me willing to do the things that were suggested and when I was released from that rehab I managed to get on the right path.  I hope everyone gets a chance to sober up if they have a drug or alcohol program, I even think that people outside

the program could really use

the 12-steps.

Eric P.