Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, is one of the most addictive drugs in circulation. Meth creates a strong surge of dopamine that rushes through your brain, causing an extreme high. Each time you use meth, it takes more and more of the drug to reach the same level of high, which results in increased usage. After a while, that large quantity of meth starts depleting the dopamine in your brain (along with other necessary chemicals) and makes it nearly impossible to stop, even with the understanding of its dangers. Withdrawing from meth is a painful process that can take a lot of time, so you will need the help of your friends, family, and professionals to overcome it.
Acknowledge the Addiction
The first, and perhaps most important, step that you can take is acknowledging that you have a meth addiction. Do not compare your meth addiction with someone else’s. Everyone starts taking meth for different reasons, so treatment needs to be individualized for maximum benefits.
Acknowledging the addiction identifies that there is a problem that needs to be fixed. Accepting that you have an addiction may be difficult, but doing so will make the path to sobriety much easier.
An early step that you can take to overcome meth addiction is to remove all enabling factors. These can include friends, locations, events, and behaviors that enable acquiring and using meth.
Ask for Help
Asking for help isn’t anything to be ashamed of or embarrassed about, it is a huge step in the right direction and chances are your loved ones will be proud of you for making the leap. They are there to support you but may not know where to start. Your addiction has likely impacted them in a huge way, so they’ll be happy to help you overcome it and take back control of your life, but they just may need you to ask them for it. All it takes is one conversation to gain an ally in your journey to recovery.
Overcoming your addiction will also require the expertise of a professional. There are a plethora of resources available, from individual and group therapy sessions to treatment centers, 12-Step programs, detox centers, and more. All of the tools you need to create your new life are within reach, you just have to grab them.
Effective Treatments for Meth Addiction
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has found through a number of studies and surveys that there are a diverse amount of treatment modalities that have been shown to be effective in fighting a meth addiction. Below are some of the most commonly used techniques by physicians and rehab specialists:
- Behavioral therapies. Cognitive-behavioral therapies and contingency-management interventions are the two most common types of therapies, although 12-Step support groups are also effective.
- Medication. Most of the medication that’s used to treat meth addiction is focused on minimizing the pain caused by withdrawal. Multiple avenues are also being pursued in order to develop medication for long term cessation of meth use.
- Individual and group therapies. Attending therapy sessions will help you to better understand your past and mental health on either a one-on-one, individualized basis, or in a group setting where you’ll have the support of others suffering from the same issues as you.
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. EMDR is a psychotherapy used to treat drug and alcohol addiction. It focuses on reducing the lingering effects of traumatic memories and stabilizing your mind to enough to begin learning about drug rehabilitation coping tools.
- Family counseling. Family involvement is a huge part of recovery. In family counseling sessions, you will work with a counselor and your family members to better understand each other’s unique situation and grow to support one another.
Meth addiction is a serious and difficult disease to overcome, and you don’t have to do it alone. By asking friends, family, and professionals for help, you are taking the first step towards building a new, healthy life for yourself and for those around you.