Substance addiction is tough to overcome. In addition to withdrawal symptoms, users have to overhaul their lifestyle in order to have a chance at recovery. However, not all substances are created equal. Some, like meth, are highly addictive and extremely difficult to quit. This makes recovery all the more challenging and begs the question can people recover from meth?
This article will answer that question. It will also explore the stages of meth recovery and explain various meth treatment approaches.
If you prefer to learn about meth recovery from one of La Fuente’s compassionate staff members, then call us today at 888.903.9898.
What Is Meth?
Before we get into the question of whether or not people can recover from meth, it’s helpful to understand the substance we’re talking about.
Methamphetamine, also called crystal meth, crystal, or simply meth, is a highly addictive stimulant drug that affects the central nervous system. It typically comes in two forms: glass-like rocks or powder. Although it’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for ADHD and obesity, most people use it recreationally.
In the short term, meth use causes:
- Feelings of euphoria
- Increased heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature
- Faster breathing
- Loss of appetite
- Disturbed sleep
- Erratic, aggressive, or violent behavior
Prolonged meth usage leads to dangerous physical and mental symptoms such as:
- Psychosis (including paranoia and hallucinations)
- Memory loss
- Violent behavior
- Changes in brain structure and function
- Weight loss
- Dental problems
What Makes Meth So Addictive?
Along with heroin and cocaine, meth is one of the most addictive drugs available. What makes it so addictive is the effect it has on the brain. Whether snorted, smoked, or injected, meth provides a powerful, instantaneous rush of dopamine to the brain.
In case you’re unfamiliar, dopamine is a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of pleasure, elation, and motivation. Our bodies naturally produce dopamine in response to activities like dancing, sex, shopping, and eating. This dopamine release creates a feedback loop that encourages us to do more of these feel-good activities.
Meth provides more than six times the amount of dopamine as natural activities. This rush of dopamine causes users to experience several hours of intense pleasure and feelings of euphoria.
After this initial period, unpleasant feelings like anxiety, paranoia, and irritability rush in. Many users reach for another hit of meth in order to combat these negative sensations and recapture the pleasure of the initial high. Over time, the brain stops producing dopamine naturally, relying on meth in order to feel pleasure. From there, it doesn’t take long for users to become addicted to the drug.
Can People Recover from Meth?
Given just how addictive meth is, it makes sense to wonder whether or not people can recover from meth use.
The short answer is yes, it is possible to recover from meth addiction. In fact, studies show that over 40 percent of people receiving meth addiction treatment succeed in remaining abstinent. These figures are encouraging, but it’s important to acknowledge that successful meth recovery requires time, patience, and the right treatment program.
As far as the time component goes, it can take the brain a year or more to recover cognitive functions like impulse control and focus. During this time, clients benefit from a structured environment in which they receive therapy, learn coping skills, and practice positive decision-making.
With commitment, effort, and ongoing support, anyone can recover from meth and enjoy a sober life.
How to Recover from Meth
Now that we know meth recovery is possible, let’s see how to recover from meth addiction. In general, meth recovery is broken up into three stages: detox and withdrawal, mental health treatment, and life skills training.
Here’s a closer look at each stage:
Detox and withdrawal
The first step of meth recovery involves purging the drug from a user’s body. During this period (which can last anywhere from a couple of days to a month), clients may experience intense cravings, fatigue, temporary psychosis, and emotional outbursts. Because this stage is so painful, challenging, and potentially life-threatening, it’s important to have round-the-clock medical care.
Mental Health Treatment
Following the initial detoxification process, clients work through the feelings and thought processes that led them to use meth in the first place. This is accomplished through cognitive-behavioral therapy and family counseling. It may also involve a medication regime designed to treat anxiety, depression, PTSD, and sleep problems.
Life Skills Training
Along with mental health treatment, clients attend support groups, receive life skills training, and plan for their eventual release from treatment. Together, these programs help clients learn new coping skills, manage triggers, and gain a more positive outlook on life — all of which are essential for long-term meth recovery.
Meth Recovery Is Possible at La Fuente Hollywood Treatment Center
La Fuente Hollywood Treatment Center is ready to help you recover from meth addiction.
Our Los Angeles-based meth addiction program starts with medical detoxification, a process that’s overseen by Board Certified Addiction Medicine doctors. From there, we work with you to develop a treatment plan tailored to your needs. This includes a combination of individual therapy, group support, life skills training, and alumni programs.
But any treatment center can offer that.
What sets La Fuente apart is our commitment to the LGBTQ community. As members of the community ourselves, we understand the unique stresses that lead to meth addiction amongst LGBTQ people. On top of that, we’ve made it our mission to help our clients address past traumas so they can live happy and productive drug-free lives.
Find out more about La Fuente’s approach to meth recovery by calling 888.903.9898.