Chances are, if you’re reading this you’ve heard the horror stories. They’re easy enough to find. A guy in Arizona once put his 7-month-old baby in his freezer – the baby survived – when he was on meth because his floor was too dirty. Or more recently, the woman in Fresno who after days on a meth binge, shot and killed her two toddlers and a cousin, then critically wounded her husband before shooting herself.
Or you’ve seen the pictures. Meth mouth. Scabs. That distinct premature aging.
True, not every meth user goes crazy, and not every meth user looks like the faces seen in those before-and-after galleries. But every meth user runs that risk. One hit turns into multiple hits, which turn into a binge, which turn into the sort of things mentioned in the first paragraph.
Sovereign Health can stop it.
It’s a substantial problem that is destroying millions of lives, both domestically and abroad. Methamphetamine, known on the street as “crank,” “crystal,” “speed,” “ice” or simply “meth,” is a psychoactive drug in the amphetamine class. Its physical effects typically include increased alertness, hyperactivity, insomnia, suppressed appetite and in high enough quantities, heart attacks, strokes and death. Psychological effects typically include increased alertness, increased self-confidence, euphoria, violent behavior and psychosis. Users needing methamphetamine detox are said to be “tweaked” or “wired” and may exhibit bizarre, repetitive or compulsive behavior.
In our methamphetamine outpatient detox and day treatment programs, we place our patients on a protocol in which they are monitored and detoxified safely and comfortably using medication. The medication brings the anxiety and agitation related to meth detox down to a manageable level and helps to alleviate the side effects of withdrawal. These side effects can include extreme paranoia, anxiety, mood swings, sleeplessness and irrational fears.
Who needs methamphetamine detox?
Symptoms of needing methamphetamine detox may include rapid weight loss, sleeplessness and irritability. Heavy users tend to become paranoid and may be suspicious of those closest to them. Meth users may become angry and violent while under the influence and tend to leave their homes for days, with no explanation, coming back tired and bedraggled.
Like cocaine users, meth addicts may fabricate nonsensical stories as excuses. These stories offer perfect explanations for missing money and items, as well as plausible reasons for unexplained absences. They seem fueled by a desire to constantly obtain more of the drug, regardless of consequences to self, family and friends.
Generally speaking, methamphetamine treatment tends to have a lower success rate than detox from other drugs. The most commonly cited reason for this is that methamphetamine users can be deep in denial over methamphetamine usage and may try to minimize reported problems. It is important to involve family members in methamphetamine detox to support and encourage those who are on the road to recovery.
Methamphetamine detox is not life-threatening, but may require the use of medication prescribed by a doctor. At Sovereign Health of California, we offer meth patients the advantages of dual diagnosis addiction treatment, meaning we help them recover from the other problems – mental and emotional –which often accompany addiction.