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“On December 2, 2008, I used meth for the last time, and I pray it remains my last time,” writes Beth P. for Heroes In Recovery. “I’ve been asked several times why, at age 31, when I was self-employed in a very profitable business and had two beautiful daughters, a 3-bedroom home, a new sports car and stable relationships with my family and some great friends, I would ever try meth.
Why? Because it was offered to me.Because I had recently gone through a divorce. Because I was dating a drug user and had tried to keep up with his lifestyle for almost six months. Because my self-esteem had always suffered.
Now my “why” is a life free from meth, days spent with my family and something to be grateful for each day.”
Crystal meth addiction is one of the most dangerous substance abuse issues facing our countrytoday. It impacts families from all backgrounds, and the statistics around this substance tell a concerning tale:
- Methamphetamines have caused more drug arrests in 27 U.S. states, especially in the Midwest, West, and South.1
- It is estimated that over 550,000 Americans use methamphetamine each month.2
- Heart failure due to current or even past meth use is on the rise in the U.S.3
Methamphetamine provides a brief rush of dopamine in the brain, and a big rush of this “feel good” chemical is very addictive. This drug quickly takes a strong toll on both mental and physical health. Jobs are lost and families are torn apart in the wake of methamphetamine.
Because this drug is so powerful, professional detox and addiction treatment are the best ways to overcome meth. A licensed detoxification program can offer a safe space to come down from the painful withdrawals associated with methamphetamine, while licensed clinicians can help ease discomfort and help prevent relapse. Participation in a quality rehab program after detox is the best way to avoid relapse and stay sober from this devastating drug.
What Happens in Crystal Meth Detox?
People who enter meth detox are usually in poor condition. Methamphetamine takes a serious toll on physical health, and everything from internal organs to skin and teeth are strongly affected. Withdrawal from this drug can lead to irrational thinking, anger, and physical illness. The first step of meth detox is to stabilize the person in need, so that he can begin to think clearly and treat any underlying health issues.
Detoxification is designed to help you find balance before moving forward in treatment. In some cases, medication may be prescribed by a consulting physician, especially if a previously existing, co-occurring physical or mental health issue is found.
NOTE: Crystal meth detox is NOT a complete drug rehab program. Simply stopping the abuse and use of addictive drugs is not a treatment in and of itself. Detox is only the first step in a comprehensive treatment program that addresses all of the causes behind addiction that have prevented wellness in the past.
If you would like to learn more about our residential crystal meth detox and rehab program here in Palm Springs, California, we will be happy to help. Call us at Michael’s House today at 760-548-4032 and get the help you need to get started. Ask for a tour, request an admissions form, or set up an appointment with one of our recovery professionals. We’ll be happy to get you started on your own personal road to freedom from addiction.
Trends in Crystal Meth Use and Abuse
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the abuse of crystal meth is causing significant problems for communities across the country. More than 10.4 million people over the age of 12 report trying the drug, while 1.3 million said they used the drug in the past year. Approximately 3.5% of teens and preteens alike report experimentation or regular use of the drug, as well.
The issue is, unfortunately, not a problem dealt with solely by individuals or their families. Emergency room departments across the country report admissions based on or related to the abuse of crystal meth in increasingly higher numbers. Over a seven-year period, the number of patients admitted to the ER for an issue related to crystal meth abuse rose by 50 percent, amounting to about four percent of all drug-related ER trips in a single year.4
Treating Methamphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms During Detoxification
During the detoxification process, a person who has used methamphetamine may experience severe withdrawal symptoms as the body re-adjusts to life without meth. While each drug addiction is different, some common withdrawal symptoms associated with crystal meth detox include:
- Mood swings
- Flu-like symptoms
- Strong drug cravings
It is worth noting that the craving for crystal meth during the detox period is particularly intense. Unless the individual is under strict supervision by consulting professionals, the chance of relapse is extremely high. Sadly, these relapses often lead to overdose.
These symptoms can be quite intense. Generally, the worst symptoms last between 24 and 48 hours, but during this period of time, feelings of discomfort can be significant. The body continues to detox from meth for a long period of time, and that extended time is when most people uncover the long-term damage that meth caused their bodies.
Treating “Meth Mouth” During Detox
“Meth mouth” is a condition that many meth users incur. Methamphetamine leads to extreme tooth rot and decay, severe jaw and tooth pain, and lost teeth, which can be quite painful and embarrassing. Oral health is often a significant issue during crystal meth detox– as significant as the withdrawal symptoms experienced.5
Why does this happen to those who abuse crystal meth? Here are some of the causes of the issue:
- The acidic nature of crystal meth
- Dry mouth associated with use of the drug
- Reduced amount of saliva that protects the teeth
- Cravings for sweets and high-calorie carbonated drinks caused by crystal meth abuse
- Tendency to grind teeth or clench jaw while under the influence
- Long periods under the influence in which oral hygiene does not take place
Oral hygiene issues of this level can rarely be treated with anything but extraction of the rotten or broken teeth. It’s often a problem that is initially addressed during detox but one that patients will deal with for the first few years of recovery.
Benefits of Detoxification
The benefits of crystal meth detox touch every aspect of who you are as an individual; there are emotional benefits, physical benefits and spiritual benefits to be had by those who commit to crystal meth detox and addiction treatment.
Emotional benefits. Crystal meth addiction is emotionally devastating. Few can withstand the extreme mood swings, the violent depression, the paranoia, and the hallucinations that characterize crystal meth addiction. It’s emotionally exhausting. At a crystal meth detox, however, you can begin the process of healing from the emotional effects of meth addiction. Your physician will provide medical care to help you relax, recognize what is and isn’t real, get some solid sleep and begin to find balance in your life again. It’s a process and the depression that occurs after crystal meth addiction can be difficult to wade through, but counselors and consulting medical professionals in treatment are trained to make it is as simple and short as possible.
Physical benefits. The speed with which crystal meth completely changes a person’s appearance is mind-blowing. While crystal meth detox won’t totally reverse the effects of crystal meth addiction, it will give you the opportunity to slowly regain your former physical fitness and get a handle on any medical issues that may have developed as a result of crystal meth abuse. Malnutrition and dehydration are often primary issues in crystal meth detox. Cardiac problems and high blood pressure may be an issue as well. In both cases, medical staff is on alert, ready to help you return to your former self as quickly and healthfully as possible.
Spiritual benefits. The spiritual toll that crystal meth addiction causes is only briefly touched upon during crystal meth detox. The real work in this area is done during crystal meth addiction treatment and the rest of your recovery. A lifelong ongoing process, spiritual benefits begin during crystal meth detox as your mind clears, your body relaxes and you begin the process of freeing yourself from the crippling effects of crystal meth addiction.
Choosing the Right Treatment for Methamphetamine Recovery
When you are ready to heal from crystal meth addiction, you have a number of types of crystal meth detox to choose from. Residential (overnight) crystal meth detox followed by residential crystal meth addiction treatment is recommended. Residential crystal meth detox allows you to completely separate from the negative people, places, and things that came along with meth use. Outpatient crystal meth treatment gives you a chance to continue working and caring for your family while you get the treatment you need. Programs may offer 12-Step groups, individual counseling, holistic healing through nutrition and activities like yoga or sports, and sometimes medical consultation and treatment for co-occurring disorders.
Crystal meth is a drug that does not release its victims easily. After six months to a year of successful crystal meth recovery, many relapse for apparently no reason. It is important to choose the most intensive and long-term treatment available to give you the coping skills to combat those unexpected cravings.
No matter which type of detox you choose, the key to making it work is to take advantage of extensive crystal meth addiction treatment and aftercare services. Sober living can be extremely effective in helping you to brave the temptations as they arise. If you prefer to return home, support groups and 12-step programs are another good option as they provide peer support and guidance as you navigate your sober life without drugs and alcohol.
Treatment and Detox at Michael’s House
Michael’s House is a comprehensive drug rehab program that treats all aspects of crystal meth addiction, including detox. Patients who enroll at Michael’s House experience evidence-based treatment, including detox, collaboration with consulting medical physicians, comprehensive counseling, and holistic care that can free you from the grip of crystal meth addiction.
Contact Michael’s House today at 760-548-4032 for more information.
1 Abadi, M. This graphic shows just how widespread meth is in the United States. Business Insider. 29 Jun 2016. Web. Accessed 20 Nov 2017.
2 SAMHSA. Stimulants. Mar 2016. Web. Accessed 20 Nov 2017.
3 Nishimura, M,, Ma, J., Thomas, I., et. al. Methamphetamine Associated Heart Failure, a New Epidemic. Circulation. 2017. Web. Accessed 20 Nov 2017.
4 National Institute on Drug Abuse. Methamphetamine. Sept 2013. Web. Accessed 20 Nov 2017.
5 Frontline. How Meth Destroys the Body. Feb 2006. Web. Accessed 20 Nov 2017.