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Meth Detox

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Meth Detox

meth-detoxMeth detox is the process of ridding the body of the drug’s toxins. Many meth addicts try to quit cold turkey at some point during their addictive use. However, the highly addictive nature of the drug means that the relapse rate after meth detox is complete remains shockingly high.

The Foundation for a Drug-Free World released statistics that showed 93 percent of people in treatment ended up relapsing into addictive drug use within three years. While the numbers seem dismal, the reality is that people who receive professional treatment have more than double the success rate of those who try to quit at home.

Why Is It Dangerous to Detox at Home?

The psychological symptoms of meth withdrawal can be so profound in many people that they are at significant risk of causing harm to themselves and to others. One of the most notable symptoms includes deep depression that is often resistant to treatment. The risk of the person attempting suicide during meth detox is significantly increased.

Withdrawing from meth also triggers intense cravings to take more of the drug. Long-term abuse of methamphetamine causes changes in the brain’s chemistry, tricking it into believing it can’t produce dopamine naturally without the artificial stimulation of more drugs.

Meth also causes a reduction in the number of receptors in the brain for dopamine. Even if the brain’s neurotransmitters can produce a little dopamine, there are fewer receptors present to register them properly.

As a result, when the person tries to stop taking drugs, the brain’s chemistry can’t adapt. The result is fierce cravings that can cause the user to do almost anything to get more drugs.

By comparison, detoxing in a residential rehab facility offers a safe environment where the person has medical supervision at all times. During medical detox, the recovering addict is removed from people and places associated with drug use, and medical staff are at hand in the event of a medical emergency arising.

How Does Detox Trigger Relapse without Professional Assistance?

Stopping the use of methamphetamine after long-term abuse causes severe psychological withdrawal symptoms in many users. According to experts at Psych Central, it can take more than a year for a person recovering from meth addiction to regain some of the functions in the brain that were affected by drug use.

The process can be long and arduous, and requires patience and ongoing commitment to staying clean. However, a recovering user often feels the only way to feel good again is to relapse back into the cycle of drug abuse.

Types of Detox Programs

Outpatient detox programs may be recommended if it’s unlikely the person will experience adverse withdrawal symptoms. In order for outpatient detox treatments to be successful, the person needs to have a safe environment and a strong support network in place.

If the person has already failed with outpatient detox programs, it may be necessary to consider admittance into an inpatient facility. Inpatient detox is also recommended for those who are likely to experience strong withdrawal symptoms, such as psychosis or suicidal depression.

There are no FDA approved medications available to treat meth addiction. However, medical staff in a residential rehab center can administer prescription medications to minimize withdrawal symptoms during detox. These include giving the person antidepressants or anti-psychotic medications. Some people may also be given sedatives to help reduce anxiety.

Withdrawal Symptoms Associated with Meth Detox

Detoxing from meth can cause severe withdrawal symptoms after long-term abuse. These include:

  • Overwhelming cravings to take more meth
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Sleeping problems
  • Increased appetite
  • Agitation
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Vivid unpleasant dreams and nightmares
  • Dysphoria
  • Inability to feel any pleasure
  • Psychosis
  • Hallucinations
  • Profound depression
  • Suicidal thoughts and tendencies 

Benefits of Professional Assistance During Detox

The key benefit of seeking professional assistance in a residential meth rehab facility during the methamphetamine detox process is having access to medical supervision around the clock.  The rehab facility provides a safe, secure environment for the person to begin the recovery process.

Rehab treatments can also be tailored to suit each person’s individual addiction triggers. When the detox process is over, counseling and therapy can commence to address the psychological side of the addiction.

Admittance into a residential rehab center also allows the recovering person to gain social support from others facing similar challenges. Group meetings and therapy sessions help maintain motivation to stay clean and drug-free over the long term.

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