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Medically Assisted Meth Detoxification

The initial step on every journey of addiction recovery is admission to a medically assisted detoxification center. Those who have been abusing drugs or alcohol for any period of time almost always undergo some degree of withdrawal upon abrupt cessation of use. More often than not, the symptoms of withdrawal will lead a person back to substance use before the detoxification process is over. This is part of the reason why entering into an inpatient meth detox program is so important. At Immersion Recovery Center we provide a comprehensive methamphetamine detox program; one that focuses on more than a safe, pain-free withdrawal. In addition to providing around the clock medical care, we actively prepare our clients for the next appropriate stage of their personal recovery journeys. During detox, we conduct an individualized, in-depth evaluation, which helps us determine the length of our clients stay, what kind of medical intervention is necessary, and the next step for each client once they become physically stabilized.

If you or someone you love has been suffering from a methamphetamine use disorder, detox is an important initial step, and we are available to help. At Immersion Recovery Center we effectively treat the physical and psychological symptoms associated with methamphetamine withdrawal, making the entire detox process as comfortable as possible from start to finish. We utilize a combination of evidence-based medications, therapeutic practices and holistic treatment methods to provide the most integrated and effective care available. To learn more about our program of methamphetamine detox or to learn more about our multi-staged addiction treatment program as a whole, contact us today.

What is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine, often referred to as meth, is a highly addictive, illegal stimulant drug. Methamphetamine was first developed in the 20th century and marketed as an effective nasal decongestant. It was soon discovered that the chemical substance was highly addictive, and it has since been classified as a Schedule II substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Methamphetamine is derived from amphetamine, though the two substances differ in the sense that meth reaches the brain more rapidly and in higher quantities, making the effects more intense. When a person uses meth, they will experience a range of short-term symptoms including feelings of pleasure and euphoria, increased energy levels, decreased appetite and anxiety or paranoia. The long-term effects of methamphetamine can be extremely severe, seeing as the drug has such a significant impact on the central nervous system. People who use methamphetamine more than once are liable to develop a physical and psychological dependence. Once addiction develops it is nearly impossible to quit without professional medical intervention. If you or someone you love has been struggling with meth addiction, Immersion Recovery Center is available to help.

Meth Addiction Facts & Statistics

The scope of methamphetamine addiction in the U.S. has remained somewhat consistent over the course of the past decade. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, roughly 2.6 million Americans reported using methamphetamine at least once within the past 12 months. Roughly 1.5 million of these individuals suffered from a diagnosable methamphetamine use disorder. The effects of methamphetamine addiction are severe and far-reaching, and include the risk of overdose-related death. In the year 2019, an estimated 16,167 people lost their lives to psychostimulant overdose (this statistic does not include overdose involving cocaine). If you or someone you love has been struggling with a methamphetamine use disorder, the prospect of recovery might seem like an unattainable ideal. However, with the right program of addiction recovery in place, even the most severe cases of meth addiction can be successfully overcome. Contact us today to learn more.

Signs & Symptoms of Meth Addiction

If you believe you or someone you love has been suffering from a diagnosable methamphetamine use disorder, there are several signs and symptoms to keep an eye out for. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V) outlines a list of diagnostic criteria used to identify the presence of a methamphetamine use disorder. If you answer “yes” to two or more of the following questions, seeking professional help from a medical detox center is likely a good idea.

  • Do you sometimes end up using more methamphetamine than you originally intended, or do you use methamphetamine more frequently than you intend to?
  • Have you wanted to cut back on the amount of methamphetamine you use or quit entirely, only to find you were unable to do so for any significant period of time?
  • Do you spend a significant amount of time obtaining methamphetamine, using methamphetamine and recovering from its effects?
  • Do you often think of using methamphetamine/do you ever experience intense drug cravings?
  • Has your drug use interfered with your ability to fulfill personal obligations or negatively impacted your performance at work or at school?
  • Have you experienced interpersonal problems as a direct result of your methamphetamine use?
  • Have you given up activities which were once interesting or important to you in order to engage in methamphetamine use?
  • Have you been engaging in risk-taking activities more often than normal, like driving while high on methamphetamine?
  • Do you continue to use methamphetamine despite physical or psychological health concerns, like ongoing paranoia, dental decay or weight loss?
  • Have you developed a physical tolerance, meaning a larger quantity of the drug is required in order for the desired effects to be achieved?
  • Do you experience withdrawal symptoms when methamphetamine use is stopped abruptly?

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Meth Withdrawal Signs & Symptoms

The symptoms associated with methamphetamine withdrawal can be severe when left untreated. Symptoms typically begin to develop within the first 24 hours after the final use, and they can last for two weeks or longer depending on the severity of the substance use disorder. Most people experience a combination of physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms, though the psychological symptoms are typically more severe and they can persist for months after acute withdrawal has ended.

The severity of associated symptoms depends on several factors, including:

  • The severity and length of the methamphetamine use disorder.]
  • Whether or not methamphetamine was being combined with any other chemical substances.
  • The presence of any pre-existing psychiatric disorders.
  • The purity of the methamphetamine being used.
  • The age and gender of the person undergoing withdrawal.
  • The body weight of the person undergoing withdrawal.

While the methamphetamine withdrawal process will look different for everyone, some physical and psychological symptoms remain consistent.

The Physical Symptoms of Meth Withdrawal

The most common physical symptoms of methamphetamine withdrawal include:

  • Excessive tiredness and fatigue. When a person is on methamphetamine, they feel alert and hyperactive, and they likely sleep very seldomly if at all. When undergoing methamphetamine withdrawal, a person will typically feel the exact opposite. Fatigue often resolves after the first week of the withdrawal process.
  • Increased appetite, which can lead to temporary weight gain. Many people who undergo methamphetamine withdrawal experience cravings for fats and carbohydrates as their bodies attempt to regulate. Because methamphetamine decreases appetite so significantly, many meth addicts become severely malnourished.
  • A lack of motivation and inactivity. It can be difficult for someone who is undergoing meth withdrawal to carry out any day-to-day responsibilities. This is part of the reason why it is a good idea to undergo withdrawal in a designated detox center, where a person can simply rest and relax.

The Psychological Symptoms of Meth Withdrawal

The most common psychological symptoms of methamphetamine withdrawal include:

  • Severe anxiety. It is not uncommon for a person who is undergoing methamphetamine withdrawal to experience frequent and extreme bouts of anxiety, which can result in panic attacks. In severe cases, a short course of an anti-anxiety medication might become necessary.
  • Psychosis. Psychosis associated with methamphetamine withdrawal can involve auditory or visual hallucinations or delusions. A person might feel detached from reality or experience changes to perception.
  • Depressed mood and suicidal ideation. Some people who are withdrawing from meth will experience depression, which often resolves by the third week of withdrawal. However, if a meth addiction was particularly severe, depression might persist for months after withdrawal. In cases like these, antidepressant medication often becomes necessary.
  • Intense drug cravings. For many people, the drug cravings that go hand in hand with methamphetamine withdrawal are the most disruptive symptoms. Drug cravings often lead a person back to drug use before the detox process has come to an end, which is why inpatient detox comes recommended.

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Length of Meth Withdrawal

Meth withdrawal typically takes place in two stages: acute withdrawal and post-acute withdrawal. The duration of each stage depends on how severe the substance use disorder was to begin with. For example, a person who has been using methamphetamine for two months will undeniably experience less severe symptoms than a person who has been using methamphetamine for two years.

Meth withdrawal and methamphetamine detox

During acute withdrawal the symptoms peak in severity and last for between one and two weeks. During post-acute withdrawal the most severe symptoms subside, but a person might experience lingering symptoms like depression, anxiety or drug cravings for several months.

What Causes Meth Withdrawal?

Methamphetamine has a significant impact on the central nervous system and the brain. Over time, naturally occurring neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine become depleted. Both of these neurotransmitters control things like mood, sleep and appetite. When a person uses methamphetamine, the brain releases large quantities of these chemicals, leading to feelings of pleasure and euphoria and encouraging repetitive drug use. If a person uses methamphetamine repeatedly, their brain becomes unable to produce serotonin and dopamine on its own. Withdrawal occurs when a person stops using methamphetamine suddenly and when these chemicals have been fully depleted. The symptoms associated with withdrawal begin to subside as the natural store of these chemicals is replenished.

Is Meth Detox Always Necessary?

While the physical symptoms associated with methamphetamine withdrawal are rarely life-threatening, they can be uncomfortable when left untreated. Additionally, the psychological symptoms associated with methamphetamine withdrawal can be severe, and can lead to serious complications like hyperventilation, delusions and suicidal ideation. Even if a person has been battling a mild or short-lived addiction, entering into a medical detox facility always comes as a recommended first step on the road to recovery.

Treatment Options for Meth Withdrawal

The best treatment options for methamphetamine withdrawal depend on the unique case. In the majority of cases, the most uncomfortable symptoms of methamphetamine withdrawal can be treated with rest, relaxation and over-the-counter medications like high-dose ibuprofen or acetaminophen. It is important to note that medical detox is only the first stage of the addiction treatment process, and detox rarely works as a standalone treatment option. In order to maintain sobriety a person should consider transitioning immediately into a higher level of care, like residential inpatient treatment or partial hospitalization.

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Medications Used to Treat Meth Withdrawal Symptoms

In addition to over-the-counter pain relievers and fever reducers, the following medications are sometimes used to treat the symptoms associated with methamphetamine withdrawal:

  • Aripiprazole and other dopamine partial agonists.
  • Gabapentin.
  • SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and other safe antidepressant medications.

We only prescribe medication when absolutely necessary. To learn more about medication assisted treatment options in the context of methamphetamine withdrawal, contact Immersion Recovery Center today.

Long-Term Meth Addiction Recovery

At Immersion Recovery Center we break our medical detox program down into three distinct stages: evaluation, stabilization and preparation. Upon admission to our detox program each client undergoes a detailed and in-depth addiction assessment, or evaluation. We ask a series of pertinent questions, including:

  • What type of substance/substances were being used, and for how long?
  • Have you ever been diagnosed or treated for an underlying mental or physical condition, such as a mental illness or chronic health concern?
  • Have you undergone treatment for a substance use disorder in the past?
  • How much methamphetamine were you using on a daily basis?

The questions we ask during the initial assessment help our clinical and medical team determine which detox methods are the most appropriate for each unique case. Next, we focus our attention on physical stabilization. Clients are able to relax in their private or semi-private bedrooms, and they have the opportunity to participate in group workshops and behavioral therapy sessions if they are feeling up to doing so. The physical and psychological symptoms of methamphetamine withdrawal are treated as soon as they develop, seeing as our team of licensed medical professionals are available 24-hours a day. Our main priority is making the methamphetamine detox process as comfortable as possible. Once physical stabilization has been achieved, clients make a smooth transition into the next appropriate level of clinical care. In most cases, this means transitioning into a residential inpatient treatment center. At Immersion Recovery Center we offer a multi-staged program of recovery, which includes:

Long-term methamphetamine addiction recovery is possible. With an individualized and effective treatment program in place, even the most severe cases of methamphetamine addiction can be overcome. Contact us today to learn more or to get started with our simple and straightforward admissions process.

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Immersion Recovery Center provides a licensed, individualized and integrated detox program to people of all ages who have been struggling with addictive disorders of all types and severities. We offer a step-down curriculum of clinical care, designed to help our clients make a smooth and seamless transition from medical detox into the next level of care, and eventually back into independent living. We understand how difficult it might seem to choose the best drug and alcohol detox in Florida for your unique personal needs. Fortunately, we are available to help make the decision easier. The moment you contact us, either directly through our website or over the phone, you are put in touch with one of our experienced and compassionate Treatment Advisors. They ask a short series of questions, ultimately helping you determine which level of care is the most appropriate for your unique case. If we believe our program is a good fit we conduct a free, no obligation insurance benefit check and facilitate local travel to our Delray Beach, Florida treatment center. Contact us today to begin.

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