What About Outpatient Treatment For Meth Addiction?
Methamphetamine, or meth, has become one of the most widely misused substances in the US. Studies suggest over 1.5 million Americans have used meth in a given year. Unlike some drugs, meth can cause addiction after just one or two uses. The long term medical effects of using meth can be traumatic, and even deadly. Fortunately, treatment options are available to help patients reclaim their lives. Outpatient treatment for meth addiction allows patients to receive more care while gradually returning to normal life. We will explore the following topics:
- Why is meth so addictive?
- What does outpatient treatment for meth look like?
- Is outpatient treatment right for me?
Why Is Meth So Addictive?
Meth is a man-made drug that comes from pseudoephedrine. Like cocaine, meth is a stimulant. Because it is manmade, though, it is far more potent than cocaine. Meth can be used in several form, but in the US it is most commonly smoked. When it hits the bloodstream, meth triggers the brain to dump large levels of dopamine, which causes a “high.” Users may feel an immediate sense of wakefulness and burst of activity. Patients may also experience a rapid heart rate and hyperthermia.
After repeated use, the brain forms a dependence on meth. Although the brain continues to produce large amounts of dopamine, the hormone’s receptors are slowed. This causes the user to need more of the drug to feel the same effects. As the addiction deepens, patients may begin to feel the following symptoms:
- Significant anxiety
- Mood disturbances
- Severe dental problems
- Drastic weight loss
- Violent behavior
Once addiction has formed, users cannot simply quit using on their own. When the brain detects an absence of meth, it sends out distress signals to the body. These signals are known as withdrawal. Meth causes severe withdrawal symptoms, and in some cases can be deadly without proper medical treatment. Fortunately, programs like ours at Midwood Addiction Treatment have a high success rate.
What Does Outpatient Meth Treatment Look Like?
If you are currently using meth and looking for treatment options, you have completed the first step to recovery. Every treatment program is unique to the patient, so no two recovery journeys are exactly the same. At Midwood, we offer a comprehensive set of treatments for meth addiction. Before you begin treatment, you will first need to go through detox.
If you have developed a dependence on a substance, the first step is to safely remove the substance from your body. This process is known as detoxification, or detox. For substances like meth, it is strongly recommended that you seek a medically supervised detox. This is where your care team provides medication to control withdrawal symptoms while the body cleanses itself. In some cases, this can be done in an outpatient setting. In other cases, you may need to use a detox center for 24-hour monitoring by a medical team. Our intake staff will coordinate this step for you as part of your overall care plan.
Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)
Ridding your body of meth is a vital step to recovery, but it is only the first step. Your care team will likely need to continue a medical treatment regimen to help your body adjust. MAT can be used during the course of your treatment, and generally lasts no longer than 12 months. During this time, you will be working through your rehab plan in a structured setting.
Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
Once you are finished with detox, you will most likely start in our Partial Hospitalization Program. This plan is a perfect fit for those needing continued medical care, but not 24-hour monitoring. During the day, you will attend therapy and support groups, and meet with doctors as needed. At night, you will stay in one of our sober living homes. This setting will give you the creature comforts of home without the stress of trying to avoid relapse. You will be around others on the same journey, as well as the center staff who can care for your needs.
Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP)
This stage of treatment allows you to begin to slowly integrate back into daily life while still receiving treatment. You will still likely be living in a sober living house. However, in addition to treatment, you may spend time on activities like working or looking for employment. IOP is structured to be a flexible and more cost-effective alternative to PHP and residential treatment. Patients benefit from a longer overall stay in recovery, and the transition back to normal life is much smoother.