Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug that affects the central nervous system and the brain. Individuals who are addicted to meth, as it is called in society, will suffer both short-term and long-term affects that can make getting sober very difficult. Short-term and long-term affects associated with abusing meth include: hyperthermia, decreased appetite, irregular heart rate, convulsions, insomnia, aggressive behavior, anxiety, psychotic behavior, delusions, paranoia, suicidal thoughts, and mood disturbances.
When individuals abuse meth for long periods of time, it can cause damage to the brain that is very similar to the damage caused by Alzheimer’s. As you can imagine, abusing the drug can dramatically impact the life of the abuser and the ones in their life. If you are looking to do everything in your power to help the one you love get sober, read on and be the support system your loved one needs.
Admitting There is a Problem
The first step to recovery is getting the one you love to admit they have a problem. All too often, individuals who smoke or snort meth live in denial thinking that they can be a functioning addict. The user must see that the drug is ruining their life, affecting their health, and breaking bonds they have had their entire life. It is not until they can see the problem that they can decide that they are ready to stop. If the user is ready to stop, they can take all of the proper steps to successfully get off of meth for good.
The First Step
The first step is detoxing the body, also known as getting the poison out of your system. While some individuals choose to detox in a rehab or hospital, it is not always necessary if the one you love has a support system. In the first step, you must stay away meth and from the people in your life who use. If you tell someone you are going to detox, it is important to make sure you call them when you need medical attention. If you cannot eat or drink, are having anxiety, are delusional, or you feel suicidal while you are withdrawing, make sure to seek medical attention.
Get Structure in Your Life
It will take about two weeks to get the poison out of your body and to start feeling better. After all of the withdrawals, you might think that you have been through the worst part. Step two is learning how to cope with the cravings. From about 2 weeks after you stop using to 3 months after the last time, you will realize that craving is the enemy. You need to get structure in your life, consider getting addiction treatment, and keep yourself busy so that you can keep meth off of your mind.
Identify triggers that make you want to use and learn how to avoid them. Keep in mind that there is no cure that will make the user stop craving meth. To stay clean, the user needs to do everything in their power to avoid using and relapse. Healing from meth abuse can take up to two years. Remember that family support is critical and addiction treatment can help ensure that the user stays clean and stays healthy mentally and emotionally.
Peter Wendt is a writer and researcher living in Austin, TX. If you have a problem with addiction, he recommends you seek help the best help you can find. He went to Origins Recovery for comprehensive drug recovery assistance.