Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine treatment at Hope Rehab we use an evidence-based approach to help you recover from meth addiction. Our program is made up of four pillars including: CBT, mindfulness, 12-step work, and wellness promotion. If you, or somebody you care about, is dealing with meth addiction, we may have the solution you have been looking for. 

Methamphetamine has a reputation for being the most destructive of all drugs. Use of this drug has reached epidemic proportions in many countries. In Australia, one police deputy commissioner went so far as to say:

“It is clear that a whole generation of rural youth is at risk” - Herald Sun

“Nobody wakes up one morning and says, 'This is the day I will begin to destroy my life and the lives of those who love me. Today, I will begin my slow suicide. I’ll start taking my poison. Not all at once, but a little at a time, so I can experience a long, slow agonizing death' ”
- Kimberley Wollenburg (Crystal Clean: A Mother’s Struggle with Meth Addiction and Recovery) ​

Crystal methamphetamine has many different street names

 

Meth Ice Crank Crystal Speed Crystal Glass Crystal Meth Christina Tina Cris Cristy Chalk Chalk Dust Geep Getter

Getgo Go Fast G Trash Garbage Wash Ya ba White Crunch Hanyak Hiropon Hot Ice Super Ice

 

Neuroscience of methamphetamine Addiction – The Highest High

Methamphetamine  attaches to structures that regulate dopamine, thereby producing euphoria. However, Meth also produces changes in norepinephrine and glutamate, which are the sources of its stimulant effects, leading to euphoria and a desire to repeat the experience again and again. 

Hijacked brain – Methamphetamine – Crystal meth – Ice

The human reward system is designed for survival but hijacked by chemical payoffs provided by methamphetamine . The reward circuitry normally bookmarks important things: food, nurturing children, education, work and friendships. However, now it has been corrupted by the substance.

A craving is a neurological impulse. Addicts usually lose control over their meth addiction. This is known as powerlessness or compulsive behavior.

People start using meth to feel good, later they use meth just to feel OK, it is a vicious cycle

  • Reward center: Changes in the way we experience pleasure
  • Impaired memory: Euphoric recall despite negative consequence
  • Self-medicating: Negative thoughts, feelings and paranoia

The Need for Addiction Treatment for Methamphetamine

Not everyone who gets into trouble with crystal meth is going to fit the stereotype of the emaciated, desperate-looking, and paranoid user. Nonetheless, you don’t need to reach this point in order to be in need of help to quit. It can be harder to permanently break free of methamphetamine than it is for other drugs like heroin and cocaine. This is why a structured rehab programme can be so important. 

One of the things that can happen when you stop taking meth, is that your dopamine levels start to drop significantly. This lead to a drop in energy levels. Even if you are fully committed to recovery, you may lose motivation, unless you are supported through this adaptation phase. 

People who fall into addiction do share many similarities with each other, but it would be a mistake to assume that a ‘one size fits all’ approach is going to work for all substance abusers. Here at Hope Rehab, we have experience with dealing specifically with methamphetamine addiction, and our program takes the peculiarities of this type of addiction into account. We all provide individualised care to make sure you are getting exactly what you need. 

The descent into meth addiction

The descent into meth dependence can happen quickly because this drug is so highly addictive. People usually start off by taking this substance occasionally just for fun – it has a reputation for being a ‘party drug’. Those who take it, experience a rush of pleasure, increased confidence, as well as a boost in energy levels. This effect lasts for about eight hours. It is the fact that this substance creates such desirable effects that makes it so dangerous.

“Addiction doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t matter if you come from a highly dysfunctional family and a rough background or from the wealthiest family in town. If you make the wrong choices, the outcome is the same “
- David Parnell (Facing the Dragon: How a Desperate Act Pulled One Addict Out of Methamphetamine Hell)

Meth works by increasing the levels of dopamine by up to 10 times the normal level of this hormone. This chemical creates feelings of pleasure. Meth also triggers the release of adrenalin which gives you extra energy. What goes up must go down, and once this drug begins to wear off, the person will feel depressed, tired, and mentally sluggish. The after-effects of meth are unpleasant, and this encourages people to use more of the drug in order to return to the high. Meth becomes linked to the internal reward system in the brain, and this means users start to develop cravings once they have taken it a few times.

Understanding the role of the neurotransmitter-dopamine in Meth addiction is helpful

Dopamine is an important neurotransmitter in the central nervous system and, when present in normal quantities, facilitates critical brain functions.

People with addictions are low on dopamine causing addiction, depression, loss of satisfaction, poor focus and other symptoms. Low dopamine levels cause us to consciously and unconsciously seek out dopamine raising substances or behaviours. All substances stimulate dopamine release or increase its activity and produce the hedonic response, “I like that” motivation.

Impulse Control: STOP >> GO systems in the brain

The dopamine pleasure pathway is the Go system, and the prefrontal cortex is the Stop system. When we anticipate and experience something good like food or sex, alcohol or drugs, our brain experiences a surge in the level of the neurotransmitter dopamine.

Meth creates a false sense of well-being and energy, so a person will tend to push his body faster and further than it is meant to go. So the drug users can experience a severe “crash” physical and mental breakdown after the effects of the drugs wear off.

 

 

Long-range damage

In the long term, meth use can cause irreversible harm: increased heart rate and blood pressure; damaged blood vessels in the brain that can cause strokes or an irregular heartbeat that can, in turn, cause cardiovascular2 collapse or death; and liver, kidney and lung damage. Users may suffer brain damage, including memory loss and an increasing inability to grasp abstract thoughts. Those who recover are usually subject to memory gaps and extreme mood swings even during Methamphetamine treatment.

Hope Rehab Center strives to offer you the best of group and individual therapies to aid in your recovery
Hope Rehab center understands the importance of mindfulness techniques in your recovery

Methamphetamine – Crystal Meth – Ice – Treatment at Hope Treatment Centre

Methamphetamine treatment is a highly structured program consisting of...

Detox: For some clients there is a withdrawal process, coming down, loss of sleep or sleep disruption due to unhealthy life patterns. Psychologically Methamphetamine cessation can be painful for a period of time. 

Counseling and Therapy: You will build a healthy relationship with your counsellor and explore your life history - unearthing reasons why you use or why you can't stop using. 

Group work: Here we share our painful experiences and help each other find solutions.  

CBT: Cognitive behaviour therapy - short term therapy with long term results - helps with positive thinking. 

Addiction program: We use the evidence-based programme to unravel and look at your addictive behaviours. 

Mindfulness: sessions and practice helps calm your thinking and relax the mind. 

Fitness and exercise program: We get up early and go for 40 minutes exercise to help restore health and ingrain a healthy behaviour pattern. I say "get up before your addiction wakes up".

Assignments: Hope workbook is 100 pages long - full of exercises to complete in group, with your counsellor and as homework in the evenings. 

Treatment tasks: In the weekly goals group you are set new goals and paradoxical behaviours to complete and help you change life-long habits. 

Activities: Weekend activities include many new sober fun things to do - this gives you a chance to practise having clean and sober fun.

Relapse Prevention: These classes raise your awareness and teach you to manage triggers and cravings.

Aftercare:  We begin your aftercare plan before you leave Rehab.