Recovery Begins at Northpoint Colorado
Methamphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant that provides a sense of elation for the user at an enhanced level that makes normal pleasure levels seem like a letdown.
Methamphetamine was initially developed for medicinal use in the early 1900s, and as a stimulant may be used to treat narcolepsy’s sleep tendencies and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In these cases, it’s administered under controlled doses and with continued supervision.
Addiction can set in with non-prescribed, non-controlled use when people are introduced to the drug by friends, loved ones, or total strangers. Methamphetamine is known by many names, most commonly meth, crystal, and crank. When addiction is beginning, the person makes repeated attempts to regain the substance-assisted high and begins to use meth more frequently and in higher doses.
Addiction Recovery More Involved Than Just Stopping Meth Use
When thinking abilities are affected by a substance, normal behavior is put on the back burner. Recovery treatment is much more involved than simply stopping the use of meth. Risky behaviors have replaced good judgment, and life skills, interests, hobbies, relationships, and finances may have fallen by the wayside.
As meth begins to clear the body during detox, there are physical withdrawal symptoms that come into sharp focus and need to be treated. This takes time, which often depends on how long somebody has been addicted and how much they are used to using regularly.
Once the physical symptoms are controlled enough, psychosocial therapy can start. This is where licensed, professional counselors can help with individual therapy and group therapy.
Time is also spent relearning social skills often lost during the isolation of addiction. Rebuilding relationships, remembering activities that bring joy without substance use, and beginning to develop an aftercare plan all take time. Recovery treatment is that time to set the restart button on a sober life.
Physical Impact of Methamphetamine
While the drug is keeping your mind focused on its high effect, it’s also acting on three very important systems in your body: the central nervous system, the cardiovascular system, and the respiratory system, or brain, heart, and breathing.
Meth’s impact on these important body systems can cause side effects and potentially lead to overdose.
Meth is not made in laboratories like its medical-use counterpart, but rather in makeshift labs in garages, vans, and suburban kitchens across the country.
Many people may never have heard of meth before the mainstream introduction from the TV series “Breaking Bad,” starring a chemistry teacher gone rogue. His semi-admirable goal was to make money for his family following his diagnosis of terminal cancer. The show opened the eyes of the general public to how a regular person can cook meth with ingredients from the pharmacy, grocery, and hardware store aisles.
Meth is made with these toxic ingredients and creates a waste environment that can be radioactive from combinations of solvents and corrosive liquids. These home-based labs are no longer inhabitable and must be treated as a hazardous material site or torn down.
Living in this environment subjects the person to absorbing these harmful chemicals in their skin and ingesting vapors during the cooking process. If you’ve been around meth use, you’ve likely noticed the disarray that usually surrounds the place where it’s used. It’s also typical to find the tools of drug use, often called paraphernalia, haphazardly strewn about. Being under the influence of meth, people can lose personal hygiene standards.
Once some of the haze of the meth high has worn off, a person might be motivated to clean up and try to move forward. But too often, the lows they feel draw them right back to the mental place of addiction they tried to leave.
That is the grip addiction has and why it’s so hard to reach someone who is in the thick of it. If you know this first-hand, you’ve experienced some moments of clear thinking where you know each time you turn to meth, you’re hurting yourself, your loved ones, and jeopardizing your future.
Nationwide Data Shows Use Widespread Methamphetamine Use
“Breaking Bad” may be fiction, but national survey data shows it’s all too true that meth is being used by regular people you might see next door mowing their grass on a weekend.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 2015-2018, nearly 1.6 million adults used meth in the past year. That number represents almost 7 out of every 1,000 adults.
- Just over half of people who used meth, 53%, had a substance use disorder.
- A little more than 30% of people with a disorder received any type of treatment.
The most typical people who use meth are men 26 and older with a household income of less than $50,000 and a lower level of education. They typically live in smaller cities, towns, or out in the country, and are more likely to have a mental illness such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Fifteen percent of overdose deaths involved meth, and half of that number also included an opioid. Colorado is one of five states to see meth overdose deaths increase in recent years.
Northpoint Recovery Colorado opened in early 2021 and was welcomed by local governments as they recognized the need for more inpatient detox locations.
How is Meth Taken?
Meth appears in four forms:
- Crystalized (known as crystal meth and appearing like glass fragments or bluish-white rocks)
Meth is taken the following ways:
- Smoked: This is the most common method, but may vary by region.
- Injected: This is the riskiest method. Often called “shooting” or “slamming” meth, it provides a near-immediate high.
- This immediate high greatly increases the likelihood for addiction, specifically severe addiction.
- As judgment declines, chances for overdose rise.
- Sharing needles is common, increasing infections and contagious diseases through blood.
- Collapsed veins and abscesses can result.
The entire act of preparing the materials, drawing the meth into the needle, and injecting it causes extreme satisfaction. This is often at odds with a person’s desire to rotate injection sites to appear discreet and not draw unwanted attention to their drug use.
If you’re worried about a loved one who may be using meth, some common paraphernalia you may notice are:
- Long, clear glass pipes
- Steel wool
Behavioral And Physical Symptoms Of Meth Use
Methamphetamine use has a long list of possible tell-tale behaviors and physical symptoms.
Behaviors common with meth use include:
- Reduced appetite
- Erratic sleeping patterns
- Outbursts or mood swings
- Psychosis (Up to 40% may experience temporary agitation, violence, and delusion, but these can recur even after meth use is discontinued.)
Physical signs of meth use include:
- Twitching, facial tics, jerky movements
- Dilated pupils
- Skin sores
- Rapid eye movement
- Burns, particularly on the lips or fingers
- Rotting teeth
- Extreme weight loss
How Is a Meth Addiction Diagnosed?
A medical professional must adhere to standards prescribed to meet the medical guidelines for an official diagnosis. Northpoint Colorado’s admissions team will assess you under these guidelines to determine if you qualify for treatment at our licensed detox and recovery inpatient treatment center.
Meth causes physical and behavioral discomfort during withdrawal. If the symptoms are acute, supervision is highly recommended, and Northpoint Colorado offers this with its inpatient medical detox.
Physically, you may experience:
- Tiredness, leading you to sleep for several days
- Disrupted sleep patterns that can last weeks
- Dry mouth
- Anxiousness, paranoia, and hallucinations
- Muscle spasms
- Inability to eat
Behaviorally, you may experience:
- Depression or anxiety
- Lack of motivation
- Low energy level
- Intense thought cravings for more meth
A person may be tempted to relapse due to the severity of discomfort from intense cravings during meth withdrawal. These cravings are often the reason someone relapses during detox if not in a medically supervised facility with 24-hour care.
Cravings can last for weeks, possibly months, which can be hard for a loved one to understand when the meth use has stopped yet symptoms persist.
What Does Meth Addiction Treatment Look Like?
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) issued a research report in 2019 stating there are two therapies most effective for meth addiction treatment: cognitive behavioral therapy (which teaches how to change thinking) and contingency (possibility) management.
Northpoint Colorado provides evidence-based therapies for meth addiction including:
- Cognitive behavioral
- Family education
- Individual and group counseling
- 12-step support
- Encouragement for non-drug-related activities that can be pursued with aftercare
Contingency management typically uses the same therapies but may introduce a reward program with vouchers. This type of reward helps the patient focus on short-term goals such as negative urine samples rather than the possibly overwhelming idea of lifelong recovery.
In the early stage of recovery when relapse can be common, or at facilities that don’t offer inpatient care, rewards can be infinitely helpful to gain multiple days in treatment and build healthier thinking skills. Long-term recovery is the goal for both the patient and the treatment center.
Medications have proven helpful for fighting addiction to other substances such as opioids or alcohol, but that has not been the case with meth. Knowing this further stresses the importance of having a defined therapy path.
Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment Through Therapy
Northpoint Colorado’s highly trained staff will assist you through our inpatient program that begins with detox before moving to addiction treatment over four weeks. Your full time will be spent in phases of treatment.
Drug Detox Program
Detox offers you 24/7 support from a full medical team with prescription medications available to ease the discomfort of withdrawal. Healing activities are also helpful, and we offer acudetox (a type of acupuncture) as part of our treatment program. You’ll be able to focus fully on your recovery.
The treatment phase will focus on the psychological aspects of your addiction. You’ll understand the root causes of your meth use, manage cravings that can cause relapse, and retrain your brain to function normally without meth.
Aftercare will be recommended as part of your individualized recovery plan. It may include outpatient treatment and community interaction with our alumni group. Regardless of which path you take, it’s important that you continue to practice in aftercare what you’ve learned in treatment and receive support to maintain a sober lifestyle.
Northpoint Colorado Can Help With Meth Addiction and Recovery
Northpoint Colorado’s inpatient drug rehab allows you to focus 100% on recovery. You’ll receive care for withdrawal before moving to treatment to help understand the reasons behind your addiction more fully. We continue to support you with step-down outpatient programs and aftercare to achieve lasting sobriety.
Recovery takes continued commitment to using behaviors taught in therapy. Evidence suggests meth recovery programs that treat a person’s mental health and overall wellness, in addition to the addiction, have a stronger recovery rate. Northpoint Colorado is experienced with treating those addicted to this powerful and dangerous drug. When you call, our experienced staff is ready with free assessments and same-day admissions for treatment. We’re waiting for your call to start your renewed life at (970) 410-8228.
- What’s the typical length of meth addiction treatment?
Northpoint Colorado offers treatment programs that are tailored for each unique situation. Our inpatient program lasts 28 days on average and can be followed up with a partial hospitalization program (PHP) or intensive outpatient program (IOP). PHP and IOP lengths also vary based on individual situations.
- Where can I go for treatment for meth addiction?
Northpoint Colorado’s treatment center is located in Loveland, Colorado. This location serves people from Ft. Collins to the north and the Denver metropolitan area to the south. We offer inpatient detox and treatment, PHP, and IOP.