How To Help Someone With An Addiction To Methamphetamine
Taking part in the treatment-planning process and providing positive support are two things that loved ones can do for someone who is addicted to methamphetamine.
Meth, or crystal meth, can quickly take over a person’s life. Abuse of this potent and highly addictive stimulant drug can cause major psychological and behavioral changes that make a person act in strange and unpredictable ways.
For friends and family, this transformation can be incredibly hard and leave loved ones feeling helpless. The good news is, there are things that friends and family can do that may help their loved one find stability and the help they need.
Having an active support network of close friends and family provides inspiration, accountability, and resources at this difficult time. The following tips can help loved ones support their family member or friend as they begin their recovery journey:
Know The Warning Signs Of Meth Abuse And Addiction
Identifying harmful patterns of drug use is one of the first steps towards getting a person help.
When a person first starts taking meth, they’ll likely go to great lengths to hide their drug use. In the beginning, they might succeed, however, as such a powerful drug, the toll of meth abuse can quickly become evident.
Major signs of meth abuse and addiction include:
- cravings: Overwhelming urges and thoughts of drug use become disruptive to a person’s day.
- tolerance: A typical dose doesn’t create the usual effect, which often leads to higher doses.
- dependence: A person’s body is reliant on the drug and cannot function normally without it.
- withdrawal: Physical and/or psychological symptoms occur when a person stops taking meth.
A deteriorating physical appearance can also be a major sign of meth abuse. Use of this drug may result in meth mouth, or severe dental problems. A person may also have a poor complexion and skin sores. Many people ignore personal care and fail to bathe or wear clean clothes.
People who are struggling with meth abuse or addiction may also develop problems at home, work, or school and begin to ignore important responsibilities that relate to these things.
Stop Enabling Behaviors
Many people enable their loved ones without even realizing it. Unlike positive support or constructive help, enabling behaviors can be very harmful to a person’s recovery. Enabling prevents a person from experiencing the negative consequences of their drug use.
Enabling often starts with good intentions. During enabling, an individual may do something for a person that they should be able to do for themselves. They may also make excuses that prevent a person from experiencing the damage caused by their addiction.
Identifying enabling behaviors and replacing them with positive, supportive ones can hold a person accountable. It can also help them have a more active role in their recovery.
Have A Conversation
Talking about addiction may seem intimidating, but it could set the stage for positive action and future conversations down the road.
Never attempt to talk to a person about their drug use while they’re intoxicated or coming down from meth. Not only will this conversation likely not be productive, but with meth, a person’s safety could be jeopardized since the drug can cause irrational and violent behavior.
When speaking, be careful not to be judgmental, critical, or use an argumentative tone. Take care to speak with understanding, compassion, and an open mind, so that the person feels loved, respected, and supported during this difficult time.
Plan An Intervention For Meth Addiction
If a person doesn’t respond to their family’s concerns about their drug use, professional help may make a difference.
Addicted people often struggle with denial and fear. This, along with the brain changes that result from drug use can make it difficult for a person to accept that they need help.
While family-led interventions are sometimes successful, a professional intervention is typically recommended.
One goal of an intervention is to have a constructive conversation about the damage a person’s substance use is causing. Without professional support, an intervention could become overly heated, and in the case of meth abuse, even violent.
A professional interventionist will guide loved ones through the intervention and treatment-planning process. In many cases, they will help make transportation arrangements and even take a person to the facility.
Understand The Treatment Process And Get Professional Help
Understanding the treatment options for meth addiction can help friends and family support their loved one during this difficult time. It can also assist these individuals in finding a program that best serves their loved one’s needs.
The best treatment plans are individualized, that is, treatment is tailored to meet the unique recovery needs, lifestyle, and history of each person. Because of this, each client’s journey through treatment and recovery can be a little bit different.
At the core, methamphetamine treatment is made up of several different treatment types. Some people may take part in only one service, while other plans may use several.
The following services may be used to help a person recover from meth addiction:
Meth Detox Programs
A detox program for methamphetamine isn’t always needed, however, an evaluation should be used to determine what program is best for those who need these services. Meth is often abused with other drugs, like alcohol and opioids, which may need detoxification services.
Outpatient detox provides more flexibility and may be recommended for mild withdrawal symptoms. Individuals experiencing mental health problems, such as the depression that often accompanies meth detox, may need more intensive care.
Meth Inpatient Drug Rehab Programs
Inpatient or residential treatment offers the most intensive level of care for meth addiction. This format allows a person to live at a rehab center during treatment. This setting typically gives a person more access to treatments and therapies that fight addiction.
Inpatient treatment can be a good option for a person who has a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder. This means that a person has both a substance use and mental health disorder, such as anxiety or depression.
This higher level of care may also be recommended for people who are addicted to more than one substance, who have been addicted for a long period of time, or who have experienced chronic relapse.
Meth Outpatient Addiction Treatment
Outpatient rehab programs provide flexible and convenient options for people who do not need inpatient treatment. These programs may also be good options for people whose family or work obligations don’t allow them to enroll in a residential program.
Outpatient care comes in several levels, which vary in intensity and include:
- traditional outpatient
- intensive outpatient (IOP)
- partial hospitalization programs (PHP)
Outpatient treatment may be recommended for individuals who have experienced a minor relapse, who are mildly to moderately addicted, or who need additional support as they step down from inpatient treatment.
Meth Aftercare And Alumni Support Services
The time just after a person leaves rehab can be critical to their success. Maintaining sobriety without a recovery-focused support network can be difficult. Aftercare and alumni support programs can make a major difference at this time.
Alumni programs may be offered directly through a facility or found within a person’s community. Aftercare services can be helpful in the long run as well. Some like, peer support groups, can be a lifelong part of recovery.
Aftercare and alumni support services include:
- job coaching
- mentorship opportunities
- online recovery resources
- self-help groups
- self-improvement classes
- sober living homes
Take Part In Family Therapy And Support For Meth Addiction
Supporting a person throughout treatment and recovery can seem challenging, but with the help of a family therapy and support program, loved ones can learn the best way to do this.
Typically, these programs educate family members on addiction and recovery. They also help a person and their family heal and overcome dysfunctional behaviors that may be harming the family dynamic.
Know The Payment Options For Meth Rehab
Many people put off getting the treatment they need due to the cost. When confronted with the side effects of substance abuse and withdrawal, it may also be hard to think clearly about financial concerns.
Understanding the payment options for meth rehab can help families make a financially sound decision. First, if a person has insurance it’s helpful to see if they have coverage. Making a financial contribution, organization a crowdfunding campaign, or looking into financing options may also be helpful at this time.
Find A Meth Drug Rehab Program For A Loved One
Selecting the right treatment program can make a huge difference in a person’s recovery.
By receiving individualized treatment, a person is better equipped with personalized sober living skills that can help them maintain a healthy recovery.
Contact Addiction Campuses today to learn more about meth addiction and treatment options.
Mayo Clinic — Drug addiction (substance use disorder)
National Institute on Drug Abuse — Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition), Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction