Learn more about meth misuse and treatment in Dallas
Methamphetamine use is a serious and growing problem in modern-day America. In Dallas, rehab centers and emergency rooms have seen a surge of meth-related visits in the past few years. The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro has also been identified by federal authorities as a major drop-off point for meth and other illicit drugs.
While it does have some legitimate medical uses for the treatment of ADHD and exogenous obesity, it is mostly purchased on the black market under various forms and street names (such as speed, crystal, ice, chalk, etc.) and taken for recreational purposes.
Compulsive meth use comes with an associated emotional-motivational withdrawal syndrome. While withdrawal from meth is not associated with fatalities like with opioids or alcohol, it is still very uncomfortable for most individuals.
Don’t wait to seek treatment for methamphetamines. If you suspect that you or a loved one has a problem with meth, call Dallas Drug Treatment Centers now at (214) 935-2287. We can connect you to a variety of meth rehab programs in Dallas and offer recommendations for a more personalized recovery.
What is meth use disorder?
Methamphetamine is a potent central nervous system (CNS) stimulant of the phenethylamine and amphetamine classes. To put it simply, it makes it easier for nerve cells to communicate with each other, including those in your brain. Continued use can destroy the brain’s ability to regulate itself without methamphetamines, leading to irritability and sluggishness when a regular meth user is unable to have the drug.
A methamphetamine use disorder is the result of long-term misuse of the drug. The term supersedes “methamphetamine addiction”, “methamphetamine abuse”, and “methamphetamine dependence”, among others.
Tolerance to meth can develop over time in regular users and withdrawal symptoms can appear shortly after stopping use. While the drug is generally considered to be as addictive as heroin or alcohol, people who use meth regularly will still often experience discomfort when ceasing the drug, which can encourage continued use.
As with other substance use disorders, only a qualified physician can give a diagnosis of methamphetamine use disorder. If you see the following symptoms in yourself or a loved one, consult a qualified clinician immediately.
- Intense cravings
- Uncontrolled consumption of meth or similar CNS stimulants
- Giving up activities that were once enjoyed
- Spending lots of money and time obtaining and recovering from the drug
- Using the drug despite negative consequences
Health effects of methamphetamine misuse
Meth is largely consumed to increase physical and mental energy. Some users also taking the drug for its potent euphoric and aphrodisiac qualities. In North Texas, it was once associated with poorer rural communities, long-haul truck drivers, and students. However, in recent years, the drug is more widely used, and the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) indicates that about 1 in 300 Americans reporting using meth in the previous month.
Common physical side effects of long-term use include:
- Loss of appetite
- Dilated pupils/blurred vision
- Excessive sweating/high body temperature
- Increased movement
- Rapid breathing/shortness of breath
- Pale appearance
- Teeth grinding
Long-time meth users often report the following:
- Changes in libido
- Decreased fatigue
- Repetitive behavior
- Violent behavior
- Tolerance and dependence
The withdrawal process from meth can be difficult and dangerous, with medications and medical support is required to reduce risk and support long-term recovery. A range of withdrawal symptoms is likely when people discontinue the drug, including cravings, depression, fatigue, changes to movement, changes to sleeping patterns, lack of motivation, increased appetite, and vivid dreams.
The possibility of relapse is very high in the early stages of withdrawal unless a specialized withdrawal management program is followed. While evidence regarding effective medication treatment is limited, fluoxetine and imipramine appear to be of some benefit in managing withdrawal symptoms.
Treatment for problematic meth use
The process of drug treatment is often split into two distinct phases, withdrawal management (also called detox) and rehabilitation. While detox is not always required for long-time meth users, it may be recommended depending on the individual case. More crucial for meth treatment is the application of rehabilitative therapy and counseling. When done correctly, these approaches can be highly effective at removing the immediate dangers of meth use, improving destructive behavior, and helping address the issues the led to the individual taking drugs.
Common behavioral therapies used in treatment include cognitive-behavioral therapy, multidimensional family therapy, motivational incentives, and motivational interviewing. Behavioral therapy helps patients to understand the intricate links between thoughts, feelings, and behavior, with therapists giving patients the skills and support they need to make different life choices.
Conventional counseling also plays an important role in meth treatment programs, with 12-step programs like Crystal Meth Anonymous available for recovering individuals. Treatment is available through residential and out-patient programs, with support groups and non-profit organizations also offering drug counseling to members of the local community.
If you or anyone you know is hooked on meth, it’s important to seek help from a professional rehab center that is experienced at treating meth use disorders. If you’re in the North Texas area, call Dallas Drug Treatment Centers at (214) 935-2287. We can offer advice on personalized treatments, information on specialized methamphetamine rehab programs, as well as alternative treatment options to help you overcome meth.