What Does it Take to Detox From Meth?
A meth addiction is a serious challenge and recovery can seem overwhelming. The first step of recovery will nearly always be detox or the cessation of meth consumption. Learn more about what it takes to detox from meth and how to begin the process safely and with the greatest chance of lifelong success.
The Desire to Make a Change
Arguably the most important thing that individuals need when trying to detox from meth is the desire to make a change. Detox can be difficult, and only those who want to commit to recovery will be able to complete it successfully. It is worth noting that in some cases, the desire to make a change can come from others, as well.
When a detox from meth begins, individuals will face a number of withdrawal symptoms. These can range from mildly unpleasant to painful, and cravings are common as a result. Deciding to accept this challenge is only likely when individuals are really, truly eager to make a change in their lives.
Sometimes, the desire to change comes from loved ones. An intervention, for example, might encourage someone who is struggling with meth addiction to seek help. Often, the dedication and work of a family member can be the catalyst to start down the road to recovery.
Medical Professionals With Addiction Experience
Detoxing from meth isn’t easy, but trying to do it solo can be nearly impossible. Not only will there be a greater chance of relapse, but there are far more health risks involved. To detox successfully from meth, you need the help of medical professionals who have experience in addiction treatment and recovery.
One of the immediate ways that medical professionals can help during a detox from meth is with an initial intake assessment. This evaluates the overall health of an incoming patient, and it can determine whether any additional medical attention is necessary. Patients with a weakened immune system or cardiac problems, for example, can get the right help before the stress of detox weakens them further. Mental health screenings can also point out whether patients need ongoing treatment for mental illness or disorder, both of which can impact recovery.
Medical professionals can also recommend weaning, if that is necessary for some patients. Weaning is when a meth addict slowly reduces their consumption. In some cases, weaning can result in fewer withdrawal symptoms than quitting cold turkey. However, this can only be safely done with the guidance and supervision of a medical professional who understands the addiction process.
In other cases, those struggling with a meth addiction can benefit from synthetic drug replacements that mimic the chemical response of meth. If patients rely on these alternatives for a short period of time in a detox facility, they may be able to avoid some of the worst withdrawal symptoms. These medications, if and when they are used, have to be carefully monitored to prevent further addictions.
Medical professionals are also necessary for a detox from meth because they can monitor the health of patients, particularly when it comes to withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms typical during a meth detox can include extreme fatigue, anxiety, hallucinations, mood swings, paranoia and headaches.
Individuals don’t just have to grin and bear it while detoxing from meth. Instead, they can utilize a range of resources made possible through medical experts. Certain non-narcotic medications can be administered that reduce discomfort and encourage sleep, for example, which can make the entire process easier.
Finally, medical professionals will be able to tell the difference between discomfort and a medical emergency. In a detox from meth, patients can feel like it is the end of the world, but only a medical professional can determine whether pain is normal or whether it necessitates emergency treatment.
A Secure and Drug-Free Environment
A detox from meth can take up to two weeks, depending on the severity of the addiction. Trying to abstain from such an addictive substance at home and without help for that long is certainly a serious challenge. To successfully detox from meth, having a secure and drug-free environment is a tremendous advantage.
The best way to detox is in a closed facility. This means that there won’t be any illicit drugs brought in or out. The primary reason for this arrangement is because it eliminates the potential for patients to get hold of meth. In addition, it makes it easier to resist cravings when patients access to meth simply isn’t an option.
Understanding About the Road to Recovery Ahead
To detox from meth successfully, it may be necessary to have a complete understanding of what the road to recovery actually looks like. In most cases, the detox portion is just a week or two in duration, but it will need to be followed by rehab or intensive addiction treatment, ongoing care and abstinence for a lifetime.
Detox is a critical part of recovering from a meth addiction. On its own, however, it may not be adequate. Once a person has broken free from the chemical dependence that meth can have on the brain, they can start to explore the root causes of their addiction and how to prevent it from taking hold.
In rehab programs, patients can explore a range of treatment methods designed to counter meth addiction. Things like group therapy or individual behavioral therapy are all evidence-based approaches with a history of success.
After detox and rehab, patients should also be prepared for continuing care. Very few people are able to complete treatment and then move on as if nothing happened. Ongoing care could be regular therapy sessions or group meetings.Those can help provide support and accountability when temptation or stress approaches.
To detox from meth, it is also important to understand that moderate drug use will never be an option. This slippery slope has to be avoided and drug abstinence is key.
A detox from meth is undoubtedly a challenge, but it is possible when individuals have the desire, access to medical professionals, a secure environment and an understanding of what lies ahead.