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More on Methamphetamine Treatment

by James Heller 7. October 2009 14:19
By Ken Bachrach, Ph.D., Clinical Director

Treatment for methamphetamine is effective and available to those needing assistance stopping methamphetamine use and recovering from the effects of this highly addictive drug.  Methamphetamine currently is the primary drug of choice for one-third of individuals seeing residential and outpatient drug treatment at Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles.  

The first step is to stop using methamphetamine.  Methamphetamine withdrawal is an uncomfortable state.  While meth users usually don’t need medication to help them withdraw, they are often experiencing symptoms of depression, fatigue, agitation, confusion, lack of energy, paranoia, anxiety, and cognitive impairment.  So it is still prudent for meth addicts to enter a medical detoxification program in treatment.

These acute withdrawal symptoms can last from two days to two weeks.  During this period of time it is important to provide structure, and to not to make too many demands on the individual.  Symptoms of concern should be monitored and re-assessed on a regular basis, and psychological symptoms that persist may need more attention, including psychotropic medication.

During the first few days after stopping using methamphetamine, sleep, support, and eating nutritious foods is beneficial.  The meth addict’s brain is going through major changes and each day can be a challenge.  Medical and dental needs should be assessed, and it is a good idea to see a physician and a dentist if there are any concerns.

Problems with learning and memory may actually get worse following the cessation of methamphetamine use.  Research has shown that some individual’s have more impaired verbal memory for up to six months after they stopped using meth compared to when they just stopped.  This is unique among drugs of abuse.  

Since most counseling and treatment involves primarily counseling through talking, it is possible that meth addicts in early recovery will have difficult times remembering information.  Fortunately, visual memory is not impacted the same way that verbal memory is, so efforts should be made to use visual means in counseling and treatment.  

In addition, writing things down, using chalk boards and white boards, as well as active learning though role play and exercises may help overcome and compensate for these deficits in verbal memory.

Relapse triggers need to be identified for each individual, since these people, places and things place an individual at risk for resuming their meth use.  Sexual triggers are very common for both men and women who use meth, since surveys have shown that sex is associated with meth use more than any other drug.  In one survey, 67% of meth users agreed that they were obsessed with sex, compared to 40% of cocaine users and 16% of alcohol users.  

The road to recovery may not be a simple nor easy one.  As with many drugs of abuse, relapse is common, but getting back into treatment quickly can greatly increase one’s changes of long-term recovery.  In addition to addressing the specific issues surrounding methamphetamine use, medical, psychological, family, social, legal, vocational, and education issues often need to be addressed as well.  

Methamphetamine addiction treatment is as effective as for other drugs.  It is a myth that treatment for methamphetamine is not effective.  An evaluation by UCLA researchers of over 35,000 individuals referred to treatment showed no difference in any of the outcome measures when compared to users of other drugs of abuse.  This included treatment completion rates, urinalysis data, and retention in treatment rates.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides medical detoxification for methamphetamine addiction as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare in alcohol and drug treatment.  If you or a loved one needs help with methamphetamine addiction, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Special Needs in Alcohol and Drug Treatment

by James Heller 6. October 2009 14:00
Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles is committed to providing integrated behavioral healthcare in alcohol and drug treatment.  This means that when patients enter treatment in one of our facilities, they will have access to the many other healthcare services we offer.  And more access to services from one provider means better outcomes in alcohol and drug treatment.

A recent report by California State University, Long Beach, Department of Criminal Justice to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation highlighted that we are truly committed to success in treatment.  The study paid close attention to several details in substance abuse treatment, and noted specifically how we help patients with special needs.

In particular, Tarzana Treatment Centers understands the importance in making all levels of mental health treatment available to our patients with co-occurring disorders.  We were noted in the report as being “…the most capable program to address co-occurring disorders statewide.  The program is efficient, organized, and well-run despite the fact that they serve some of the most high-needs clients in the state.”

Our alcohol and drug treatment program is also recognized as providing the highest level of care in HIV Services, as mentioned in the report.  These services include education, specialized primary care, housing, and mental health services, among many others.  Patients can be referred to services as early as their first day in our medical detoxification unit.

We are continually enhancing and expanding programs so that patients can count on us for the services they need.  As drug use trends change, drug treatment modules must be altered and added.  It was stated twice in the report that we have an answer to the rise in methamphetamine addiction rates.
Cognitive deficits that result from methamphetamine addiction can last up to two years after use is stopped.  While the disease of addiction has many constants where treatment is concerned, meth users need to re-learn memory skills and may require visual cues.  We assess patients entering methamphetamine treatment for needs in these areas and treat accordingly.

Another example in this area that was not on the report is the recent changes in teen drug use trends.  Teen prescription drug abuse is rapidly growing.  At the same time, perceptions among adolescents that these drugs risk little harm are on the rise.  

Tarzana Treatment Centers takes steps to slow these trends through treatment, family groups, and education.  Our expertise in prescription drug detox has proven to be valuable as demand has increased for adolescent drug detox.  The ability to provide both medical detoxification and youth alcohol and drug treatment improves outcomes for long-term recovery.

If you or a loved one needs help with drug addiction or alcohol dependence, you can count on Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles to provide all of the services you need.  Our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare goes far beyond what has been written in this article.  For more information, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Methamphetamine Treatment

by James Heller 13. May 2009 10:44
Methamphetamine treatment is approached in much the same way as other drug addictions.  But while the disease of addiction is the same with all drug types, methamphetamine addicts may find relapse prevention more difficult in comparison to other illegal drugs.

One attraction to methamphetamine, or crystal meth, is the sense of alertness and euphoria it brings.  The problem is that methamphetamine changes behavior and has the power to rapidly destroy even the most successful individuals in society.  But even if an individual is aware that addiction is a problem, the ability to work or study longer can make that an annoying side effect.  

It is also a drug used among teens and young adults in social situations to enhance and prolong the “party”.  Mixing drugs and alcohol has become a dangerous trend with these groups, driving a rise in overdoses and deaths.  Unfortunately, along with the sense of alertness that attracts use, the low price and high availability make methamphetamines easy to obtain.

Self-medicating is also a problem that affects those with co-occurring mental health and substance addiction problems.  Sufferers of bipolar disorder and ADHD report feeling “normal” after using crystal meth.  Many of them forego therapy and become addicted, unaware of the damage the drug is causing.

These aspects of methamphetamine use are very tempting to the addict newly recovering from drug addiction.  Since these relapse triggers cross socio-economic boundaries they should be addressed with any crystal meth addict in treatment.

Tarzana Treatment Centers provides adult and adolescent detox and treatment services for methamphetamine addiction.  We also provide mental health treatment as part of our commitment to offering Integrated Behavioral Healthcare services.

Below are highlights of a report on the rise of methamphetamine treatment admissions from the Office of Applied Studies at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

-- Begin external content --

  • According to SAMHSA's Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), the primary methamphetamine/ amphetamine treatment admission rate in the United States increased from 10 admissions per 100,000 to 52 admissions per 100,000 population aged 12 or older between 1992 and 2002.
  • Smoked methamphetamine/amphetamine is often referred to as "ice." In 1992, 12% of primary methamphetamine / amphetamine admissions reported smoking as the primary route of administration and 39% inhaled the substance. By 2002, 50% reported smoking as their primary route of administration for methamphetamine / amphetamine and only 17% inhaled it.
  • In 2002, 19 States had rates in excess of the national rate (52 admissions per 100,000 population): 10 States were in the West, 7 were in the Midwest and 2 were in the South. The highest rates were in Oregon (324 admissions per 100,000), Hawaii (217 per 100,000), California (200 per 100,000), Iowa (198 per 100,000), Wyoming (167 per 100,000), Nevada (156 per 100,000), Washington State (150 per 100,000), and Arkansas (125 admissions per 100,000 population).

-- Source: http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/2k4/methTX/methTX.cfm --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to find treatment news articles that we can share with our readers in the alcohol and drug treatment community.  The external content was found among other articles of equal informational and educational quality.