A Quick Guide To Dealing With Crystal Meth Abuse
Stunning images of the brain of a crystal meth abuser are available over the internet. Public health workers will show them to classrooms and to parents so that they can see for a fact what happens to a person’s body on drugs.
It is much like that image of an egg cracked open in a frying pan. Once that egg is heated up, it is literally fried.
The same is true of any individual’s brain on drugs. Images show the stark reality: methamphetamines irreversibly destroy portions of the brain, even after short-term use. Dark shadows indicate where brain damage has occurred. As a result, clinicians liken the result to someone suffering a stroke or developing Alzheimer’s.
Accessing the Drug
The trouble is that methamphetamine is cheap and easy to access. Like most drugs, it can cause a vulnerable person to become dependent after a single dose. It is also dangerous for more than its potential effects on the body: any street drug can be created in such a way that it poisons a user. No one knows how the human body is going to react to a single dose of any drug such as meth. A person could die the first time she tries it.
Signs of crystal meth abuse include picking the skin constantly. A person’s face and arms will be covered in sores, scabs, and scars.
Also, if you ever see before and after photos of a meth addict, you will notice how much a person ages in just a few months. Addicts feel as though things are crawling on them. Their teeth crack, they lose weight, and they often start to see or hear things that are not there. Their skin and eyes look unhealthy.
As a result of their addiction and the damage done to their brains, they can no longer function in professional or personal relationships. Long before this point, however, addiction will have switched the focus away from regular activities and joys onto one thing: getting the next fix; that next ‘high.’
Confronting an Addict
It takes courage to confront an addict, even your own child. Addicts sometimes lash out physically, but it is scary to think they might even walk away and you might not be able to provide help of any kind.
This kind of risk is worth taking, however, because an addict needs to hear that he has a problem. Kids are especially vulnerable as meth is making its way into teen realms more and more.
Confronting an adult is also scary, especially since an addict can become unpredictable. During withdrawal is when he is most likely to be sober, but also angry and moody.
Your timing has to be good. Your loved one must be vulnerable, ready to hear from you. If you are afraid for your well-being, however, do not hesitate to tell your spouse over the phone that he needs to seek help if you are going to stay with him. Get you and the kids out of his way until he has sought treatment.
Treating crystal meth addiction should not be done unsupervised. Specialists should be involved in the process. Detoxification is a tricky process.
Doctors will sometimes utilize special drugs to help an addict go through this stage without the dramatic effects of non-medical detoxification. Medical supervision, however, is required every minute of the detoxification process.
At a detox and rehab center, the issue of addiction is treated with compassion. People make mistakes, and lots of people have tried drugs or alcohol just once. Many individuals walk away and never look back, but this is not so for so many individuals of all ages. Meth affects the lives of teachers, lawyers, doctors, and other professionals. It is not a ‘teen’ drug or a ‘poor person’s’ drug.
When you enroll in a rehab center there will typically be residents there recovering from addiction to all kinds of drugs, including methamphetamines. They will have abused cocaine, crack, heroin, Oxycontin, and morphine.
Their drug of choice might have been alcohol. What they all have in common is a reliance that must be broken. It is not the intention to re-focus reliance onto anything else (unless you are at a Christian rehab center where clinicians and clergy will urge that clients rely on Jesus to get them through life’s struggles instead of escaping through drug use).
On the other hand, counselors and therapists might show clients ways to adapt and cope with life without drugs, such as taking up healthy hobbies, engaging in CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), meditating, or getting more exercise.
Facilities typically stress the importance of healthy relationships, which are often missing in the lives of addicts. Teens will commonly end up in circles of drug users as a way to feel as though they belong when they are lonely, or their parents are not nurturing them, or when their loved ones also turn to drugs and alcohol as means of escape.
If parents are using drugs and alcohol, why can’t they? It would be great if kids were smarter than their parents. This is why there is so much effort being made in schools to educate students and teachers about what meth and meth addiction looks like.
Kids are getting started during Middle School. They want to see the numbers of addicts come down, especially among adolescents. Instead, the numbers continue to rise.
If you know someone who is abusing meth, you do not have to suffer silently. Call a treatment center or a support line to find out more about what your options are. When it comes to adults, they have to make the choice to seek treatment independently.
As for teens, parents and guardians have more to say. Whatever they do, you also have to deal with the emotional issues of living with an addict. A counselor can help with that.
The courts play a role in admissions too since some judges will order defendants in criminal cases to seek drug addiction therapy if they want to stay at home instead of going to jail.