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Methamphetamine: Effects and Treatment

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Methamphetamine are stimulants frequently abused and illegally produced. They are targeted to the young and the old alike. In spite of the decrease of methamphetamine production in the nation due to law enforcement, the demand for the illicit drugs is met outside US. Due to the dangerous effects of methamphetamine abuse, a good rehab program is essential in the drug addicts’ long-term recovery and sobriety.
Methamphetamine may cause long-term effects to the brain’s nerve terminals. This drug comes in odorless, bitter, and white powder form and it can be smoked, injected, snorted or ingested. Young adults often call it meth. Other names used are ice, crystal, glass, chalk, and speed.

Short-term physical effects associated with methamphetamine abuse may include:
• Increased alertness and physical activity
• Rapid heart rate
• Abnormal heartbeat
• Hypertension
• Unstable body temperature
Long-term use may lead to:
• Unstable moods
• Anxiety
• Intense behavior
• Sleeping disorders
• Dental problems
• Higher risks of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis

Treatment

The most efficient treatment approaches for meth addiction so far are behavioral therapies, including cognitive-behavioral and contingency-management interventions. For instance, there is the Matrix Model, a comprehensive behavioral treatment which incorporates behavioral counseling, family and individual counseling, 12-Step support, drug testing, and support for non-drug-related actions. This model has shown to be effective in treating meth abuse. Interventions, which give incentives in exchange for joining treatment and staying sober, have also been shown to be effective.
Although pharmacotherapy has proven effective in treating some chemical dependency disorders, there are no medications available to counteract the effects of methamphetamine or that extend abstinence from this drug. NIDA made a research in which a drug called AV411 (ibudilast) showed to stop meth self-administration in rats. This study is now used in clinical trials to form its safety and effectiveness. Other medical studies are also being made in order to treat meth addiction more effectively. Call 914-829-5813 to find out more about addiction treatment or rehabilitation services available in your area.

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