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Crystal Meth Detoxing

Finding out about the physical risks and the psychological strains placed on the user during crystal meth detox helps you determine the treatment requirements for yourself or your loved one. Although withdrawal from crystal meth isn’t as physically painful or uncomfortable as opiate withdrawal, it is still an extremely difficult time from a psychological perspective and most users require support. There are very few physical treatments offered during detoxification, and these are generally more complementary than essential. After the intense period of cravings and withdrawal symptoms, the root cause of crystal meth addiction still has to be addressed through psychological counselling.

Crystal meth (or methamphetamine) is a stimulant drug which is used in a similar fashion to crack cocaine. The drug comes in chunks of crystals, referred to as “ice” because of their appearance. It produces a wide range of effects, which are largely due to its direct impact on the neurotransmitter dopamine. The effects of crystal meth include increased energy, loss of appetite, euphoria, increased libido and excessive sweating. The short duration of the drug’s effects often leads people to binge on it, and they become addicted if they take regular doses. The effects of methamphetamines all stem from the fact that crystal meth increases the levels of dopamine in the brain.

In basic terms, dopamine is the brain’s primary reward chemical. It’s used in response to things like food and sex, which the brain wants you to repeat. By drastically increasing the amount of dopamine in the system, crystal meth produces an unnaturally intense reward, which explains the euphoria which drives people to take the drug. The brain adapts to the abundance of dopamine by making less of the chemical itself and over time it starts to take away the receptors which respond to it. This means that when the brain doesn’t receive the drug it has abnormally low levels of dopamine, because it has become dependent on crystal meth to maintain a chemical balance. The brain has to adapt again to regain normal functioning, and this process accompanies crystal meth detox.

The withdrawal symptoms associated with crystal meth are a direct result of the dopamine deficiency. This means that depression (or anhedonia – the inability to feel pleasure) is a common symptom, along with anxiety and agitation. An intense craving also overcomes the user, as the brain begs for more of the drug to avoid another process of restructuring. This is the main difficulty users will experience during crystal meth detoxification, because they will be acutely aware that another dose of the drug will cause the negative symptoms to abate.

Drug rehab centres focus on the psychological symptoms of crystal meth detox because the physical withdrawal symptoms are only increased appetite and long periods of sleep. Some rehab centres will have a focus on proper nutrition, which can help the user return to a healthy lifestyle. Structured counselling is the most essential treatment, however, because it addresses the underlying causes of addiction and teaches the individual new coping mechanisms to remove their reliance on crystal meth. Any suitable detox centre has to provide structured counselling and support during and after detoxification.

After gaining an understanding of the crystal meth detox process, you are now in a much better position to determine the best option for treatment for yourself or your loved one. We have a detailed knowledge of the different drug rehab centres across the country, and we can suggest the most suitable ones to you. We’ll answer any questions you have about treatment, and we’ll help you reach the right decision. Our advice is friendly, professional and completely free. Get in touch with us today and set off down the road to recovery!


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