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Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment: Know Your Options

By  Meagan Drillinger
Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant, but there are treatment viable treatment options available for meth addiction..

According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 1.1 million Americans have a problem with methamphetamine use meaning they experience physical withdrawal, persistent or increasing use, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home. Methamphetamine is a powerful and addictive stimulant, but there are treatment options available.

"Because substance abuse and mental/behavioral health conditions are often co-occurring disorders, it is important that treatment addresses both ailments," says Dr. Lawrence Weinstein, Chief Medical Officer at the American Addiction Centers. "The treatment options for methamphetamine addiction vary greatly depending on the severity of the addiction, but programs that include behavioral therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy and contingency management intervention have yielded favorable results."

Treatments for Methamphetamine Addiction

The first step in treating methamphetamine addiction is usually medical detox. Overuse and abuse of methamphetamine increases your tolerance, which can lead to physical dependence and, upon deciding to quit, some terrible withdrawal symptoms. For this reason, your healthcare provider will likely recommend medically-assisted detox followed by a form of therapy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

This type of therapy focuses on shifting behaviors to stop unhealthy patterns.CBT therapy focuses on learning new and drug-free ways to cope with stress in life. It relies on recognizing our own personal reactions to environmental or emotional cues, stopping the negative impulsive response, and adapting with a healthy alternative.

The Matrix Model

The Matrix Model is a 16-week behavioral treatment approach for people who struggle with methamphetamine addiction. It combines behavioral therapy with family education, counseling, a 12-step component, drug testing, and promotion of non-drug-related activities.

Contingency Management Intervention

This addiction treatment method is based on motivation through reward. "Motivational incentives are typically used for the treatment of stimulant addiction and has proven to be effective in helping people recover from methamphetamine addiction," says Dr. Weinstein.

This program, in conjunction with therapy, offers incentives in exchange for accepting treatment and maintaining abstinence. One program that uses motivational incentives is called Motivational Incentives for Enhancing Drug Abuse Recovery (MIEDAR), and has been proven to be an effective treatment option in methamphetamine addiction recovery.