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Meth Treatment

The dependency on meth is a tough disorder to treat. Along with anhedonia and dysphoria, withdrawal symptoms from meth also include extreme craving for the drug. There are a number of meth treatment approaches that physicians use to combat this powerful addiction.

Contingency Management (CM). To receive the behavior you desire from someone, positive reinforcement can be a powerful tool. When student or employees perform exceptionally well, schoolteachers may give special prizes to deserving students, or companies may extend incentive bonuses to show their appreciation to the employees for meeting production goals. AA meetings also take this route, extending chips and cakes to acknowledge successful progress to patients who have achieved sobriety; these are all examples using positive reinforcement effectively.

Many drug treatment programs use positive reinforcement on a more informal basis. Oftentimes, the reinforcement comes as verbal praise, or earning program privileges, or graduating to a more senior status program level, or they may use any other practice that acknowledges and rewards progress in treatment. CM is simply the strategic and methodical application of similar reinforcement principles. In studies investigating CM treatment approaches, it is discovered that treatment participants can also earn vouchers that can be redeemed for non-monetary items of their choice, such as free movie tickets, restaurant dinners, grocery vouchers, gasoline coupons, and so forth.  Generally, the longer the individual abstains from drugs or alcohol, the greater his rewards can be.

Medications. Although researchers are valiantly searching to find medications for meth treatment, the process is still in the early stage of development. Therefore, there are currently no medications that can swiftly and safely reverse potentially fatal meth overdoses. Additionally, there are no medications that can dependably reduce the paranoia and psychotic symptoms that are often associated with episodes of perilous and violent behavior related to meth use. Medical professionals will also attest that the presence of medications would be enormously helpful in helping meth users recover more quickly from the adverse effects of severe meth use. These medications could be very valuable in reducing withdrawal symptoms in the early stages, in the weeks of recovery, and in promoting participation and retention in behavioral and psychosocial treatments for meth addiction.

The issue of the individual suffering a relapse to meth use is a complex process. This is mainly due to the unpleasant emotional and cognitive impairments that prolong for months after meth use is discontinued. Medications could reduce the extremity of these symptoms and could be of great help in providing more successful treatments. Furthermore, without medication available meth users are more inclined to not seek treatment thinking that the withdrawal, treatment and recovery process will be way too turbulent without the help of medication.

With meth continuing to rise in its popularity, more and more users are falling prey to the drug, abusing it and becoming addicted to. Meth treatment is essential, as it will not only help the addict to get clean; it can also help him to understand the value of staying sober.