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Methadrine Addiction Treatment

“Methadrine” is among the many nicknames for the highly addictive stimulant methamphetamine, though, as with many nicknames for methamphetamine, it also has been associated with amphetamine. The use of methamphetamine as a recreational drug is noted especially by the clandestine and illegal manufacture of the drug in laboratories, particularly those set up in users’ homes for personal use.

Methamphetamine’s effects include:

  • increased energy
  • euphoria
  • decreased appetite
  • increased respiration
  • rapid heart rate
  • increased blood pressure

However, methamphetamine, a psychostimulant, also brings about effects such as:

  • anxiety
  • confusion
  • mood disturbances
  • violent behavior
  • cognitive impairment
  • psychotic effects such as paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions after long-term or chronic abuse.

The Addiction

Due to its high potential for abuse, methamphetamine is classified as a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act and is available only through a non-refillable prescription. In addition, its medical uses are limited, and the doses that are prescribed are much lower than those typically abused. With chronic abuse, tolerance to methamphetamine’s pleasurable effects can develop. In an effort to intensify the desired effects, abusers may take higher doses of the drug, take it more frequently, or change their method of drug intake. Repeated, long-term methamphetamine abuse can lead to addiction, which is accompanied by chemical and molecular changes in the brain. Some of these changes persist long after abuse has stopped. Reversal of some of the changes, however, may be observed after sustained periods of abstinence (e.g., more than one year).

Help and Treatment

Methamphetamine dependence is difficult to treat. Currently, the most effective treatments for methamphetamine addiction are behavioral therapies such as comprehensive cognitive-behavioral and contingency management interventions. For example, the Matrix Model—a behavioral treatment approach that combines behavioral therapy, family education, individual counseling, 12-step support, drug testing, and encouragement for non-drug-related activities—has been shown to be effective in reducing methamphetamine abuse. Contingency management interventions, which provide tangible incentives in exchange for engaging in treatment and maintaining abstinence, also have been shown to be effective.
Presently, there are no specific medications that counteract the effects of prolonged abstinence or reduce the abuse of methamphetamine by an addicted individual. However, medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for other illnesses may be useful in treating methamphetamine addiction. Studies have shown that Bupropion, the antidepressant marketed as Wellbutrin, can reduce the methamphetamine-induced “high” as well as cravings elicited by drug-related cues (i.e. stimuli that were present during past episodes of drug use and that currently induce drug-related physiological and subjective reactions from the addicted individual). This and other medications are currently in clinical trials, while new compounds are being developed and studied in preclinical models.

Methamphetamine rehab centers offer care and treatment for patients who are battling with addiction. Detoxification programs provide assistance in easing withdrawal symptoms—which include depression, anxiety,fatigue, and an intense craving for the drug—in a safe and controlled setting. In addition, recovery groups such as Crystal Meth Anonymous help individuals who are addicted to methamphetamine stay clean. To learn more about methamphetamine addiction and treatment, please visit our discussion forum on methamphetamine and connect with others who have their own experiences with the drug or are also on the road to recovery.

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