Meth, short for methamphetamine, is a central nervous system stimulant with a high risk of addiction. In addition to the extremely severe side effects and health concerns associated with meth abuse, it is not uncommon to uncover the existence of a co-occurring mental health issue.
When there is an underlying mental health diagnosis, a person’s meth addiction does not exist in a vacuum. The addiction intensifies the mental health condition, and the mental health condition complicates and might even be a contributing factor in the drug abuse.
People with an addiction to meth who have a dual diagnosis must receive integrated care. If the two are not addressed together, sustained sobriety will be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. At Serenity Light Recovery, we help light the way for people struggling with meth addiction and a co-occurring mental health challenge. We offer a dual diagnosis treatment program and expertise in evidence-based rehab for meth addiction.
What Is Meth Addiction?
Meth interferes with the brain’s dopamine transmitters and creates euphoric sensations. The pleasure of the high is short-lived and intense, motivating continued abuse of the drug, leading quickly and easily to dependence and addiction.
The profound, permanent impairments caused by extended meth use make an intervention, detox, and meth rehab vitally important as early in the addiction as possible. Harmful effects on memory, learning, psychomotor skills, and information processing are common with chronic and/or excessive use.
Some alarming facts:
- The brains of meth users are physically and structurally altered in the areas relating to emotion and memory, which underlies their cognitive and emotional challenges.
- The brain’s loss of function in its ability to transport dopamine within the central nervous system is thought to underlie some of the physical and mental impairments seen in chronic meth users.
- Brain changes due to meth use negatively affect decision-making and mental flexibility.
- Adults with severe mental health diagnoses are at eight times greater risk of becoming addicted to an illicit drug than those with no mental illness.
How Are Meth and Mental Health Issues Connected?
The most common co-occurring mental health diagnosis seen in meth users is depression. The depression must be treated in concert with the addiction, or the lack of motivation associated with depression makes participation in rehab very difficult.
Some meth users develop anhedonia, which is an inability to feel pleasure. This increases the risk of relapse because the drug artificially induces the only pleasure possible. Anhedonia exacerbates underlying depression. The sooner treatment can begin, the better the long-term outcomes for the patient.
Nearly half of chronic meth users report something called meth-induced psychosis. It can be difficult for clinicians to tell meth-induced psychosis from pre-existing schizophrenia if there is no medical history revealing a prior diagnosis. Meth use can amplify psychotic symptoms in a person with schizophrenia, and they are nearly indistinguishable from symptoms of a psychosis induced by prolonged use of meth. Regardless, a reputable rehab center will treat both the meth abuse and the co-occurring psychosis, whatever its origin.
Another common dual diagnosis among those addicted to meth is anxiety. Anxiety can be an underlying condition or one caused by the use of or withdrawal from meth.
Serenity Light Recovery’s Treatment Options
Meth addiction is indeed harder to treat than others for many reasons, and those challenges increase when there is a co-occurring mental health diagnosis. Some concerns are about an increase in suicidal ideation for those with a dual diagnosis, relapse due to meth-induced cognitive impairment, and, if the mental health concern is not effectively treated, a return to drug use for self-medicating.
At Serenity Light Recovery, we have confidence in our treatment protocols. We offer a range of therapies, supportive systems, and educational methods, including:
- Individual counseling
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR)
- Group therapy
- Family therapy programs
- 12-step programs
Most importantly, we offer professional support and compassionate supervision in a safe setting.
If meth addiction has you or someone you love in its grip, do not wait. Meth is a deadly drug that damages the body and mind. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we can take your hand and walk with you on the road to recovery. Call us at 855.658.6109 or complete our online form. We will be waiting.