Substance Abuse Treatment For Methamphetamine, Speed, Crystal
What is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine, also known as speed, crystal or meth is classified as a Schedule II drug by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, as a central nervous system stimulant with potent and addictive effects. It comes in a white powder that is bitter-tasting and odorless and can easily be dissolved in water or alcohol. It is chemically related to amphetamine, but has greater side effects on the central nervous system. Doctors prescribe methamphetamine under the brand name Desoxyn for the treatment of ADHD and obesity, but its use has been limited in the U.S. because of the high potential that exists for abuse and diversion.
Methamphetamine is taken orally, snorted, injected or smoked and is commonly referred to as meth, crystal or speed.
Effects of methamphetamine abuse
The user will experience a rush, an intense sensation immediately after smoking or injecting the drug, lasting a couple of minutes but explained as extremely pleasurable. Snorting increases the effects to between 3 and 5 minutes and oral ingestion lasts for 15 to 20 minutes. Immediate effects include:
– Increased activity
– Decreased appetite
– Increased concentration
– Increased libido
– A sense of well-being
Some users who become addicted use the drug with increased frequency and increased doses to get the same effect. Repeated use over a period of several days without sleeping or eating is called a “run”.
Treatment Options for Methamphetamine Abuse
Withdrawal symptoms from methamphetamine include severe depression, fatigue, anxiety and an intense craving for the drug. The health hazards from chronic appear to be partially reversible.
Behavior therapy has been the most effective treatment so far and includes family education, a 12-step counseling program, drug testing and positive reinforcement for activities that are non-drug related. No specific medications for the treatment of methamphetamine addiction exists, however, agents such as bupropion, which is prescribed for depression, can help reduce cravings.