Meth Addiction Treatment in New Jersey - Garden State Treatment Center

The threat of meth addiction has been increasing at an alarming rate in New Jersey. The meth overdose death rates have jumped by 733% from 2015 to 2019.

Despite its potentially devastating aftermath, our guide will show you that overcoming meth abuse is possible, and it starts by understating how this addiction works and its effects.

We’ll then explain the available meth addiction treatment options that can help you or your loved one start your recovery.

What Is Meth and Why Is It Addictive?

Meth, short for “Methamphetamine”, is a highly addictive substance belonging to a class of drugs known as stimulants.

Meth Bust

It was first formulated back in the late 1890s and early 1900s, after which the FDA approved it as a medication for treating ADHD, sleep disorders (narcolepsy), and obesity among others.

The alertness-inducing effects of methamphetamine led to misuse of the drug, which manifested its high affinity to cause addiction. Currently, methamphetamine is categorized as having high addictive potential and it’s classed as a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substance Act.

But why is meth so addictive?

The answer lies within the drug’s mechanism of action.

Methamphetamine prevents the reuptake and breakdown of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain. These neurotransmitters elicit sensations of increased energy, alertness, and euphoria, which are stimulated and prolonged by using meth.

Over time, the brain becomes conditioned to the presence of these chemicals in higher concentrations. This is called tolerance, and it causes the brain to require higher doses of the drug to produce the same effects.

As such, continuous abuse of meth keeps the cycle of tolerance ongoing with the effective dose increasing as patients chase the “high”.

This leads to dependence and patients experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they don’t take as much (or more) meth as the brain is accustomed to. This results in developing a meth addiction.

What Are the Effects of Meth Addiction?

The impact of meth addiction on a person’s health and life can be devastating.

In the long run, it can result in chronic heart, kidney, and liver conditions due to cardiovascular overload. If left untreated, these disorders can lead to organ damage or failure.

Additionally, the continuous increase of methamphetamine dose due to tolerance and dependence makes overdosing a very likely occurrence.

The consequences of meth toxicity can be fatal, with life-threatening events ranging between strokes, seizures, heart attacks, circulatory collapse, respiratory failure, and even death.

An individual struggling with meth addiction will also suffer from adverse psychological effects, leading to mental disorders such as depression, paranoia, and psychosis. If the patient already suffers from a mental illness, meth addiction will worsen its symptoms.

A person’s physical appearance also changes dramatically due to meth abuse and addiction. They’ll start losing weight, then they’ll experience poor dental health (tooth loss is common) and an outbreak of skin lesions.

The aftermath of meth addiction extends to the patient’s social life, often destroying both personal and professional aspects. It can ruin relationships and careers, leading to severe isolation.

What Causes Meth Addiction?

It can be tricky to pinpoint the exact cause of meth addiction since it’s typically a combination of different health and environmental factors, such as;

  • A genetic predisposition to methamphetamine dependence and addiction
  • Exposure to drug use in early life
  • Traumatic experiences
  • Social pressure
  • Low self-esteem
  • Peer pressure
  • Mental illness and underlying medical conditions

Meth Addiction Treatment Options

Although meth addiction can be a challenging condition, there are still various methods to treat it. In this section, we’ll shed some light on the most popular treatment methods available.

Medical Drug Detox

The first step while treating highly addictive substances like methamphetamine is medical detoxification, which is commonly known as “drug detox”.

This step involves the gradual withdrawal of meth and its metabolites from the body, which is usually done under medical supervision to manage withdrawal symptoms.

Rehab Programs

Rehabilitation facilities provide a vital solution for those struggling meth addiction. These carefully structured programs offer a safe and supportive environment, where individuals can focus on healing and recovering from addiction.

Rehab also features medical professionals who can help patients by setting up a custom treatment plant to address their needs and circumstances. Here’s a quick look at some of the most commonly used treatment programs.

Medication Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment is one of the most popular approaches used while treating methamphetamine addiction.

In this method, medical professionals use medications to manage or minimize withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

This is usually done along with therapy to enhance its effectiveness and improve the chances of successful recovery.

Partial Care or Intensive Outpatient Program

Detoxification of meth is usually done in rehabilitation facilities, which is known as residential or inpatient treatment. In that case, patients will receive medical attention around the clock throughout their residence period in rehab.

However, in some mild cases, patients can still return home every day after receiving treatments, which is known as intensive outpatient treatment or partial care.

Dual Diagnosis Program

This is a special program that addresses patients who suffer from co-occurring mental health disorders alongside addiction.

In that case, treating both conditions simultaneously is essential for long-term recovery, as ignoring co-existing conditions may lead to relapses.

Aftercare Program

Since meth addiction has a relatively high risk of relapse, rehab facilities will also offer aftercare programs that provide support and helpful resources for patients after recovery.

These may include relapse prevention therapy, support groups, and medication management in the case of co-existing conditions.

Therapy Treatments

While detoxification is the initial stage of meth addiction treatment, therapy remains the core component of recovery. This is because it addresses all the triggers, stressors, and root causes that led to addiction in the first place.

Like other forms of treatment, therapy can also take a wide range of forms, and medical professionals will use a combination of these therapy forms to maximize their effectiveness and achieve long-term recovery. Here’s a brief overview of each one of them:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, simply known as “CBT”, is the most widely established form of therapy used to treat substance use disorder.

This one is a goal-oriented therapy that focuses on the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. During CBT sessions, individuals learn to identify negative or unhelpful thinking patterns that contribute to their emotional distress and problematic behaviors.

After identifying them, patients will learn how to replace them with balanced reactions and expectations.

This helps them experience positive shifts in their emotions and behaviors, allowing them to find healthier coping mechanisms to overcome psychological stress.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy or DBT is technically a subtype of CBT. However, its remarkable promise in the field of addiction treatment is shown through a wide range of clinical trials and studies.

The unique aspect of DBT is that it puts a strong emphasis on emotional regulation and mindfulness rather than through patterns and coping mechanisms.

This makes it highly effective for individuals prone to intense emotions that lead to impulsive behaviors.

During DBT sessions, therapists will equip patients with skills like distress tolerance, radical acceptance, and interpersonal effectiveness, which can provide effectiveness while navigating stressful situations and triggers after recovery.

Individual Counseling

Individual counseling is one-on-one sessions that aim to explore the root causes of meth addiction.

In these sessions, therapists create a safe space to open up about their underlying issues like trauma, depression, or stress that may contribute to meth use.

Addressing the root causes and working them out through alternative coping mechanisms reduces the risk of relapse and rebuilds self-esteem for a lasting recovery

Family Therapy

Meth addiction is often intertwined with relationship dynamics. For instance, family issues can be a factor that leads to addiction, and addiction can also damage relationships and break trust.

For that reason, involving family members in the process of recovery is often an essential part of the treatment process.

Therapists guide open communication, allowing other family members to express their concerns and offer support while setting healthy boundaries to make everyone feel safe.

Group Therapy

Besides family therapy, therapists will also recommend attending group meetings, such as Narcotics Anonymous.

Sharing experiences and offering support creates a sense of community and belonging. This combats isolation, which is one of the biggest problems with addiction.

In these sessions, group members can learn from each other’s successes and failures without fear of judgment. This reinforces courage and accountability throughout the recovery process.

Conclusion: Start Your Recovery Journey

If you or your loved one is suffering from meth addiction, please reach out to our team at Garden State Treatment Center for help. We’ll provide professional meth addiction treatment and guide you through every step of taking back control of your life.


Published on: 2024-04-07
Updated on: 2024-04-11