Long-term meth addiction can be extremely difficult to overcome. However, lasting recovery is possible through treatment, in particular intensive outpatient treatment. With the help of addiction specialists from a treatment or rehabilitation facility, outpatient treatment can effectively aid those living with a meth addiction, helping them achieve sobriety and weakening their chances for a relapse.  

The Effects of a Meth Addiction

Methamphetamine, more commonly known as “meth”, is an extremely powerful and addictive stimulant that affects a person’s central nervous system. Whether ingested through smoking, a pill, snorting, or injection, meth has a number of adverse effects on the human body. 

Most notably, meth damages the brain. Once consumed, it causes neurotransmitters in the brain to overload and releases large quantities of dopamine, the chemical in the brain that gives people feelings of pleasure. However, because it overloads the brain, meth compromises this system. After a while, the brain adapts to the presence of meth, making it harder to release dopamine whether meth is present in the body or not.   

Aside from this effect on the brain, meth also causes a number of physical ailments elsewhere. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the long term effects of meth use include:

  • Itching
  • Weight loss
  • Dental issues
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion 
  • Memory loss
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Violent behavior
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations

What is Intensive Outpatient Treatment?

Intensive outpatient treatment programs (IOPs) can treat a variety of disorders, including a meth addiction. Unlike an inpatient treatment program where a person must reside in a treatment or rehabilitation facility 24/7, an outpatient treatment program allows a patient to maintain some independence. Individuals receiving outpatient treatment typically visit a treatment or rehabilitation facility three to four times per week for around three hours a visit. However, the specifics can vary based on the program and level of care. Patients will visit a treatment center for different kinds of therapy, ranging from group to individual therapy or sessions designed to teach coping skills.    

The Benefits of Outpatient Treatment for Meth Addiction

Intensive outpatient treatment programs for meth addiction come with several benefits. These benefits include: 

1. Ability to Maintain Normal Life

Unlike an inpatient treatment program, those with a meth addiction who choose an outpatient program can maintain their normal, everyday life. This includes maintaining their employment and living in their home. Aside from adding a few weekly appointments at a treatment or rehabilitation facility, their schedule can largely remain unchanged.  

2. Outpatient Detoxification 

The process of recovering from addiction begins with a detox. Fortunately, most — if not all — outpatient treatment programs provide detox referrals for meth addiction. The detox process occurs naturally in the body, removing substances like meth from one’s system. However, detoxing can be uncomfortable and even dangerous. Within a detox clinic, the withdrawal process, which can take several days, can be monitored to ensure one’s health and safety. A patient can also receive supplements or drugs from the rehabilitation facility to ease the detoxing process.   

3. More Constant Support from Friends and Family

Because an outpatient program does not require an individual to stay in the facility for anywhere from 30 days to a year, they can lean on friends and family at home or work for support instead. Many inpatient facilities have limits on how and when friends and family can visit. But, with an outpatient treatment program, individuals can lean on their support system whenever they need. 

4. Lower Cost for Treatment 

Unsurprisingly, many outpatient treatment programs are more affordable than inpatient programs. Because a patient is not living in the facility, the cost of treatment is lower with an outpatient program, making treatment more affordable and more accessible. 

Looking for Rehab in North Carolina? 

Meth addiction can be difficult to overcome. However, with an intensive outpatient treatment program, a life of sobriety is possible. Outpatient programs allow an individual to maintain some independence and receive constant support from friends and family.

For more information on outpatient treatment programs for meth addiction, contact Asheville Recovery Center today! Our team can answer any and all questions you may have and help find the outpatient program that works best for you!  

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