There are many people that are struggling with the difficulties of methamphetamine (meth) addiction, including those who live in Chandler, Arizona. There are rehab options available to those who want to break free from meth addiction.
Chandler is part of Maricopa County. Maricopa County has the fourth-highest population in the United States. With a population in 2021 of over 4 million, more than half the people in Arizona live in Maricopa County. There is a good chance that many of those people have a drug addiction, and statistics tell us that a significant number of them use meth.
There are many side effects of meth use. Using this drug can cause serious, long-term health problems. The side effects go away when someone stops using, but some of the health problems can show up long afterward. Going to a meth rehab facility in the Chandler area can make a huge difference in a person’s life.
Meth Use Statistics in Maricopa County
Chandler is not the only location that has meth use problems. Meth abuse has been on the rise all across the United States. A report from the CDC says that from 2015-2018 an average of 1.6 million adults used meth at least once during the year. Of that number 52.9% reported having a meth use disorder. The 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that 2 million people in the United States aged 12 and older used meth during 2019.
The Maricopa County Office of the Medical Examiner 2019 annual report shows that a little over 600 overdose deaths involved Meth. The Arizona Department of Health Services lists all hospitalizations and emergency room visits caused by drug use for each county. This includes data for all age groups.
- In 2018 there were 9,183 emergency room visits related to amphetamine use in Maricopa county
- In 2018 there were 12,838 people hospitalized related to amphetamine use in Maricopa county
A report that was released by the Arizona Substance Abuse Partnership states that the price of meth decreased by 58% since 2015, making it even easier to obtain. Law enforcement at the federal, state and local levels have seen a 342% increase in meth seized from 2015 to 2019.
- 3,574 kilograms of meth collected in 2015
- 4,939 kilograms of meth collected in 2016
- 6,400 kilograms of meth collected in 2017
- 11,988 kilograms of meth collected in 2018
- 15,791 kilograms of meth collected in 2019
The History of Meth
Scientists developed manmade amphetamines as an alternative to the ephedra plant. An extract from the ephedra plant has been used in Chinese medicine for over 5000 years. A Japanese chemist named Nagai Nagayoshi figured out the active chemical in the plant in 1885. It is a stimulant called ephedrine.
Methamphetamine was first developed from another stimulant in 1893. It was used as a medicine to treat narcolepsy and asthma. During World War II it was used by both sides to keep troops awake. After the war use of meth increased significantly. In the 1950s and 1960s, it was used as a medication for obesity and depression.
What does Meth do?
Meth increases the amount of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is released when your brain is expecting a reward, and a large amount of dopamine released at once can bring a feeling of euphoria. Meth’s ability to rapidly release large levels of dopamine reinforces drug use, making the user want to continue to abuse the drug.
Crystal meth looks like pieces of glass or shiny blue-white rocks. Meth can also be found as a pill or white powder. It can be swallowed, smoked, snorted, or injected.
How Meth is Made
Meth can be created by taking pseudoephedrine and combining it with other ingredients. This changes the pseudoephedrine from cold medicine to meth. The other ingredients used can be paint thinner, acetone, drain cleaner, or even battery acid. This has led to cold medicine with pseudoephedrine purchases being tracked by pharmacies.
Common Street Names for Meth
- Go fast
- Biker’s coffee
- Stove top
The Health Effects of Meth
Meth has many health effects besides the dopamine release that causes euphoria that drug users are chasing.
Short term effects include:
- Decreased appetite
- Faster breathing
- Increased physical activity and wakefulness
- Irregular or rapid heartbeat
- Increased blood pressure and body temperature
Long term effects
- Extreme weight loss
- Intense itching, can lead to sores from scratching
- Sleeping problems
- Changes in brain structure
- Severe dental problems
- Violent behavior
Meth and Parkinson’s Disease
There are studies that suggest Parkinson’s disease could be a long-term problem for meth users. Parkinson’s disease affects 7 to 10 million people throughout the world. Early symptoms are movement-related. Later symptoms include behavioral issues and dementia.
Meth use damages the same brain cells that are attacked by Parkinson’s disease. This causes similar changes to happen in the brain. Meth users are almost twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s later in life than those who do not use the drug.
Meth and Pregnancy
Meth use by pregnant women can be dangerous to the baby. It can cause the placenta to separate from the uterus, lessening the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the baby. Other effects can include heart and brain abnormalities.
Signs of Meth Use
There are some specific things that might alert someone to another person’s meth addiction. If someone sees more than one or two of these signs it is likely there is a meth addiction.
Psychological Signs of Meth Addiction
Dopamine does more than make someone feel pleasure. Dopamine allows neurons in the brain to communicate with each other. Dopamine affects movement control, learning abilities and memory. After using meth for a long time an addict may have memory problems, and the inability to learn new things.
Meth addicts may also experience psychosis, a mental condition where someone has lost contact with reality. When someone is experiencing psychosis they may not be able to tell what is real and what is not. Hallucinations may also be present with the psychosis.
Physical Signs of Meth Addiction
There are some observable physical signs of meth use which include:
- Intense scratching
- Rotting teeth
- Thinning body/ weight loss
- Acne or sores
- Reduced appetite
- Twitching, jerky movements
- Repetitive behavior (compulsively cleaning or taking apart objects and putting them back together repeatedly)
- Dilated pupils
- Burns on lips or fingers
- Rapid eye movements
- Outbursts and agitation
- Exaggerated mannerisms
- Rapid breathing
- Talking constantly
Meth Detox Centers in Chandler, Arizona
Detoxification happens when a substance completely empties out of the body. During this process, a person goes through physical and mental changes when they stop using a substance. This is a starting point for addiction recovery.
A study done showed that psychotic symptoms lasted for a week in the participants who had used meth. Meth use cravings lasted at least five weeks during the study. Common withdrawal symptoms include depression, anxiety, and tiredness.
The SAMHSA treatment locator indicates that there are 35 detox programs within 25 miles of Chandler.
Types of Detox Treatments
There are several types of detox treatments available to those in Chandler, Arizona who want help to quit using meth. Treatment types include:
Medication assisted treatment- Medication assisted treatment combines medication and behavioral therapy. This treatment usually uses FDA-approved medications that do not impair a person’s mental state. However, there are no FDA-approved medications specifically for meth addiction. Other medications can help with some of the symptoms, like anxiety.
Medical detox- Medical detox uses medical supervision to monitor withdrawal symptoms. This can be important if there is a risk of dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes medications will be given to avoid some symptoms.
Holistic detox– A Holistic detox approach uses natural methods. It combines nutritional therapy, emotional support, and exercise programs during recovery. Meth users often stop eating while using, they probably do not have enough nutrients in their body.
Meth Addiction Rehab Options in Chandler, Arizona
Rehab is the next step after detox. As mentioned above the physical cravings for meth can last much longer than the other withdrawal symptoms. During rehab, the focus is on the psychological part of the addiction. Understanding the reasons behind drug use is necessary to make lasting changes. The best place to explore therapy options is at an inpatient drug and alcohol rehab center.
What is Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehab?
Inpatient treatment centers have a variety of therapies available to those who want to recover from meth addictions. Patients have support 24 hours a day, and medical intervention is available if needed. They remain at the treatment center the whole time. Most inpatient stays are twenty-eight days long.
Types of Addiction Therapy
The type of therapy that is recommended is based on the needs of each individual. What works for one person may not work for someone else. Being in a facility allows therapists to try various options to find the right ones. Some types of therapy are:
- Contingency Management- Contingency management reinforces abstinence by providing tangible rewards. These types of programs have been effective with opioid and stimulant recovery patients. There are two types of contingency management, voucher-based, and prize incentives-based.
Voucher-based reinforcement is when a patient gets a voucher that can be exchanged for goods or services with each drug-free urine sample. The voucher values increase over time. A drug-positive urine sample resets the voucher values back to the low point.
The prize incentive program is similar to the voucher-based, but offers cash prizes instead of vouchers. When patients provide a clean urine or breath test, they can draw from a bowl of prizes worth $1-$100. Patients can also draw for attending counseling sessions. The number of draws starts with one and increases over time. Any unexcused absence or positive sample resets the draws to one chance.
- Dialectical Behavioral therapy– Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) helps an individual manage strong emotions or stressful situations in a healthy way. DBT was originally created to help those with borderline personality disorder. DBT includes one on one therapy, group therapy, and coaching over the phone.
- The Matrix Model– The Matrix Model was originally created for helping stimulant (meth and cocaine) abusers beat addictions. Patients are monitored for drug use by urine testing. The therapist is a teacher and a coach, reinforcing positive behavior change. Treatment pulls from other tested treatments including relapse prevention, family and group therapy, drug education, and self-help participation.
- Experiential Therapy- Experiential therapy tries to bring out deep inner lying problems through activities other than standard talk therapy. This works by engaging in activities to bring out emotions that could be attached to subconscious issues. Activities can include but are not limited to creating art such as painting or sculpting, hiking, dancing, and horseback riding.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy– Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps patients perceive negative thought patterns, stop those thoughts, and replace them with healthy thoughts. This focuses on the present rather than on memories and the past. CBT can be helpful for those that struggle with anxiety, depression, and need to improve self-control.
Types of Outpatient Rehab
An outpatient rehab program can be the third step for someone who still needs more therapy. During outpatient therapy, people can continue to build on skills already learned and some new skills. The longer an addict works on therapy the better chance they can avoid a relapse. Types of outpatient programs include:
- Partial hospitalization programs- (PHPs) This type of program is the most intense form of an outpatient program. It may also be called a day treatment program. These programs meet five to seven days a week for several hours a day. Afterward, the patient returns home.
- Intensive Outpatient Programs- (IOP) this style of outpatient treatment can be good for people who need more than a once-a-week counseling session, but not as much as a day treatment program. IOPs usually meet three to four times a week for approximately three hours at a time. The primary focus is group therapy, but individual counseling can be available if needed.
- Traditional Outpatient Therapy- Patients can meet with a counselor once a week or several times a week depending on the amount of care they need. This is usually best for someone who has already learned new skills and behavior patterns but could still benefit from counseling sessions.
Can Someone Overdose on Meth?
An overdose is when a person takes more of a drug than they should. If it was a mistake it is called an accidental overdose. If they purposely took too much it can be called a deliberate or intentional overdose. Overdose symptoms can range from mild to severe.
It is possible to overdose on meth. Milder symptoms of an overdose can include large, wide pupils, increased heart rate, and increased blood pressure. Severe overdose symptoms include:
- Chest pain
- Severe stomach pain
- Heart attack
- Coma or unresponsiveness
- Very high body temperature
- Kidney damage
If someone is experiencing a meth overdose and having a seizure, difficulty breathing or becoming violent, call 911 right away. Give them the following information if possible:
- How much of the drug was used
- How the drug was used (smoked, snorted, injected)
- How long ago the person took the drug
- The person’s age and weight
Meth Addiction Treatment Continuing Care
The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that addiction treatment that lasts less than 90 days is not very effective. One option is to go to a sober living home and live with other recovering addicts. They need to have a job to help cover rent, utility expenses, and food costs. They are also required to attend an outpatient therapy program at a treatment center. Therapy is not provided at the house.
Another option for continuing care would be a 12-step program. Programs like Narcotics Anonymous are peer-led support group meetings. These support groups do not provide professional therapy, but peer groups can help someone stay on the path of sobriety.
Is Meth Inpatient Addiction Treatment Covered by Insurance?
The Affordable Care Act passed into law in 2010, and it requires mental health and substance use disorders to be covered by insurance. In-network facilities will have more coverage than out-of-network facilities. In-network means the insurance company already has a contract to work with the treatment provider. Some policies may even cover the entire cost of rehab.
More Information About Meth Addiction Treatment in Chandler, Arizona
At SpringBoard Arizona, care about each individual. We know that battling addiction is incredibly difficult. We can help individualize a treatment plan for each person. We offer inpatient rehab and detox services for anyone who wants to get clean. SpringBoard Arizona can help you change your life. If you or a loved one need help, please contact us today.