There may be many people in Mesa, Arizona that are facing the difficulties of methamphetamine (meth) addiction and need treatment. They may feel like they are the only ones with this problem. Help is available, and no one should have to face addiction and recovery alone.
Mesa is located in Maricopa County and it is the county with the fourth-highest population in the United States. With that many people in the county, it is not surprising to learn that so many people are addicted to this drug.
Meth has many side effects and can cause a lot of long-term health problems. The side effects may go away when someone stops using them. But some health problems can show up long after meth is out of someone’s body, and others may linger for years. Going to a meth rehab facility in the Mesa area can change a person’s life dramatically.
Some Statistics for the Mesa, Arizona Area
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, each year. Out of that number of people, 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 at some point during 2019.
The Maricopa County Office of the Medical Examiner 2019 annual report shows that there were more than 600 overdose deaths involving Meth. That number has steadily increased each year since 2015. 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:
- 12,838 people were hospitalized related to amphetamine use in Maricopa county
- 9,183 emergency room visits happened because of amphetamine use in Maricopa county
A report released by the Arizona Substance Abuse Partnership states that the price of meth dropped by 58%over the years between 2015 and 2019. Law enforcement at all levels has seen a 342% increase in meth seized from 2015 to 2019.
What is Meth?
Methamphetamine is a highly addictive, illegal stimulant that people use for recreational purposes. Dopamine is released when your brain is expecting a reward, a large amount of dopamine released at once can bring a feeling of euphoria. Meth’s ability to quickly release large amounts of dopamine reinforces drug use, and the user wants to repeat the behavior.
Meth can be swallowed, smoked, snorted, or injected. Crystal meth looks like pieces of glass or shiny blue-white rocks. It can also be found as a white powder, or in pill form. There are a lot of street names for meth:
- Go fast
- Biker’s coffee
- Stove top
How Meth is Made
Manufacturing meth involves taking a common ingredient from cold medicine and cooking it with other toxic ingredients. This changes the pseudoephedrine in the cold medicine to meth. The other ingredients used can be paint thinner, acetone, or even battery acid.
The Dangers of a Meth Lab
Meth can be made by individuals in a variety of places, including Mesa. Meth labs use common household equipment and chemicals. Meth labs have been found in apartments, sheds, in the woods, and sometimes people have been known to make it in the trunks of their cars. Making meth creates a lot of toxic waste, and it is extremely dangerous.
Waste dumped from meth labs exposes people to toxic chemicals. Often family members of those making meth, including children, and first responders are injured by going into or being near a meth lab. Exposure to the toxic chemicals can cause:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Lack of coordination
- Burns to the skin, eyes, nose, mouth
The Short and Long-Term Effects of Meth
Meth affects health in many ways besides euphoria. There are both short-term and long-term health effects.
Short-term effects of meth include:
- Decreased appetite
- Faster breathing
- Increased physical activity and wakefulness
- Irregular or rapid heartbeat
- Increased blood pressure and body temperature
Long-term effects of meth include:
- Extreme weight loss
- Intense itching, which can lead to sores from scratching
- Sleeping problems
- Changes in brain structure
- Severe dental problems
- Violent behavior
Meth and Pregnancy
Meth use by pregnant women can be dangerous to the baby. Meth use can start premature labor. It can also cause the placenta to separate from the uterus, depriving the baby of oxygen and vital nutrients. Babies whose mothers used meth could have heart and brain abnormalities.
Meth use and HIV
Injecting meth raises the risk of getting HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. Reusing contaminated syringes and needles spread these diseases. Meth use will make the progression of HIV faster. In animal studies, meth increases viral replication. Meth users with HIV show more cognitive impairment than those with HIV who do not use the drug.
Meth and Parkinson’s Disease
There are studies that suggest that meth users have a significantly increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Early symptoms include shaking, slow movement, and trouble walking. Later symptoms include cognitive and behavioral problems and dementia. Parkinson’s disease affects 7 to 10 million people worldwide.
Meth use damages the brain cells used in the transport of dopamine. This causes damage in the brain the same way that Parkinson’s disease causes damage. Meth users are almost twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s later in life than people who do not use the drug.
Signs of Meth Use
Unfortunately, it is possible to not recognize someone’s meth problem until it is an addiction. There are some particular things that might alert someone to another person’s meth addiction. If more than one or two of these signs are noticeable it is likely they have an addiction.
Physical Signs of Meth Addiction
There are some noticeable 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
Psychological Signs of Meth Addiction
Dopamine controls learning abilities, memory, and the control of movement. After using meth for a long time an addict may have memory problems and not be able to learn new skills. These are things that people may not know could happen when they try meth the first time.
Psychosis is 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. They could also hallucinate, for example thinking there are bugs crawling all over them.
Meth Detox Treatment in Mesa, Arizona
Detoxification is the process of a drug or other substance exiting the body completely. During this process, many physical and mental changes happen triggering withdrawal symptoms. Detox is the place to start when someone wants to end a meth addiction.
Common withdrawal symptoms of meth addiction include depression, anxiety, and tiredness. A study showed that psychotic symptoms lasted for a week in the participants who had used meth. Meth cravings lasted at least five weeks.
The SAMHSA treatment locator tells us that there are 40 detoxification programs in Mesa to provide these services.
Types of Detox Treatments
There are a few different detox treatments available to people in Mesa, Arizona. A detox program is the safest place for this part of recovery. People experiencing psychosis or hallucinations could be a danger to themselves or other people. Treatment types include:
Medical detox- Medical detox uses medical professionals to supervise withdrawal symptoms. For some people, this monitoring is necessary to watch for life-threatening symptoms. In this setting medication use is possible to avoid some symptoms.
Holistic detox– A Holistic detox approach uses natural methods to support the body while it empties of drugs or alcohol. The method combines nutritional therapy, emotional support, and exercise programs to assist detox. Many people detoxing from meth addictions do not have healthy bodies to start with.
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. There are no FDA-approved medications specifically for meth addiction, but other medications can help with some of the symptoms.
Meth Addiction Rehab Options in Mesa, Arizona
As mentioned above the physical cravings for meth can last much longer after the detox. During rehab, a person can focus on the psychological part of the addiction. Understanding the reasons behind drug use is the best way to change the behaviors contributing to meth use. The best place to participate in therapy is at an inpatient drug and alcohol rehab center.
What is Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehab?
Inpatient treatment centers make a variety of therapy options available to those who want to recover from meth addictions. Patients remain in the facility for the entire treatment program. They have constant support and medical intervention if it is required.
Most inpatient stays are twenty-eight days long. The amount of time a person stays in rehab is dependent on their addiction severity. How quickly someone makes progress influences how long they may need to stay at the inpatient treatment center. Some programs may allow patients to stay longer than the twenty-eight days.
Types of Addiction Therapy
There are many different types of therapy available to help change addictive behavior patterns. The course of therapy treatment is based on the best fit for each individual. What works for one person may not be successful for someone else. The types of therapy options that are available include:
- 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.
- 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 as-needed coaching over the phone.
- 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.
During voucher-based reinforcement 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 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.
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy– Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps patients recognize negative thought patterns, stop the 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.
- Experiential Therapy- Experiential therapy tries to bring out deep inner lying behavior patterns through activities other than basic talk therapy. This works by participating 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.
Types of Outpatient Rehab Programs in the Mesa Area
After an inpatient program is completed many people will still need help to keep from going back into the addiction pattern. During outpatient therapy, people can continue to work on skills learned during inpatient therapy sessions and learn more skills if necessary. The longer amount of time an addict spends in therapy the better chance they have to avoid a relapse. Types of outpatient programs include:
- Partial hospitalization programs- (PHPs) This type of program is the most involved outpatient program. These programs meet five to seven days a week for several hours a day. Afterward, the patient returns home. PHPs can also be called day treatment programs.
- Intensive Outpatient Programs- (IOP) this style of outpatient treatment can be good for people who do not have co-occurring disorders but need more than a once-a-week counseling session. A co-occurring disorder is a mental health issue and a substance use disorder happening at the same time. IOPs usually meet three to four times a week for approximately three hours at a time.
- 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 been through more involved therapy and could still benefit from counseling sessions.
Meth Addiction Treatment and Continuing Care
The National Institute on Drug Abuse says treatment that is less than 90 days is not very effective. The best thing to do is find a program or group to participate with. One option is to go to a sober living home. Here people live with other recovering addicts. They need to have a job to contribute to household expenses. They are also required to go to outpatient therapy at a treatment center.
Another option for continuing care would be a 12-step program. Programs like Narcotics Anonymous are peer-led support group meetings. There is no professional therapy, but it is helpful for someone to help them stay drug-free.
Is Meth Addiction Treatment Covered by Insurance?
Yes, insurance will cover some inpatient rehab costs. Some policies may cover all rehab costs. The Affordable Care Act, which was passed into law in 2010, requires mental health and substance use disorders to be covered by insurance. In-network facilities will cost less than out-of-network facilities. In-network means the insurance company already has a contract to work with the treatment facility.
What is a Relapse?
A relapse occurs when a person starts using substances again after a period of being clean. A relapse can happen to anyone, and it is important to recognize the signs. Possible reasons a person might relapse include spending time with people they used with, or going to places where drugs were bought in the past. Increased stress and anxiety can trigger a relapse.
More Information About Meth Addiction Treatment in Mesa, Arizona
At SpringBoard Arizona, we want to help people recover from meth addiction. We design a treatment program based on each person’s needs. It does not matter if someone has been using meth for a long time, there is hope.
We offer inpatient rehab and detox services for anyone who wants to get clean. SpringBoard Arizona can make a difference. If you or a loved one need help, please contact us today.