Methamphetamine Treatment in Conyers, Georgia
An illicit drug that is posing an increasing threat to Georgia is methamphetamine, particularly in central and northern parts of the state. According to law enforcement officials and health care professionals, the drug is being abused by a more diverse group. Methamphetamine has emerged as the primary drug threat in parts of northern Georgia.
While a large portion of the drug available in the state is produced in high volume laboratories in southwestern states, Mexico and California by Mexican criminal groups and DTOs, it is also produced in Georgia by local, independent producers.
Methamphetamine, commonly called meth, is a stimulant drug that has a powerful effect on the central nervous system. It can be taken orally, smoked, injected, or snorted. The drug is sold on the street for $80 to $100 per gram or $500 to $1,000 per ounce. Street methamphetamine is known by several names, including meth, speed, and chalk. In its smoked form, it looks similar to clear crystals, which is why it is called by names such as glass, ice, and crystal.
Effects of Methamphetamine
When a person uses meth, it increases heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and energy, and at the same time, it decreases reaction time, sleep, and appetite. When the drug is initially used, it increases alertness, confidence, energy, sex drive and mood while decreasing shyness and boredom at the same time.
However, prolonged use can result in fatigue, insomnia, confusion, irritability, memory loss, depression, paranoia, hallucinations, panic, anger, and even drug-induced psychosis. Meth is extremely addictive – even more addictive than heroin – and may cause permanent brain damage. With this drug, there is also a high potentiality for violence.
The context in which methamphetamine is used poses a danger to children, law enforcement, case workers and other home visitors, and the general public – abuse and neglect, toxic chemicals, needle use, and aggression on the user’s part. Due to the powerful effects of the drug on the central nervous system, addiction to methamphetamine requires specialized treatment.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the most successful methamphetamine treatment involves lengthy, intensive therapy in group treatment programs, drug testing on a frequent basis and months of aftercare.
Scope of the Methamphetamine Problem
12.6 million people in the United States have used methamphetamine. According to RAND, abuse of the drug costs the nation an estimated $16.2 billion to $48.3 billion per year. Statistics reveal that in 2009, there was a 34% increase in criminal activity related to meth, including seizures, arrests, and discovery of meth labs. The number of people who used the illicit substance for the first time saw a 62% increase from 2008 and 2009.
Methamphetamine arrests have been increasing at an alarming rate in the Athens-Clarke County area and across the state of Georgia. Efforts to combat the methamphetamine epidemic in the state have had limited access as far as numbers of lab busts and arrests are concerned.
According to a report by the Athens-Clarke County Police Department (ACCPD) in April 2016, there were 13 meth-related arrests so far that year. An ACCPD reported that of those 13 arrests, 3 were for trafficking/smuggling and 10 were for possession.
In 2010, 4 meth possession- or trafficking-related arrests were made, and in 2011, there were 15 arrests. In 2012, the increase continued to 24 and 33 in 2013 before it dipped to 25 in 2014. In 2015, the rise, increased once more with 40 meth-related arrests. Between 2007 and 2009, meth lab seizures, increased 76% nationwide while there was a 91% increase in Georgia alone over the same period.
Availability and Use of Methamphetamine in Georgia
Methamphetamine was first used primarily by blue-collar workers and truck drivers. The drug was more prevalent in the western United States. Today, it is used by a more diverse population. More young people are using the drug and it is a major problem among high school and college students.
However, methamphetamine use is not limited to this group of the population or inner city neighborhoods. The dangerous drug has made its way to suburbia and a large percentage of middle class people use and abuse it.
Methamphetamine is a growing threat to the metropolitan area of Atlanta and it is a serious problem in Georgia’s smaller cities and towns. As mentioned earlier, use of the illicit substance in the state has grown fastest in Central and North Georgia. Methamphetamine is the leading drug threat in Macon and Dalton.
Treatment for Meth Abuse and Addiction
Generally, there are two main types of services available to treat drug addiction or drug abuse – pharmacology, i.e., the use of approved prescription medications, and therapy. There are currently no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – approved medications for the treatment of meth abuse or addiction.
This means that there are no available targeted medications that counteract meth-associated side effects, reduce its potential for addiction, or help recovering addicts to maintain abstinence.
A large number of treatment regimens for meth abuse or addiction begin with medical detox. During this process, the drug is slowly weaned out of the user’s body. Medical detox is supervised by medical professionals, making sure that patients are safe and comfortable while going through the process.
After detox, meth addicts are often treated with behavioral therapy. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, contingency management interventions and the Matrix Model have all been shown to be highly effective in assisting recovery from meth abuse and addiction.
When treating any drug addiction, one of the things that the user and their family must bear in mind is that there is no one treatment program or plan that works for everyone. Each case is unique and drug treatment providers must find a plan that addresses each addict’s specific issues and needs. This is why there are several processes that a user must go through before entering a drug rehab center.
The first step to finding the right drug treatment program is the drug addiction assessment. This is a simple process in which a professional, such as a counselor, therapist, psychologist, doctor, nurse or social worker, will provide you with a standardized questionnaire to fill out. Typically, the questionnaire asks about your current drug use, medical history, treatment history, patterns of behavior, symptoms and how your life has been affected by your addiction.
The purpose of an assessment is to determine if you have an addiction, the extent of your addiction, whether you have any co-occurring addiction or condition, and to help in tailoring the right treatment plan for you. You may be required to get a medical assessment done as well.
A physician will conduct a physical examination to evaluate your physical health and diagnose any medical conditions you may have. The drug assessment process is a crucial part of finding a treatment program that works for your unique needs.
The next step is the pre-intake process in which you will be given a form to fill out. The drug treatment professional who conducts this process will also give you a list of documents and personal items you must bring to the treatment center.
Although it is a simple process, the pre-intake process is an important part of finding the right treatment in Conyers, Georgia to help you recover from your addiction to meth. The information you provide in the form will be used to design a treatment plan that targets your issues and address your needs to maximize your chances of a successful recovery.
During the intake process, you will meet with a counselor or clinician for an interview. You will be asked a number of questions, ranging from when and why you started using drugs to your drug of choice to your patterns of drug abuse.
This process may be embarrassing or invasive as you will be asked many questions that you feel are personal. However, keep in mind that your answers are strictly confidential and used to get a clearer picture of your background, lifestyle, addiction and issues that led to your dependency on meth.
Needless to say, no matter how embarrassing or personal the questions are, it is vital to be as honest and open as possible as everything that the interviewer learns will be used to make sure that you receive the right treatment for your meth addiction. The intake is also a great opportunity for you to ask questions and voice any concerns you may have before you enter the drug treatment facility.
Detox for Meth
Meth withdrawal symptoms are painful and traumatic, and they can also pose a serious threat to your health. This is why many meth addicts are unable to successfully quit the drug on their own. While trying to withdraw from the drug and as the symptoms begin to manifest, they give up and take meth in even higher doses to try and counteract the withdrawal process.
When it comes to detox from meth, the safest option is a medical detox program. You receive round-the-clock care and supervision throughout the process. Doctors and nurses will be on hand to monitor vital signs and provide the treatment you need as the withdrawal symptoms you experience begin to improve.
Detox from meth is a critical step towards getting treatment for your addiction and once you have completed the process, you can start thinking about whether a residential treatment program (RTP), also known as an inpatient treatment program, or an outpatient treatment program (OTP) is the right option for you to begin your rehabilitation process.
Inpatient Treatment Center
In an inpatient treatment facility, you are provided with an intensive treatment plan to help you overcome your meth addiction. In fact, if you have a serious long-term addiction to the drug, an RTP may be the best option.
It is also the best type of program if you have a co-occurring addiction or condition as additional complications can arise from these conditions. Treatment providers in an inpatient treatment center have the experience and expertise to help you navigate through those complications.
In an RTP, you will need to live in the facility for a certain period of time. This type of program provides group, individual and family counseling sessions, therapy and other programs to facilitate recovery from your meth addiction, such as 12-step programs.
You can also benefit from educational and vocational classes that most inpatient facilities in Conyers, Georgia offer. RTPs also offer round-the-clock medical supervision and support from trained professionals, which is vital when you have a serious issue like addiction to meth.
Outpatient Treatment Centers
There are many outpatient treatment programs in Conyers, Georgia that offers comprehensive treatment plans for meth addiction. One of the advantages of an OPT is that you can receive the treatment you need while still being able to live at home and take care of your everyday responsibilities. In most cases, patients choose an OTP as a step-down option after completing their initial RTP treatment.
This is a prudent idea, especially in addictions that are as serious and difficult to recover from as addiction to methamphetamines. You can also enroll in an intensive outpatient program (IOP) as your primary means of rehabilitation from addiction to meth.
In an OTP, you will be required to attend scheduled treatment sessions on certain days throughout the week. As with RTPs, you will have counseling sessions, therapy and other programs designed to help you recover successfully from your addiction. However, it is critical to note that if you are a long-term meth user, an OTP may not be the ideal choice as you likely have medical and health care needs that only an inpatient treatment facility can provide.
Get the Right Meth Treatment Center in Conyers, GA – Make it Happen!
If you are struggling with meth addiction and want help to get clean, there are a number of salient and outstanding drug treatment facilities in Conyers, Georgia for you to choose from. These treatment centers offer comprehensive treatment and care to help treat your meth addiction and provide the support you need to recover successfully.
You can overcome your addiction to this deadly drug and begin your journey to living a healthier, happier, drug-free life with the help and support of your treatment center as well as your family and friends.