Presently, there are two main treatment methods available to treat addiction: pharmacology (approved prescription medications) and therapy. Unfortunately, no U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USDA) approved medications are available to treat meth abuse or addiction. This means, no medication can be used to help with withdrawal symptoms or reduce the risk of addiction or help recovering addicts avoid relapse. Research is ongoing to discover what can help, but meanwhile, a person has to go through detox under a doctor’s supervision to remain safe throughout the process.
After detox, the treatment program for meth addiction includes behavioral therapy (cognitive-behavioral therapy). The Matrix Model and contingency management interventions are also used, along with techniques to help the person change their behavior and attitude.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) takes the idea that the learning process plays a key role in the development of maladaptive behaviors that includes meth abuse. Therapy sessions frequently involve learning new and tools to handle stress and life’s challenges without drugs.
When one recognizes their reaction to emotional or environmental cues that may act as triggers to suing meth, they can introduce a healthy behavior. This may mean when stress becomes too much, they can meditate, go for a walk, or do other active things. It also can mean leaving a party or situation where the person knows there will be drugs. Sessions can be short or long-term, depending on the person and if any mental health issues are present, such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, or behavioral disorder.
This type of behavioral treatment approach involves a 16-week program that includes a comprehensive program such as:
Based on a reward system, contingency management intervention is based on motivation. The therapist uses incentives in the program for recovering individuals in exchange for them accepting treatment and staying sober. One such application involves motivational incentives (Motivational Incentives for Enhancing Drug Abuse Recovery or MEDAR), which has proven effective for helping meth users recover.
Depending on the severity of someone’s meth addiction, a doctor may recommend an inpatient treatment center for a month or longer, or an outpatient treatment program for at least three months, 3-5 times weekly.
An effective treatment center for the recovery of meth addiction includes one responsive to the effects meth can have on the mind and body. It helps build a treatment program around this information.