Meth Messenger: Hope And Recovery From Drug Addiction

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This column centers on hope and recovery from drug addiction. There is help available and there are agencies and facilities willing to give assistance to addicts in an effort to find a treatment plan suited to his/her particular needs.

Chronic use of meth may cause a tolerance build-up to the drug, resulting in addicts craving more and more to reach the “ultimate” high. Consequently, the length of meth withdrawal and severity of symptoms might result in some serious side effects, such as: jerky movements, extreme nervousness, anxiety, depression, aggression, even convulsions or death.

A good rehabilitation center provides medical treatment and counseling as well as the therapy that is needed. The staff should be supportive, compassionate and encouraging throughout the recovery process, emphasizing that a sober lifestyle is the goal.

While there are many methods available, the first step is detoxification to rid the body of the drugs, assuming the addiction is severe enough to warrant it, which is usually the case, but not always. A well thought-out program needs to address both the physical and psychological effects of meth addiction.

Gila County is fortunate enough to have a local recovery and stabilization facility at Community Bridges. Each patient goes through an initial assessment process as they begin their treatment program. The staff and patient work together to determine what type of plan is best suited to the patient’s needs and then develop a long-term, on-going recovery program.

This might involve family and friends and bring in other behavioral health care agencies as necessary. Community Bridges has a specific focus on meth addiction. It is a part of Cenpatico Behavioral Health which serves Gila and Pinal counties.

Some of the services provided by Community Bridges include: crisis care, peer support, medical detoxification due to alcohol or drug abuse, outpatient and in-patient programs, prevention and educational programs. Various payment options are available.

Getting help early in the addiction is a major key to a faster recovery. If you know someone who needs help with an addiction contact the treatment center of your choice, but get help. Community Bridges in Globe may be reached at 5734 E. Hope Lane, (928) 425-2415 or in Payson at 803 W. Main, (928) 468-0022.

As with nearly everything encountered in life, there are myths about meth addiction and recovery.

Some say addicts cannot recover and kick the habit. This simply stated is not true. It may take a little longer, but recovery is possible. Treatment does work.

Drug addiction is voluntary. Maybe at first it’s a choice, but meth soon takes control.

Drug addiction is a character flaw. No, it’s a disease that controls the mind and body of anyone who uses it.

Users don’t need treatment, it doesn’t work. NOT TRUE. It may be difficult to achieve and maintain a sober lifestyle, but it is possible. The bad part is long term abuse actually changes the brain functions, so it’s best to start a treatment program early on if possible. Statistics show 40% to 60% of drug use reduction also reduces criminal activity and the risk of becoming HIV positive.

People can successfully complete a treatment program in a couple of weeks. Again, not true. It takes several months and a continuing out-patient recovery program to successfully get off drugs. In fact someone who sticks with a recovery program for a year or more is twice as likely to remain drug free.

There should be a standard treatment for everyone. As with most medical situations, treatment programs are individualized. Drug addiction is a chronic disorder and should be treated as such. Recovery is a long process and may require several attempts before complete sobriety is achieved.

Presented by the Gila County Meth Coalition

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