Addiction to Methamphetamine can come on quickly due to the extreme effect that this drug has on the brain. But overcoming Meth addiction through drug treatment is possible. However, it is well known that drug addiction is a relapsing disease. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, relapse is likely but additional treatment can help the individual to get back on track. Relapse is not a sign of treatment failure, it just means that the individual needs to strengthen relapse prevention techniques to maintain freedom from Meth addiction.
Because addiction is a relapsing disease, relapse is not just possible but likely for many drug users. Meth is a highly addictive drug that changes the way the brain functions. Impulse control is affected, making it harder for many Meth users to resist cravings. Also, those in recovery for Meth addiction are often unable to feel any type of pleasure for a long time during the recovery process due to changes in the brain caused by Meth. For these users, pleasure can only be felt by using the drug.
Treatment after Relapse
Relapse does not mean treatment failed. This is a chance for those who wish to quit Meth to learn what works and what does not. A one-time relapse may not require restarting a complete treatment program, but may be overcome by continuing the same treatment where left off and using the relapse as a learning experience. If relapse resulted in a return to consistent Meth use, a new treatment program can help. Because everyone is different, there are different Methods of drug treatment. If one Method does not work, another one may be much more effective. The same treatment may be used as the first time in recovery to help users successfully quit using Meth, but more emphasis should be placed on aftercare, a stronger relapse prevention plan, and continuing support network for the individual to turn to if cravings become too hard to handle.
Ability to Resist Relapse Increases the Longer Abusers Remain Free of Meth
New research is showing that the damaging effects of Meth use on the brain are not necessarily permanent. The brain can regain most of its previous function when the Meth addiction has been checked. Recovery from Meth can take some time, often a year or more. Those in recovery can expect to regain impulse control and ability to focus on recovery and maintaining sobriety the longer they remain free of Meth. Treatment providers need to be able to provide long-term support to Meth users while the brain properly recovers.
Getting Help after Meth Addiction Relapse
If you relapse in your recovery from Meth addiction, you do not have to give up hope of quitting for good. It is important to quit using as soon as possible. You may not need to begin a recovery program from the beginning unless your relapse turned into full-blown Meth use. Take time to better understand your triggers and to find ways to deal with these and cravings other than returning to Meth use. Be patient with yourself in your recovery and you will find it easier to remain free of Meth as time goes by.