Amphetamine addiction treatment is a three step process.
Admitting the problem
The first step is getting the addict to recognize just how bad the problem has become. Many addicts are quite good at ignoring the damage the drug has caused them physically and emotionally. They may even deny the damage to finances and their relationships.
An intervention is the practice of confronting an addict with the facts in the hope they will agree to treatment. The other path for many addicts is by way of court order, following a drug or other conviction.
In parallel with this admission of harm, there is a period of withdrawal. Sometimes, the physical symptoms of withdrawal can overcome denial as the patient is confronted with their own cravings. Medications are often used to limit the symptoms of withdrawal – insomnia, anxiety and depression. Clonidine is sometimes prescribed to help stave off cravings.
As withdrawal symptoms ease, patients are then mentally able accept therapy designed to alter their drug seeking behaviors. The third step is a therapeutic (usually individual and group sessions) program that both teaches them about their addiction and gives them strategies to deal with it. Often, other underlying psychological needs will be discovered and treated as well.
The relapse rate for amphetamine addiction is quite high. This makes follow up an important additional concern. Generally, an attempt is made to get addicts to abandon friends who use and avoid situations where drugs are available. Free 12-step meetings are available both online and in most areas of the country. Narcotics Anonymous accepts those who use amphetamines who wish to remain clean.
There is currently no specific prescription drug used to combat amphetamine addiction. Rather, medications are prescribed to treat symptoms such as depression or insomnia that recovering addicts may experience.
photo by Aleksandra P.