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Methamphetamine is one of the most commonly abused psycho stimulant drugs. Used in the proper dosages, it can make a person alert and active when he or she would otherwise be fatigued and sluggish. But when taken in excessive doses, methamphetamine can instill feelings of euphoria and even mania in the user. Users can take meth in the form of tablets, or they can smoke or snort it in powder form. Because meth lingers on in the system for up to twelve hours, the high that it produces lasting for an unusually long time— which, in turn, makes the feeling that occurs when the effects of the drug wear off all the more unpleasant. The drug can also be addictive, so that the user keeps taking it to the point where it causes heart disease, coma and even death. Addicts who are denied the drug experience withdrawal symptoms that can persist even after a year of not taking it. These include such physical symptoms as headaches and such psychological symptoms as agitation, anxiety, restlessness and excessive sleep.
For these reasons it is illegal to possess or sell methamphetamine in a number of jurisdictions. Street sellers market the drug under such names as speed, crack, crystal meth and ice. Meth is so easy to manufacture that it can be sold at a lower cost than many other street drugs, making it disturbingly easy to obtain.
For the individual who has become thus addicted, there are plenty of methamphetamine addiction programs to help them to overcome their problem. Methamphetamine addiction treatment programs take a wide variety of approaches. One institution combines these approaches into a single program. Learning forms a crucial part of the process. Many addicts who are in the early stages of recovery fail to correctly process information that could be crucial to helping them recover their long-term memory. Those who run the institute are committed to helping people overcome barriers to effective study. It is one thing to memorize lists after list of facts; it is quite another to take what one has learned and apply it to one's way of life.
Then there is the therapeutic element, which aims to get to the "root" of the patient's meth problem. Why did the patient begin using the drug in the first place? It is the failure to address this fact that causes many addicts who have been denied access to meth to return to the drug at the first opportunity that they get, or to simply turn to any other drug, such as cocaine. Addicts may also postpone getting help, telling himself, "I can always do that tomorrow," shout "Leave me alone!" when somebody tries to confront them with their problem, "play the victim," lie about having used recently, blame other people for what they are responsible for, or turn to distractions such as television to get away from uncomfortable situations. But at this institute, patients learn to raise their abilities to stand face to face with their addictions and in so doing, conquer them. They also learn to communicate their problems more effectively and to develop greater control over themselves.
Next there is a course in personal values and integrity. Here, the patients learn how to recover the integrity that they have lost as a result of their own irresponsible behavior. Despite what we see on the surface, the majority of people who develop addictions to harmful drugs are really good people, who feel guilty about what they have done. The true meaning of responsibility is more than just "doing the right thing: it means doing the right thing because we understand what the consequences are, how they affect the people around us. By delving into the depths of one's soul for the motives behind one's bad behavior, one lessens the chances of repeating them.
Even after the patient has recovered from his addiction, some permanent damage may have been caused by the drug. In particular the teeth will tend to become rotten, a condition known as "meth mouth." Drugs are not the real problem; rather, they are the symptom of some larger problem. And it is that problem, whatever it may be, that must be addressed if the addict is to be cured of his habit, once and for all.
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