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Methamphetamine Addiction and Abuse

Possible Consequences of Methamphetamine Addiction and Abuse

The consequences of methamphetamine abuse and addiction can be extremely dangerous. Taking high doses of a stimulant can result in an irregular heartbeat, dangerously high body temperatures, and/or the potential for cardiovascular failure or seizures. Also, taking high doses of some stimulants repeatedly over a short period can lead to hostility or feelings of paranoia in some individuals.
Methamphetamine should not be mixed with many antidepressants or over-the-counter cold medicine containing decongestants without the approval of a healthcare provider. Antidepressants may enhance the effects of methamphetamine or cause life-threatening side effects, and methamphetamine in combination with decongestants may cause blood pressure to become dangerously high or lead to irregular heart rhythms.

Where to Get Help

Your healthcare provider is a great place to start when searching for help for methamphetamine addiction or abuse. He or she will be able to help you deal with the addiction or may suggest other resources for you.
Treatment is usually based on behavioral therapies proven effective for treating cocaine addiction. At this time, there are no proven medications for the treatment of methamphetamine abuse. Antidepressants, however, may be used to manage the symptoms of depression that can accompany early methamphetamine withdrawal.
Depending on the person's situation, the first step in treating addiction may be to slowly decrease the drug's dose and attempt to treat withdrawal symptoms (see Methamphetamine Withdrawal). This process of detoxification could then be followed with one of many behavioral therapies. Contingency management, for example, improves treatment outcomes by enabling people to earn vouchers for drug-free urine tests; the vouchers can be exchanged for items that promote healthy living. Cognitive behavioral therapies, which teach skills to recognize risky situations, avoid drug use, and cope more effectively with problems, are proving beneficial. Recovery support groups may also be effective in conjunction with behavioral therapy.
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