addiction statisticsMeth Addiction Recovery Statistics

In the year 2008, according to the statistics, there were more than 120,000 drug treatment admittances for abuse of methamphetamine or amphetamines in the United States. This was a decrease from the previous year, when 145,828 admissions were recorded. This does not represent the total number of individuals who use or abuse methamphetamine, nor does it accurately depict how many of those individuals entered rehab. Because the names of patients in the facilities that report the numbers to the government are withheld, it is entirely possible that one person could be counted a number of times. The statistics also do not indicate whether the admittance incident was for an inpatient or outpatient service. The data, collected annually by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, counts only the number of admittances for each category of illicit and prescription drugs available.

The Fundamentals of Addiction and Recovery

Recovering from methamphetamine addiction starts with understanding how drugs affect the human brain. When a person ingests methamphetamine for the first time, the brain immediately begins to change. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, these changes in the brain alter how a person thinks – how they solve problems and how they make decisions.

Drug addiction is a chronic disease for which there is no cure. This means that even after an individual has completed a treatment program, they may still relapse. They might relapse occasionally, or they may relapse frequently until the treatment program can be adjusted to suit their exact dynamic. This does not mean that the recovery attempt was a failure. It only means that adjustments need to be made.

Because of these simple facts about drug abuse, addiction and recovery, searching for statistics on the success rates of meth addiction recovery is anecdotal. Each person is unique and the experiences of one recovering addict have little to do with the potential success of another, other than the benefits associated with group therapy and the sharing of one’s successes and challenges.

How Addictive Is Methamphetamine?

According to the latest Monitoring the Future survey conducted by the University of Michigan, more than 1 percent of high school seniors admitted to abusing methamphetamines in the year prior to the survey, an increase of 0.3 percent over the previous year. In a similar study, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, compiled by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, reported that 1.2 million people in the US ages 12 years or older had used the drug in the same time period.

People use drugs for many different reasons, but the most emphatic reason may be because drugs make them “feel good.” Methamphetamine, in particular, increases how much dopamine the brain creates and releases, and it also blocks the reuptake of dopamine back into the neurons. Dopamine is the brain chemical that makes us feel pleasure, have motivation or feel rewarded for the things we do. Since the brain is creating more of the chemical, and the “extra” chemical is not being reabsorbed properly, the drug user feels euphoric.

The methamphetamine high lasts for several hours, and when it is gone, the meth user is left feeling considerably worse than before the drug was consumed. They immediately crave more of the drug to replace that bad feeling. Because of this instant craving, the drug creates tolerance in the system rather quickly and the individual must use more of the drug to achieve the same effects as that first “high.” This tolerance is what leads to addiction.

Do the Statistics Show Hope for Recovery?

While there is no nationwide data available on the success rates of methamphetamine addiction, according an article published by MSNBC, some experts say that between 50 and 60 percent of recovering addicts remain free from drugs at the end of the first year of recovery when they participate in a comprehensive program that includes cognitive behavior therapy, family therapy, drug-testing and support groups. In comparison to other drugs of abuse and recovery, the report goes on to say that these rates are not as good as those of alcohol recovery but better than non-methadone assisted heroin recovery.

There is most decidedly hope for successful treatment of methamphetamine addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug addiction relapse rates are less than rates of relapse for diseases such as hypertension and asthma and only slightly higher than those for type I diabetes.

Choosing the Best Treatment Program for Methamphetamine Addiction

Each person who faces the disease of addiction has special needs that must be met by the recovery program they choose. Do you respond well to talk therapy? Do you prefer non-verbal communication techniques such as creative art therapy or equine-assisted therapy? Are you shy in the presence of large groups, or are you in need of spiritual counseling to help you discover true inner peace?

Proven Effective in Treatment

The type of treatment program that will be the most effective for you is one that will be designed and created precisely for you. There are a few basics that have proven effective in the treatment of methamphetamine addiction, however, which should be tailored to fit your personal recovery program. These may include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy. As mentioned in the study referenced earlier, this type of therapy is beneficial to methamphetamine recovery. CBT is a program that helps a recovering addict discover new ways to think and approach difficulties while creating methods for dealing with dangerous situations and triggers that may lead to drug use.
  • Group therapy. Sharing experiences and learning how to interact without the use of drugs are just two benefits that group therapy can provide. Groups can support one another and reinforce each other’s determination to complete the difficult tasks associated with recovery.
  • Length of treatment. The amount of time spent in a treatment program is significant; a longer time spent in treatment will decrease the odds of relapse.
  • Treatment for dual diagnosis. Many individuals who suffer from addiction also have a co-occurring disorder that has either promoted the drug abuse or resulted from it. Treatment for these conditions is just as important as the treatments for the addiction.

Treatments for Addiction Evolve as They Progress

Most medical conditions are fluid. They wax and wane as they progress, sometimes causing more or less trouble depending upon lifestyle choices and other circumstances. Hypertension can rise and fall depending upon a person’s salt consumption or physical activity. Diabetes is affected by what the diabetic chooses to eat, stress and other factors. When this happens, the doctor will adjust recommendations and treatment choices based upon all of the information available. Drug addiction treatment is no different. The odds of individuals who suffer from meth addiction never having another instance of meth use for the remainder of their lives are the same as with any other condition that can relapse. When this happens, it is not time to judge or despair, but instead to make the necessary adjustments to get back on the right track.

Statistics can give you a broad stroke of what strangers may be dealing with, but the only way to help yourself or the loved one in your life who is struggling with meth addiction is to make a call to someone who can help you. At Alta Mira, we can create a specialized, adjustable and comprehensive recovery program that can help you and your family to heal.