A lot of media attention has been given to the rising count of methamphetamine-related harm in Australia, encouraged by the higher purity and increased availability of crystalline methamphetamine (commonly known as ice or crystal meth). The difference between the other types of methamphetamine that are available in Australia (such as speed) and ice is that the latter can be smoked, allowing it to enter the bloodstream and brain at a rapid rate.
Combined with the drug’s high purity, smoking ice has become a trend that is linked to a significant increase in methamphetamine-related social and health problems. Australians also appear to be using ice more frequently and more people are becoming addicted and needing ice rehab. Many who do not seek help in time end up in the hospital or dying from using ice.
The Risks Of Ice Addiction
Methamphetamine-related harms occur from a combination of the drug’s pharmacological effects and the associated lifestyle and behavioral factors. Serious harms from ice usually arise from smoking and injecting the drug, which is also linked with heavier use patterns and a higher risk of dependence. Some of the most serious harms related to ice use include violence, psychosis, and cardiovascular risks.
- Violence – Violent behavior is common among ice users for factors such as the drug’s pharmacological effect, predisposition to violence, and contextual factors (e.g. being involved in the illegal drug market).
- Psychosis – Heavy ice use can increase the likelihood of psychotic symptoms like paranoia and hallucinations, though they are typically momentary and subside when drug use ceases.
- Cardiovascular risks – Methamphetamine increases blood pressure and heart rate, thereby increasing the risk of heart attacks and stroke. Even though the dangers increase significantly with age, young ice users can have a stroke and other cardiovascular issues that typically would not occur until they are older.
How Can You Tell If A Person Might Be Using Ice?
Methamphetamine use can affect people in different ways. The impacts and effects of the drug also depend on the purity, the amount taken, the way it is taken and the person’s mental and physical health. There are some signs that you can look out for to see if someone is using ice, such as:
- Increased energy
- Dilated pupils
- Aggressive behavior
- Insomnia, fatigue, or exhaustion
- Complaints of dizziness, headaches, blurred vision, and stomach cramps
- Moodiness and irritability
- Change in eating patterns or reduced appetite
- Anxiety symptoms such as dizziness, panic attacks, sweating, headaches, nausea, and dry mouth
- Problems with relationships, friends, money, or the law
Treatment Options For Ice Addiction
Several treatment methods and intervention techniques can be effective when it comes to treating ice addiction, as well as the underlying mental health issues that are linked with substance abuse. These treatment approaches include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) – Through a combination of cognitive and behavioral techniques, CBT helps individuals identify a set of goals and empowers them to gain control over their lives and beat their addiction.
- Drug counseling – This form of counseling typically involves individual or group counseling sessions. Individual sessions give the person an opportunity to have deep sessions with a dedicated counselor while group sessions provide valuable peer support along with a chance to connect with and learn from a group of people who are going through something similar.
- Dual diagnosis treatment – Regular ice use is often associated with increased mental health disorder symptoms like anxiety, depression, and psychosis. Consequently, dual diagnosis (or co-occurring disorder) treatment may be needed for a successful recovery.
- Detoxification – Detoxification (detox) or ice withdrawal treatment, is a withdrawal process that rids the body of any toxic substances to prepare it for the following treatment program. The detox process usually lasts between 10 to 15 days for heavy users.
Should Ice Addicts Go To Inpatient Or Outpatient Rehab?
Inpatient rehab for addiction to ice involves staying at a treatment facility for the duration of the program, which is typically between 30 to 90 days. Scheduled counseling sessions are similar to those in outpatient rehab, however, the secluded setting and support facilities allow the addict to focus entirely on their recovery. Since outpatient rehab is less restrictive than inpatient programs, it also tends to be less effective and comes with a higher chance of relapse.
While inpatient treatment costs more than outpatient care, the higher chance of successful recovery and other benefits of an inpatient program makes it the ideal choice for people who want to begin their journey towards recovery.
The first and most important step towards recovery is to check into a treatment facility. Even though it is normal to feel anxious when checking into ice addiction rehab, the fully-trained staff are there to offer assistance throughout the treatment program. The length of stay at an inpatient rehab center depends on many factors, including the addiction severity, length of detoxification, response to treatment, existing co-occurring disorders, and more.
Thailand has been the rehab destination of choice for many Australians for reasons such as luxury facilities, beautiful surroundings, and affordable treatment programs, allowing clients to stay for longer and make the most of the experience. However, the number of rehab centers can make it overwhelming to find the right one. Thailand Rehab Guide is a comprehensive resource for ice addiction and other types of rehab in Thailand.
If you or your loved one is dealing with ice addiction, do not wait any longer to get help. Contact Thailand Rehab Guide for a free consultation or to find out about addiction treatment options today.
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