Stimulant addiction is a serious problem, particularly due to the impact that long-term use of stimulants can have on the brain. There are quite a few factors to look into when you’re considering getting help for an addiction to stimulants.
1. Duration of Treatment – This is the single biggest factor for treatment of all forms, but particularly treatment for stimulant addicts. Meth addiction leaves the pleasure centers of the brain deeply damaged in ways that don’t generally become readily evident until the second month of abstinence. Treatment programs for long-term use of meth, cocaine or Adderall need to be long-term – we find that six months offers the best treatment outcomes.
2. 12-Step Involvement – There are a number of factors that make 12-step programs an ideal means of attaining long-term abstence. First, they are free and regularly available. Second, they tend welcome any member regardless of their condition, which is great for stimulant addicts as most experience significant social anxiety during early recovery. Without considerable support, such as those provided in 12-step fellowships, meth addicts, cocaine addicts and adderall addicts often struggle to feel comfortable relating to others while not intoxicated.
3. Ability to Address Underlying Addictions – Studies have shown that around 70% of stimulant addicts exhibit some form of compulsive sexual behavior. This does not necessary mean that everyone who is addicted to meth, cocaine, Rittalin or Adderall is a sex addict, but it does make it likely that reconciliation with past sex issues will be part of their recovery. Eating disorders – particularly aneorexia – also are often part of stimulant abuse. Again, this does not mean that every client with a meth addiction has full-blown anorexia, but many do have traits of or tendencies toward compulsive weight management techniques.
Traditional treatment programs focus exclusively on drugs and alcohol at the exclusion of underlying behavioral addictions such as sex addiction and/or anorexia. An effective treatment program for stimulants will feature clinincians who are versed in working with issues related to compulsive sexual behavior and food. It will also offer specific tracks for those who realize that they have an underlying behavioral addiction that needs to be addressed.