Families consist of a number of intricate connections and moving parts. When one person is struggling, the entire mechanism is thrown off, negatively impacting personal interactions and communications.
For those families dealing with a meth addicted loved one, the instability caused by their substance use disorder can be even more unpredictable and overwhelming. This is due to the erratic behaviors associated with methamphetamine addiction and the manner in which it corrupts an addict’s brain functioning and overall demeanor.
From extreme feelings of paranoia to unpredictable, violent outbursts, people addicted to meth experience wildly erratic mood swings and temperaments. This is attributed to the manner in which the drug interacts with natural brain functioning and the fact that the substance can induce long bouts of wakefulness, keeping an addict awake for days at a time.
In whatever way your loved one is experiencing the symptoms associated with meth addiction, the universal repercussions associated with this substance use disorder is extensive personal loss: Loss of physical health, loss of mental stability, and loss of positive social support.
Taking the time to better understand the grip that meth can have on an addict, and how to best provide help for your loved one, can increase your empathy toward their plight and encourage them to seek the help they desperately need.
How Meth Affects an Addict
Meth can be so enticing to an addict because of the way in which the substance impacts the mind. By increasing the natural levels of dopamine in the brain, meth causes an addict to feel a temporary elevated sense of mood. This feeling can create unhealthy neurological connections within your addicted loved one, causing them to chase that feeling through increased substance use over extended periods of time.
While this addiction begins to take root, meth is creating false moments of euphoria within your loved one’s mind, leading them down a dark path of substance addiction.
In addition to this deteriorative effect on the mind, meth also provides synthetic bursts of energy, increased wakefulness, and decreased appetite. While these experiences can make your loved one feel as if they are more active and productive when abusing meth, the reality is
that the drug is destroying them from the inside out.
Prolonged use of meth will result in long-term neurological deterioration, sever organ damage, eroded oral health and even death.1
Consequences of Meth Use on the Family
Your loved one’s meth addiction causes them to act in a manner that is outside their normal behaviors. It can result in excessive paranoia directed toward the people in their life, physical violence and aggression toward family and friends, and even stealing from loved ones in order to support their addiction.
When sober, your loved one may have been the most thoughtful and giving person in the family. But meth can change a person. It can alter the way in which their brain functions, leaving them in a state of perpetual anxiety and driving them to react in a consistently excessive and erratic manner.
Dealing with your loved one when they are experiencing the effects of meth addiction can be a difficult task. Implementing these steps can aid in the process:
1. Intervene in a Non-confrontational Manner
Confronting a loved one or forcing them into a scenario in which a group of family and friends gang up on them to discuss their addiction should only be a last-ditch effort. Instead, try initially avoiding tough love and simply talk to your loved one when they are sober enough to process the conversation.
Reminding them of how much you care for them reinforces the fact that you are engaging them out of love and support.
2. Research Viable Treatment Options Prior to your Conversation
Being able to not only discuss the depth of your love and your desire for them to get help, but also potential treatment facilities is an excellent way to approach the topic of therapy.
By focusing on the specific areas of need displayed by your loved one and identifying a treatment facility capable of providing clinically qualified therapeutic interventions, removes potential barriers to their recovery.
3. Encourage Them, But Avoid Enabling Your Loved One
Approaching your addicted loved one with respect and compassion can show them that they are not alone in their addiction. But establishing healthy expectations is essential to them overcoming their meth addiction and progressing in their individual recovery.
Enabling takes place when you attempt to protect your loved one from the natural consequences of their addictive actions. While your intentions may be in the right place, keeping them from these natural consequences robs them of the negative experiences inherently involved in the addiction process.2
There is Hope for Families of Meth Addicts
An addict’s recovery must start with them recognizing they have a problem and wanting to get better.
Rest assured, no one is beyond recovery. Every addict can get clean. If your loved one has expressed the desire to get help and recover, there is hope.
Renowned, Christian-Based Meth Addiction Rehab at Covenant Hills
When it comes to addiction treatment, the higher quality of care, the better your loved one will recover and live in sobriety.
Your loved one was meant for so much more than where their addiction has landed them. Their addiction can stop forever, and they can regain control over their life.
It all starts at Covenant Hills, where one of the most experienced and acclaimed addiction treatment teams in the country helps meth addicts quit all forms of the drug.
Through a Christian-based model, our world-class addiction treatment programs will empower your loved one to reclaim their physical and mental well-being through emotional, nutritional, social, fitness and spiritual therapy components.
Learn more about our Christian-based meth addiction treatment program, or contact us for a free and confidential assessment.
1 National Institute on Drug Abuse. What is methamphetamine? Accessed November 12, 2018. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/methamphetamine.
2 Psychology Today. Addiction as a Family Affliction. Accessed November 12, 2018. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/some-assembly-required/201605/addiction-family-affliction.