Methamphetamine is another one of those niche drugs that has popped up and created it’s own subculture of sorts. People who do meth might therefore see themselves as separate from other drug users…perhaps even see themselves as being more “hard core.” It’s all part of the glorification process that we go through when we get hooked on a drug.
But methamphetamine addiction is really no different from any other drug addiction. The key is that people who are addicted to meth–or any drug for that matter–are really just medicating their feelings in the end.
At first, we start using a drug because it is fun. In the early stages, this is generally true for anyone, and using the drug socially really is fun. But eventually it becomes a habit. Then it becomes something we had to do. Eventually, we lose the power of choice in the matter, and we are driven to keep using the drug.
It is at this point that most people do not generally recognize that they are medicating their feelings with the drug. This is addiction. It is also at this point that growth and emotional maturing come to a complete stop, as we are no longer processing our feelings and learning from our experiences with others. We have blocked off that avenue of growth because now we simply medicate all of our feelings away with our drug of choice.
This also gives us a huge clue as to exactly how our reality will come crashing down on us when we finally decide to get clean and sober. Coming off meth might not produce a huge physical withdrawal, but we still have the challenge of learning how to deal with our emotions again without the ability to medicate them away. This is the uncomfortable feelings that many addicts will end up relapsing over because they are not prepared to feel their emotions. As such, we need to find new ways to deal with our feelings in recovery and learn how to better communicate those feelings to others. This is a tough job but is ultimately necessary in order to stay clean over the long haul. Otherwise we are simply setting ourselves up for relapse.
For example, say that you get clean off of meth and end up having to deal with someone that you really have a strong resentment against. How are you going to do this without resorting to your drug of choice? You have to have a plan in place in order to process this sort of feeling wihout letting it tear you apart inside. The anger will eventually boil over and convince you to use drugs again if left unchecked. Therefore you need a way to process this resentment and move past it. In other words, you have to find peace and emotional stability in your life if you are going to avoid your drug of choice. Realizing that resentment and emotional turmoil can even be part of what drives our drug use can be a huge eye opener for some people.
Conquering methamphetamine addiction is about creating a new life for yourself. This is a slow process and so it will help if you find a solid structure in which to start your recovery. For me this meant going to long term treatment. That might sound like a prison sentence but in fact, doing so gave me all the freedom in the world. It was the best decision I ever made and it quite literally gave me my life back.