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Treating psychostimulant addiction
What are psychostimulants?
Psychostimulants include amphetamines and similar medicines, and methylxanthines. Amphetamines are stimulants that affect the central nervous system. Synthetic amphetamines are called methamphetamines. It is about a synthetic brain stimulus causing changes in mental and motor functions.
Methylphenidate is in use today. Amphetamines have been introduced into medical use as medicines against colds, elevated temperatures, and also as weight loss agents. Today they are used in treating narcolepsy and hyperkinetic syndrome in children. When misused, amphetamines stimulate the body activity to the extremes of endurance, while reducing the sense of hunger and fatigue.
The effects of psychostimulants abuse
The main pharmacological effects of amphetamine-like drugs are locomotor stimulation, euphoria and excitement, stereotyped behavior, anorexia. In addition, they also have a peripheral sympathomimetic effect causing an increase in blood pressure and inhibition of gastrointestinal motility.
They are quickly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and freely pass through the blood-brain barrier. They are excreted in the urine unchanged. In cases of abuse, a person under the influence of amphetamine feels restless, upset, and moody, sometimes ill-tempered. Higher doses amplify effects, and the person becomes more excited, talkative and experiences a false sense of self-confidence or supremacy; he can also behave in a bizarre manner; some become aggressive and hostile.
Mental effect: increased vigor, positive mood swings, sense of comfort, increased talkativeness, increased aggressiveness, sense of endurance and strength, lack of interest in friends and sex, decreased appetite, paranoia.
Physical effect: dry mouth, headache, rapid heart rate, rapid breathing, increased blood pressure, elevated body temperature, dilated pupils.
Side effects: sweating and elevated body temperature, redness caused by high temperature, diarrhea or constipation, blurred vision, convulsion, tingling, restlessness, vertigo, loss of orientation, uncontrolled movements (cramps, trembling), insomnia, body wounds, stiffness, numbness.
Amphetamines are easily detectable by standard drug tests. They stay in urine 24-72 hours after consumption. Methamphetamines stay in the body for a little longer, 24 to 96 hours. The prolonged taking of amphetamines can lead to malnutrition and lack of vitamins, skin disorders, ulcers, insomnia, weight loss, depression.
Amphetamines create physical as well as mental dependence. By taking amphetamines for a long time, the body develops certain tolerance, so the person increases the dose and thus methamphetamine becomes a substance in the human body necessary for normal functioning. This is the biggest problem in quitting and therefore, increased amounts of medications are needed to achieve the desired results. In the case of users of higher amounts of amphetamine, over a longer period, they can develop amphetamine psychosis.
It is a mental disorder similar to paranoid schizophrenia. Psychosis is manifested through delusions, illusions, and paranoia. Sometimes such people show strange, violent behavior.
Phases of the treatment of psychostimulant addiction
– Treatment begins with diagnostics (blood tests, psychological tests that determine the level of desire for drugs, depression, nervousness).
– The main part of our treatment is procedures that eliminate mental addiction. At this stage, methods of pharmacological correction, information therapy, and devices for physiotherapy are used (audio-visual stimulation, NET therapy, laser) are used. Measures are taken to improve the immunity and regenerate the cells in the body. Usually, during the institutional treatment, the patient’s psychological state stabilizes (the desire for narcotic drugs, nervousness and depression are eliminated, sleep and appetite are improved).
Also envisioned are group psychotherapy, meditation, education, yoga, massages, walks, exercises, table tennis.
– After discharge from the hospital, the outpatient phase of treatment lasts for one year. The patient takes the medications prescribed in the discharge note, observes all the rules of outpatient treatment. Every month he comes to regular follow-ups. In the event of a change in the condition, depression, or the emergence of a desire for taking drugs, the patient immediately notifies the hospital to get additional recommendations. This kind of treatment has been delivered in our clinic for a long time and in case of good cooperation with the patient and his family leads to excellent results (we see this by the control surveys filled in by the patient together with his parents).
1. Diagnostics – the first and very important phase of treatment. The essence of the diagnostic is to assess the physical and psychological condition of the patient. For the assessment of the patient’s physical condition, a standard diagnostic examination includes:
• urine test
• tests for hepatitis B and C, HIV infection
• general blood analysis
• biochemical blood testing
• internist examination
For the assessment of the patient’s psychological condition, a standard diagnostic examination implies psychodiagnostics (psychological tests that determine the level of addiction, the extent of the effect of taking benzodiazepines on mental health, whether there are signs of mental disorders, whether there is depression, what the degree of motivation for healing is, self-criticism and preservation of voluntary mechanisms.)
After diagnostics, the results are considered by a team of physicians to develop a strategy and treatment plan. In the event that the diagnosis reveals more serious deviations in the tests, the presence of a risk factor, or the patient has chronic accompanying illnesses, additional tests are organized as required, and therapy for the accompanying illnesses is prescribed. Depending on the problem, an MRT, EEG, ultrasound, X-ray, endoscopy, medicines and narcotics concentrations analysis, examinations of cardiologists, neurologists, endocrinologists, infectologists, etc. can be done. These additional tests are not included in the price of this treatment package and are charged additionally.
2. The next step is the beginning of the treatment itself, which involves infusion and NeuroJet device treatment. Infusions include multivitamins, minerals, and the complex of amino acids, and in such a combination they improve metabolism, appetite, and patient restores his strengths needed to continue treatment as therapies at our clinic are intense and strong, and therefore effective.
The NeuroJet device releases mildly vibrating electrical waves through the joints located on the neck of the patient, and the therapy is completely painless and helps to regulate endorphin and dopamine levels in the body, as well as overcome the first stages of the crisis when the patient withdraws from the substance.
3. The therapy then moves to eliminate the desire for psychostimulants at the subconscious level. This is done through information therapy. It implies that the patient in medical sleep undergoes audio-visual stimulation for a couple of hours, which he receives via the computer with the help of special headphones and glasses emitting high-frequency signals, for in the state of consciousness we can encounter a mental blockade (in the sense: I am not drug addict, I do not need it. Or, this does not help me at all, it does not work for me, etc.)
4. Hypnotherapy. It serves to get to the root of the addiction problem as during this state the patient’s subconscious itself gives guidance with the help of a psychologist to solve the problem. It is also used in patients who lose their motivation and desire to continue in the middle of their treatment and want to return to old habits. Then the psychologist tries to restore the patient’s power to control his own desire for substance and strengthen his psyche.
5. Psychotherapy, education and yoga. A part of the treatment that implies recovery at the psychological level. With the help of our psychiatrists and psychologists, patients build a defense mechanism against the substance itself and desire for it. The patient is worked with daily, both on an individual and group level. In groups of people, they express their problems as consequences the substance has left on them.
The patients are also educated about the given substances as well as about the consequences of long-term use of them, where aversion is created in the patient unconsciously.
6. Throughout the treatment, patients have the support of our physiotherapist, as in combination with all our therapies, physiotherapy gives excellent results. The body needs support to go through all the procedures our clinic provides to patients. It helps in relieving stress, accelerating the flow of blood through the body, thus accelerating the flow of therapy through the patient’s blood and giving it a faster and better effect.
7. The last therapy in the series is an aversion therapy, which, due to pharmacological substances, creates a physical aversion in the patient, repugnance at the drugs he used.
8. After all treatments, the patient is assessed for his condition, progress in curing, and conditions before and after treatment in our clinic are compared.
9. The treatment program includes monthly follow-ups over a year, where the condition is re-analyzed by our professional doctors and therapy is adjusted, if necessary.
Patients have the opportunity to express their problems and concerns, if any. In the case of patients who live abroad and are not able to come to regular check-ups, they can contact us by phone or e-mail.
Our program includes the transport of the patient from an airport or a station to our clinic as well as a return after treatment. At our clinic, doctors and nurses are available for patients 24 hours a day and seven days a week. All doctors are certified anesthesiologists, psychiatrists and psychologists with 10-25 years of experience. The clinic employs more than 60 people. Security of patients and staff is taken care of by the security guard. The facility is also under video surveillance.
Patients are placed in comfortable rooms that have all the elements for a comfortable stay at our clinic. Rooms are cleaned twice a day. In free time, patients can use a living room, swimming pool, hot tub, gym and a gazebo. The clinic also has a safe in which patients can leave their personal belongings that should not be left in the rooms.
To those foreign patients who need a visa, we can assist with getting it. If patients from abroad have an escort, in the form of support, they can stay at our clinic at an extra charge.
Extended psychostimulant addiction treatment program – Laboratory diagnostics and exploratory-psychological testing. Detoxification. Procedures for reducing mental addiction to drugs. Information therapy. Therapy using audio-visual stimulation devices. Exercises with a special pedagogue, education, planning of activities, forming a mechanism of protection in the behavior against relapse. Pharmacotherapy. Psychotherapy (individual, group, family). 12 months of outpatient follow-ups – Lasting 14 days at the institute.