Crystal Meth is a commonly used narcotic in the United States. The federal government estimates that tens of millions of people in the United States have tried crystal meth, and more than half a million people use it regularly. The illegal drug causes rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure and damage to the small blood vessels in the brain. If you have a family member who is using crystal meth, you probably feel at a loss as to how to help him get off this dangerous drug. Crystal meth is extremely addictive. Over time, users can become violent, paranoid and delusional. You must approach your family member with care and an organized plan to help him abstain from use.
Learn as much as you can about crystal meth and its effects. Look for information at your local library or bookstore. Seek a support group, like Nar-Anon, and speak to others who have dealt with family members on meth. It will not be easy to approach your family member, but by arming yourself with knowledge, you will be better prepared for his reaction.
Speak to your family member calmly and rationally. Tell him that you are very concerned for him. Never point your finger or blame him for his addiction. Just try to get your point across that you love him and want to help him. Never yell at him or threaten him because that can lead to fighting and defensiveness on his part. You want him to trust you and not feel angry at you.
Seek therapy for yourself. A qualified therapist who has worked with meth addicts can help you better understand and cope with the behavior of your family member. The therapist can also help you so that you don't experience feelings of guilt and become depressed yourself. In order to help your family member, you must take care of yourself and your feelings.
Suggest a support group to your family member, such as Narcotics Anonymous. Find a support group in your area and offer to go with your family member. It may help him to hear how other people are dealing with their addictions.
Have an intervention. An intervention is where you and other family members and friends of the user calmly voice your concern and encourage the person to enter a treatment program. Each person gets a chance to state why he is concerned for the addict. A qualified health professional can help lead the intervention. Contact your family doctor or other health professionals in your area to find someone who has experience with drug abuse interventions.
Note that while interventions can have value, drug abuse experts don't always recommend them. There isn't statistical evidence to support that interventions are effective, and some believe they actually have counterproductive results.
Encourage your family member to go in to a drug rehabilitation center or rehab. You need to explain why this will help with his addiction. You should not force or yell. Again, you want to calmly explain how concerned you are for your family member's health and safety. Be ready to take him to a rehab facility, once he agrees. Make sure you have a place to take him prior to holding the intervention. Call rehab programs in your area to get information on admission protocol.
- CrystalMethAddiction.org: Statistics on Crystal Meth
- CrystalMethAddiction.Net: Family Intervention on Crystal Meth Addiction
- CrystalMeth.Addiction.org: Crystal Meth Addiction
- DrugFreeWorld: A Worldwide Epidemic of Addiction
- National Institute on Drug Abuse: What to Do If Your Adult Friend or Loved One Has a Problem With Drugs
- Don't blame yourself if your relative does not want help. You can only make the resources available to him, but that person must want help enough to enter treatment. You cannot force him to get help.
- Never argue with your relative when he is high. This can lead to a physical altercation. Some users of crystal meth become violent.