Meth rehab treatment: What to expect?

Rehab doesn’t have to be scary. Here, we review what happens from the moment you check-in until you leave and set up a longer term recovery plan. Learn more about meth rehab here.

minute read

If you’ve made the decision to enter rehab…congratulations!

Now what?

Here, we review rehab processes from the intake interview to the exit interview and everything in between. Then, we invite your questions about getting treatment for meth addiction at the end. In fact, we try to respond to all legitimate questions personally and promptly.

What to expect during meth rehab treatment

Methamphetamine, or meth, is one of the most addictive drugs out there. The most commonly recognized example of methamphetamine is the crystalline form of it, typically referred to as crystal meth. Meth is a powerful stimulant, and for most people, it causes an intense feeling of euphoria, a surge of energy, and loss of appetite when taken. Because it lasts for so long, meth has become known as the most effective, cheapest high out there.

But, we’re sure that you know…. it comes at a cost.

For individuals addicted to meth, overcoming the habit can be one of the most difficult things that they ever do. Meth rehab treatment can help overcome this addiction, but not without the determination of the recovering addict. Taking the first steps toward treatment, though, can be tough. This is particularly true for people who aren’t sure what to expect during meth rehab treatment.

What are the stages of meth rehab treatment?

In general, meth rehab treatment programs offer most – if not all – of the following to people looking to break the habit.

STAGE 1: Screening and assessment

Meth addicts will be screened for drug addiction before entering treatment, and assessed to determine their needs. Screening usually only lasts about an hour or two, and consists of standardized questionnaires or intake forms. The goal?To understand the EXTENT of meth addiction, and to CREATE a treatment plan. An individual addiction treatment plan based on your specific situation should be created at this time.

STAGE 2: Medical detox

Meth withdrawal symptoms are often very uncomfortable and can sometimes cause more serious health problems. Medical detox can be used to help reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapse, and help ensure that an addict does not have any major medical complications. While there are no medications currently approved by the FDA for meth addiction, complementary therapies may be prescribed, such as the use of short/medium term antidepressants or anti-psychotic medications, when necessary.

STAGE 3: Therapy

Psychotherapy and Behavioral Therapy

The main method of treatment used during meth rehab treatment is psychotherapy. Recovering meth addicts will typically undergo intensive individual therapy and are also typically encouraged to participate in group therapy and family therapy as well. The goal is to help you identify and be aware of the reasons behind your meth use. What compels your use? Why did you start using? Behavioral therapy can also help target unhealthy patterns, and aims to teach you new ones.

Education sessions

During meth rehab treatment, you should also attend several education sessions. These sessions are designed to help you learn more about addiction and understand that addiction is a disease that can be treated. You’ll explore brain models of the central nervous system interactions with drugs, and learn about both dependence and tolerance. You’ll also explore the mental and spiritual aspects of addiction, learning through theory and experience.

Supportive services

Many times, people addicted to meth may have legal, financial, or justice system problems. Rehab typically employ staff than can help refer you to support services, or help advocate directly for you to social services or probation officers. Staff either coordinate directly with these systems, or refer you to services that can help.

STAGE 4: Aftercare

The transition from 24 hour supervision and care to living on your own is a big one. In addition to helping individuals overcome their addictions, treatment facilities will often refer patients to groups or organizations that can help them finish school, find employment, find a safe place to live, and pay for treatment. Aftercare treatment is highly important, and will also include continued therapy, usually a few times weekly for the first months…and then once weekly a year after you leave rehab. A relapse prevention plan should also be in place as you leave the treatment setting, as you prepare to deal with triggers and cravings in former environments.

What to expect after meth rehab treatment

After meth rehab treatment, recovering addicts still have a long road ahead of them. In order to better prepare you for life after treatment, rehab staff help recovering addicts create exit plans when they are ready to leave treatment. These written plans contain goals that recovering addicts should work toward and what they can do to achieve them. Goals on an exit plan can include:

  • finding employment
  • mending relationships with loved ones, and
  • continuing treatment through an aftercare program

Keep in mind that addiction aftercare may be just as important as the initial meth rehab treatment. Recovering addicts should expect to continue to attend therapy sessions on an outpatient basis. Family therapy can also be helpful, and recovering addicts are also usually encouraged to attend self-help group therapy meetings.

What to expect when visiting someone in meth rehab?

Some facilities allow people to have visitors while in treatment. Each facility, however, has its own policies regarding visitation. Generally, individuals in a meth treatment program will not be allowed to have visitors until a few weeks after they arrive. This gives them time to settle in and adjust to the routine of treatment.

Once you are finally able to visit someone in meth rehab treatment, you will most likely only be able to visit them on certain days of the week – usually weekends – and for a short period of time, often no more than a few hours.

During your visit, you will also most likely be limited on what you can do. For instance, most facilities will ask that you restrain from excessive physical (conjugal) contact with your loved one. You may also be asked to attend education sessions or participate in family therapy sessions. Doing so can not only help you understand and cope with your loved one’s addiction better, but it’s also a great way to show your support during their difficult ordeal.

Can you leave meth rehab treatment before completion?

Entering meth rehab treatment is completely voluntary. No one will try to force you to complete treatment if you don’t want to. However, it’s important to finish treatment once you’ve started, even if you believe that you’re no longer physically addicted to methamphetamine. Leaving rehab before completion will often have some dire consequences.

The first and most dangerous problem you’ll face if you leave meth rehab before completion is the high possibility of relapse. If you leave meth rehab treatment before completion, there’s a good chance that you will not be ready to deal with the temptation to use. Not only is there a much higher chance that you will go back to using meth, but you’re also at risk of negative side effects, including possible hallucinations or overdose.

Other areas of your life will also be affected if you leave meth treatment before completion. If you quit treatment, there’s a higher possibility that

  • your loved ones may ostracize you
  • you will suffer long-term health problems from drug use
  • your drug use could leave you in trouble financially
  • your drug use could lead to legal problems
  • you could find it harder to maintain gainful employment

Meth rehab treatment expectations

If this is your first time entering meth rehab treatment, expectations on the outcome can be hard to pin down. Many people entering meth rehab feel optimistic, and for good reason. With hard work and dedication, overcoming a meth addiction is very possible. Taking those first steps toward recovery and entering treatment though, can be very difficult.

If you or a loved one have any additional questions about meth rehab treatment, feel free to leave them in the comments section below. We strive to help all of our readers learn more about addiction and rehab, and we want to see all of those who want to make changes in their lives start down the road to recovery.

Reference Sources: NIDA: Immediate short term effects of methamphetamine abuse
NIDA: Research Reports on Meth: What is methamphetamine?
NIDA: What is the scope of methamphetamine abuse in the United States?
NIDA: What treatments are effective for meth abusers?
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
I am ready to call
i Who Answers?