Rehab crystal meth addiction: When to choose inpatient vs. outpatient

Have a problem with crystal meth addiction? We review the distinction between inpatient and outpatient crystal meth rehabilitation. Review the services they provide to decide which one is better for you.

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Crystal methamphetamine is a powerful and highly addictive stimulant, and a Schedule II substance under the Controlled Substances Act. You can get ‘hooked’ on crystal meth quickly and then it is difficult to come off it without the help of medical professionals and a structured rehab treatment program.

What are the available treatment options that work best for crystal meth addiction? Should you choose an inpatient or an outpatient rehab? This article elaborates the main differences between residential and outpatient crystal meth rehabilitation. If you still have questions after reading this article, we invite you to post them in the section at the end. We will try to respond to all questions as quickly as possible.

Why do you need crystal meth addiction rehab?

Repetitive crystal meth use leads to increased TOLERANCE to this drug. Tolerance means that you feel a need to constantly increase your doses to reach the same desired effects that you used to feel at lower doses at the beginning of your use.

At the same time, your body can become PHYSICALLY DEPENDENT on the drug. This means that your system will become so accustomed to functioning with crystal meth that you won’t be able to live normally without it. When you are physically dependent on this illicit drug you will experience withdrawal symptoms in case you try to decrease the dosage or stop taking it cold turkey.

Along with physical dependence, users typically  develop PSYCHOLOGICAL DEPENDENCE to crystal meth, which includes psychological and emotional attachment. Eventually, if you continue using crystal meth after even more than a couple of weeks, the chances of developing addiction are very high.

ADDICTION to crystal meth is characterized by the inability to quit using despite negative life consequences. Addicts obsess over obtaining it and compulsively seeking the drug. Many times, crystal meth addicts are aware of the harm this drug does to them, but they just feel incapable of stopping regardless of the desire to quit. However, take hope! Help is available and been proven to work.

Crystal meth rehab helps you manage of each of the above mentioned conditions. Medical staff consisting of doctors, addiction specialists and psychiatrists are all specialized in working with addiction to stimulants like methamphetamine. When you enter treatment, you will start with gradually lowering your tolerance by tapering crystal meth doses slowly to lessen the withdrawal symptoms. In some cases, going cold turkey off meth may be recommended. Rehab staff will then continue to provide psychological therapies and support for the duration of your treatment.

Inpatient vs. outpatient rehabilitation

Before you enter a treatment program for crystal meth addiction, you should know what to expect. You should also be aware of the similarities and differences between inpatient and outpatient rehab, in order to choose which one is most suitable for you. Here are some of the most important differences between an inpatient vs. outpatient crystal meth addiction treatment programs.

1. Length of treatment

Inpatient crystal meth treatment usually lasts for 30 days. During this period you will go through the process of detox, where crystal meth will be safely removed from your body. In case doctors assess that your condition is more serious, you may be asked to stay in rehab for 60 to 90 days. Residential treatment programs (after detox) usually include aftercare services as well as counseling and psychotherapy.

Outpatient crystal meth rehabs allow patients to attend counseling and therapy sessions daily or weekly. This means that patient are not obligated to reside in the facility. Outpatient programs usually last 3 to 4 months but can be highly beneficial up to 1-2 years after initial detox.

2. The second difference is related to the costs of treatment

What are the costs of crystal meth addiction rehab? Inpatient crystal meth rehabs are always more expensive due to all the additional services they provide. The cost of inpatient facilities includes the expenses for: room, intensive daily treatment and regular meals. The average cost of inpatient crystal meth rehab can range from as low as $2-$3,000 a month to more that $20,000 a month, which is roughly $715 per day.

Outpatient crystal meth rehabs are cheaper because they do not feature any residential or meal costs. On average, outpatient crystal meth rehab will cost you about $2K per treatment episode of 8-10 weeks, which is around $135 per day.

3. The third difference includes residential requirements

Inpatient crystal meth rehabs require your maximum attention during the residential stay, and you are expected to be fully committed to the recovery process. You will stay in the treatment facility for the duration of the program, away from your life back at home.

Outpatient crystal meth rehabs allow you to live home and continue your regular life routine. You will be travelling to the rehab facility for treatment and stay for counseling and psychotherapy sessions. Outpatient settings provide you with larger freedom while working on your addiction issues at the same time.

How can I decide between inpatient and outpatient crystal meth rehab?

Making the decision to stop using crystal meth is a tremendous step towards change. Quitting a drug such as crystal methamphetamine must be done under medical supervision. Suicidal thoughts, extreme depression, and fatigue are common. Most importantly, stopping crystal meth on your own is very difficult.

Instead, contact medical professionals and ask for their advise on what to do. Doctors are professionals whose area of expertise is assessing your health state using specific addiction assessment tools. Your family doctor can recommend a nearby inpatient or outpatient treatment clinic based on the severity of your condition and your individual needs. Professionals that you can trust your addiction problems are:

  • doctors
  • addiction counselors
  • licensed psychologists
  • psychiatrists

What should crystal meth rehab programs offer?

There are several conditions that all good inpatient and outpatient crystal meth rehabs should offer:

  1. An intake session and assessment, during which medical staff will determine whether a particular rehab center fits you or not.
  2. Detox, during which chemical traces and metabolites of crystal meth will be removed from your body.
  3. Rehab, during which you will work on recognizing and solving the core reasons behind the addiction issue. During rehab, you will address those issues in order to effectively move on without going back to using crystal meth again.
  4. Recovery, when you finish the addiction treatment program, you will continue to meet with counselors and/or therapists to discuss a plan for aftercare.

Inpatient and outpatient crystal meth rehab questions

Do you still have questions about whether choosing an inpatient or outpatient rehab setting for crystal meth addiction is right for you? Please post your questions in the comments section below. We try to respond to all legitimate inquiries personally and promptly. In case we don’t know the answer to your question, we will gladly refer you to someone who can help.

Reference Sources: NIH: Methamphetamine
Justice: Crystal Methamphetamine Fast Facts
DrugAbuse: Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment
NCBI: Inpatient vs outpatient treatment for substance dependence revisited
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.
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