Rehab for crystal meth

Interrupting addiction requires determination. Learn how reputable crystal meth rehab centers work to help you rebuild a new life. More on what to expect from rehab, with a section for your questions at the end.

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Crystal meth spikes dopamine levels

Scientists call it n-methyl-1-phenyl-propan-2-amine, but most people just refer to it as crystal meth. When smoked, snorted, or injected, this powerful stimulant causes the dopamine levels in a person’s brain to spike, resulting in feelings of happiness and euphoria.

But what happens when the drug takes over?

How can you regain control in your life?

Here, we’ll review how drug problems are treated in a medical setting. We’ll walk you through the process of treatment and give you tips for getting the best help possible. Then, we invite your questions or feedback at the end. In fact, we try to respond to our readers personally.

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Readiness for rehab

How do you know that you’re ready for rehab?

People who attend rehab are not weak. They are not messed up. They just need help.

Many individuals start using crystal meth as a recreational drug, believing that they won’t become addicted. Unfortunately, this isn’t usually the case. Smoking crystal meth typically results in cases of severe addiction which can be very difficult to overcome. In fact, meth causes some of the most intense drug cravings of any psychoactive substance.

So, what are the definitive signs that you need professional help?

  • Trying to quit meth – but failing – multiple times on your own.
  • The development of physical dependence on meth.
  • Negative surroundings that do not support your own needs for a drug-free life.
  • Continuing to use crystal meth, even though you know it’s causing harm.

If you or a loved one are addicted to crystal meth and ready for a change, rehab for crystal meth may be the solution you need.

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Rehab program length

Those seeking rehab for meth addiction are usually referred to inpatient treatment. Inpatient rehab requires that you check into a facility or hospital and stay there for a period of 30-60-90 days. The length of crystal meth rehab programs can range anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Residential treatment helps people succeed in getting away from meth who need a change in environment or who prefer 24 hour supervision.

The rehab process

Rehab for crystal meth is a very individual experience, and not everyone will need or respond to all available treatment options in the same way. This is why doctors and addiction specialists create crystal meth addiction treatment plans on a case-by-case basis. A patient’s treatment plan will often include several – or all – of the following.

1. Medical Assessment

The first step is the initial patient assessment. Doctors use this assessment to evaluate a person’s physical dependence and psychological dependence on methamphetamines. The results help medical staff determine what course of action should be taken to treat the addiction.

Oftentimes, assessment includes drug testing and interviewing. Be prepared for a physical exam. You’ll also be asked qustions about your personal medical history and your family history of illness. The process also helps identify other underlying mental and emotional problems, such as depression or schizophrenia, which may be diagnosed during this assessment. These problems often contribute to crystal meth addiction and must be treated simultaneously.

2. Medical detox 

It is during the detox phase of crystal meth rehab that most addicts experience some uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, such as irritability, agitation, aches, trouble sleeping, and insomnia. Severe depression is also not uncommon. In fact, after a person stops taking crystal meth, some people may even attempt to commit suicide.

Because of this, medical detox is usually recommended as a treatment phase. Detox allows medical professionals to monitor people and prevent them from hurting themselves and, at the same time, help ease uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Medical detox is also helpful in providing emotional support, which is incredibly important during withdrawal.

3. Pharmacotherapy (medications) for crystal meth addiction

Pharmacotherapy refers to the use of legal medications that are used to help treat a person’s addiction. At the moment, there are no medications used to directly treat crystal meth addiction. However, doctors may prescribe or recommend certain medications that can help ease withdrawal symptoms. For instance, anti-depressants are commonly used by recovering crystal meth addicts to treat depression and anxiety that they may experience after they stop taking the drug.

4. Psychological treatments during rehab 

As with any drug rehabilitation program, psychological treatment plays a big part in rehab for crystal meth addiction. People will often attend counseling and therapy sessions with psychotherapists to learn how to cope with their life stresses and avoid using crystal meth. Mental and emotional disorders will also be treated during crystal meth rehab, as these will often contribute to a person’s compulsion to use the drug.

5. Educational sessions on addiction

Crystal meth rehab programs also aim to help recovering addicts learn everything they can about addiction. During rehab, people are taught about how addiction affect themselves and those around them. They are also taught about the disease model of addiction, which theorizes that addiction is a disease caused by biological, genetic, and environmental factors. Being educated about and understanding crystal meth addiction often helps prepare participants to make rational decisions to abstain from meth.

6. Supportive services

A strong support system is a must during rehab. Without it, relapse is more likely. Some of the more common support services that rehab facilities may offer include case management, social group therapy sessions, and financial assistance to help pay for treatment. Income based medical assistance is also available to some qualifying candidates through government programs like Medicaid. Many drug rehab centers also offer education and vocational services, which can be used to provide people with valuable skills needed in the workforce.

Long-term care and relapse prevention

Meth is a difficult drug to quit. Even after completing rehab, people continue to struggle with cravings and compulsive thinking. This is why reputable rehab programs offer long-term aftercare programs. These programs help support a person after they’ve completed an episode of inpatient, residential treatment. What’s included?

Long-term care usually includes:

  • Ongoing counseling
  • Required attendance at alumni meetings
  • Sober living or housing placement
  • Support group facilitation (getting you to 12 step meetings)

The goal of this suite of ongoing services is to help you maintain sobriety. Aftercare programs aim to help you:

  1. avoid high risk situations
  2. develop coping skills to maintain long-term recovery
  3. recognize triggers and react in healthy ways

4 ways to avoid relapse

How can you help yourself stay sober? Here are 4 simple steps.

STEP 1: Participate in ongoing therapy sessions.
STEP 2: Know your personal addiction triggers.
STEP 3: Learn how to cope with stress.
STEP 4: Plan what to do in case of relapse.

Rehab for crystal meth questions

Are you or a loved one struggling with a crystal meth addiction and ready to make a change? Still have a few more questions about rehab for crystal meth? Leave your questions in the comments section below. We look forward to replying and helping you make a fresh start.

Would you like to share your experience with crystal meth rehab? That’s okay too! Your comments may be all that’s needed to influence a despondent person to seek the help that they need.

Resources Sources: NIDA: Drug use curriculum: Drugs in the news
DEA: Drug Fact Sheets
NIDA: Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition)
NIDA: DrugFacts: Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction
State of New Jersey: Division of Addiction Services
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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