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Information on Meth Rehab and Detox

Last updated on: Monday, 4 December 2023
  • What You'll Learn

Meth rehab usually begins with detox, followed by inpatient treatment. Regardless of the severity of meth addiction, the rehabilitation process should be thorough and well-rounded. To help you make an informed decision, you can choose a state below and find a rehabilitation program that’s best suited for your needs.

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Methamphetamine Rehabilitation

The best form of methamphetamine rehabilitation is provided through a residential drug rehab program. The treatment should be well-rounded and involve detox, residential treatment, and aftercare support.

Residential treatment programs offer comprehensive therapy, including individual and group counseling, behavioral therapies, and traditional and non-traditional approaches.

Outpatient treatment can also be beneficial, but this depends on addiction severity. Someone who has been using methamphetamine for many years would likely require a residential program.

Finally, aftercare support should be arranged, whether an outpatient program or 12-step meetings. It’s essential to have support after completing rehabilitation.

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  • What type of drug is meth?

    Methamphetamine, or Meth for short, is a stimulant. Stimulant drugs like Meth increase the activity of the central nervous system and cause the body and mind to work harder and faster. Ingesting stimulants causes increased heart rate and alertness, reduced appetite, and many other effects. Meth is a potent stimulant that can cause a person to stay awake for days and is very hard on the body. Meth users typically exhibit malnutrition and poor hygiene and may even develop a form of drug-induced psychosis.

  • What does meth look like?

    Meth can have a vast range of appearances. The most notorious form is Crystal Meth, a translucent, crystalline substance resembling shards of glass or large chunks of salt. But Meth is also commonly found in the form of a powder and can range in color from white to pink, yellow, brown, green, blue, and a variety of other shades depending on the manufacturing process and the purity. The drug is usually concealed in small baggies but may also be found in plastic or glass containers or cellophane.

  • How long does meth stay in your system?

    Meth generally stays in the system for three days. The length of time it takes to clear the system can depend on various factors, including the amount ingested and frequency of use, the person’s body mass and overall health, and a host of other variables. If a person only consumes a small amount of the drug infrequently, it may clear the system in as little as two days. Or, with heavy use, it may take as long as five days.

  • Why is meth so addictive?

    Meth is so addictive because of how it affects the brain. The drug is responsible for triggering a massive flood of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, which eventually leave the system depleted and lacking those vital neurotransmitters. This action makes the person extremely uncomfortable as the drug wears off and is known as the “crash.” Along with physical symptoms of lethargy and fatigue, the person will often experience mental distress, troubling emotions, and cravings that drive them to use more and more Meth. With long-term use, the person may feel incapable of finding any pleasure in life without the use of Meth, a condition known as anhedonia.

  • How is meth used?

    Meth can be consumed by smoking, snorting, swallowing, or injection. When the drug is smoked, users generally heat foil or a crud glass pipe until the drug begins to vaporize and the smoke is inhaled. Other paraphernalia for smoking meth may include straws or empty pen tubes used to inhale the smoke. Similar straw or tubes may be used to snort the drug, along with small, rolled-up pieces of paper or money. A small blade, razor, or credit card may be used to chop up and separate doses of Meth for consumption. Intravenous users inject the drug with needles. Injecting Meth can leave track marks and sores and may cause an infection known as an abscess.

  • Is it possible to overcome meth addiction?

    Yes, once a family has convinced their loved one to accept help, the following steps should be taken to ensure sobriety is achieved:

      • Detox is necessary to manage withdrawal symptoms. They are generally not severe, but there are physical and psychological symptoms to overcome.

      • Long-term inpatient drug rehab (3 to 12 months) is the best option for anyone addicted to meth. Our directory provides a list of resources in your state. A lengthier program offers a better opportunity to address physical and psychological needs.

      • Aftercare support is also critical, and this could include 12-step meetings or a sober living home. It is essential to be part of a sober community. The first year of recovery will be the toughest.

    The consensus seems that with meth addiction, the longer the person can abstain from the drug, the better their chances are. Time allows the person’s brain, body, and nervous system to heal from the damage caused by meth.

  • Who benefits from methamphetamine rehabilitation?

    Meth rehabilitation is particularly beneficial for individuals who have developed a methamphetamine addiction. This includes those who have tried to stop using meth on their own but were unsuccessful, those who experience intense cravings for meth, and individuals whose meth use is causing significant problems in their personal, social, or professional lives.

    Long-term residential programs are particularly beneficial for anyone who has made multiple attempts at treatment or has seen no success while attending 12-step meetings.

  • Want to know more?

    The questions from Addicted.org’s “Learn from our Experts” are answered by Michael Leach, CCMA. If you need further clarification on any of the questions above or have any other questions you can contact him directly at mike@addicted.org.

Common Terminology Surrounding Methamphetamine

Term
Definition
Amphetamine
a class of stimulant drugs that speeds up the central nervous system and can cause addiction if overused.
Stimulant
any drug which speeds up the activity of the central nervous system. Examples include meth, cocaine, caffeine, and amphetamines.
Central Nervous System
the complex system of nerve tissues controls the activities of the body. In humans, it comprises the brain and the spinal cord.
Speed
a slang term used primarily for meth, but also may refer to amphetamine drugs in some circles.
Crank
a term for a very pure form of meth, which appears translucent or transparent and crystalline in texture. This appearance is usually indicative of potency and perceived quality.
Glass
another slang term for crystal.
Tweak
a term that has a variety of uses in relation to meth. It can be used as a slang name for the drug. It can also be used as a verb to describe that act of “tweaking” or being extremely high on meth and behaving in a psychotic, erratic, or repetitive manner. A “tweaker” is also someone who uses meth regularly.
Meth Mouth
a condition that occurs when someone uses meth frequently and chronically. Poor hygiene and the corrosive nature of the drug decay the teeth rapidly, and its stimulant properties cause muscle tension in the jaw and repetitive grinding. This damage is worsened by poor nutrition and dry mouth and the meth user’s tendency to consume sugary foods if they eat at all. The result is an extreme and rapid level of decay, which is unique to meth addiction.

CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS ARTICLE

Author

AUTHOR

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Marcel Gemme has been helping people struggling with addiction for over 19 years. He first started as an intake counselor for a drug rehabilitation center in 2000. During his 5 years as an intake counselor, he helped many addicts get the treatment they needed. He also dealt with the families and friends of those people; he saw first-hand how much strain addiction puts on a family and how it can tear relationships apart. With drug and alcohol problems constantly on the rise in the United States and Canada, he decided to use the Internet as a way to educate and help many more people in both those countries. This was 15 years ago. Since then, Marcel has built two of the largest websites in the U.S. and Canada which reach and help millions of people each year. He is an author and a leader in the field of drug and alcohol addiction. His main focus is threefold: education, prevention and rehabilitation. To this day, he still strives to be at the forefront of technology in order to help more and more people. He is a Licensed Drug and Alcohol Treatment Specialist graduate with Honours of Stratford Career Institute. Marcel has also received a certificate from Harvard for completing a course entitled The Opioid Crisis in America and a certificate from The University of Adelaide for completing a course entitled AddictionX: Managing Addiction: A Framework for Succesful Treatment.

Reviewer

MEDICAL REVIEWER

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Michael Leach is a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant, who has over 5 years of experience working in the field of addiction. He spent his career working under the board-certified Addictionologist Dr. Rohit Adi. His experience includes working with families during their loved one’s stay in treatment, helping those with substance abuse issues find treatment, and teaching life skills to patients in a recovery atmosphere. Though he has worked in many different areas of rehabilitation, the majority of his time was spent working one on one with patients who were actively withdrawing from drugs. Withdrawal and the fear of going through it is one biggest reason why an addict continues to use and can be the most difficult part of the rehabilitation process. His experience in the withdrawal atmosphere has taught him that regardless of what approach a person takes to get off drugs, there are always mental and emotional obstacles that need to be overcome. He believes having someone there to help a person through these obstacles can make all the difference during the withdrawal process.