Meth rehab typically involves a comprehensive treatment plan that includes a clinical detox, counseling, and psychotherapy sessions.
During detox, the toxins accumulated by sustained meth abuse are purged, eliminating the physical component of addiction. Counseling helps those addicted to meth to address the psychological harm of meth abuse. Psychotherapy sessions can help those with addictions to identify personal triggers and to create healthy coping strategies.
The goal of meth rehab is to tackle both the physical and psychological aspects of methamphetamine addiction. Meth rehab does not cure addiction, but it should help you to achieve and maintain long-term sobriety.
Many people with severe meth addictions find that a residential stay at a meth addiction treatment center provides the most stable foundation for ongoing recovery. Trying to discontinue meth use without medical guidance and professional treatment is seldom successful and could even be dangerous.
What is Meth?
Methamphetamine, commonly abbreviated to meth, is a powerfully addictive and synthetic stimulant narcotic. Meth addiction in the United States remains a significant concern.
When you use meth, this triggers an increased dopamine release in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter – chemical messenger – that is associated with pleasure and positive mood. Using crystal meth floods the system with an intense euphoria, boosting energy levels and self-confidence.
Although the effects of meth are powerful, they are also very short-lived. A few hours after the last use of meth, you will experience a physical and psychological crash.
Any form of meth abuse can easily lead to tolerance, dependence, and addiction forming. Meth abuse can be life-threatening.
How Addictive is Methamphetamine?
According to data from NSDUH 2020 (National Survey on Drug Use and Health), 2.5 million U.S. adults reported using meth in the previous year. Among those, 1.5 million developed an addiction in the form of stimulant use disorder. As with most addictions, it is estimated that fewer than one in ten of those people engaged with meth rehab.
Meth’s mechanism of action gives it a strong profile for abuse and addiction. Taking meth boosts the release of dopamine while at the same time preventing the reuptake of this neurotransmitter in the brain.
In addition to being instrumental in helping the brain to experience and interpret pleasure, dopamine also plays a crucial part in the reward center of the brain. Dopamine is also implicated in motor function.
Using methamphetamine barrages the brain with a euphoric dopamine rush and induces intense cravings for the drug. This makes meth especially addictive.
If you use meth long-term, dopamine may start building up in your brain. The same occurs with the abuse of many addictive substances. Over time, meth abuse can provoke significant functional changes to some areas of the brain. You may experience anhedonia – an inability to feel pleasure from normal things – as your brain struggles to adjust to the sustained effects of methamphetamine in the system. This can impact verbal learning and motor skills.
Chronic meth abuse also impairs brain function in areas associated with emotion and memory, potentially triggering cognitive and emotional issues, as well as the development of stimulant use disorder (meth addiction).
While many of the changes caused by habitual methamphetamine abuse will subside when you discontinue use, some changes linger for longer. Even in the case of reversible changes to the brain, it may take a year of abstinence for meth before the brain fully recalibrates.
What Are the Most Common Meth Addiction Symptoms?
Like all addictions, meth addiction is diagnosed according to the diagnostic criteria in APA’s DSM-5-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition). A mental health professional or addiction specialist will ask you variations of the questions below. All question relate to your use of methamphetamine over the past year.
- Are you spending less time on hobbies and interests?
- Do you use crystal meth in situations where it could be dangerous?
- Is your use of meth causing you to neglect your responsibilities at home, school, or work?
- Has tolerance formed so that you require more meth to deliver the same euphoric effects?
- Do you experience withdrawal symptoms when the effects of meth subside?
- Is your use of methamphetamine causing problems to develop in your interpersonal relationships?
- Have you used more meth than planned or used meth for longer periods than intended?
- Have you made more than one unsuccessful attempt to quit using methamphetamine?
- Are you spending large amounts of time obtaining and using meth, as well as recovering from the effects of meth abuse?
- Have you experienced intense cravings for meth?
- Are you continuing to use meth even though meth abuse causes negative outcomes in all areas of your life?
Meth addiction is diagnosed as follows depending on the number of symptoms present:
- Mild meth addiction: 2 to 3 symptoms
- Moderate meth addiction: 4 to 5 symptoms
- Severe meth addiction: 6 or more symptoms
Following an accurate diagnosis, what is the best treatment for meth addicts?
What Is the Most Effective Meth Addiction Treatment?
The first phase of meth treatment involves detoxing from the substance. During the detoxification process, meth is removed from the body as safely and comfortably as possible.
Almost all stimulant use disorders like meth addiction benefit from a medically supervised detox. The complications of meth withdrawal can be minimized in a clinical setting. There there are no FDA-approved medications for meth detox. That said, the treatment team may administer prescription benzodiazepines to mitigate feelings of panic, anxiety, and agitation during meth withdrawal.
Once meth detox is complete, meth addiction requires ongoing treatment in an inpatient or outpatient setting.
For those with chronic and long-term meth addictions, inpatient meth rehab offers the most structured and supportive environment for recovery free of distractions and triggers. Inpatient meth rehab programs last from 30 to 90 days or more, depending on the severity of your addiction and your personal circumstances.
Those with mild or moderate stimulant use disorders, no co-occurring mental health disorders, and stable home environments may find that outpatient meth rehab provides the optimum route to sustained recovery. Choose from one of the following outpatient programs:
- OP (outpatient program): the least intensive form of meth rehab, a traditional outpatient program offers a few hours of counseling and therapy sessions each week in an outpatient setting.
- IOP (intensive outpatient program): IOPs offer up to 15 hours of counseling and therapy sessions each week in an outpatient setting.
- PHP (partial hospitalization program): PHPs are the most intensive form of outpatient meth rehab offering up to 35 hours of counseling and therapy sessions each week in an outpatient setting.
What to Expect at Meth Rehab
After you complete the detox stage of meth rehab, you are ready to engage with inpatient or outpatient treatment as appropriate. Treatment will also aim to address any co-occurring mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, or PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
With no medications approved by the FDA for treating stimulant use disorder, meth rehab typically involved non-pharmacological behavioral interventions.
Depending on the specifics of your treatment plan, meth rehab is likely to include:
- Psychotherapy: The first line treatment for meth addiction typically involves either CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) or CM (contingency management) interventions. Through CBT sessions, you will isolate what triggers you to use meth. Next, your therapist will help you to develop a series of healthy coping mechanisms to encourage abstinence from meth in the face of temptation or cravings. Research shows that CBT can reduce meth abuse after just a few sessions. CM interventions incentivize healthy behaviors related to your recovery – producing a drug-free urine sample, for instance. Some studies indicate that contingency management can help reduce short-term meth abuse, but there is a lack of evidence for the role of CM in promoting long-term meth abstinence.
- Counseling: In one-to-one counseling sessions, you can work closely with a therapist, exploring the causes and consequences of your meth addiction. In group counseling sessions, you benefit from the support of peers undergoing their own recovery journeys.
- Family therapy: Many meth rehab centers allow you to start mending relationships damaged by meth abuse with the help of an experienced intermediary. A family therapist will help you to sharpen your communication skills and to improve your ability to resolve conflict.
How can you initiate your recovery from meth addiction, then?
Treatment for Meth Addiction Drug Rehab Centers
If you are unable to find the right meth addiction treatment program California, reach out to Drug Rehab Centers.
The first step in your recovery is likely to involve a supervised clinical detox at a licensed medical detox facility near you. Our friendly advisors can connect you with local drug detox centers so you can streamline your withdrawal from methamphetamine.
We can also help you find the most appropriate inpatient or outpatient meth rehab in California, helping you to fight back against the scourge of stimulant use disorder.