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Meth Addiction Treatment

John Schaffer, LPCC

Medically reviewed by

John Schaffer, LPCC

March 29, 2019

Meth is a highly addictive substance that can affect every aspect of a person’s life. Treatment for methamphetamine addiction will likely require a detox program and formal treatment.

Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant that is highly addictive. In fact, some people have reported becoming addicted to meth after only one use of the drug. Meth is an illegal substance in the United States and can have devastating effects on a person’s life.

This drug works by increasing the production of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, including dopamine and norepinephrine. These chemicals are part of the brain’s reward system and are responsible for feelings of pleasure and energy.

Using meth forces these drugs to be pumped into the brain in excess, causing an intense and euphoric high. Over time, the brain can become reliant on meth to produce these neurotransmitters. Many people who are addicted to meth have a hard time feeling pleasure when not on the drug.

When people are addicted to meth, it often becomes the most important thing in their lives. Methamphetamine addiction can consume a person’s thoughts, energy, and resources. It can also cause physical, mental, and emotional problems.

Getting treatment for meth addiction can help someone get his or her life back on track. However, overcoming addiction to methamphetamine can be incredibly hard. A comprehensive formal treatment program will likely be needed to successfully quit meth.

Treatment Options For Meth Addiction

Meth addiction will likely need to be treated with an intensive and comprehensive treatment program. The type and duration of treatment will depend on a person’s level of addiction.

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Medically Monitored Detox Programs For Meth Addiction

People who are addicted to methamphetamine will need to go through an extensive detoxification process. This is often done at a medically monitored detox center.

A detox program can help a person rid his or her body of the drug and become accustomed to not being on methamphetamine. This can be a hard and uncomfortable process. Medically supervised detox programs can provide medication to help alleviate symptoms of withdrawal.

Symptoms of meth withdrawal may include:

  • low energy
  • intense cravings for the drug
  • depression
  • anhedonia
  • anxiety
  • changes in appetite
  • delusions
  • fever
  • irritability
  • psychosis
  • muscle weakness
  • sweating

How long a person spends in a detox program will depend on his or her level of addiction. If the addiction is more mild, the detox process will likely be shorter. However, severe meth addiction may require a longer period of detoxification.

Inpatient Rehab Programs For Meth Addiction

Inpatient treatment programs are often considered the most effective way to deal with a drug use disorder. This is especially true for people with a more severe addiction to methamphetamine.

Inpatient programs provide daily intensive treatment that is often personalized to meet each patient’s needs. These programs offer structure and a drug-free environment in which patients can recover from addiction and participate in therapy.

Residential treatment programs typically last between 30 to 90 days and require people to reside at the facility. Length of treatment can vary based on a person’s needs and level of addiction.

Behavioral Therapies For Meth Addiction

Research has shown that behavioral therapies tend to be highly effective in treating methamphetamine addiction.

Behavioral therapy commonly used in meth addiction treatment includes:

  • contingency-management interventions
  • cognitive behavioral therapy
  • motivational incentives
  • individual counseling

Other forms of therapy for treating meth addiction include family therapy, group counseling, and alternative therapies such as yoga and art therapy.

Ongoing Treatment For Meth Addiction

Once a person has completed detoxification and inpatient treatment, he or she will likely need further support to maintain sobriety.

Some people may choose to reside in a sober living home after treatment. Sober living homes offer drug-free environments that promote sobriety and help people get back on their feet.

Other ongoing treatment options for meth addiction include support groups like 12-step programs. Narcotics Anonymous and Crystal Meth Anonymous are common 12-step groups for people recovering from meth addiction.

Ongoing treatment can provide people with regular support and encouragement to maintain a life in sobriety.

Meth Addiction Signs And Symptoms

People who are addicted to meth often portray a number of noticeable signs and symptoms. In fact, someone’s physical appearance can drastically change as a result of meth abuse.

Physical changes often seen due to meth addiction include:

  • malnutrition
  • extreme weight loss
  • little need for sleep
  • dehydration
  • increased body temperature
  • meth mouth (sores around the mouth, poor dental hygiene)
  • skin abscesses
  • sexual dysfunction
  • paranoia
  • hallucinations
  • mood swings

People addicted to meth may also isolate themselves from others and withdraw from family and friends. They may have difficulties at work or school as well as financial problems.

Getting Help For Meth Addiction

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug that can be incredibly hard to quit. Overcoming meth addiction is a lifelong process that must be worked at every day.

Treatment for meth addiction is often comprehensive and is available for anyone looking to overcome a meth use disorder. To learn more about meth addiction treatment and the options available, contact our dedicated treatment specialists today.

National Institute on Drug Abuse - What treatments are effective for people who abuse methamphetamine?

Mental Health Daily - Meth Withdrawal Symptoms + Timeline

Frontline - How Meth Destroys The Body

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