Crystal Meth Rehab Guide
Crystal meth is one of the most dangerous and addictive drugs currently on the market. Unfortunately, many individuals abuse it, hoping to experience its desirable side effects, and then eventually being overcome with its painful and life-threatening consequences.
Addiction to methamphetamine is becoming an increasingly common problem throughout the country due largely in part to the ease of acquiring the drug and the low cost of the substance. People who become addicted to meth get simply stuck on the high that comes which makes them feel powerful, amped, excited and energetic. Unfortunately, when the meth wears off, the individual will have adverse effects associated with “coming down” that may include agitation, fatigue, and a range of psychological trauma.
Fortunately, there is rehab for those who suffer from meth addiction. Various methods of treatment exist to provide patients with the assistance that they need to overcome this addiction through structured programs that allow the addict to learn how to change habits, break the chemical tie that they have to methamphetamine and take back control of their life and their sobriety.
If you or someone you love needs help putting an end to a meth addiction, call 800-895-1695 (Who Answers?) now to find rehab programs that will help you make real change.
Who Needs Crystal Meth Rehab?
Crystal meth, according to the National Library of Medicine, is a drug that is often smoked from a “small glass pipe” by those hoping to experience its stimulant effects. Meth, however, is extremely addictive and dangerous and causes a host of frightening side effects, including addiction. The drug can quickly cause a person to become addicted, which is why most meth users need immediate care in a rehab center in order to stop.
Like with most other types of stimulant abuse, meth addicts take the drug in large doses and often continuously over a long period of time. This is called binge abuse, which many meth users participate in to prolong the drug’s high. However, this behavior also causes a crash period when the user runs out or cannot abuse the drug anymore. The binge-crash cycle that is common among crystal meth users makes addiction even more likely and therefore causes a strong need for treatment among users of this particular drug.
Signs and Symptoms of Crystal Meth Abuse
Methamphetamine abuse––especially in its smoked, crystal form––can cause a number of effects, and thankfully, many of these are clear to those who observe them. This can help you determine if your loved one has been abusing meth and needs rehab. Some of the acute signs and symptoms of crystal meth abuse, as stated by the Center for Substance Abuse Research, include:
- Increased physical activity
- A surge of energy
- Increased blood pressure, breathing rate, body temperature, and heartbeat
- Loss of appetite
- Restlessness and insomnia
- Unpredictable behavior
- Performing repetitive, meaningless tasks
- Dilated pupils
- Heavy sweating
- Dry mouth
- Uncontrollable jaw clenching
People on meth are also likely to experience severe effects of long-term use, which can include
- Dental problems caused by the uncontrollable jaw clenching
- High blood pressure
- A weakened immune system
- Severe psychosis, including
- Violent behavior
- Homicidal or suicidal thoughts
- Skin infections and acne
Another sign of dangerous meth abuse is tweaking, or binging on the drug without sleeping for several days. A person’s eyes will move very quickly, they will talk fast, and their voice will have a slight quiver if they are tweaking. It is best to seek help for someone who is exhibiting any of these signs and symptoms as soon as possible to avoid severe and sometimes irreversible issues associated with meth abuse like stroke or “brain damage similar to Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s diseases.”
The first step of methamphetamine rehab is to get the patient physically back on track. The physical dependence that results from long term methamphetamine use can lead to a range of adverse withdrawal symptoms that are difficult to cope with and which can lead to a struggle when it comes to saying no to the drug. The idea that using just one more dose of the drug to get rid of negative withdrawal symptoms is what leads the recovering addict to relapse and ultimately back into the tunnel of addiction.
Withdrawal from crystal meth may include:
- intense cravings for the drug
- psychotic episodes
- physical and mental exhaustion
- lack of sleep or insomnia
- crawling of the skin
These symptoms are mostly treated with rest and time in meth rehab but in some cases, medications can be provided to reduce the withdrawal symptoms or to at least make the more manageable. Users who begin the meth detox process are likely to suffer suicidal thoughts or psychotic episodes that can lead to suicidal tendencies so it’s important that detox takes place in a controlled, monitored and safe environment.
Rehab centers provide methamphetamine addicts with a safe place to detox where they cannot physically hurt themselves, they cannot pose a danger or risk to others and they cannot resort back to meth in an attempt to forgo the drug withdrawal symptoms that they are having. In a few days, usually less than a week, the addict will no longer be suffering from the complications of physical dependence and can begin to prepare for the long term, psychological treatment that is to come.
Methods of Care in Meth Rehab Centers
Various methods of care can be used to help patients who are in treatment. Because methamphetamine addiction affects each user in a different way, there are no one-size-fits-all methods of treatment that will work for everyone. The rehabilitation process will be different for each person and may include any of the following types of therapy or care:
- medical assessments
- individual counseling
- educational classes
- self-reflection time
- self-help classes
- group sessions
- therapeutic activities
- trust building activities
The method of rehabilitation will depend on various factors pertaining to the individual’s addiction including:
- the length of time that they used methamphetamine and whether or not other drugs were also used
- the presence of any dually diagnosed or co-occurring conditions
- the severity of the addiction and amount of methamphetamine that was typically used
- the support system that the recovering addict has either at home, work, school or within the community
- the level of treatment required (inpatient, residential, outpatient or aftercare)
Treatments for Crystal Meth Abuse and Addiction
Crystal meth abuse must be treated in a professional rehab center because of the severity of the drug’s effects on the brain and body and because of the intensity of the addiction syndrome it can cause. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Some of the neurobiological effects of chronic methamphetamine abuse appear to be at least partially reversible,” but this can take a very long time, given their severity.
Some of the most commonly used treatment options for crystal meth abuse and addiction in rehab include:
There are actually no currently FDA-approved medications that are being used to treat crystal meth addiction, but pharmacological options can still play a role in rehab. For example, the US Department of Veteran Affairs states that stimulant drugs often cause a withdrawal syndrome that requires treatment with different medications.
- Antidepressants can be necessary during the latter part of one’s recovery from withdrawal, as depression can be very severe at this time. These medications should never be withheld from a patient experiencing severe depressive symptoms, even if they are only temporary and being caused solely by the individual’s use of the drug.
- Anticraving agents can sometimes be used during withdrawal, as the cravings for stimulant drugs can be incredibly strong. This is usually most effective during early withdrawal, but a person can also suddenly crave the drug months or years after their use ends without warning.
- Neuroleptics or antipsychotics can also be necessary during early withdrawal, as many individuals experience severe, psychotic symptoms as a result of abusing meth. These symptoms can also resurface years later without warning, which is why meth addicts need professional treatment in order to learn how to avoid and/or cope with them.
- Though medications can be helpful in treating the severe withdrawal effects associated with crystal meth, detox drugs themselves are not enough to allow a person to fully recover from addiction.
According to the NIDA, “The most effective treatments for methamphetamine addiction at this point are behavioral therapies.” Behavioral therapies are effective for the treatment of almost any type of drug abuse, and because there are many different options, certain therapies can be used together to create a well-rounded treatment program. These can include:
- The Matrix Model: The Matrix Model was created to treat stimulant addicts specifically and utilizes aspects of several different behavioral therapies. It also places emphasis on the idea that the patient and their therapist must have a positive relationship in order to create beneficial results.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: CBT helps patients relearn healthy attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs toward substance abuse, as the learning process is strongly associated with the addiction process (NIDA Archives). Patients learn valuable skills for living in recovery like how to recognize and avoid triggers and how to cope with stress.
- Contingency management: Contingency management allows the patient to receive rewards every time they pass a drug test. The reward can either be a voucher for a product or service contingent with a drug-free lifestyle (such as a movie voucher) or a drawing for a prize (usually cash). The more drug tests the patient passes, the better the rewards get.
- Family and couples therapy: Often, the loved ones of addicts can enable an addiction by participating in certain behaviors. These behaviors can be uncovered in family or couples therapy, and relationships can also be mended.
In addition, many individuals choose to attend a support group or mutual-help group while in professional treatment or after it has ended. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Crystal Meth Anonymous is a popular group based on the 12-step philosophies of Alcoholics Anonymous. For those who do not feel comfortable with the 12 steps, groups like SMART Recovery also exist that are based on more self-actualized principles.
Aftercare Options in Meth Rehab
Because methamphetamine addiction is an ongoing problem and will often cause cravings and other potential hazards for many years to come, there is a need for ongoing treatment for the recovering addict. Crystal meth rehabilitation centers provide aftercare options that will assist the recovering addict, in many cases, for years to come. Some of the treatments and therapeutic recovery options provided in meth rehab aftercare include:
- help finding a job or gaining meaningful employment
- help finding a place to live or getting accepted to a sober living home
- help finding a social support group within the community
- help learning or gaining an education that will lead to better employment in the future
- continued counseling for psychological disorders, mental health conditions or supportive
How Do I Choose the Right Crystal Meth Rehab Program?
Choosing the best crystal meth rehab program can be a difficult part of seeking treatment, but understanding your current situation can help you choose the best option for your needs.
- Are you suffering from any severe side effects of your crystal meth abuse?
- Have you experienced signs and symptoms of psychosis?
- Do you have another mental or physical illness in addition to your meth addiction (also known as a comorbid disorder)?
- Are you addicted to other drugs besides meth?
- Have you attempted to recover from your substance abuse before and been unsuccessful?
- Do you have a lack of social support at home?
- Is your living situation unsafe or not conducive to your choice to recover?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it is likely that you will need a more intensive version of treatment, such as inpatient care. In an inpatient rehab center, individuals stay at the facility 24/7 and receive round-the-clock care in a controlled environment. In most cases, this is the best option for individuals recovering from a drug as intense and with side effects as severe as those caused by crystal meth.
However, some individuals can fare well in outpatient treatment, or a rehab option that does not provide 24/7 care. According to the NIDA, this is usually the best choice for patients who have jobs, extended social supports, and different aspects of their lives that will help them stay sober while they are not physically in their treatment center. Choosing the right rehab center depends heavily on the severity of your condition and the amount of help you will need from both your rehab center and those around you.
How Can I Find Crystal Meth Rehab Centers?
We can help you find the safe, reliable care you seek. When you call 800-895-1695 (Who Answers?) , you will be able to speak with one of our treatment advisors who can match you with a rehab center that suits your needs. We can also help you find a program that will take your insurance. Call today, and begin your recovery from meth addiction as soon as possible.