Crystal Meth Treatment and Rehab

Discussing Professional Crystal Meth Recovery

Treatment for methamphetamine addiction is not new territory, which is a good thing, as you will fully benefit from tried and tested approaches to recovery.

While the road to recovery from meth addiction is not a new one, the techniques deployed in the manufacturing of the drug have evolved over time. That has made meth more affordable and powerful than it once was.

How to Help Someone Addicted to Crystal Meth

It’s not easy watching your friend or relative battle with an addiction. To truly help your loved one get the treatment they need, you’ll have to reach out to them directly. The recommended way is to approach them with love and compassion to ensure the matter is dealt with in a healthy way.

As much as talking to your loved one about their addiction might feel like walking on eggshells, it is something you must do. Remember, it’s about being supportive and not judgemental. The ultimate goal is to get them to willingly seek out treatment.

Types of Crystal Meth Treatment Plans Available

There are a number of treatment options available for crystal meth addiction, with treatment centres being one of the more popular choices. At an addiction treatment centre, you can choose the right treatment combination to suit your needs. You may decide to receive treatment on an outpatient basis or as a resident patient in the facility for a couple of months.

There are also detox clinics where you can go through the detoxification process whilst medical professionals supervise you as the drug leaves your system.
These clinics are often recommended, even when outpatient treatment is the treatment of choice, as it increases the chances of a successful detox.

Support groups are another well-known treatment model, but often come after spending time in a detox clinic or addiction treatment centre. Meetings are held regularly as an avenue for former addicts to lend a helping hand to one another. You’ll get the social support you need from others who have been in the same place as you, as much as you’ll lend others your support as well.

The Crystal Meth Treatment and Rehabilitation Process

Treatment typically starts with the detox process, which involves getting the toxins of the drug out of your system. Trying to detox by yourself can be incredibly dangerous, so do seek medical support before you do so. The detoxification process brings about withdrawal symptoms that surface because your body is trying to cope with the loss of meth from your system. Some withdrawal symptoms are life-threatening enough to warrant close medical supervision.

In a detox centre or treatment facility, you are likely be given medications to help manage the withdrawal symptoms and make the process more bearable for you. Following the detox, you will participate in therapy sessions, including individual, group, and even couples’ therapy. Therapy sessions may be held in an inpatient facility or on an outpatient basis, where you’ll have to make your way to therapy sessions yourself.

Once formal treatment is completed, your recovery journey won’t end there, but will continue through aftercare and support groups.

Evaluation

Your treatment plan needs to be designed specifically to suit you and that is why there has to be an assessment at the intake stage of any drug rehabilitation programme.

Evaluation is necessary to allow the medical personnel (and therapists) to gather all the important information about you that will facilitate the treatment and recovery process. It’s this information that will be used to determine the form and duration of the rehabilitation programme.

Some of the questions you may be asked will relate to your meth use profile; that is, how frequently and for how long you’ve been using the drug. You may also be asked about any co-occurring conditions, your method of ingesting the drug, your social/support network, and your physical health, amongst other considerations.

Detoxification

Detox is the first stage of addiction treatment. It is a process whereby you’ll need to be supervised by medical staff as the drug drains out of your system. As the toxins leave your body, your system tries to readjust to the way it used to operate before you started taking the drug, subsequently resulting in withdrawal symptoms.

Some of the withdrawal symptoms you are likely to experience include intense cravings, depressive or psychotic episodes, irritation, itching, exhaustion, and insomnia.

It is highly recommended that you detox in a professional facility where you’ll be constantly monitored by medical personnel, because withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous and unpredictable. For instance, it can be dangerous both to you and others around if you face a psychotic episode.

Medication

While there are no officially approved drugs to treat meth addiction, you may be given medication to alleviate acute withdrawal symptoms. For anxiety and depressive states, you may be given anxiolytics or antidepressants. For psychotic episodes and agitation, you may be given neuroleptics or antipsychotics, as well as antiemetic drugs for nausea.

In some rehab centres, you may not get any medication at all if there is a strict no-drug policy. Depending on the severity of your addiction, a physician may prescribe a medication, such as antidepressants, for you to continue using even long after you leave the treatment facility, particularly if you have a dual progress.

Therapy

Upon completion of the detoxification phase, the process of rehabilitation can commence. It is during this process that you will engage in different forms of therapy and counselling. One of the most popular forms of therapy is individual therapy, where the aim is to help modify your behaviour to result in clear changes to your lifestyle. Gradually, you will gain valuable skills to help you learn what to do to kick out your addictive habits for good.

Another well-known form of therapy is group therapy, where you’ll get to share your struggles with others going through the same experience. Group therapy can be very beneficial, as you’ll be learning from other people’s experiences and you won’t feel isolated in any way.

There is also family therapy, which is especially useful for families with strained or damaged relationships. Your counsellor can act as a mediator, helping your family work out the problems, whilst working on improving the health of the family dynamic.

Different addiction treatment centres take different approaches to therapy and there are a number of options available. One of the most popular is cognitive behavioural therapy (or CBT), where the aim is to change the pattern that causes addiction. Another well-known one is contingency management, which uses a rewards system to reinforce your behaviour of staying clean. It is a particularly powerful tool for when you experience cravings.

Aftercare

The thought of being thrown back into society immediately after your treatment programme can cause anxiety. However, this won’t be the case. You will have all the help you need after rehab in the form of aftercare, to make it easier to start living a healthier life.

There are support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous, where you can receive social support from others who have also been through addiction and treatment. You will attend group meetings regularly, for as long as you need to and might build relationships that will last beyond the group.

Another option is sober living communities, which are housing facilities for people recovering from addiction. The regulations in such facilities – combined with the fact that you’ll be living with others in a similar situation as yourself – helps make your transition to a drug-free life easier.

Ongoing individual counselling is yet another option which allows you to carry on with individual therapy, as you transition to recovery. This can be good for helping you to continue working on your attitude.

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Picking a Crystal Meth Treatment Centre

The first consideration should definitely be whether or not the facility has experience treating stimulants or crystal meth. It’s also important to know if the centre is capable of managing any other medical issues or mental disorders you might have. Another crucial consideration is the staff at these facilities; you need to know if they’re qualified and if the facility is licensed.

In addition, you’ll need to find out if the facility in question offers treatment plans which specifically address your particular needs. Finally, you might want to choose a centre that will help with a relapse prevention plan when your treatment programme is over.

Staff Qualifications

If you’re going to trust anyone to treat you as you recover from addiction to a drug like crystal meth, you must be able to know that they are qualified enough to handle it. For example, they should have relevant postgraduate degrees for therapists, such as an MD, Master’s or PhD. You should also pay attention to additional certification for healthcare professionals when you’re researching treatment facilities.

Staff-to-Patient Ratio

If a recovery centre is going to provide quality treatment, it must have a satisfactory staff-to-patient ratio. That means only a relatively low number of people should be assigned to a single member of staff at any time. When a facility has enough staff, you can expect to receive the attention and care needed to recover effectively.

12-Step Programmes

Among the treatment options considered supportive therapy, there are 12-step programmes such as Crystal Meth Anonymous. They take on a group format and the focus is on providing the support you need, as you gain the skills required to completely abstain from meth. While formal treatment will get you started on the right footing, a 12-step programme will help make sure you see the journey through.

Outpatient Psychotherapy Programmes

While outpatient programmes tend to vary, you can expect to have regular meetings with a substance abuse counsellor, as you continue learning to remain drug-free. There are different types of psychotherapy programmes used in an outpatient setting, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), contingency management, and matrix model-based therapy.

CBT is a problem-focused treatment that has been effective in the treatment of drug addiction, while contingency management is based on a systematic reinforcement model to reward positive action, like staying away from the drug. The matrix model-based therapy draws from other treatments and is based on the premise that a high degree of structure is required for recovery.

Alternative Forms of Therapy

Psychotherapy and psychosocial therapy are not the only forms of therapy used to treat meth addiction. There are alternate forms of therapy such as yoga, art therapy, music therapy and acupuncture, amongst others. Not all of these will work for everyone, so your therapist may recommend one they feel is best suited to your needs.

Drugs Used in Detox

The medication you will use during the detox phase of recovery will be administered to help you deal with withdrawal symptoms. You can expect to be given antidepressants to treat anxiety and depression. For psychosis, you may be given atypical antipsychotics like haloperidol and olanzapine.

Medications Used to Treat Crystal Meth Addiction

There are a number of medications available that may be used to help with withdrawal symptoms during detox and may be administered to help with the addiction itself. For example, there is Baclofen, which affects the brain’s neurotransmitters and may help with tuning down self-administration of methamphetamine.

Naltrexone may help you reduce your meth use by working on the opioid receptors of the brain. Other drugs include the non-amphetamine, modafinil, which works as a stimulant to prevent a crash during withdrawal, as well as reduce cravings. There are also the antidepressants: mirtazapine and bupropion, which exert their effects on dopamine, thus helping with symptoms of depression.

Inpatient and Outpatient Facilities

Treatment facilities may be classified as either inpatient or outpatient. Outpatient facilities allow you to live at home and attend treatment sessions regularly, which may be weekly or daily. It is often a choice when it’s not feasible or practical to leave commitments at work, school or home. It might work for you if your addiction is not too severe.

Inpatient or residential facilities require that you live in the centre for the duration of your treatment. You will have access to a multidisciplinary team for psychological and medical support. Inpatient treatment, for meth addiction in particular, is often recommended as meth is one of the more complicated substances to treat. Also, it’s not uncommon to find problems like organ failure and infections as complications of substance dependence.

Dual-Diagnosis Facilities

Consuming crystal meth results in damage to your physical health. In cases where organs have deteriorated or the body is ravaged by infections, long-term hospitalisation may be required.

We hope you never let it get to that stage, but if you do, it’s imperative to seek sufficient medical care immediately, in a dual-diagnosis facility equipped to deal with such problems.

In addition to physical health issues, it’s also possible to suffer from a co-occurring condition. A good dual-diagnosis facility will have a sufficient number of psychologists and psychiatrists on hand to deal with any co-occurring conditions. We can always help find such facilities that are capable of providing the appropriate level of care you need.

One of the first credentials to look for before signing up at any dual-diagnosis facility is the qualifications of their personnel.

Equally as important is how much experience the facility has in treating meth addictions. There’s also the staff-to-patient ratio to consider. It’s best to opt for a facility with a higher staff-to-patient ratio.

Duration of your treatment

The length of your stay will be based on the severity of your addiction. However, it’s wise to be prepared to stay as long as needed, if you can afford to. Different substances will require different lengths of treatment.

There are no shortcuts to recovery; the work must be done. While detoxing from crystal meth might not take too long, treating the after-effects of the drug can take a while – possibly up to six months or more.

Your determination to recover and how soon you seek treatment may contribute to how long it will take for you to be treated.

Remember that you don’t necessarily have to be in an inpatient facility for the duration of treatment. One month of inpatient treatment after detox may be sufficient, with the rest of the treatment continued on an outpatient basis.

Cost of your treatment

There are many different factors that contribute to the cost of treatment. One is the length of treatment you’ll need and also the standard of the rehab centre’s facilities and accommodation. For instance, executive rehab facilities can be expected to be more expensive than regular rehab.

Other factors such as the location and type of programme or service also come into play.

Meanwhile, there is the possibility of benefitting from free rehab services from religious groups or government-funded, although the latter can be extremely difficult to source, due to lengthy waiting lists and cumbersome processes.

Advice for the Family

If a member of your family is suffering with an addiction, the initial reaction may be judgement and condemnation. These approaches don’t work and may drive your loved one further away from you. Your focus should be on listening, above anything else. Listen to your friend or loved one talk about why they use crystal meth and their experience with it, but don’t pressure them to talk. Do your best to listen without getting annoyed or passing judgement.

Your goal is to encourage your friend or relative to seek help of their own accord. You are free to set boundaries about what is acceptable at home and what consequences they will face if they break the rules. Help them become more responsible by letting them clean up any mess they make. Also try to acknowledge the small changes you notice, as you try to find treatment options for them.

What to do after Crystal Meth addiction: Treatment and Rehab

After completing treatment for your meth addiction, there’s no doubt you’ll feel proud of yourself – as you should -but it’s important to remember that the battle is not over yet. It’s actually a lifelong process to remain sober. It will take a long while before return to who you were before your addiction, but there are many ways to help yourself get there in good time.

One of your major concerns will be how to reduce triggers that are capable of causing a relapse. During treatment, pay particular attention to therapy, as it will equip you with the skills you need to understand and resist your triggers. Aftercare is also important in your journey to lifelong sobriety. From regular check-ups and individual therapy to 12-step meetings and alternative support groups, there is always an aftercare solution to take advantage of.

What happens after treatment?

Upon completion of your treatment programme, you can expect to continue your recovery journey through aftercare. In many cases, your treatment facility will have an aftercare solution that may involve attending regular therapy sessions. With a carefully-curated aftercare regimen, you’ll get the support you need to help you stay focused throughout recovery.

Staying Clean and Sober

There’s no denying the fact that your focus after getting out of rehab is to stay clean and sober. This means you will have to practise what you learned about your triggers and how to resist them. It’s not easy, but it helps to focus on why you ought to remain sober in the first place – your family, career, friends and health.

While aftercare services can be fantastic, it is your determination and resolve to maintain sobriety that will determine how well they’ll work for you. You must note that it is possible – or even normal – to relapse within the first six months or more after rehab. This does not mean that you’ll be back to square one, but it’s only one stumble in the road to recovery. Pick yourself up and keep moving towards your goal of lifelong sobriety.

Peer/Family Support and the Road Ahead

Support from your family and friends may be all you need to face the rest of your journey towards full recovery. If you surround yourself with supportive loved ones, you’ll find it easier to remain sober. Allow your family to help you however they can, which involves respecting their boundaries.

It helps to be as responsible for them, as they want to be for you. If you happen to find yourself amongst friends (or even relatives) who are not as supportive as they need to be, it’s a good idea to get away from that environment if you can.

It’s not worth having your cravings triggered due to the stressors around you. Also, it can be good to make new friends who understand and can support you through your journey to recovery.

Helping Someone with a Crystal Meth Addiction

If you have a close friend or family member who is addicted to meth, there’s no doubt you’ll want to get them all the help possible. Your role is to do your best to help them realise why they need to get help as soon as possible, without being forceful or judgemental.

You need to learn as much as you can about meth addiction and the treatment options available. If it feels appropriate, you might need to stage an intervention. That means you and other members of the family will approach the individual in order to let them know how you are all affected by their addiction. Most importantly, talking openly and really listening to an addicted loved one (about their addiction) can open them up.


FAQs

What Is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine, often shortened to meth, is a potent stimulant that exerts its effects on the central nervous system. It has many other names such as ‘crystal’, ‘ice’, and ‘chalk’. The drug is an odourless, bitter-tasting, white powder, easily dissolved in alcohol or water.

It was derived in the twentieth century from the parent drug, amphetamine. Initially, it was used in bronchial inhalers and nasal decongestants. The drug leads to euphoria, reduced appetite, talkativeness, and increased activity. It has more durable and harmful effects on the body than amphetamine, because much higher amounts of the drug reach the brain during similar doses.

Why Is Methamphetamine So Addictive?

Methamphetamine is considered to be three times as powerful as cocaine and at least as addictive as heroin. It triggers dependency at a much faster rate than most other drugs, making it possible to become addicted after just one or two uses. The reason for this is its powerful effect on the brain, where it stimulates the release of ten times the normal level of dopamine. It also causes a rush of adrenaline or norepinephrine.

Due to the high amounts of dopamine released into the body when you use meth, it doesn’t take long before the decision to take meth is one relating to functionality and mode – from the part of the brain that handles voluntary actions (the prefrontal cortex) to the part that handles involuntary functions (the hind brain). It may only take two or three uses to reach that point.

Not only does it set off intense euphoria and pleasure, but the comedown phase after the ‘high’ is equally as intense, making you want to use the drug again. Compared to cocaine’s two hours, meth can keep you high for as long as 12 hours.

Side Effects and Dangers of Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine is a dangerous drug that can lead to a number of harmful side effects. Some of those include: hair loss and hair breakage, tooth decay or tooth loss, formication (crawling skin) and skin picking. Long-term use of the drug may lead to weight loss, aggression, memory loss, repetitive motor activity, hallucinations, paranoia, and changes in brain function and structure.

How Much Does Treatment Cost?

There is no fixed charge for addiction treatment, as costs vary wildly. The location and standard of the clinic in question and the quality of facilities are important factors that determine how much you’ll have to pay for rehab. The duration of the treatment will also affect the cost.

Does Meth Addiction Treatment Work?

There is no doubt that addiction treatment can be incredibly difficult, especially when you’re dealing with a drug as potent as meth. Recovery becomes increasingly challenging the longer you use the drug, but it is indeed possible to overcome addiction through treatment programmes. While the after-effects of the drug can last several months or even a few years, treatment for meth addiction works, but it also depends largely on you.

Are Crystal Meth Rehab Programmes Confidential?

Yes. You don’t have to be worried about whether your information will be kept confidential, because crystal meth rehab centres won’t share your details with anyone you don’t approve of. There are even executive rehab facilities that provide a higher degree of privacy for those who need it.

How Long Does Inpatient Crystal Meth Rehabilitation Last?

The duration of inpatient rehabilitation will depend largely on how severe your addiction is. We recommend a minimum of 30 days in rehab, but you might spend an average time of 90 days. You may not have to stay that long or you may need to stay longer, depending on whether you recover quickly, have any complications, and so on.

What Happens During Treatment?

The core of the programme is focused on group work and planned activities. During your stay in a rehab facility, you’ll attend therapy, counselling, and education sessions. With constant supervision and regular eating, sleeping, and exercise schedules, you can expect to get a head start on your long road to recovery.

Outpatient treatment won’t be the same as inpatient treatment, as you’d still be living at home and attending treatment sessions. While there isn’t as much control and discipline, outpatient therapy uses more or less the same therapies as inpatient rehab. However, you’ll still get to experience some discipline, since your treatment will most likely begin in an inpatient detox clinic.

Should I Travel for Crystal Meth Rehab or Stay at Home?

The decision about whether or not to travel or stay close to home for rehab will depend on your personal preferences, as well as your unique circumstances. For instance, it might be better to stay close to home if you can’t leave work or school, if you have commitments you cannot abandon at home, or if you can’t afford treatment overseas.

What Treatments Are Available for Teens?

Teens can easily become addicted to meth, as it is affordable and easily available. There are specialised teen treatment centres where teens can get all the help they need, including detox, family therapy, recreational therapy, tutoring, group therapy and individual counselling.

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