Ice Treatment and Rehab

ICE (also known as Crystal Methamphetamine) is a stimulant drug. It is also an extremely addictive substance, whose use over even a short period of time can lead to serious side effects. There have even been reported cases of people becoming addicted after trying ice for the first time.

The illicit drug gets the name from its physical appearance, which closely resembles small chunks of clear ice or crystals. When found on the street, ice can go by other names such as shabu, crystal meth, glass, crystal, glass, shard, or P.

If you abuse ice, you can expect to experience a range of unpleasant mental and emotional side effects. Some include paranoia, anxiety, hallucinations and other psychotic illnesses. Aside from mental side effects, ice abuse and addiction can also lead to physical complications, such as lung and/or kidney damage, stroke, and possibly death. Typically, people abuse ice to get ‘high’ and experience intense feelings of pleasure and confidence, as well as an increased sex drive.

What is Ice Addiction?

Ice is a form of crystal meth (an amphetamine) that can be smoked. The substance is commonly smoked through a glass pipe and its resulting effect or high can last for a long time. Because ice is often sold at a relatively low cost on the streets, addicts can easily purchase as much as they want to achieve sensations of euphoria and artificial self-confidence. However, these pleasurable effects come at a high price, as ice addiction can lead to a host of horrible side effects.

Ice is regarded by experts as one of the most destructive and addictive illegal drugs currently available. Unlike other psychoactive drugs whose addictive effects are limited to either physiological or psychological symptoms, ice can cause devastating physical effects, as well as mental and behavioural disorders. If you or someone you know is abusing ice, it is best that you get help as soon as possible in order to prevent the condition from worsening.

Ice usage leads to addiction by changing the chemical structure of your brain and causing your body to feel it cannot function without the drug. This is accomplished by rewriting the reward system of your brain. If you suddenly stop using ice after periods of abuse, it will trigger withdrawal symptoms which can be very uncomfortable and even painful. The discomfort of withdrawal is powerful enough to make an abuser resume using ice to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay, even though they are well aware of the drug’s negative effects. Anyone in such a situation has clearly become addicted and developed a dependency on the drug.

If you are an ice abuser, it will not be uncommon for you to experience sudden mood swings and to be violent and aggressive, even in unprovoked circumstances. You can even go as far as committing crimes and hurting your loved ones, just so you can get more ice.

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The Effects of Using Ice

The effects of ice abuse can be intense and unpredictable. If you abuse ice, you could end up staying awake for days, without needing to sleep or even eat. Depending on the potency of the dose, a high can last for as little as half an hour or as long as a whole day.

By the time the effect of ice fades, you’ll likely become increasingly tired, anxious and depressed, as you come down from the high. This will trigger a craving for more ice, which is often intense and can lead you to do virtually anything to get another dose.

Due to how negligent the abuse of ice can make an addict, health complications such as weight loss, staph infections (amongst others) can easily occur. A common symptomatic effect of ice abuse is the damage it does to an addict’s teeth, which can lead to all the teeth needing to be pulled out.

Other specific dangerous effects that often arise from ice abuse include:

  • Kidney and lung disorders that can be fatal
  • Brain damage
  • Disorganised and damaging lifestyle
  • Excessive weight loss
  • Lowered resistance to illness
  • Liver disease
  • Mental Harm

Another possible effect of using the drug is an ice overdose. Symptoms of an overdose can induce difficulty breathing, coma, seizure, heart attack, stroke or cardiac arrest – all of which can lead to death.

Long-Term Effects of Ice

The high from abusing ice can last for hours and maybe even a whole day, depending on the potency of the dose. However, the drug can also cause long-term side effects that can last a lifetime if the abuse continues unchecked. Taken over an extended period of time, ice can lead to longstanding physical and psychological complications, such as:

  • Psychosis
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Development of odd character ticks
  • Body sores from itching
  • Breathing problems from smoking the drug
  • Damage to blood vessels, including in the heart and brain
  • Decayed teeth, also known as ‘meth mouth’
  • Physical ageing

However, the most serious long-term effect of ice addiction is probably sudden death, caused by cardiac arrest or a stroke.

Short-Term Effects of Ice

Because ice is a fast-acting stimulant when smoked, it can within seconds lead to feelings of almost instant euphoria, as well as an increase in energy and alertness. These enjoyable effects soon give way to unhealthy short-term side effects, such as:

  • Change in sleeping patterns
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Hyperthermia
  • Irregular heart rhythm
  • Loss of appetite
  • Rapid heart rate
  • The feeling of bugs crawling on the skin
  • Severe mood swings
  • Tremors or convulsions
  • Unpredictable behaviour

Continued use of ice can also eventually give rise to severe anxiety, paranoia and insomnia – including in certain cases, thoughts of suicide or homicide.

How Ice Abuse Impacts an Addict’s Life

If you’re addicted to ice, the impact of your substance dependence isn’t felt only in your life, but also in the lives of everyone around you. That is, your family, friends and colleagues are all negatively impacted by your addiction.

Paranoia and hallucinations are common symptoms of ice addiction and experiencing them whilst at home, work, school or any other social environment can be dangerous. An addict can easily attack a loved one whilst experiencing paranoia or delusions. Severe mood swings (which can also be caused by the drug) can lead an addict to suddenly turn on people, even when unprovoked. There could also be instances of suicidal or homicidal behaviour, which can endanger the lives of everyone close to an addict, especially the family.

Aside from aggressive behaviour, ice abuse can cause a person to become neglectful, which can lead to dereliction of duty in the workplace and of responsibilities at home. Children of an addict may go uncared for and unfed for long periods, while addicted parents are more focused on getting high. The children might also learn drug habits from addicted parents.

The abuse of ice can give rise to a variety of other social issues that affect people associated with an addict in all spheres of life – not to mention the fact that an ice addict is often prone to committing crimes, be they violent or otherwise, with the aim of getting money to buy more ice. According to statistics, a significant number of people currently addicted to ice have at some point committed some form of crime.

Ice Addiction: Treatment and Rehab

Addicts usually smoke ice out of a pipe. The drug can also be consumed by snorting, injecting, or swallowing it. Regardless how ice is used, it is still an incredibly addictive substance with far-ranging effects. Typical symptoms of ice abuse you’ll see an addict exhibit include:

  • Euphoria
  • Increased energy and alertness
  • Diarrhoea and nausea
  • Excessive sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Jaw-clenching
  • Tremors
  • Agitation, talkativeness, irritability, panic
  • Violence and confusion

If you or anyone you know has been exhibiting these symptoms, there might be a case of ice addiction developing and the next best thing to do is get help.

The first step to healing from ice addiction is to go through detoxification, which is essentially physical therapy for drug addiction. Withdrawal from ice abuse can be very uncomfortable and often leads to addicts relapsing in an attempt to escape the symptoms of withdrawal. By being admitted to a medically supervised detox programme, you can receive excellent care from healthcare professionals, who will manage your symptoms, keep you comfortable and help prevent relapse.

Successfully completing detoxification treatment is essential before you can move to the next stage of the healing process, which is drug rehabilitation. A rehabilitation programme can either be conducted in an inpatient facility or on an outpatient arrangement.

Inpatient programmes or residential rehabilitation is a commonly used and effective method of treatment for cases of severe addiction. The programme provides a conducive and controlled environment, such as a sober living house, where an admitted patient is protected from stressors and triggers so that they can focus solely on sobriety. The programme can last for 30 to 90 days or more, depending on the severity of the addiction or if there are complications with the patient.

Outpatient treatment programmes are also effective, but not as intense as inpatient ones, as patients are allowed to come and go from the facility to receive treatment. The programme is best suited to people with less intense cases of ice addiction or withdrawal.

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Why you need Rehab

If you are of the impression that once you’ve gone through detox, you need no further treatment and are now addiction-free, you are wrong. Drug rehabilitation is the addiction treatment that should follow immediately after detox.

Detoxification only deals with the physiological aspect of addiction treatment, by helping your body heal and ridding it of the toxins associated with your substance abuse. After detoxification, you need to get further treatment for your behavioural and psychological health via rehab. Without rehab, your chances of suffering a relapse after going through detox are quite high.

Rehab will provide all the necessary skills and insights you need to cope with life once you finish treatment and return to the real world. This is essential because, without rehab, you’ll not know how to deal with cravings or avoid stressors and triggers. You might also not have access to support groups, which can stand by you and assist you during the initial tough times post-detoxification.

Simply put, if you do not want detoxification to be a waste of time and effort, it is essential that you immediately follow up with a rehab programme that best suits your circumstances.

Ice Addiction: Treatment Options

Treatment for ice addiction can be provided either through an inpatient or outpatient programme.

Once discharged from an inpatient programme, some form of outpatient care will likely be recommended. This might include frequent meetings with counsellors or peer groups. Over time and as your condition improves, the frequency of your outpatient meetings will likely decrease.

Whilst part of an inpatient or outpatient programme, any of the following (or a combination of) treatment options can be used as part of your addiction treatment:

  • Group or individual counselling: Group and individual counselling are essential aspects of typical addiction treatment programmes. The aim is to provide social support, as well as one-on-one therapy, to aid an addict towards a successful recovery.
  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT): CBT is often integrated into the group and/or individual counselling. CBT will help address the root causes of your addiction and also modify your mental and behavioural patterns towards addiction. The therapy will also help you understand your triggers and stressors, capable of causing a relapse. This therapy teaches real-life techniques to cope with such crave-inducing scenarios.
  • Family involvement: Family involvement and other support from loved ones can greatly improve your chances of successfully completing a treatment plan and remaining drug-free afterwards. Family members can offer encouragement and invaluable support to help you stay sober long-term.
  • Addiction support groups: Support groups like Narcotics Anonymous use the 12-step programme to help addicts overcome addiction. The treatment has been used for years and still has a very high success rate. A 12-step group will provide you with peer support and help you attain spiritual growth, which is vital during early days of recovery and long afterwards.

The road to recovery isn’t often an easy one for ice addicts. Withdrawal symptoms can last for three days, a week or longer. Depending on the severity of addiction, as well as symptoms, the entire ice rehab programme can last for as little as a month or as long as a year. Cravings can remain for years after the initial withdrawal period has passed, but with the skills from rehab and a strong support system, you can stay drug-free long-term.

Choosing the Best Crystal Meth Addiction Rehab Programme

Choosing an ice addiction rehab programme that best suits your specific needs is key to getting the quality of help and support you need to make a full recovery. The important thing to consider when picking a treatment facility is if it offers a programme that will help with your condition and if the treatment centre has all the facilities to effectively care for you, throughout your stay. The cost of treatment should also be within your means or you could look for a centre whose treatment your medical insurance will cover.

What Happens During Treatment?

Most ice rehab programmes include a comprehensive approach to treating ice addiction, as well as its root causes. This will be accomplished with the help of therapies such as individual/group therapy, behaviour modification therapy, family therapy, and life skill lessons.

Whilst in rehab, individual therapy will help you identify what your triggers are, as well as deal with deep-seated issues that influence your life choices negatively.

Group therapy, on the other hand, is designed to help you learn how to talk through feelings and share problems that may lead to a relapse.

Behaviour modification therapy will teach you healthy methods of coping with the everyday stresses of life after drug rehabilitation. Life skill lessons will equip you with a mindset that will help you function without feeling the need to get high.

These various facets of treatment – including family therapy – will provide you everything you need to stay focused on remaining clean and sober after rehab.

Recovery from ice addiction is usually a tough one, but it’s not impossible, as long as you have the care and support of experts like us.

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Treatment Timeline

The treatment of ice withdrawal can last up to four weeks or more, depending on the potency of the drug and for how long you’ve been addicted. Withdrawal symptoms can be very uncomfortable, but with a medically assisted detox, the strain of the entire process can be greatly reduced.

Withdrawal symptoms can begin to manifest within a few hours after the last dose of ice and develop over the following timeline:

24-72 hours after the last dose

Overall exhaustion and symptoms of depression can begin to manifest. This can be followed by paranoia, hallucinations, and a general feeling of being lost. Most addicts within two days after their last dose start having suicidal thoughts. Treatment at this point will involve stabilising your condition and keeping you calm. If you start acting violently, you might be restrained to stop you from hurting yourself and others.

4-7 days after the last dose

In the first week of ice withdrawal, your condition will not change significantly. You will still experience unpredictable mood swings, which will be followed by body aches and pains. You’ll also have to suffer intense hunger for food, cravings for ice, and you might be agitated the majority of the time. Treatment will continue and you’ll be closely monitored throughout this period.

Week 2 of withdrawal

Sleep irregularities, depression and cravings will follow. Your mood swings will become more intense, alongside your cravings. If your detox is medically assisted, the severity of your withdrawal symptoms can be greatly minimised.

Weeks 3 and 4 of withdrawal

At this time, your condition will begin to stabilise, as your body begins to regulate itself. Anxiety and depression will still be an issue, but not as predominantly as during the earlier stages of withdrawal. You will also start to get your energy back and begin to sleep better. Fewer mood swings and increased appetite will follow but remember not to get carried away by these improvements. You are still in recovery and any trigger that leads to thoughts of ice cravings is capable of leading to relapse. The specialist in charge of your case will prevent this by keeping you occupied in therapy and support groups.

Treatment over this timeline will need to be amended as your condition changes. Remember that the above timeline might not necessarily be what you experience, as individual periods of withdrawal can differ due to factors such as length of addiction, physiology of an addict, and potency of the abused substance.

Treatment Cost

The cost of treatment is often dependent on a variety of factors, such as sort of treatment programme you are in, its duration, type of treatment centre, and severity of your condition. For instance, inpatient programmes often cost more than outpatient ones. Also, a luxury inpatient facility or an executive one will definitely cost more than a regular inpatient facility. Therefore, be sure to verify the affordability of a treatment facility you prefer, before signing up.

Ice Recovery

With the aid of medical professionals and proper treatment, you can make a full recovery from ice addiction in less time than it would normally take. Keep in mind that the road to recovery from ice addiction is rarely ever an easy one, and your full commitment to staying sober is always needed. Recovery can be a lifelong process, as thoughts of cravings can pop up from time to time, but you can overcome them and remain committed to sobriety. Aftercare services when you leave rehab are essential to your recovery, as they are the best way to ensure you do not fall into relapse.

Recovery might be tough, but it is not impossible, as long as you are provided with the necessary care and support that is crucial for loved ones and your support group. Physical and mental health complications caused by your addiction can be managed until they eventually pass and you are restored to full health.

Live a Clean and Sober Life Again

Drug rehab can provide you with the tools and coping mechanisms that are needed to live a clean and sober life after you overcome addiction. You can also be part of a healthy support group that will motivate and keep you focused on sobriety. Keeping busy after rehab and learning to enjoy life without the help of drugs is important. You also need to be sure to avoid stressors and triggers, such as environments that cause you to think about abusing drugs or alcohol.

You can also heal wounded relationships that were strained by your addiction once you’ve made a full recovery. Your options for a bright and happy future are almost limitless once you have attained a clean and sober life. What is needed is your commitment. Support groups will play an essential part of your life post-rehab, as they will remind, support, and motivate you with regards why remaining sober is best. When experiencing more pressure than usual to take drugs, a support group is a great place to vent and also be motivated to stay drug, If at any point post-free.


FAQs

Are there differences between Crystal Meth and Ice?

Meth (or methamphetamine) is a highly potent stimulant drug that’s popular amongst addicts for its euphoric effects and the energy boost it delivers. The drug can be found in pill or powder form, which can be snorted or liquefied, then injected. A more potent version of meth is crystal meth, which is also commonly referred to as ice due to how it resembles a piece of clear ice or glass. Crystal meth or ice might be variations of meth, but it is a far more distilled form and definitely more potent.

How confidential are Crystal Meth Rehab Programmes?

Crystal meth rehab programmes are designed to be confidential, but some are more confidential than others. For example, treatment clinics that accept insurance or use the 12-step model of treatment aren’t as confidential as those that do not. Nonetheless, all treatment centres are obligated to respect their clients’ confidentiality.

What is the duration of Inpatient Crystal Meth Rehabilitation?

Inpatient treatment offers intensive care that you will not have access to as an outpatient. Typically (and depending on the severity of your addiction), inpatient treatment can last anywhere between 30 to 90 days, but a longer stay might be required if your addiction has severely progressed. The benefit of the programmes is that it lets you focus on getting and staying sober, with minimal distractions or temptations.

Do I Need a Residential Facility?

A residential facility is highly recommended if your addiction is especially severe and requires constant medical monitoring and clinical treatment. If you are exhibiting any of the following symptoms, an inpatient or residential facility is probably the best option for you:

  • Inability to function without the drug
  • High levels of aggression
  • Easy access to ice while outside
  • Suffering physical symptoms when not taking ice
  • Hallucinations
  • Rotting teeth
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Irregular heartbeat

What Happens During Treatment?

Recovery from ice addiction will begin with a medical detox, which will be followed by in-depth therapy from a trained professional. Ice addiction treatment requires a comprehensive course of detoxification that should not be rushed or cut short if long-term positive results are to be attained. The detox treatment involves ridding your system of the physical presence of ice, before helping your body get used to functioning without it. Treatment will also address psychological damage caused by the addiction by rehabilitating your mind, and showing that you can function and live a fulfilling life without abusing ice.

How strenuous the process of detoxification will be – and how long overall treatment will last – is mostly dependent on the severity of your addiction, as well as your physiology.

Methamphetamine, Crystal Meth, Yaba, Ice: What are the Differences?

Crystal meth and ice are the same drugs, but they are a more potent and refined form of methamphetamine. Crystal and ice get their name from their physical form, which can resemble a clear shard of glass. Methamphetamine, on the other hand, is mostly available in powder or pill form.

Yaba is another type of methamphetamine drug. It is mostly found in Asia and its name can be directly translated to ‘crazy drug’. Its content is mostly a mixture of methamphetamine and caffeine. It can be found in tablet form and is also highly addictive.

What does Ice do?

Abusing ice floods your nervous system and penetrates your brain at a far greater level than amphetamine is capable of. Each dose of ice can cause damage to key receptors in your brain and render you unable to experience pleasure, without abusing the drug.

The blast of euphoria caused by abusing ice can rewrite your brain’s reward system and pleasure centres, which is the first step to developing a painful addiction. In time, ice will damage dopamine receptors in your brain and render you incapable of experiencing pleasure unless you are on ice. This leads to ice taking control of your life and being the centre of your energy, as your constant top priority will be to remain ‘high’. Treatment and rehabilitation can help you recover from ice addiction, but abusing the drug can lead to permanent cognitive impairment if an intervention is not initiated on time.

When should I use Ice?

Some abusers use ice to lose weight or to stay focused. Others abuse it for an increased sex drive. No matter what, you should never use ice. It is a highly addictive substance that can cause long-term damage to your health and social life, which both far outweigh whatever little benefit you can gain from abusing the drug.

Meth Drug Treatment Programme: Is Inpatient or Outpatient best?

Treatment for meth addiction is generally classified into inpatient or outpatient treatment programmes. Figuring out which is best for helping you recover from addiction is dependent on the severity of said addiction, how long you have been an addict, as well as other factors.

If addiction is caught in its early stages and there are no health complications, an outpatient facility will suffice. If addiction is severe and the patient has suffered extensive health and mental complications, an inpatient programme or residential rehab will definitely be best.

What are the Benefits of Inpatient Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment?

There are a lot of benefits in opting for inpatient treatment, regardless how severe your addiction is. Some benefits include:

  • Immediate access to medical care
  • A conducive and secure environment which keeps you away from triggers and stressors that can lead to a relapse is provided
  • You are provided with a comprehensive treatment schedule that covers all aspects of your illness and will achieve full recovery, faster
  • 24-hour care that caters to all your physical and psychological needs for the duration of your stay
  • Zero access to illicit substances

Also, your addiction treatment is kept completely confidential.

How Ice usage affects families and what they can do

The negative impacts of abusing ice are so far reaching that it affects not just an addict, but also everyone around them. Families and loved ones are at the greatest risk in such circumstances. This is especially so considering that an ice addict is prone to paranoia and aggression and can violently turn on a family member at any moment, without provocation. Also, if the ice addict is a provider, they will no longer care about providing for the family and will become entirely focused on getting more drugs. There have also been instances of violent and/or sexual abuse of a child by an ice addict experiencing the increased sexual urges brought on by abusing the drug.

If your family or loved one is an ice addict, it’s important that you stage an intervention as soon as possible. However, it’s vital that you don’t stage an intervention alone, because the addict’s reaction can unpredictable. If you need help, you can contact us on 0800 915 9402 to arrange for a professional interventionist.

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