Meth Treatment and Rehab

Discussing Professional Meth Recovery

Meth abuse is a not a new phenomenon, and has been a problem for a long time. More recently, the techniques of manufacturing the drug have evolved, securing its place in the illegal drugs market as more affordable and powerful than ever before.

There are ongoing studies into meth addiction and how to make recovery and drug rehabilitation easier and more successful. As you read on, you’ll find out about treatment options available to help overcome meth addiction.

How to Help Someone Addicted to Meth

Watched your loved one suffer through addiction can be painful. Long-term abuse of the drug can result in numerous physical problems no one would want to deal with, so time is of the essence when you identify an addiction problem.

The first step to helping a friend or family member with an addiction is getting them to accept they have an addiction in the first place, and how dangerous their habits are for their own health and the wellbeing of those closest to them. It’s not possible to force anyone into treatment, so they must first recognise why their behaviour is damaging.

Types of Meth Treatment Plans Available

As far as treatment plans go, there are a few to choose from, depending on your personal preferences and what will be best for you or your loved one.

One of those is residential treatment, which involves staying in a treatment centre for as long as six months or more. There are short-term residential treatment programmes available, where you may only have to stay in a treatment facility for three to six weeks.

Outpatient programmes don’t require you or your loved one to live in a residential facility for the duration of treatment. Instead, you will have to commute from home to treatment sessions at set times – often evenings and/or weekends. There are other treatment models which may fit into any of the aforementioned plans. They include group therapy/counselling and individualised drug counselling.

The Meth Treatment and Rehabilitation Process

Treatment options may be generally categorised into different types, due to the increasing diversification and evolution of individual programmes and treatment approaches. While every treatment programme or facility will have its own unique modalities, most follow a basic system that starts with detox and continues with therapy.

The differences in treatment modalities may be based on a number of factors, such as the particular group of people a programme or facility targets, or the approach it believes is best for achieving success. Nonetheless, you can expect to go through a general process that includes evaluation, detoxification, medication, therapy, and aftercare.

Evaluation

Evaluation is the very first stage of getting into your chosen treatment programme. If you have ever been through the admittance process in a hospital, then you will have an idea of what to expect. Essentially, medical personnel will perform evaluations on you and look through your medical records in order to determine how best to proceed with treatment. This is also the stage where you would have to complete the required paperwork for admittance to the programme.

Detoxification

Detoxification (or detox) is the process by which your body rids itself of the toxins in its system. In order words, you will have to wait as all traces of the drug are removed from your body. The difficulty with detox is withdrawal, which is a direct effect of your body trying to adjust to the absence of a substance it has become accustomed to.

Withdrawal symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable – or in some cases, even dangerous. Treatment is important, because you will get all the help you need to deal with the symptoms and make them less unpleasant. This is often referred to as medical detox or medically-assisted detox. You can expect to be given maintenance medication to ease your symptoms, including antidepressants and other such drugs.

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Medication

Currently, there are no medications in particular that can be used to treat addiction to meth. Some medications are currently being studied for their possible usefulness in treating meth addiction, with the end goal of enhancing long-term recovery success. For reducing substance use, some of the drugs that have been studied are mirtazapine, naltrexone, modafinil, topiramate, and buproprion.

Other medications have been studied for their usefulness in reducing cravings. Some of those that have shown the most promise include naltrexone, nicotine, buproprion, rivastigmine, and dextroamphetamine. Alongside research on these drugs, some researchers are focusing on the potential of immunological treatments; that is, the use of engineered antibodies that will target meth in the bloodstream and bond to its molecules.

Therapy

Whether you opt for inpatient or outpatient treatment, you are bound to encounter therapy in one form or another. You will work with a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist to get to the root of your problem and tackle it from there. There are a few therapy options that are widely adopted by therapists in the addiction recovery space, which are useful, both for addressing the mental illness and the substance abuse.

The therapy options you will most likely encounter are cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), pharmacological therapy, interpersonal therapy, and dialectal behavioural therapy. CBT is likely to be the most common and is aimed at helping you recognise negative thinking in order to help you approach challenging situations differently. This, like all the other therapies, is aimed at ensuring you maintain long-term sobriety.

Aftercare

After receiving treatment in a facility, it is typically recommended that you join an aftercare programme, often in the form of support groups. The reason for this is that support groups fill a crucial void by providing social and communal support, which makes it less likely for you to relapse.

Aftercare is particularly important in the early days following treatment. One of the more popular groups is Narcotics Anonymous, which is a 12-step programme. There are different options, so you can always find one that works for you. There are other forms of ongoing support that don’t involve support groups. They may include educational programmes, medical care and/or counselling interventions that can be instrumental to your ability to maintain sobriety on a long-term basis.

Picking a Meth Treatment Centre

Before picking the right treatment centre for you, it’s necessary to understand what a treatment centre does and what it must have in place in order to be considered a viable option. Rehab centres are there to treat and address the behaviours, symptoms and causes associated with substance abuse and addiction. They achieve that by designing and implementing programmes aimed at helping patients recover from their drug problems.

Some qualities to consider include the qualifications of their staff, the facilities they offer and their staff-to-patient ratio. It is practically impossible for you to be able to get all the information you need about all the rehab centres you might like to consider, so we do the work for you. Whether you want a treatment facility close home or one abroad, we can find the right one for you, because we possess in-depth knowledge of how each one operates.

Staff Qualifications

Different rehab facilities may have staff with different qualifications, depending on the nature of the centre. For example, a facility where both substance abuse disorders and mental health disorders are treated should have a team of psychiatrists or at least one psychiatrist on site. Other staff present in an inpatient facility should include housekeepers and residence managers.

If a rehab centre claims to offer certain services, then its staff strength should reflect that. For instance, a luxury facility may have additional support members of staff like a massage therapist, yoga therapist, physical trainer, nutritionist, chef, life coach, or lawyer.

Although degrees are important for professional staff, direct work experience is also crucial. It’s desirable to receive treatment in a centre where the key staff members (even the administrative and executive staff) have substantive experience in the addiction treatment space. We take all these factors and more into consideration when helping you find the most suitable facilities.

Staff-to-Patient Ratio

You should be looking to get into a facility with a low staffing ratio, as that is a crucial hallmark of good care. The advantage of getting treated in a facility with a low ratio is that you’ll be offered more services and your chances of staying in treatment will be increased. Factors that go alongside this include the amount of work a member of staff can complete given the work schedule, the availability of outsider service, and the type of care the facility offers.

Regardless of where you would like to receive treatment – within or outside of the United Kingdom – we can help you find the facilities with the lowest ratios.

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12-Step Programmes

The original 12-step model was developed in the 1930s by Bob Smith and Bill Wilson, who had been alcohol abusers during the spike of alcoholism that followed the termination of American Prohibition in 1933. The focus was more on addressing the mind and spirit, because they believed the existing forms of treatments (which focused on physical treatment) were ineffective.

In 12-step therapy, you’ll be engaged more in interaction with a group than medical intervention or individual counselling. Among the fundamentals of the programme are admitting your inability to control compulsive behaviour, learning a behavioural code to guide your life, making amends for past mistakes, and recognising a higher power, from where you can draw the strength to overcome.

It is a holistic approach to treatment and will encourage you to reach a point where you’ll begin to think differently about your responsibility to the community, your family and relationships and of course, yourself.

Outpatient Psychotherapy Programmes

An outpatient programme may be the best option if you are unable to suspend your responsibilities at home, work, or school for long. They would typically follow a short detox period and provide the therapy you would otherwise have received in an inpatient facility. Such programmes provide you with the necessary tools to replace your addictive behaviours with more productive ones.

Psychotherapy forms the bulk of treatment, since there are currently no medication treatments to specifically treat meth addiction. The treatment methods that may be used include group psychotherapy, individual psychotherapy, 12-step support group work, and drug addiction education. While outpatient psychotherapy programmes may not be as intensive as inpatient ones, they can be equally as effective, provided you are in the programmes that’s right for you.

Alternative Forms of Therapy

Besides the more popular types of therapy, there are other forms to explore which different programmes may offer. Some of the alternative forms of therapy you might come across include:

  • Equine therapy

By engaging in the care of horses and other structured activities, you can begin to feel more self-competent. Also, the calming presence of an animal like a horse can give you a safe way to visit deeper emotional issues, without fear of judgement. Your therapist should then be able to recognise patterns that underlie your addiction.

  • Art therapy

Whether it’s paint, beads, slay, or even a wooden board and nails, art therapy provides a more pleasing way for you to address issues that contribute to your drug problem. It’s almost like equine therapy in that regard.

  • Yoga

Yoga and other mindfulness-based therapies may be used to increase awareness and help you connect with yourself again, as it’s believed you are disconnected from your body when you engage in substance abuse. There is even the Yoga of 12-Step Recovery programmes, which infuse the traditional 12-step recovery model with yogic philosophy.

  • Emotional freedom techniques (EFT) or tapping

This is an energy-psychology technique that involves you tapping on a sequence of points connected to meridians or acupressure points on your body. As you tap, you will be required to mention the current problem or emotional issue. It is a useful technique for addressing the underlying causes of your addiction.

There are other alternative therapies available, including:

  • Adventure therapy
  • Biofeedback or neuro-feedback
  • Psychodrama

Medications used to treat Meth Addiction

The drugs currently used in detox are those that can help manage withdrawal symptoms and make the process less unpleasant. However, there is ongoing research into drugs that can reduce meth usage or take care of cravings, or even serve both functions.

One of the drugs showing the most promise for light use of meth is buproprion, which may reduce usage of the substance. It has also shown promise for reducing cravings. Other drugs shown to have the potential for reducing usage include naltrexone, mirtazapine, and topiramate.

As far as reducing cravings goes, many drugs have been tested but showed no success. However, some drugs have shown more promise, including naltrexone, nicotine, and rivastigmine, dextroamphetamine.

Inpatient and Outpatient Facilities

Inpatient or residential treatment facilities are typically reserved for severe cases of substance usage disorders. If you are admitted to one of these, you will receive supervision from qualified medical personnel throughout the duration of the programme. If you’ve previously tried to stop using meth but were unable to cope with the withdrawal symptoms on your own, there is a good chance you will benefit from inpatient care.

Outpatient rehab is more flexible, as you won’t have to live in a treatment facility. It is likely to be sufficient if you don’t need the level of intensity obtainable in inpatient rehab. If outpatient rehab is found to be a viable option, you will have to commute to treatment sessions as often as needed. It is cheaper than inpatient treatment, but you won’t have round-the-clock professional care.

Dual-Diagnosis Facilities

In a dual-diagnosis treatment centre, you will not only receive treatment for your substance use disorder, but also for any co-occurring mental health issues. It is possible that you already had a mental health issue before you started using the drug, whether that was attention deficit disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety or depression.

The focus of treatment in a dual-diagnosis facility will be the root causes of your problems, as well as the symptoms of your mental health disorder. It may be that you now have a problem with crystal meth, because it provided relief for some of the symptoms of a mental health condition you might not even have known was there.

The issues connecting mental health and drug addiction are very complex, so the best place to receive treatment is a dual-diagnosis facility, where the personnel have sufficient experience dealing with such issues.

Credentials of the facility

When you’re thinking of the best facility to handle your dual diagnosis, you should be looking for one with the right staff qualifications. Any options worth considering must have a psychiatrist or team of psychiatrists on site with the required experience to tackle your problem and provide the quality of treatment you need. Once that is confirmed, you can then begin to consider other important credentials like the staff-to-patient ratio.

Length of your treatment

Meth is a highly addictive drug and you could easily find yourself going down the drug dependence route before long. Due to the potency of the substance, withdrawal can be extremely difficult, especially because of the intense cravings you are likely to experience. It’s best to seek professional help by joining a formal treatment programme.

Regarding how long treatment will take, the actual length of time will differ from one person to another, because your set of circumstances will be different from that of the next person. The factors that will determine the actual length of treatment include the severity of your addiction and the nature of any co-occurring conditions. However, there are general guidelines you may consider.

The minimum length of time recommended for rehab is 30 days. On average, the length of time is about 90 days for inpatient rehab. Since outpatient rehab is not as intensive, you can expect to spend an average time of one year receiving outpatient treatment.

Cost of your treatment

The cost of getting treatment varies widely and can range from no cost at all to millions of pounds. One of the most crucial factors that goes into determining what treatment will cost is the standard of the treatment centre and the quality of the facilities it offers. The length of the programme and location also matter.

Inpatient is costlier than outpatient treatment, as you might expect. In the UK, you may have to pay about £2,000 on average for a week-long residential rehab programme, covering food, accommodation, and medication. There are higher and lower end options available. Some of the lower cost treatment options may be accessed through your local NHS services or community/religious groups that may even offer free treatment.

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Advice for the Family

While you and the rest of the family might want to focus on your addicted loved one, you need to be committed to your own health and life goals. You also need to allow your loved one to take care of themselves while showing that you’re taking care of yourself too.

As you focus on what to do, you should also think about what you must not do. Never try to lecture or preach to your addicted loved one. Don’t suffer for them either, or make excuses for them. You also mustn’t blame yourself for their addiction or make threats you won’t carry out.

What to do after meth addiction treatment and rehab

After meth rehab, the focus should be on preventing relapse and maintaining long-term sobriety. The best thing you can do is to commit to internalising all you learnt in rehab and applying that in the real world. You need to live a more wholesome life by eating well and exercising regularly, amongst other beneficial life changes. It is best to join a support group right after treatment, where you can get the community and social support you need to remain on track.

Staying Clean and Sober

The focus of therapy is to get to the root of your addiction and equip you with the skills needed to identify triggers and overcome them, before they push you to relapse. By applying what you learnt in treatment and implementing the necessary life changes, you’ll stand a better chance of success. It’s important to surround yourself with supportive individuals who can help you reach your goals.

Peer/Family Support and the Road Ahead

Support from the people closest to you – including your friends and family – is essential for successful recovery. As they try their best to be there for you, they may make mistakes and you need to be able to put yourself in their shoes. Encourage them to live their lives and focus on themselves, as you focus on yourself. Also, try to be as open as possible with them and make it easier for them by abiding by any rules they create to help keep you grounded.

Helping the meth addict

If you are close to someone who is addicted to meth, you should recognise that you can be a huge impact on their recovery process by giving them the support they need to pull through in the end. Learn to speak frankly with them about their journey and how best to ensure they don’t relapse. They may also need you to enforce any agreed-upon rules to keep them on track.


FAQs

What Is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is a potent and highly addictive stimulant that exerts its effects on the central nervous system. It is also called crystal, ice, and chalk, among other names for it. It typically comes in the form of bitter, odourless, and white crystalline powder, easily dissolvable in alcohol or water. It was developed from amphetamine in the 20th century, originally to be used in bronchial inhalers and nasal decongestants.

Why Is Methamphetamine So Addictive?

Meth causes the brain to produce as much as 10 times the regular level of dopamine and it prompts a rush of adrenaline or norepinephrine as well. The first few times you use the drug, it is a conscious choice, but because it affects the limbic system of the brain (which is responsible for memory, learning, and emotion), the decision to take meth soon moves to the part of the brain that controls involuntary actions. Thereafter, dependence begins to develop with continued usage.

Side Effects and Dangers of Methamphetamine

Meth abuse can result in a number of physical and psychological side effects. Some of the physical effects include sexual dysfunction, seizures, stroke, heart attack, and weight loss, among others. Some of the mental effects of using the drug include paranoia, psychosis, memory loss, violent behaviour, insomnia, and anxiety, among others.

What to Look for in a Meth Recovery Programme

Before you choose a recovery programme, there are a number of factors you must consider carefully. The goal is to find a treatment centre that will be a great fit for your treatment needs and special requirements.

You’ll need to find out what experience their staff have treating meth addiction, the types of treatment they offer, and the success rate of the programme. You’ll also need to find out whether they have an aftercare programme, what they charge for treatment, and whether they offer treatment for dual-diagnosis (if that’s what you need).

What Happens During Meth Treatment?

Your experience will depend on whether you opt for inpatient or outpatient treatment. If you are treated in an inpatient facility, you can expect a caring and supportive environment, where you’ll have to adhere to a regimen that dictates when you eat and sleep.

Whichever mode you opt for, treatment will begin with detox, during which you will experience withdrawal symptoms. With medical practitioners around, you’ll be given medications to ease your symptoms and round-the-clock supervision, in case there are complications. Therapy follows detox and may be conducted on an inpatient or outpatient basis.

How Much Does Treatment Cost?

There is no universal cost for meth addiction treatment, but on average, you can expect to pay about £2,000 for a seven to ten day inpatient programme. What you end up paying may be much lower or even higher than that figure, depending on the treatment centre of your choice. It is worth noting that outpatient treatment is considerably cheaper than inpatient treatment.

What Treatments Are Available for Teens?

Teens are as susceptible as adults in becoming addicted to meth. Substance abuse in teen years can cause serious problems in school, as well as in social and family life. Due to the potential of meth to damage the brain, it is important to get help as soon as you possibly can.

There are specialist treatment centres where your teen can get the help he or she needs. Some of the treatments your teen can benefit from include: family therapy, recreational therapy, tutoring, group therapy, and individual counselling.

Does Meth Addiction Treatment Work?

Yes, it does. The purpose of treatment – particularly therapy – is to dig deeper and tackle the problem at its root. This way, it becomes clearer how to proceed with treatment in order to ensure long-term sobriety. Regardless of the approach to treatment or the preferred therapy used, addiction treatment is aimed at ensuring you change your destructive habits to more productive ones. Even if you happen to relapse after treatment, you’ll know how to get back up and carry on.

Are Meth Rehab Programmes Confidential?

Yes. Just like your doctor is not allowed to disclose the details of your medical records with anyone, nor are the personnel in a rehab facility. There are rehab centres that cater specifically to people who are looking for a very private centre, away from the public eye. You might want to opt for that if you are a company executive or in the limelight and want maximum privacy.

How Long Does Inpatient Meth Rehabilitation Last?

The duration of rehab will largely depend on the severity of your addiction. Long-term rehab may last as long as six months or more, while short-term rehab may last three to six weeks or less, depending on the nature of your drug case.

Should I Travel for meth rehab or Stay at Home?

The decision of whether to stay close to home or receive treatment in a facility abroad will depend largely on your environment and personal preferences. It might do you a world of good to get treatment far from home if your current environment is toxic or not supportive. On the other hand, if your family is very supportive, it might be a good idea to receive treatment close to home.

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