Crystal Meth Detox
Crystal meth detox can be a scary concept, but it's also a necessary first step in a successful recovery. Meth withdrawal symptoms and cravings make it difficult to break free from addiction, but professional help makes the process go more smoothly.
As of 2015, approximately 5.4 percent of Americans over the age of 12 have tried meth, and many who try it become addicted. Despite the highly addictive nature of crystal meth, returning to a drug-free lifestyle is possible, especially when you have the support of trained professionals experienced in the drug rehab process.
Call The Treatment Center at (844) 211-7944 to speak to an admissions counselor about your crystal meth detox concerns, and learn how to start your recovery today.
What is Crystal Meth?
Crystal meth is a man-made stimulant with a chemical structure similar to amphetamine. Methamphetamine is sometimes prescribed for ADHD or narcolepsy, but it isn't used often because there are much safer, less addictive drugs that treat the same condition. Those who abuse meth typically take more than the recommended amount in a single dose.
Pure meth is an odorless white crystalline powder with a bitter taste. It can be formed into a rock shape, which looks similar to a crystal, or made into a pill. Some of the commonly used street names for meth include speed, ice, chalk, Tina, glass and crystal. Meth users consume the drug by eating, smoking or snorting it. Some users inject a diluted version of the drug. Many Americans have tried meth, and many who try it get addicted. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a 2012 study found that about 1.2 million people used methamphetamine in the previous year.
People who use meth typically experience an intense euphoric high that fades quickly. The high is caused by an increase of dopamine in the brain. Meth affects dopamine in two different ways: it causes the brain cells to release extra dopamine and also prevents the neurons from reabsorbing the excess dopamine. This results in an extremely high level of dopamine, which causes an intense high. Some users binge on meth to maintain the high, taking consecutive hits of the drug for several hours or days.
When the dopamine is used up, the meth user usually experiences a big crash. The crash after a meth binge makes addicts crave more meth, so users often go through repeated cycles of bingeing and crashing. A meth user often develops a tolerance to the drug over time, so it takes more and more meth to experience a high.
Because meth is so highly addictive, it can be extremely hard to break free on your own. Meth addiction treatment at an accredited drug treatment center is essential. The Treatment Center works with you to develop a treatment program specific to your personality and circumstances.
Side Effects of Meth
Anytime you use meth, you can experience side effects while the drug is active in your system. Many users also experience side effects during the crash when dopamine levels drop rapidly. Meth side effects can include:
- Feeling on edge or agitated
- Experiencing intense anger or fear
- Difficulty thinking
- Difficulty controlling your emotions
- Dry mouth
- Severe itching
- High body temperature
- Passing out
- Rapid or irregular heart rate
- Decreased appetite
- Fast breathing
- Increased blood pressure
- Intense depression during a crash
If you notice these symptoms of meth use in someone you care about, it might be time to stage an intervention to help that person get into treatment before it is too late.
Recognizing the Signs of Meth Use
Sometimes, a meth addict needs help getting started. If you suspect that a friend or family member might be addicted, there are some signs of meth use you can look out for.
Some clues that a person might be using meth include excess moodiness, dental problems and a withdrawal from friends and activities. Meth users might also sometimes seem extremely alert and energetic when they should be exhausted. A meth addict might also start avoiding friends who don't use meth and start exclusively hanging out with other drug users. Drug users caught in the grip of crystal meth often stop taking care of themselves, forgoing showers, meals, and basic self-care routines.
The Dangers of Long-Term Meth Use
Using meth fo any period of time is extremely dangerous. An addiction to meth can destroy your health and damage relationships. A meth addict who has used the drug for a long time often develops broken teeth and periodontal disease, a condition referred to as “meth mouth.” The addict may create open sores by scratching or picking at the skin. Other long term effects of meth include frequent anxiety, insomnia, extreme weight loss and mood disturbances. Liver and kidney damage can develop after long-term meth use. Meth in high doses can also cause stroke or heart failure.
Some long-term meth users become paranoid and start having delusions and hallucinations. Others may become violent. The parts of the brain associated with learning and memory can be permanently damaged by methamphetamines.
A person who uses meth might be more likely to engage in risky behaviors which can lead to injury or illness. Meth users are also at higher risk for contracting HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.
The Purpose of Methamphetamine Detox
Methamphetamines cause biochemical and physical changes in the brain, so the brain reacts strongly when you stop using them. Before you can learn how to live a life without drugs, your body needs to clear all of the crystal meth out of your system.
A meth detox program isn't just about halting your use of the drug. Detox also helps you work through methamphetamine withdrawal by easing the symptoms and giving you a comfortable, safe environment for recovery.
The Importance of Medically Monitored Detox
Breaking free of crystal meth use can be hard, especially when you've been dependent on the drug for a long time. As the drug leaves your system, meth withdrawal symptoms may develop. If you're trying to do it alone, you have to deal with the detox and methamphetamine withdrawal symptoms all on your own. Cravings can become almost unbearable, and the risk of succumbing to those cravings is higher if you don't have help and support during the withdrawal period.
With medically monitored detox, you get 24-hour access to medical care, so you never need to worry about facing your withdrawal symptoms alone. Questions and concerns that come up during methamphetamine detox and withdrawal are answered right away, and you can ask for help during any part of the process.
Meth Withdrawal Symptoms
Methamphetamine withdrawal symptoms differ between individuals, but some of the things you might experience during detox and withdrawal include:
- Excessive sleepiness
- Excessive hunger
- Drug cravings
Crystal meth withdrawal symptoms typically start within 24 hours of quitting methamphetamines. The symptoms peak quickly and continue to cause significant discomfort for 7 to 10 days. It then takes another two or more weeks before the withdrawal symptoms completely dissipate. The specific strength and timing of your meth withdrawal symptoms depends on how long you've been using the drug, your drug use patterns and whether you have other addictions along with your meth abuse.
Unlike the withdrawal symptoms from alcohol and some other drugs, crystal meth withdrawal symptoms aren't typically deadly. There are no medications currently available for meth withdrawal, but a board-certified physician might prescribe something to ease specific symptoms.
A recovering meth addict who experiences depression and anxiety during meth withdrawal needs therapy for these mood disorders in addition to treatment for the physical withdrawal symptoms. Individual and group therapy sessions can help you deal with the mood swings and emotional turmoil that can accompany detox.
Checking into a Meth Detox and Treatment Program
At The Treatment Center, you get a personalized assessment as soon as you enter our inpatient facility. Your treatment program is based on your specific needs, so you get customized assistance during detox, withdrawal and recovery instead of a one-size-fits-all treatment plan.
If you have underlying mood disorders or addictions to other drugs and alcohol, you can get treated for everything at once. Our board-certified staff has plenty of experience dealing with co-occuring conditions, so you're in good hands when it comes to dealing with an assortment of drug abuse, addiction and mental health issues simultaneously.
Choosing an inpatient detox and treatment program means opting for full-time support during the entire process. You get chef-prepared meals and a comfortable room, so there's no need to stress over your living accommodations while you work on your recovery. You can relax in the meditation garden and get access to doctors, nurses and psychiatrists throughout your stay. Participation in onsite drug-free activities can take your mind off any drug cravings and help you relax while your body and mind heal from the effects of crystal meth. From the moment you enter detox, the focus is entirely on your successful recovery. Learn more about our simple admission process.
How Meth Addiction Treatment Works
Entering treatment for meth abuse and addiction is the first step to a drug-free life. When you get to The Treatment Center, you'll be assessed by our trained staff. We'll develop an individualized treatment program that gives you the best chance of success, and your personalized plan will include things that treat both your body and mind.
Some of the things you might have in your treatment plan include:
- Individual counseling to help you discover the underlying reasons behind your drug use and develop the skills you need to resist meth in the future. A type of counseling called cognitive behavioral therapy gives you specific strategies to identify potential problems that could lead to drug use, as well as skills to counteract cravings.
- Group counseling sessions to share your experiences with others going through treatment and get support from people who know exactly what you're going through.
- Family counseling to heal and repair relationships that might have been damaged by your use of meth.
- Medically-supervised detox to get crystal meth out of your system as safely as possible. Our doctors, nurses and counselors can help you withstand cravings during withdrawal and make your transition from detox into treatment go more smoothly.
- Faith-based treatment options, including prayer sessions, meditation and religious counseling, if you want to include a spiritual component to your recovery.
- 12-step programs that let you work through your recovery in a methodical way. We can also help you find a sponsor to continue your 12-step program after you've left the facility.
- Court liaison services to manage legal issues, including court-ordered treatment plans, while you're at The Treatment Center.
- Dual-diagnosis treatment to help with co-occurring mental health issues during your treatment. Treatment for meth addiction can occur simultaneously alongside treatment for depression, anxiety or other issues.
Your entire experience at The Treatment Center takes place in a safe, comfortable environment. You get full room and board as part of your treatment, so you don't need to worry about your living situation and can concentrate entirely on your recovery. Sober recreational activities and a calm, pleasant setting help you stay relaxed while you learn to live without meth. Medical care is available 24 hours a day in case you need it.
Inpatient treatment and recovery can take weeks or months, depending on the severity of your meth addiction. We will assess you every step of the way to ensure that you are fully prepared to stay sober once you leave our facility. Learn more about our simple admission process.
What Happens After Crystal Meth Detox
Once crystal meth is completely out of your system, the long-term work of recovery begins. You'll spend the next few weeks or months working with doctors and therapists to ensure that you have the tools to stay drug free for the rest of your life. Sticking with your treatment plan gives you a better chance of long-term success.
Some of the treatment options you might take part in during your inpatient stay include:
- Group therapy sessions: These sessions let you work through the emotional and mental issues around your addiction with other inpatient residents who are going through the exact same thing. You'll learn how others deal with cravings and remain motivated throughout treatment, and you'll share your own experiences to help others on the same path.
- Individual therapy: Working with an individual counselor one-on-one, you'll learn how to combat cravings and develop alternative ways to deal with life's stresses that don't involve drug use. You might also explore the reasons why you started using crystal meth and get treatment for emotional issues that could complicate your recovery.
- Faith-based treatment: If you want a spiritual component included in your recovery, you can opt to work with a clergy member or religious therapist. Incorporating your religious views into treatment gives you a solid mental and emotional foundation for your eventual success.
- Family counseling: Working through family issues with the people you love in the presence of a trained therapist can help you repair relationships that were damaged by your addiction. These sessions can also provide your loved ones with concrete, actionable ways to support you once you return home. Developing your sober support system while you're in inpatient care makes transitioning back into normal life easier.
- Court liaison services: If you're an inpatient resident on a court-ordered treatment plan, you can get help with the legal issues surrounding recovery. Having someone else take care of the legal details makes it easier to concentrate on your treatment.
Long-Term Recovery from Meth Addiction
Recovery from meth addiction is a lifelong journey. At The Treatment Center Outpatient Services, we know it can sometimes be hard to stay sober even after you've completed treatment, so we teach you techniques to prevent relapses. You'll learn coping mechanisms and skills to avoid high-risk situations once you're back at home.
Our aftercare programs help you transition from the serene setting of our facility back into your everyday life. Like our inpatient program, this aftercare plan will be tailored to your specific needs. It might include ongoing therapy or participation in a group program with others who have completed treatment. No matter what form your aftercare experience takes, you'll get support as you begin to get used to a sober lifestyle and have someone to turn to when you need help.
If you're ready to stop using meth and turn your life around, call us at (844) 211-7944 to find out how to start your recovery journey. Our lines are open 24/7, so you can get help whenever you need it.