Crystal meth, also known as methamphetamine, is a highly addictive psycho-stimulant that produces intense feelings of euphoria and a high energy in the user. The drug works by chemically mimicking normal brain messenger chemicals that produce positive feelings in response to signals from the brain. When the patient uses crystal meth, it stimulates the reward center, which “short circuits” the survival mechanism, because the reward center cell can’t tell the difference between the drug and the natural chemical messenger. When the patient repeats the use process of crystal meth repeatedly, the results are addiction and dependence upon the drug that can cause these desirable feelings quickly and dependably.
Unfortunately, in order to spark the reward pathway and increase mood and activity, crystal meth also short circuits the brain, rendering it incapable of producing this high energy, happy response normally for a time, according to the Illinois Attorney General. When the amphetamine molecule comes in through the blood stream, it bypasses the natural nerve cells and causes the artificial release of normal, chemical messengers for positive feelings.
Types of Meth Addiction Help
Crystal meth addiction help comes in a variety of forms; you can choose from inpatient crystal meth rehab, sober living, outpatient addiction treatment, outpatient support, and aftercare options. Each of these provides different benefits for the crystal meth addict living with the long-term effects of psychological dependence upon the stimulant drug. Here’s what you need to know:
Inpatient crystal meth rehab. Inpatient crystal meth rehab, or residential crystal meth rehab, offers the most comprehensive crystal meth addiction help for a number of reasons. The 24/7 treatment model allows the addict the time to take full advantage of all the resources available in treatment, such as personal therapy, group therapy, educational classes on addiction as well as job skills and other issues, alternative therapies, well-balanced meals, exercise programs and more. The constant guidance means a lesser chance of relapse and an increase in the ability of the patient to receive personalized care that caters to his or her needs.
Sober living. True crystal meth addiction healing comes with time. The longer you stay at an inpatient treatment option like rehab or sober living, the stronger you will be when you return home and the more capable you will be of fighting off temptation and avoiding relapse for the long term – more so than with any other substance of addiction. For those who don’t feel that they are still fully prepared to return home after rehab but believe they have enough coping skills to begin the process of reintegration into the “real world,” sober living provides a drug-free environment, staff members to provide guidance and support, continued access to therapy and treatment, and a more flexible schedule that allows you to start your new life while maintaining accountability to your treatment goals.
Outpatient addiction treatment. In some cases, finances or family responsibilities won’t allow you to attend an inpatient treatment center, and in these instances, outpatient crystal meth addiction help is the best option. Outpatient crystal meth treatment may provide you with some of the same educational and counseling crystal meth addiction help that you will find at an inpatient crystal meth rehab, and aftercare services like personal therapy and group therapy can assist you as well. Outpatient support services can increase the efficacy of your non-residential treatment and help you to avoid relapse when you are not at the treatment center.
Aftercare services. When you leave residential care or sober living, it’s important that you maintain the integrity of your treatment program by utilizing the many aftercare options available to you. Crystal meth addiction hotlines provide 24-hour support, advice and answers to questions you may have. Twelve-step meetings help you find a local support system of others who are clean and sober. Personal therapy sessions and therapy groups that focus on drug addiction recovery can help you process through stressors and learn how to remain relapse-free. The more options you incorporate into your post-treatment recovery, the more likely you are to avoid falling back into old behavior patterns.
What Happens During Treatment?
There are several key processes that come together to create a unique and effective rehab experience for each patient who enters treatment. Each type of addiction treatment service highlights another effect of addiction in the life of the individual and provides the opportunity to make changes going forward that can mend the past and build toward a stronger future.
- Crystal meth detox. Drug detox starts with the stabilization of the patient according to his or her issues related to chronic addiction, co-occurring mental health issues, and physical illness. It continues with the process of flushing the toxins associated with crystal meth from the system and helping the patient work toward balance and sustained natural energy to face the challenges of addiction treatment.
- Individual counseling. One-on-one sessions allow the patient to take part in private sessions with a therapist to discuss the issues that led to their addiction and uncover solutions to help them make better decisions and enact more productive life strategies.
- Group counseling. Meetings with a counselor and other member of the drug rehab program are a chance to open up and speak about one’s addiction in an honest way. The supportive environment of others in group counseling who are also living with similar issues allows the patient to experience many “breakthroughs” and positive experiences.
- Experiential therapy. Hands-on therapies like art therapy, equine-assisted therapy, psychodrama, and outdoors and adventure therapy all give the patient a more active way to access the emotional issues that may be holding them back in recovery. Using the body as a gateway to the mind and spirit can help the patient to break through the bonds tying them to crystal meth.
- Family therapy. Dedicated to helping you and your family members mend the fences broken during active addiction, regular family therapy sessions provide a safe forum for you and your loved ones to discuss how you feel about the past, your hopes for the future, and to learn healthy communication practices.
- Crystal meth aftercare. When an individual re-enters the world after crystal meth rehab, he or she faces a number of unique challenges, such as temptation brought about by the return of old friends and old habits, stresses at home, struggles in finding new employment, and/or the return of old emotional issues. Outpatient therapies, alternative treatments, 12-step meetings, alumni groups and more can help keep the patient on track as he or she transitions out of the protective environment of rehab.
Who Will Benefit From Treatment?
Those living with an active dependence upon crystal meth are seeking treatment in droves. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Treatment Episodes Data Set (TEDS) Report, in 1992, one percent of those entering drug rehab did so in search of help for crystal meth addiction and a mere six years later, that number had increased to eight percent. More and more states are noticing and reporting an increase in the identification of crystal meth as the primary drug of addiction among patients entering rehab.
For those exhibiting signs of crystal meth dependence, drug rehab remains the number one treatment recommended by substance abuse treatment professionals. These signs may include:
- The inability to stop using crystal meth despite the knowledge of the harm caused
- Problems with the law due to crystal meth use
- Stealing from friends and family to support one’s habit
- Difficulties at work or school because of heavy drug use
- Extended periods of sleeplessness followed by long periods of sleep (“crashing”)
- Excessive talking while under the influence of the drug
- Scars on the face as a result of smoking crystal meth or “picking”
- Problems pertaining to the teeth and gums due to heavy meth abuse (also known as “meth mouth”)
Anyone experiencing any combination of these signs and symptoms will benefit from crystal meth rehab and addiction treatment.
Best Treatment Practices for Crystal Meth Addiction and Methamphetamine Disorders
According to the National Institutes of Health, behavioral therapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and contingency management interventions are the best way to help the patient move forward after crystal meth addiction with a lesser chance of relapse. Though detox and medical care are necessary for initial stabilization and in an ongoing attempt to manage co-occurring mental health issues, psychological addiction treatment is the primary source of help and healing for those in recovery.
A program that includes the following components will be most beneficial in treating an individual’s personal struggle with addiction and other issues:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Family education classes or workshops
- Family therapy
- 12-step support or introduction
- Personal therapy
- Group therapy
- Drug testing
- Support of all non-drug-related activities and interests
- Tangible incentives for continuing to remain attached to treatment programs and therapies for the long term while remaining drug-free
In some cases, it may be beneficial for patients to take medication in conjunction with a comprehensive crystal meth rehab program. Though there are no pharmacological measures approved for the treatment of crystal meth addiction, antidepressant medications and other medications currently in clinical trials may be effective in reducing cravings over a long period of time.
Addressing Delayed Cravings and Relapse After Rehabilitation
Crystal meth addiction is unique among other drugs of addiction because of the cycle of relapse noted by patients in recovery. Though most who relapse after drug rehab do so within the first few months after returning home, crystal meth addicts tend to “slip” and use the drug or binge for days at a time about seven to nine months after leaving treatment. The cycle of cravings is far longer among crystal meth addicts, which means that the treatment model should be adjusted to address this fact effectively. Long-term inpatient care is one way to combat the issue. Another is the choice of sober living with on-site staff support. A heavy outpatient regimen requiring check-ins and accountability at multiple programs are another way for those fighting crystal meth addiction to avoid relapse during recovery.
Prognosis After Treatment
According to the U.S. Library of Medicine, the prognosis for the future after rehab will vary depending upon a number of factors. Some of the factors affecting the rate of success in recovery include:
- The amount of crystal meth taken daily during active abuse
- The number of binges in a given period during addiction
- How long chronic crystal meth abuse continued prior to treatment
- Other drugs of addiction used during that time
- The existence of co-occurring mental health issues either as a result of crystal meth addiction or diagnosed prior to the onset of addiction behaviors
- The level of treatment and care given to chronic health issues, depression, anxiety and other related problems
In general, the more quickly the patient receives treatment, the better his or her chances of experiencing a full recovery. Unfortunately, if psychosis and paranoia are an issue, they may last for as long as a year after rehab no matter how aggressive the treatment. Memory loss and sleep issues may be untreatable. However, with ongoing follow-up care and treatments that require accountability for behaviors and abstinence from all drugs of addiction, the chances of a full recovery increase significantly.
Treatment at Michael’s House
Michael’s House is a residential rehab program committed to helping individuals who are addicted to crystal meth and their families. The experts at Michael’s House know that it is just as important to treat the spirit of the individual as it is the mind and the body, and therefore those who leave the program are better equipped to deal with the ongoing challenges of staying sober.
Speak with an Admissions Coordinator 877-345-8494