Picking a Crystal Meth Treatment Center
Here are some key things to pay attention to in a recovery program:
- Does it have experience treating crystal meth or stimulants?
- Can it treat other mental health or medical conditions you might have?
- Does it offer treatment plans that address your specific needs?
- Are the staff qualified and is the facility licensed?
- Will it work with you on a relapse prevention plan for when you leave?
What to Look for in a Crystal Meth Recovery Program
Finding the right rehab facility for you depends on a variety of factors, including the concerns and specific goals or aims you have in seeking treatment. You may want to make a list of questions that you can ask treatment program providers.
Factors to consider include:
- Staff and if they specialize in crystal meth addiction treatment.
- Success rate of the program.
- Cost and whether your insurance will cover treatment.
- Whether the center provides treatment for dual diagnosis cases.
- Types of treatment provided.
- Whether the center has an aftercare program.
Does It Specialize in Crystal Meth or Stimulants?
Recovery from crystal meth abuse requires specialist knowledge and treatment plans. Make sure your treatment providers are aware of these and have experience treating this addiction.
Treating crystal meth abuse and dependence presents several unique challenges when compared to other substance use problems, such as alcoholism. Given that methamphetamine is a stimulant, it leads to an intense crash upon withdrawal. Over time, individuals begin to use it in an effort to avoid this crash, rather than to feel the high.
During this crash period, individuals suffer from intense fatigue and will sleep for extended periods of time. Crashes following crystal meth use are also characterized by hunger, depression and even suicidal thoughts. Detoxification, then, must take these symptoms into consideration while supporting the individual as they return to their normal level of functioning.
Staying clean from crystal meth is an ongoing process. You need to be able to keep cravings in check and avoid relapse. Here are 5 things you can do to stay sober and find support.
In addition to meth addiction, you may also be dealing with other mental health or medical conditions. Those who have mental, behavioral or medical health issues in addition to substance abuse are said to carry a dual diagnosis. Encouragingly, many treatment programs are able to focus on dual diagnosis treatment.
You should be assessed for substance abuse and addiction as well as co-occurring health issues or mental health problems prior to enrolling in a recovery program, so that your treatment can be geared toward any special conditions.
Dual diagnosis mental and/or medical health conditions that benefit from special focus in stimulant addiction treatment include:
- Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
- Significantly reduced oral health.
Does It Offer Individualized Treatment Plans?
Full treatment (as outlined above) typically involves multiple healthcare professionals (e.g., physicians, nurses, therapists) who are in charge of individual stages or types of treatment (e.g., detox, treatment for sores, etc.). Their coordination and co-operation is known as the multidisciplinary approach to treatment.
Multidisciplinary treatment is also adapted to your individual needs.
What Are the Credentials of the Facility and the Staff?
Treatment for substance abuse requires the proper qualifications for staff (e.g., appropriate postgraduate degrees for therapists, such as a master’s, PhD, or MD) and additional certification for healthcare professionals (although this may vary from state to state).
When researching facilities for your treatment, make sure you’re aware of the qualifications and certifications necessary, and make sure the staff at facilities you’re looking at have these.
Another hallmark of a quality treatment facility is a good staff-to-patient ratio. In other words, each staff member should work with a relatively low number of people.
Having enough staff on hand means that you’ll be given the care and attention you need to effectively recover from your crystal meth addiction.
Does It Offer Aftercare and Relapse Prevention Planning?
- Sober living support.
- Residential facilities.
- Ongoing outpatient counseling.
- Regular participation in 12-step meetings.
Relapse is the return to crystal meth use and abuse after a course of treatment. This is not unusual for people and should be viewed as a temporary setback to recovery and not treatment failure.
For many, the likelihood of relapse can be minimized through active participation in aftercare programs. This involves continued support and other forms of treatment taking place after an initial course of treatment.
Aftercare maintains the progress of recovery and abstinence in the future.
What Happens During Crystal Meth Treatment?
A typical treatment process includes the following steps:
Inpatient meth rehab treatment often takes place over approximately 30 days, 60 days or 90 days and includes living at the facility while receiving treatment. Month-long (i.e., 30-day) programs may focus on detox, with limited scope for therapy afterwards. Two- or three-month programs allow for detox followed by longer programs of therapy.
Inpatient treatment offers the advantage of access to a whole multidisciplinary team of providers (see above) and reduces access to the temptation to use and to drug-use triggers. It also offers more intensive treatment for any co-occurring medical or mental health conditions.
Luxury and Executive Rehab
Luxury and executive rehabs are also available. Luxury recovery programs include facilities with a more extensive range of recreational or entertainment amenities, such as swimming and spa treatments.
Executive rehab programs include many elements of luxury programs, but they are also tailored to people who cannot take an extended break from their career while in treatment.
Some inpatient centers allow visitations by friends or family. You may want to include this in your list of pre-treatment questions.
Alternatively, you may continue to live at home, but visit a recovery center regularly to receive treatment. This is known as outpatient treatment. Keep in mind that outpatient programs may be less than effective for heavy and/or long-term abusers of crystal meth.
12-Step programs, such as Crystal Meth Anonymous, are considered supportive therapy and occur in group format. The focus of these groups is supporting you as you learn to live in complete abstinence from the substance.
Outpatient Psychotherapy Programs
While outpatient programs can vary widely, you can generally expect to meet with a drug abuse counselor on a regular basis as you work toward being free from the use of substances.
Common Therapies Used to Treat Crystal Meth Addiction
Several types of psychotherapy and psychosocial treatment may be used to treat meth addiction.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that has received empirical support for the effective treatment of many substance abuse disorders. It is problem-focused and occurs for a limited period of time.
The Matrix Model-Based Therapy approach is based on the premise that recovering individuals require a high degree of structure. The treatment itself draws from other substance abuse treatments, including rewarding abstaining behavior and training in relapse prevention.
Contingency Management uses systematic reinforcement to reward behavior, such as abstaining from use of the substance.
Alternative Forms of Therapy
In addition to psychosocial and psychotherapy, alternative forms of therapy may be available, including:
Yoga and acupuncture may be used as an alternative form of therapy.
- Art therapy.
Drugs Used in Detox
Drugs used in detox to treat withdrawal symptoms include2:
- Antidepressants; to treat depression and anxiety.
- Atypical (newer-generation) antipsychotics (or neuroleptics); such as olanzapine and haloperidol, to treat psychosis.4
How Much Does Treatment Cost?
The cost of crystal meth addiction treatment may depend on several factors. These may include:
You can access state-funded or federally funded treatment programs or facilities if you don’t have insurance.
Check the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s (SAMHSA) Treatment Services Locator or Recovery.org‘s locator services for these possibilities in your area.
- Type of therapy chosen, i.e., inpatient or outpatient (inpatient typically costs more due to room and board).
- Type of insurance you have, e.g., private medical coverage, employer-provided insurance.
- Length of treatment.
- Location, e.g. from city to city or state to state.
- Amenities and services available (or necessary) at the facility of choice.
What Treatments Are Available for Teens?
Adolescents may be particularly vulnerable to substance abuse and health damage related to substance abuse.5
The abuse of crystal meth in this age group may be related to psychiatric conditions such as depression, perceived social isolation and feeling like they don’t have many opportunities for the future.6
Treatment for adolescents may have to take into account the increased risks of psychoses and other psychiatric disorders that have arisen or become worse due to crystal methamphetamine.6 Addressing this substance abuse problem in teens early is crucial.
Crystal meth abuse in teens may be associated with:
- An increased risk of legal issues.
- Risky sexual behavior (which may result in a diagnosis of HIV or another viral condition).
Does Meth Addiction Treatment Work?Join the conversation about choosing the best crystal meth rehab.
Currently, limited evidence supports medication-assisted treatment for crystal meth addiction.
Alternative treatments have been used in detox, including:
- Antidepressants such as sertraline.
- Anticonvulsant/analgesics such as gabapentin.
- Traditional antipsychotics (or neuroleptics) such as risperidone.
- Antiemetics (medications that treat nausea and vomiting) such as ondansetron.
However, there is not much evidence supporting their effectiveness.2
Similarly, a range of medications have been tested as treatments for addiction and relapse prevention for crystal methamphetamine, but with limited success.2
Medications Used to Treat Crystal Meth Addiction
This drug acts on the neurotransmitters in the brain and may help the individual with reducing their self-administration of methamphetamine.
This drug acts on dopamine to help the individual with symptoms of depression that may accompany treatment for crystal meth abuse and dependence.
This drug is an anti-depressant, which can help the individual with symptoms of depression as they recover from addiction and dependence on crystal meth.
This drug is a non-amphetamine that acts as a stimulant to reduce cravings for crystal meth and prevent the individual from having an intense crash during the withdrawal period.
This drug acts on the opioid receptors of the brain and may help the individual with reducing their use of methamphetamine.
An emerging, promising strategy is the use of methamphetamine analogs such as methylphenidate as a medication-assisted treatment.7 However, it has attracted relatively little attention as a research proposal.7
This may be due to the perceived risks of making psychostimulant substances available to addicts,8 even
though their administration would be done under medical supervision.
Medication-assisted or not, a major factor in recovery is following a treatment plan (i.e., being fully committed to, and attending every stage or step of it). This requires discipline and a consistent level of focus on recovery.
Find a Recovery Program
A specialist can offer rehab options based on your insurance coverage and preferences.
 Rommel N, Rohleder NH, Wagenpfeil S, et al. The impact of the new scene drug “crystal meth” on oral health: a case-control study. Clin Oral Investig.2015.
 Radfar SR, Rawson RA. Current research on methamphetamine: epidemiology, medical and psychiatric effects, treatment, and harm reduction efforts. Addict Health.2014;6(3-4):146-154.
 Bart G. Maintenance Medication for Opiate Addiction: The Foundation of Recovery. Journal of addictive diseases.2012;31(3):207-225.
 Leelahanaj T, Kongsakon R, Netrakom P. A 4-week, double-blind comparison of olanzapine with haloperidol in the treatment of amphetamine psychosis. J Med Assoc Thai.2005;88 Suppl 3:S43-52.
 Lyoo IK, Yoon S, Kim TS, et al. Predisposition to and effects of methamphetamine use on the adolescent brain. Mol Psychiatry.2015.
 Fast D, Kerr T, Wood E, Small W. The multiple truths about crystal meth among young people entrenched in an urban drug scene: a longitudinal ethnographic investigation. Soc Sci Med.2014;110:41-48.
 Shearer J. The principles of agonist pharmacotherapy for psychostimulant dependence. Drug Alcohol Rev.2008;27(3):301-308.
 Mariani JJ, Levin FR. Psychostimulant treatment of cocaine dependence. Psychiatr Clin North Am.2012;35(2):425-439.