Treatment for Meth Addiction
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Francine Mends, MD on August 13, 2020
Meth addiction can damage your relationships, work life, finances, and health if you let it go unchecked without treatment.
Methamphetamine is a stimulant drug that boosts your nervous system activity. You may know it as ice, crystal, or blue. It also comes in a prescription pill form called Desoxyn.
This highly addictive drug increases your stamina and confidence but at the expense of your quality of life.
It takes only a few uses for physical dependence to set in. From there, it becomes hard to juggle your responsibilities with the need to avoid meth withdrawal.
If meth addiction is affecting your life, then it’s time to talk about treatment.
You can take action to get into meth recovery right now. Inpatient programs offer treatment for people who need constant stability and structure. For people who need the flexibility to keep tending to their responsibilities, outpatient programs offer support on a forgiving schedule.
Both types of programs combine therapy and counseling with recovery education. This helps you prepare for a lifetime of recovery without meth.
Inpatient Treatment Programs for Meth Addiction
Most people who have stimulant use disorder (SUD) are good candidates for inpatient treatment. The exact level of support varies from program to program, but inpatient programs typically offer a high level of oversight and support.
Inpatient programs are the most structured type of treatment program for addiction. These programs schedule every hour of your day so you’re constantly focused on recovery education, activities, therapy, and group discussions.
These programs typically take place in a hospital or a dedicated addiction facility, so you’ll have access to specialized treatment around-the-clock. Meth addiction often comes with long-term health problems; Thus, people recovering from meth should consider inpatient programs for that extra level of support.
Anyone who can afford the time commitment should go to an inpatient program. These programs are highly effective, especially when they last for 3 months or longer.
Residential Programs for Meth Addiction
A residential program offers high structure and support in a homelike environment. You’ll have structured programming during the day, which might include therapy appointments, group meetings, or recovery-focused activities.
In the evening and between programming, you’ll have enough free time to relax. But not so much free time that you’ll start to feel restless.
You might be a good candidate for a residential program if you need inpatient-levels of stability, but don’t have medical issues that call for 24/7 monitoring.
Outpatient Treatment Programs for Meth Addiction
Outpatient treatment programs help address your meth addiction while balancing your responsibilities at home. In these programs, you’ll attend treatment part-time, which usually involves daily appointments or programming and regular drug tests.
Outpatient Treatment Programs for Meth Addiction
An outpatient treatment program is the most flexible option for meth addiction treatment. This program type uses part-time programming to help you achieve recovery.
Your care may include:
- Regular medical appointments
- Random or scheduled drug testing
- Recovery education
- Counseling and therapy
- Medication-assisted treatment
Partial Hospitalization Programs for Meth Addiction
A partial hospitalization program (PHP) treats meth addiction in a way that combines the best of both inpatient and outpatient treatment.
PHPs are similar to a full-time job in terms of time commitment. You’ll attend treatment for 30 to 40 hours weekly during the day.
That time includes:
- Counseling to help you with personal stress and social skills
- Therapy to teach you coping methods and help treat your meth addiction at the source
- Recovery education such as workshops and discussion groups
- Social support in the form of 12-Step groups or other support groups
Spending so much time in treatment means that you’re getting the benefits of inpatient without the inflexibility. PHP programs let you focus on uncovering the reasons behind your meth addiction so you can move on to recovery.
Intensive Outpatient Programs for Meth Addiction
Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) are a step down from PHP programs in terms of time commitment, but not in terms of care.
These programs are more time-intensive than a typical outpatient program. You’ll attend treatment at least 3 days weekly for a few hours at a time.
Those hours are packed with recovery education, counseling, therapy and other treatments. The spread-out schedule makes it easier to keep working or attending to other responsibilities.
Therapy and Counseling for Meth Addiction
Both inpatient and outpatient programs treat meth with evidence-based therapy and counseling methods. Right now, there are no medications approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to treat meth addiction, but that could change in the future.
The most effective treatments for meth addiction include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Contingency management
- Matrix Model
- Motivational interviewing
- 12-Step therapy
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT helps you develop awareness and self-control over your behavior and emotions. It’s common for stressful situations to lead to meth cravings, whether you’re new to recovery or not.
Like other addictions, meth addiction has roots in learning and behavior. You can unlearn bad coping strategies that lead you to relapse and replace them with healthy coping methods.
Contingency management therapy rewards you for following the rules of treatment. When you meet treatment milestones that you agree upon ahead of time, you receive a motivational incentive.
An incentive can be:
- A voucher for dinner, a movie, or other activities
- A cash-based prize
You may earn incentives for:
- Having a meth-free urine test result
- Attending all of your treatment sessions in a week
- Meeting long-term recovery goals
The longer you meet your goals and continue to have meth-free urine tests, the larger the values of the incentives become. At the same time, if you test positive for meth or stop meeting your goals, the incentive value resets to zero.
The Matrix Model is a treatment specifically designed for stimulant addiction, which includes cocaine and meth addiction.
This treatment model uses a combination of therapy and skills groups to help you build your meth recovery education. The skills groups you’ll participate in include:
- Early Recovery Skills group
- Relapse Prevention group
- Family Education group
- Social Support group
If you’re not sure why you should care about meth recovery, then motivational interviewing can help you uncover your reasons.
Motivation is a significant part of recovery, just as ambivalence is a big part of addiction. If you can’t pinpoint a reason to stop using meth, then motivational interviewing can help you find one.
This kind of therapy challenges your feelings and encourages you to find a reason to change.
12-Step therapy is an evidence-based treatment for meth addiction. Doctors have long used it to treat alcohol use disorder (AUD), but it’s an effective means of treating meth addiction and other stimulant addictions too.
The 12-Step program centers around 3 ideas:
- Acceptance of your addiction
- Surrender to recovery
- Active involvement in the recovery community
Recovery Education for Meth Addiction
No matter what the program length or type, all treatment programs for meth addiction include recovery education as a critical part of your stay.
Meth addiction affects your ability to:
- Care for yourself and others
- Keep a job
- Maintain your hygiene
- Nurture your relationships
- Prioritize your health
- React to life stress
Recovery education helps you learn the skills and coping methods needed to overcome meth addiction long-term. Addiction is a lifelong disease that requires ongoing care. You’ll want to know as much about it as possible so you can give yourself that care.
During treatment, you may receive education in the form of:
- Discussion groups
- Required reading
Aftercare Programs for Meth Addiction
When you leave treatment for meth addiction, you should have a plan in place for aftercare.
Aftercare is a necessary part of recovery for anyone living with an addiction. Your addiction doesn’t stop when you leave recovery. You’ll spend the rest of your life managing your disorder to some degree, and having an aftercare plan in place makes it easier.
The degree of aftercare that you need depends on:
- Your meth use habits
- How long you used meth
- Whether you used other drugs
- Your relapse history
- Your health history
There are different levels of aftercare available depending on your needs. If you have a long history of use or have relapsed before, then a high level of aftercare like a therapeutic community may be the right choice. If you are stable and prefer a flexible aftercare program, then support groups and outpatient treatment are available.
If you have a history of relapsing on meth, then a therapeutic community (TC) could help you achieve long-term recovery.
A TC is a long-term residential community for people living with addiction. There are TCs specifically for people who are recovering from stimulant addiction, like meth.
Therapeutic communities support long-term recovery by offering:
- Access to medical care
- On-site counseling and mental health support
- Resources for job seeking and healthcare
- Social support in recovery
- Stable and structured living environment
Sober Living Homes
Also called recovery houses, a sober living home provides you with a less-structured option for live-in aftercare.
At a sober living home, there are fewer rules and more freedom. But you’ll find less access to medical care and resources as a result. The most basic rule is that you have to live drug-free while you’re under their roof.
If you need to remove yourself from your home environment to make recovery stick, then a sober living home could be the perfect place to do that. Home is commonly full of relapse triggers, and a sober living home is a trigger-free environment.
Support groups are a critical part of any aftercare plan. Whether you’re taking care of your recovery at home or attending a sober living home, you can benefit from a support group.
Support groups provide you with a social network that understands where you’ve been with meth addiction and recovery.
Crystal Meth Anonymous is a national support group based on Alcoholics Anonymous, but many addiction and recovery support groups welcome people in recovery from meth.
Continuing Outpatient Treatment
Not everyone who needs aftercare for meth recovery needs a live-in solution.
If sober living homes and TCs offer too much oversight for you, then you might be looking for an option that you can use part-time while living at home. Outpatient treatment can keep you in long-term recovery from meth.
Find Treatment for Meth Addiction
Search our directory to find cutting-edge addiction treatment centers near you. Reach out to treatment centers that offer evidence-based treatment for meth addiction, like motivational interviewing (MI) and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).
With compassionate care and recovery-focused treatment, you can live your life without thinking about stimulants!
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