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Treatment for Meth Addiction

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Methamphetamine addiction is usually treated in an inpatient or outpatient setting with medical detox and comprehensive therapy. While meth is a potent substance that can result in severe addiction, recovery is possible with personalized treatment.

What to Expect in Treatment for Meth Addiction

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all treatment for meth addiction because solutions vary greatly according to the individual and the severity of the addiction. Modifications will also need to be made for co-occurring mental health disorders, any physical issues, and any instances of polysubstance abuse. 

The key is to find a meth addiction treatment program that will tailor care to your specific needs. 

When you first engage with meth addiction treatment, you’ll likely undergo an assessment process where you’ll meet with your care team to craft your treatment plan. This plan will serve as the outline of your treatment course, but it will change as you progress in treatment. It’s important not to get locked into one plan, as you will better benefit from flexibility to cater to where you are at that moment in your recovery.

In a basic meth addiction treatment program, you can expect to have these services:

  • Medical detox
  • Inpatient treatment services
  • Outpatient treatment services
  • Therapy, both individual and group
  • Supportive therapies and activities
  • Peer support meetings
  • Aftercare planning

Detoxing From Meth

Meth withdrawal can involve a range of uncomfortable symptoms, such as both depressive and psychotic symptoms. Because of this, medical detox is recommended. If you attempt to detox from meth on your own, relapse is likely, and you could potentially put yourself in danger throughout the process.

In a medical detox setting, you’ll have medical care and psychological support throughout withdrawal. You may be prescribed medications to balance some of the more severe symptoms of withdrawal, promoting your overall comfort. You’ll also receive psychological care, helping you to cope with withdrawal and begin to build skills that will serve you in later recovery.

Which Is Right for Meth Addiction: Inpatient or Outpatient Rehab?

Both inpatient and outpatient rehab may be appropriate to treat meth addiction. The right choice depends on individual circumstances and the severity of the addiction.

If you have been abusing meth for a long time, at high doses, or in conjunction with other substances, inpatient rehab makes more sense. This is also true if you are dealing with co-occurring disorders, such as meth addiction and a mood or personality disorders or other mental health issues.

In an inpatient setting, you’ll be focused on your recovery efforts around the clock, and you’ll have access to medical and mental health support at all times. This greatly reduces your likelihood of relapse during the early phase of recovery, when it is often most likely to occur.

Outpatient rehab can also provide high-quality and effective treatment, but it is best suited to those who have a supportive and sober home environment. It’s common for people to transition between different levels of care, often not linearly, throughout the course of their recovery. This ensures that individuals receive the right level of care they need at that moment rather than following a pre-set timeline.

Which Therapies Work Best for Meth Addiction?

Common forms of therapy that are used in treatment for meth addiction include the following:

  • The Matrix Model: This is a 16-week program that involves behavioral therapy, family therapy, educational sessions, drug testing, and engagement in healthy activities to build a balanced sober life. The Matrix Model has shown to be effective in treating meth addiction and promoting long-term abstinence.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: This form of therapy integrates aspects of both cognitive and behavioral psychology. In sessions, you’ll learn tools and skills to interpret your thoughts and emotions more productively and successfully navigate potential triggers for relapse. 
  • Motivational enhancement therapy: This type of therapy focuses on fostering motivation to enter and stay in recovery. The idea is that if you find internal motivation that is specific to your situation, you are more likely to succeed in your recovery efforts.
  • Group support: In most treatment programs, you’ll participate in some form of group therapy as well as peer support groups. While group therapy sessions are led by a therapist with multiple clients in each session, peer support groups are led by peers who are also in recovery. In both settings, you can meet and learn from others in recovery, and these relationships often form the basis of your support network in recovery.

There are many other different forms of therapy that may be part of your meth addiction treatment program. Be open to suggestions from your treatment team, and be aware that treatment approaches may change throughout your recovery. Individualized treatment will ensure that your needs are met throughout your treatment journey. 

Life in Recovery

In treatment for meth addiction, you’ll craft an aftercare plan with assistance from your therapist and other members of your treatment team. This will include a list of activities that benefit your overall health and sustained recovery. Examples include the following:

  • Attend weekly therapy sessions.
  • Go to regular peer support group meetings, often a few per week.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Volunteer to give back to the community.
  • Eat healthy.
  • Prioritize self-care.
  • Check in with my doctor regularly to ensure my medication doses are still working for me.

It’s important that you continue to participate in these activities as you exit formal treatment. Oftentimes, if you slack on your aftercare plan, that is when relapse occurs.

While recovery is a lifelong process, addiction can be successfully managed with the right treatment and support. After treatment, you’re on a good path to leave meth abuse in your past and build a better future in recovery.

Updated August 29, 2023
  1. Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment. (2023). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
  2. Methamphetamine Drug Facts. (May 2019). National Institute on Drug Abuse.
  3. Withdrawal Symptoms in Abstinent Methamphetamine-Dependent Subjects. (April 2011). Addiction.
  4. Pharmacological Approaches to Methamphetamine Dependence: A Focused Review. (June 2010). British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.
  5. Methamphetamine Use Disorder: The Next Addiction Crisis. (September 2020). JAMA Psychiatry.
  6. Patterns and Characteristics of Methamphetamine Use Among Adults — United States, (March 2020). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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