Seeking Rehab for a Meth Addiction

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Patricia Sullivan MD, MPH

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Table of Contents

The First Steps to Seeking Help for Meth Abuse

Questioning whether or not you should seek treatment is an essential first step. We all struggle at times and look for obvious signs we need help. No one wants to believe they have a problem. It’s a natural reaction to deny that a problem exists.

 When you’re feeling low and wanting help, often just the thought of looking for help is overwhelming. And when you’re high, well, you’re high. You may not exactly be thinking about getting help because you’re wrapped up in that feeling.

 Our conscience exists for a reason and if your conscience is nudging you towards seeking help, then you should pay attention and take action.

If you’re hesitating about getting treatment, consider writing yourself a letter to your future self. Remind your future self of the way you feel right now in this moment.

 Remind yourself why you need to get help. Is it the risk of losing your children, or your spouse? Of being homeless? Are you afraid of dying from an overdose? What is scaring you so bad about your addiction right now?

 That’s what your future self needs to be reminded of. Now, find someone you trust to hold on to that letter. Don’t put it somewhere it can be easily destroyed, lost, or forgotten. Give it to someone responsible and ask this person to remind you of this letter in a week, in a month, on a bad day.

Coming back to the letter will give you the strength and courage you need to continue your path to sobriety. You will be able to remind yourself what matters most when you need to hear it the most.


Physical Signs of Meth Addiction

The physical signs of a crystal meth addiction are the ones most people notice. As a meth user, you aren’t the only one noticing these physical changes.

 Everyone around you is noticing these differences as well—including perfect strangers. Hollywood tends to paint a pretty realistic view of a meth addict in the final stages of addiction. This has taught even the most sheltered person a few key warning signs.

Some of the most obvious signs are seen in your hygiene. Meth abusers often have damaged hair. It’s either from hair loss or hair breaking.

 With heavy and long-term use, teeth start to rot and decay. Someone who uses meth will often pick at their skin, leaving marks. Another unique physical trait of someone with a crystal meth addiction is excessive twitching or jerky moves. Or you might be so hyperactive everyone around you is thinking, “can’t you just sit still for five minutes?”

The physical signs of meth addiction can take a while to recover from. While each person’s body changes at different rates, we all know it takes a long time for hair to grow out. And it will likely take a while to save enough money to get your teeth fixed.

 Even though it takes a while to stop meth use and get healthier in appearance, it’s worth the work. Not because other people expect you to look good, but because you feel good about yourself and the way you look. Self-confidence is just another thing meth takes from you.


Behavioral Signs of Meth Addiction

Beyond the Hollywood stereotype, we’ve all seen the way the media portrays meth addiction. They often focus on the things you can see when someone uses methamphetamine.

 They focus much less on the behavioral side of meth addiction. The truth is, showing the behavioral nuances of a crystal meth addiction is hard. You and those closest to you mostly notice the complex changes in your behavior.

Can you think of any behavioral signs you are bothered by? Meth users often experience changes in mood and behavior. This can be from underlying mental health issues being affected by meth. But it can also be from the damage meth does to your brain.

Have you been feeling more anxious since starting meth? Meth increases activity in the central nervous system, your body will begin to feel anxious. This often feels like racing heart, sweaty palms, and an endless stream of thoughts you can’t ignore.

 Maybe you are noticing yourself being more impulsive. You might be trying more dangerous activities without caring for your safety, finding excitement in playing with death. Meth keeps your body in a perpetual state of high alert and stress.

Also, you might be going for days without sleep. When you do finally sleep, it can sometimes be for days. Going without sleep for days on end is hard on your mind and body.

 While meth can keep you awake—and is keeping you awake—your body is struggling to function. Sleep is essential to your overall health. When you are missing sleep, you’re more likely to trigger cancer. You increase your chances of heart failure and stroke when you lose sleep.

 Beyond that, you’re more like to get sick with the flu or a cold. Changes in your behavior need to be taken seriously. These changes often create more difficulties in life. Which, in turn, feeds your desire to use it as a way to escape.

Meth Addiction Treatment Options

While it is tragic the world is experiencing such an increase in drug addictions, it does bring advances in treatment research. Today we know more about treating addiction than we did ten years ago.

 While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to rehab, we now have treatments that lower the risk of relapse. We also have more information on what works or what doesn’t work.

Today we know the main types of therapy—Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Contingency Management—work even better when combined with new medication detox treatments. Many times with meth addiction, inpatient treatment is needed.

 Coming off meth without supervision is dangerous. It can even be deadly. Detox treatment centers do more than provide you with a way to remove the drug from your system. They also monitor your detox. They adjust your treatment regimen if it is too hard on you. These treatment centers also get you started on a therapy plan for the future.

Often, those who provide medication to help with addiction require the completion of a therapy-based program. This is for a few reasons. First, medicine, in this case, isn’t helpful on its own. Medication helps with withdrawal and cravings.

 But, medication doesn’t get rid of the thoughts to use again. Today, we know people start using meth to escape an underlying mental health problem. Once you stop using meth, those thoughts will begin returning and can come back louder than before. This is why some form of therapy is recommended.

 These healthcare providers want to see you conquer more than drugs. They want to see you mentally healthy too, feeling real happiness instead of searching for addictive pleasure.


How to get Treatment for Meth Addiction

The first step is always reaching out. If you are ready to begin the path to recovery from meth addiction, you can give us a call to discuss today. We have access to so many detox and addiction specialists; we can get you set up with one of our recovery partners that can help you begin your journey to a meth-free life.

 As you know all too well, having an addiction to crystal meth is scary. The thought of coming off of meth may be difficult. You’ve come to rely on a drug that makes you feel good, that tricks your brain into telling you everything is fine. A drug that convinces you more is better. A substance that tells you life isn’t worth living without it. Deciding to stop using meth may be the hardest thing you’ll have to do in life.

Susana Spiegel

Susana Spiegel

Susana has experience writing about addiction, treatment, mental health, and recovery. She holds a Bachelors in Arts of Theology from GCU, and has a deep empathy for those who are struggling with addiction, as she is in recovery herself.

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