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Help for Meth Addiction – Treatment Options for Recovery
June 6th, 2010 by Patrick

What is the best way to get help for meth addiction?  What are the best treatment options for recovery in this case?

Well like with any drug, your best bet is going to start out with going to inpatient rehab.  This is almost always the best choice for nearly any addict who is trying to get clean and sober.  The reason for this is because an inpatient drug rehab has the most resources available to help you with your drug addiction.  For example, they usually have 12 step meetings, but also counseling, therapists, group therapy, and so on.  They might also be able to refer you to outpatient treatment or to long term rehab if that is deemed necessary.  So going to an inpatient treatment center can be much more than just having a few weeks locked up without any drugs.  You can have real opportunities there to make real progress with your recovery and set yourself up for success when you leave.

Not Even Once


 photo credit: Nathan Jongewaard

Meth addiction in particular can be a bit tricky because you do not necessarily have to detox someone for meth.  Most rehab centers will actually not put you in the detox ward when you get to rehab, but instead just have you start attending groups right away.  Why is  this?  Because there are only very minimal physical withdrawal symptoms from a meth user, whereas other drugs can have much more intense withdrawal symptoms.  In fact, many drugs can actually be dangerous to come off of but Meth is one that is completely safe to stop using cold turkey, even with no medical supervision.

Why does this make it tricky?  Well in part, quitting meth is extremely easy, because there is no withdrawal from it.  So any meth user can just put it down with no major problems.  This is a good thing, right?

Wrong.  The fact that meth is easy to put down makes it that much easier to pick it back up again.  Meth addicts know that there is no real penalty when they quit cold turkey, so it is much easier to justify a relapse than it is with other drugs.

For example, take a heroin addict who is on the brink of relapse.  They know that if they shoot up again, that eventually, they will have to go through the withdrawal process from heroin, and they know how incredibly uncomfortable that will make them feel.  So the heroin addict has real incentive to stay clean and sober, because they know how miserable the detox process is.

The meth user has no such incentive.  Even alcoholics have a bit of built in insurance when it comes to this, because alcohol withdrawal is no walk in the park either, and can be quite miserable.  In fact, alcohol withdrawal is generally one of the most dangerous detoxes out there, and can be fatal if it is not properly supervised.

So give meth the proper respect it deserves in being a very difficult drug addiction to overcome.  Just because the withdrawal is quite minimal does not mean that you should not take the treatment for this drug seriously.  Residential treatment is still probably the best idea in most cases and some meth addicts will even opt for long term rehab.  Long term treatment makes a lot of sense actually, because meth is more of a lifestyle drug, and it can take quite a bit of structure and disruption to overcome those old habits.  Many meth addicts are more addicted to the lifestyle that meth use brings along with it than they are to the drug itself.  The late nights, the week long binges, the partying….it is all part of the total package that the drug addict tends to glorify in their minds.  Overcoming this lifestyle element is best done with long term rehab.


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