Meth Addiction Treatment
Methamphetamine (meth) is a stimulant drug that affects the central nervous system (CNS).1 Meth is a Schedule II controlled substance in the United States, which means it has a high potential for misuse, and physical and psychological dependence.1, 10
Meth can be smoked, snorted, injected, or orally ingested and high doses can lead to adverse health effects, including addiction.1, 3
In 2020, about 0.9% of people 12 years old or older have used meth in the past 12 months and 0.6% of people 12 years old or older have been identified as having a stimulant use disorder, including meth addiction, in the past 12 months.4 With the rate of meth use in the United States, treatment may be beneficial in helping those that misuse meth to live a healthier lifestyle.5
In this article, you will learn about methamphetamine treatment options, detoxification, withdrawal symptoms, the difference between inpatient and outpatient treatment, and continuing care to support a person during recovery.
Methamphetamine Treatment Options
Treatment options for meth use disorder can include inpatient or outpatient settings at varying levels of intensity. The type of treatment setting that is right for each person will depend on factors like:6
- How long a person has misused meth.
- How much meth they used.
- Medical conditions or complications.
- Presence of co-occurring disorders.
- Living environment.
- Treatment history.
- Support system.
Detoxification is often the first stage in the recovery process and involves monitoring during acute intoxication and withdrawal from meth.5, 6 If meth use is stopped abruptly, you may experience withdrawal symptoms that may include:
- Intense cravings for meth.8
- Increased heart rate.7
- Muscle or joint aches.7
- Paranoia and agitation.7
One of the most significant risks during meth withdrawal is self-harm and suicidal ideation, so it’s important for a person to be monitored during the detox phase.7
Currently, there are no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medications for the treatment of meth use disorder.7
After detoxification, a person may continue treatment at either an inpatient or outpatient facility to help prevent relapse and create a solid foundation for continued recovery.5
Inpatient Treatment for Meth Addiction
Inpatient treatment includes 24-hour care that is structured and intensive.5 This treatment setting may be recommended if you have more severe drug misuse issues and additional medical and mental health needs.5
A person going through inpatient treatment will live in the facility, which can last anywhere from a few weeks to months, depending on a person’s individual needs.7 Interventions used in inpatient treatment for stimulant use disorders can include:7
- Medical management or monitoring.
- Treatment for co-occurring disorders.
- Mutual support groups.
- Individual counseling.
- Therapy groups.
Outpatient Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment
Outpatient treatment often provides many of the same treatment interventions as inpatient care; however, a person lives at home rather than in the treatment facility.
Outpatient meth treatment may focus on counseling and behavioral therapy, which has been found to be the most effective treatment for stimulant use disorders.7 Typically, a person will come to the facility on a regular basis to receive treatment services like meeting with a drug addiction counselor for regularly scheduled individual or group sessions.5
Levels of outpatient care can vary from partial hospitalization and day treatment to more intensive programs that require attendance for several hours a week.
Treatment for meth addiction typically involves behavioral therapies, which can help a person change their attitudes and behaviors related to drug use and develop skills to live a healthier lifestyle.5, 7 Types of behavioral therapy to treat stimulant use disorders may include:7
- Contingency management: Uses rewards to encourage positive behaviors and abstinence.7
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: Provides ways to change thoughts and behaviors of substance use.7
- Community reinforcement: Uses community engagement to increase lifestyle changes that help recovery.7
Aftercare Programs for Meth Recovery
Aftercare programs, also known as continuing care, can help prevent relapse and encourage abstinence.9 Some aftercare programs may also assist with finding employment, recreation, and securing housing.9
During aftercare, you may learn more about:7
- Root causes of stimulant use.7
- Identifying triggers.7
- Recognizing the consequences of use.7
- Relapse prevention techniques.7
- Drug refusal skills.7
- Social skills training.7
How to Choose a Meth Rehab
When choosing meth treatment, you may want to consider:11
- Whether health insurance covers treatment.
- Are there available treatment beds?
- Accreditation or certifications held by the staff and facility.
- If you need medication management for mental health co-occurring disorders or medical reasons.
- Personal health and medical complications.
- If the facility offers continuing care support.
If you’re not sure where to begin when looking for meth treatment, contact American Addiction Centers. Our compassionate admissions staff is available 24/7 at to help you find the right treatment program and answer questions about insurance coverage. Every call is confidential so you can feel safe as you begin your healing journey.
Can you overcome meth addiction on your own without treatment?
If you try to quit meth on your own or cold turkey, you may experience withdrawal symptoms like depression or dysphoria, which can put you at risk for suicidal ideations or self-harm.1 Due to these potential risks, attending supervised detox can help you more safely manage withdrawal from meth before continuing treatment.
What percentage of people who use meth recover?
The exact number of those recovering from meth isn’t known; however, studies have shown that longer treatment durations and participation in aftercare programs may lead to greater recovery success and long-term abstinence.5