Detoxification from Crystal Meth

Crystal meth (a street form of the drug methamphetamine) impacts users in dramatic ways, making them feel out-of-control and severely depressed. When users recognize the many ways meth destroys relationships and even mental functioning, they want help managing their uncontrollable cravings for the drug. Making things better always starts with getting clean in a safe environment.[1]

Detoxing from methamphetamine is an emotional roller coaster, so users need professional supervision to keep themselves and others safe. When stimulant users stop taking the drug, they feel depressed and severely agitated. Users who suffered with depression before stimulant use experience even more extreme depression symptoms.

Nearly 900,000 people reported methamphetamine use in 2015. In the past, government researchers lumped street meth in with stimulants available with a prescription, but new statistics offer information about illegal versions of the drug.[2] Crystal meth, the most common form sold illegally, looks like shiny rocks or glass pieces and may be white tinged with blue. Users may smoke, snort or inject the drug.[3]

Physical Healing

To detox from crystal meth, users must stop taking the drug and actively manage intense cravings to take more of it.

Since the drug is physically addictive, they experience withdrawal symptoms, which include strong feelings of agitation and paranoia, leading some people to become violent or suicidal. Detoxing in a facility with experienced addiction specialists, such as offered at The Canyon, gives patients access to strong support and information explaining all their symptoms.[4]

People in withdrawal also experience dehydration, extreme fatigue, hunger, chills and trouble sleeping. There aren’t any medications approved to treat stimulant withdrawal, so patients rely on therapeutic options to promote rest and relaxation. A stress-free environment also helps with psychological withdrawal symptoms, such as depression, irritability and long periods of sleeping with vivid dreams. A calm, quiet environment eases the intensity of the experience and ensures a smooth transition into treatment.

Psychological Healing

Once a patient completes detox, he moves to the psychological phase of treatment. Research shows the best way to manage a methamphetamine addiction is to involve patients in a goal-setting exercise and include them in cognitive-behavioral counseling sessions. By setting the goals they want to achieve during treatment, patients stay involved in the process.

Addiction treatments work best when they are highly personalized.

In addition, therapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy give a patient access to a trained therapist who works with him to develop techniques for fighting meth cravings. The therapy also works to improve stress management skills to make managing cravings easier and heal relationships to give patients added support.

As part of therapy, patients explore the emotional and cognitive reasons leading to crystal meth use as well as any mental health issues. It’s common for stimulant users to suffer with depression or anxiety – these co-occurring mental health conditions must be treated at the same time to give patients the best ability to manage all their symptoms. Staff members at The Canyon work with patients to move past negative issues and learn better ways of dealing with problems. By learning new tools to deal with day-to-day living, patients find ways to make life more satisfying and fulfilling without the need for substances.

Life Begins Anew

One of the biggest challenges of starting over after crystal meth detox is the need to build a new life.

People living in recovery must avoid places and people that trigger drug use. It’s often necessary to end negative friendships, a living situation or even a job. Then a person must find new forms of entertainment and new ways to relax. Making so many large changes at once is daunting but also exciting. The sky is the limit in a new sober life. People who once felt out of control due to meth use find ways to be successful. It’s especially important for newly sober people to manage any mental health symptoms, such as depression, with the appropriate therapy and medication. New hobbies like exercise and healthy eating also improve mental health symptoms.[5]

Rehab and Detox at The Canyon

The Canyon offers treatment for crystal methamphetamine addiction that specializes in treatment for co-occurring mental health conditions. Each member of the facility’s Master’s level staff is a specialist in the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction.

If you would like to learn more about getting help for a methamphetamine addiction, please contact our admissions coordinators today.


[1] Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. (1999). Treatment for Stimulant Use Disorders. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 33. Chapter 4—Practical Application of Treatment Strategies. Retrieved Feb. 21, 2017 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64334/?report=reader.

[2] Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2016). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Retrieved Feb. 21, 2017 from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-FFR1-2015/NSDUH-FFR1-2015/NSDUH-FFR1-2015.pdf.

[3] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2017). Methamphetamine. Retrieved Feb. 21, 2017 from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/methamphetamine.

[4] Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. (1999). Quick Guide for Clinicians: Based on TIP 33 Treatment for Stimulant Use Disorders. Retrieved Feb. 21, 2017 from http://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content//QGCT33/QGCT33.pdf.

[5] Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015). The Next Step Toward a Better Life. Retrieved Feb. 21, 2017 from http://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content/SMA14-4474/SMA14-4474.pdf.

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