Meth Addiction Treatment & Rehab Explained
Meth – methamphetamine, or “crystal meth” is an extremely dangerous and addictive stimulant whose use is becoming increasingly widespread in the UK. Although meth addiction has not yet reached epidemic levels in this country as it has elsewhere in the West, for those affected by it, it is a severe and destructive condition. Fortunately, though, as meth use has grown more common, the treatment of the condition has become more sophisticated, and there are now many excellent treatment facilities operating across the country which can help you overcome your meth addiction and get you back to living a healthy life free of substance abuse.
Where to Get Help for Meth Addiction/Substance Abuse
If you are addicted to meth, you must consult with your GP. He or she will be able to offer you immediate treatment or at least direct you to a suitable alternative. An addiction specialist familiar with the UK’s addiction treatment landscape, on the other hand, can help you understand the many different choices you will face when contemplating treatment for your meth (or crystal meth) addiction. The more such help you can get when starting your treatment journey, the easier it will be and the more likely your treatment will be successful.
Importance of treating meth addiction & when to seek treatment
Meth abuse can kill you –and even if it does not, it can cause a range of severe health conditions, many of which are permanent. Every day that goes by when you are abusing meth makes it more likely that you will experience permanent damage. Therefore, the sooner you can acknowledge that you have a problem with meth, and the sooner you can get help to overcome your addiction, the better.
There is certainly no wrong time to get the help you need but – if you have tried and failed to stop abusing meth, and your addiction has begun to have severe consequences for your life or anyone close to you, it is time to seek help to prevent further harm.
Understanding meth addiction treatment and rehab options
There are now a great many different options for meth addiction treatment from which you can choose. Bear in mind, though, that not every clinic will be right for you: there are many different factors – including your physical and psychological condition, the duration and intensity of your addiction, your financial circumstances, and your location – which will all have an impact on where and how you receive treatment. Nevertheless, whether you opt for treatment on the NHS, support from a charity, or treatment provided by a private organisation, the most important thing is that you do get help.
- NHS Options
- Private Rehab
- Residential Care
Private rehab vs free treatment options for meth addiction
There is a range of options for free meth addiction treatment in the UK. Most obviously, the NHS provides treatment throughout the country. Meanwhile, various charities are also active in this area, some of whom fund free addiction treatment. However, spaces in such free programmes are often minimal, and waiting times can be extremely lengthy. For some addicts, these waits prove intolerable. Thus, tragically, many people died while awaiting addiction treatment.
If you need to get immediate helpfor your meth addiction, you may prefer to go down the private health route. As with any private healthcare, private meth addiction treatment is not free. However, some facilities do offer credit or easy payment terms, and many people have health insurance, which covers private addiction treatment.
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Executive/luxury rehab programmes for meth addiction
Some addicts in senior and especially high-pressure roles are reluctant to seek treatment because they feel that taking time out from their jobs will have detrimental ramifications for their careers and their companies. If you work in such a role, you may wish to investigate executive rehab options offering facilities such as videoconferencing suites allowing you to stay in touch with the office and remain active within your role during your treatment.
Meanwhile, some high net worth individuals prefer to be treated in a luxury rehab environment, with a standard of accommodation similar to that given by high-end hotels. If you have the means, luxury rehab will enable you to relax in luxurious surroundings and to focus entirely on your meth (or crystal meth) addiction treatment with minimal stress.
What Happens in MethRehab
No two meth addiction treatment clinics are the same, and because of this, you should not develop too many preconceptions about what to expect when you enter rehab: every individual’s experience of meth addiction treatment is unique.
Meth rehab admission process
Addiction treatment clinics work hard to make their admissions processes as simpleas possible to minimise the stress experienced by anyone checking in to rehab. Upon first contacting treatment organisation, you will be expected to provide some necessary details about your addiction and your health. The organisation will then recommend a particular clinic to you. At this point, you will be asked to pay a deposit, and once that is received the organisation will confirm your place in the clinic, and you will be able to make your way there to begin treatment (some rehabs will provide transport at this point).
Meth addiction assessment
When you arrive at the clinic, you will undergo a complete medical assessment, giving doctors an understanding of your condition and relevant details of your medical history so that they can create the addiction treatment plan which will form the framework for your treatment during your stay in rehab.
It is imperative that during this assessment you are fully cooperative and completely candid with your doctors about all aspects of your condition, your experience of addiction, and any co-occurring health conditions from which you may suffer. If you do not give your doctors the correct information, your treatment plan is unlikely to be as effective as it would otherwise be – and you could be laying yourself open to significant health risks as doctors may prescribe medication which could be harmful to you if they are not made fully aware of your condition.
Acceptance of the problem
No treatment can hope to be successful if you are unable or unwilling to accept that you have a problem with meth. Doctors will need to see a full acceptance of your problem and a determination to engage fully with your treatment plan. It may be that you find it difficult to admit that you have a meth addiction because you do not want to appear weak – but if this is the case you need to set aside such qualms and be completely honest about your situation if you are to give yourself the best possible chance of a complete recovery.
If your doctors do not believe that you have fully come to terms with the fact of your addiction, they will be concerned about how completely you will devote yourself to your treatment and that you may react badly to the treatment environment. This kind of attitude is inefficient when trying to beat an addiction.
Medically assisted/controlled detoxification
Once you have completed your assessment, you will enter detoxification (detox), during which your system will be cleansed of meth and all other substances of abuse, in order to dispel the immediate pressures of dependence and to ensure that you will be totally free of meth, as well as crystal meth, abuse when you move through into the next phases of your treatment plan.
During the detox phase, it is likely that withdrawal symptoms – including some which may be very unpleasant and even dangerous – may manifest. For your safety and comfort, medical professionals will be on hand 24/7 throughout your detox. You may be prescribed certain medications to alleviate the most problematic withdrawal symptoms.
Once you have completed detox, and your withdrawal symptoms have either disappeared completely or subsided to a more manageable level, you will move onto the next phase of treatment, sometimes known as rehabilitation. The term “rehab” is also applied to treatment in general as well as tothe treatment clinic itself. Rehabilitation has therapy at its heart. Therapy aims to shed light on the root causes of your substance abuse and addiction and to give you various tools and techniques which will assist your recovery once you complete your treatment and leave the facility. You will also be given tailored dietary and fitness plans, as well as being able to use any facilities the clinic may offer such as gyms and pools.
Excellent treatment facilities typically offer up to a year’s free aftercare to clients who complete treatment; recovering addicts often need additional help during the weeks and months after they leave the clinic to strengthen recovery. It is important not to think that your recovery will be complete the moment you walk out through the facilities doors and re-enter the outside world; recovery is a long-term process and one requiring constant commitment if you are to avoid relapse and potentially sliding back into addiction.
What is an Inpatient Rehab Programme?
Inpatient rehab programmes involve the provision of treatment onsite in a friendly, tranquil, secure, substance-free and confidential facility. Meth addicts in inpatient treatment typically reside in the clinic for a period of between one and three months, benefiting from 24/7 medical support and the presence of fellow addicts in treatment, who understand addiction and can offer invaluable advice and companionship during difficult times.
What Is Outpatient Rehab?
If you are desperate to beat your meth addiction, and recognise that you need help, but feel that the time away from family and work which inpatient treatment entails is not something you can currently afford, you may wish to explore outpatient options.In outpatient rehab, clients attend the clinic for therapy sessions and other appointments but need to perform the other elements of their addiction treatment plans by themselves. Outpatient rehab can be extremely effective, but it is not without its disadvantages: as well as typically lasting much longer than residential rehab, outpatient programmes do not take you completely away from the environment in which you succumbed to meth abuse and addiction, which makes it much easier for you to relapse.
Day programmes involve attending treatment at the clinic for between one and seven days per week, but subsequently staying overnight at home or in other accommodation. Day programmes are often recommended for people seeking outpatient treatment who live close to the clinic; for those who are able to call upon a strong support network during difficult times when they are not at the clinic; for addicts who have obligations at home which make overnight stays away from the home difficult; and for addicts who have been through treatment but need significant ongoing support. On the other hand, if you live more than an hour away from your clinic; suffer from any co-occurring health issues which can make treatment more populated; or cannot rely on a robust support network; it is unlikely that a day programme will be appropriate for you.
Intensive outpatient programmes
Intensive outpatient treatment could be considered a kind of stepping-stone between residential rehab and more traditional outpatient options. Intensive outpatient rehab usually consists of four or more extended (often between three and five hours) treatment sessions at the clinic; outside these sessions, you will be able to go about your usual business, which may include working if your employer is prepared to offer that degree of flexibility. Because clients in intensive outpatient treatment spend so much time away from the clinic and therefore have so many opportunities to make contact with drug dealers and to relapse, they are typically required to undergo frequent drug testing to ensure that they are remaining compliant with the stipulations of their addiction treatment plans.
Ongoing care – more commonly known as aftercare – is treatment provided by the clinic to a client who has completed an addiction treatment programme and has proceeded into recovery. Once you leave the clinic, you will still benefit from a variety of treatment which the clinic may provide – potentially including therapy and prescriptions – and from participating in activities organised and hosted by other organisations (for example, attending support group meetings).
An aftercare plan would include a schedule of appointments – for some of whichyou will need to return to the clinic while others may be carried out over the phone or by email – which will decrease in frequency as the plan progresses and your recovery solidifies; your plan is likely also to include a set of commitments including the requirement to participate in support groups and/or counselling.
Some clinics also make their facilities available on an emergency basis to former clients who require urgent support during the period covered by their aftercare plans.It is important to note that not every clinic operates on such a basis, and during your research into treatment options, you should always enquire about the components of a clinic’s aftercare plan.
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How is Medication Used to Treat Addiction?
Although at present, there is nopharmaceutical “cure” for addiction (although a good deal of research is ongoing in this field), medication does play several roles in the treatment of the condition. Some medications are given to reduce cravings’ frequency and intensity; some to help addicts lower their intake over time; some to act as safer, legal substitutes for possibly dangerous and illegal drugs. In rehab, medicines are most commonly prescribed to alleviate the most distressing, debilitating and dangerous withdrawal symptoms – and of course, if an addict’s health is endangered, they can be given any of a massive range of life-saving medications in the hospital.
Medications used in addiction treatment & rehab
Various medications have been approved for use in the treatment of addiction, including meth addiction, in the UK. It is worth bearing in mind, however, that not every medication is relevant to every case of addiction or every substance of abuse. Moreover, some medicine may be dangerous in some cases: it may interact dangerously with some drugs, including other medications, and/or could exacerbate some co-occurring mental health disorders. Because of this, it is extremely inadvisable to attempt to self-medicate any aspect of your meth addiction: only ever take any medication that has been prescribed to you by a qualified doctor, and follow that doctor’s advice to the letter.
When entering rehab, you should not expect that you will be given any medication as it may not be deemed necessary or even safe in your case. How medication is used, if it is at all, will depend on your initial assessment and on how you respond to treatment. If medication is not provided, you should not conclude that your situation is not a serious one, nor that you are any less likely to achieve abstinence as a result of your treatment.
- Naltrexone (Vivitrol)
- Buprenorphine (Buprenex)
- Disulfiram (Antabuse)
- Acamprosate (Campral)
- Paroxetine (Paxil)
- Modafinil (Provigil)
- Desipramine (Norpramin)
- Mirtazapine (Remeron)
- Bupropion (Buproban)
- Gabapentin (Fanatrex)
- Vigabatrin (Sabril)
- Baclofen (Kemstro)
- Topiramate (Topamax)
Psychotherapy for Meth Addiction Treatment
Therapy is the foundation of addiction treatment; because addiction is fundamentally a disorder of the mind, treating the body alone will address the immediate pressures of dependence but will do nothing to remediate the underlying causes of addiction and the psychological issues which drive a person into substance abuse initially. By identifying and tackling those issues, therapy aims to remove – or at least reduce to manageable levels – the compulsion to engage in substance abuse, and to give you healthier and more positive perspectives on life and on yourself, and a wide range of tools and techniques to avoid relapse and cope with cravings to take meth which will stand you in good stead once you complete your treatment plan and leave the facility.
In psychotherapy, “coping” describes consciously putting effort into resolving personal and interpersonal problems to reduce, defeat or tolerate stress and conflict. We usually develop coping strategies as we mature into adulthood – but some people adopt flawed approaches, potentially including substance abuse, with obvious negative implications. Coping-focused psychotherapy seeks to improve how a clientcopes with challenges; the therapist will work with the client to identify and apply better coping mechanisms than those which the client has deployed hitherto.
Two of the most prominent coping-focused psychotherapy methodologies are cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT); both are commonly found in rehab, and most rehabs will provide at least one (usually CBT) if not both of these methodologies.
Social skills/interpersonal/growth psychotherapy
Many cases of addiction are related to inadequate social/interpersonal skills: many people with such poor skills find it extremely difficult to form and keep meaningful relationships such as romantic or professional ones, with obvious ramifications for happiness and financial status, and often resort to substance abuse as a coping mechanism. If substance abuse becomes an addiction, further damage can be done in the form of isolation and impaired relationships with loved ones and friends.
Interpersonal psychotherapy aims to build and improve social skills, thus enabling clients to develop better, more fulfilling relationships. This can lead to a considerable improvement in life circumstances and prospects and in emotional health; it can also make the treatment of addiction significantly more effective, as clients can express themselves more successfully in therapy.
Exploratory psychotherapy (also known as psychodynamic psychotherapy) investigates the links between the past and the present, specifically how past events and experiences (especially traumatic ones) have driven negative emotions, thoughts and behaviour which have resulted in substance abuse and subsequently addiction. Therapists often work with clients who have experienced significant trauma, the exploration of which can be extremely distressing – and exploratory psychotherapy can therefore often feel quite arduous, especially initially, with the therapist having to take great care as they encourage the client to revisit challenging experiences, and can be a comparatively long-term process.
However, the benefits of this process can be manifold and profound, in particular in terms of improving a client’s self-esteem, self-awareness, and mood regulation, and it is often the case that someone who goes through addiction treatment and achieves permanent abstinence continues to engage in exploratory psychotherapy for a long time after their addiction treatment is concluded, because of the positive impact of ongoing therapy.
Types of psychotherapy used in meth addiction treatment
The development of the field of addiction treatment in recent decades has seen a large number of therapy methodologies devised, and other existing models adapted, specifically, to be used in the area. However, obviously, any given clinic can only offer a few of these models for practical reasons – which means that if you are interested in a particular form of therapy, especially a comparatively niche model, you should investigate which clinics offer that model when doing your initial research. It may be advisable to get help from an addiction specialist in this regard.
People can respond very differently to therapy, and some get much more significant benefits than others from any given methodology. In an ideal world you would have unlimited time and opportunity to experiment with different models in treatment; however, while some rehabs do allow a good degree of flexibility in terms of experimenting with different models prior to settling on an approach that works best for you, other clinics are much less prepared to allow this trial-and-error approach. When doing your research, ask any clinic you may be considering attending how much leeway you will be given in terms of trying out different therapy models.
- Acceptance and commitment therapy
- Art therapy
- Cognitive behavioural therapy
- Dialectical behavioural therapy
- Experiential therapy
- Family therapy
- Fitness therapy
- Group therapy
- Holistic therapy
- Individual therapy
- Music therapy
- Psychodynamic therapy
The Recovery Process
Your recovery is not complete the moment you leave rehab. In some ways, the hardest phase of your recovery process begins when you walk out of the clinic having completed your addiction treatment plan, and now need to maintain your hard-won abstinence back in the outside world. Many addicts continue to describe themselves as “addicted” years after their last episode of substance abuse – even for the rest of their lives – because it forces them to keep the mindset of needing to stay vigilant and dedicated to healing.
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Elements of recovery
No two people’s experiences of recovery are the same; however, obviously there are some similarities between different recovery journeys – addicts in recovery typically face similar challenges regardless of their life circumstances – and while you should not take anyone else’s recovery as a roadmap for your own, you may be able to learn a great deal from how someone else approaches and goes through life after treatment.
It can be useful when planning for recovery during your treatment in rehab to divide the recovery process into a number of different components, each of which you can address individually in therapy. You will be given various tools and techniques to assist you with each element as part of your rehabilitation, and can also engage in supplementary therapy after leaving the clinic if you feel you need to put further work into shoring up that aspect of your recovery.
Everyone proceeds through treatment and recovery at a different pace, and it is essential that you do not feel discouraged if you make a slower process in some areas than in others – and/or especially if you think that any of your peers are “doing better” than you in some parts of therapy: focus on yourself and your own progress and take the attitude that any such difficulties simply give you the opportunity to focus your efforts in certain areas during your treatment.
- Developing hope
- Secure base
- Sense of self
- Supportive relationships
- Social inclusion
- Coping skills
- Giving meaning
How Long are Meth Rehab Programmes?
Typically, a stay in residential rehab will last between 30 and 90 days, though some clinics may offer shorter, more intense programmes, and others might allow for significantly longer stays. The length of your treatment will be determined by numerous factors including your physical and mental condition, the type of treatment you choose, and how severe is your addiction; bear in mind that while you may commence treatment with a particular timeline in mind, you may need to be flexible regarding the length of your stay in rehab as this timeline may evolve depending on how you respond to treatment.
What does Meth Rehab Cost in the UK?
Very roughly speaking, standard private residential meth addiction treatment in the UK costs between £4,000 and £15,000 per month. However, that broad range implies a great variety in pricing from one clinic and treatment organisation to the next, and between different treatment programmes even within the same facility. If you are contemplating going down the private route, you must make sure that you have as precise an idea as possible of the cost of treatment.
Avoid making any assumptions regarding price as this can end up being very problematic if you make calculations based on assumptions which turn out to be incorrect. It can help to speak with an addiction specialist about how rehabs cost up treatment and which forms of treatment are likely to be more expensive than others; a specialist may also be able to point you towards less expensive treatment options.
Meth Addiction Recovery and Aftercare
Having completed your addiction treatment programme, once you leave the clinic you will be exposed to the temptations of the outside world once more – and though you will now be much better placed to resist them than you were before treatment as a result of the work you will have done in therapy, you may still benefit from various ongoing care. Because of this, good rehabs will offer up to a year’s free aftercare – which you should embrace as wholeheartedly as possible, no matter how reluctant you may be to return to the clinic for appointments, to give yourself the greatest chance possible of a genuinely successful and permanent recovery.
Recovery and community
The bigger and stronger your support network, the higher the likelihood that you will be able to sustain your recovery permanently. However, do not think that your support base is limited to your family and friends. One silver lining to the UK’s addiction epidemic is that there is now a substantial community of recovering addicts to whom you can turn for support throughout your recovery – and many of whom could also benefit from your support, advice and companionship.
Various groups now operate in the UK to give support to recovering meth addicts, including Narcotics Anonymous (NA). These groups typically host meetings weekly, attendance at which is usually free (with the only requirement being an ongoing commitment to abstinence). To find out more about support groups, including which operate in your area, speak with an addiction specialist.
The 12-step methodology initially developed by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has been adopted by some support groups and fellowships including NA; although the 12-step model is not entirely unproblematic, it has saved millions of lives around the world and could benefit you personally to a great extent. To find out more aboutthe 12-step model, and which groups operating it are active near you, speak with an addiction specialist.
Ready to Start Rehab?
Your meth addiction is a hazardous condition, and the sooner you can overcome it, the better it will be for your physical and mental health and your life circumstances and prospects. However, you will likely need professional help if you are to defeat your addiction permanently. That means recognising that you have a problem and being able to ask for help. Only then will you be able to dedicate yourself to treatment – the sooner you can reach that point, the better. If you are ready to acknowledge your addiction and request the help you need, get in touch with your GP and an addiction specialist immediately to discuss appropriate treatment options.
Take control of your life – get started on the road to recovery.
If you have a meth addiction, you may well feel that you have lost control of your life and that you are helpless in the face of your cravings and the intoxicating impact of your meth abuse. However, you are not powerless: you can find the help you need throughout the country if you are ready to request it. Pick up the phone today to your GP and an addiction specialist and make the call that could be your first step on the path to recovery and the resumption of a happy and successful life. Don’t delay any further: make that call today.
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