Skip to the main content.

6 min read

Meth Addiction Treatment Options: Therapy, Detox, and Rehab

Man listening to therapist with a loved one

Methamphetamine addiction is a pernicious and often overwhelming problem for its users. From 2015 to 2019, the number of methamphetamine overdose deaths went up by 170%, and the number keeps going up every year.

While methamphetamine addiction is an extremely serious problem, there is hope for addicts who accept certain addiction treatments.

Let's learn about some of the meth addiction treatment options that experts prefer.

Key Takeaways:

  • Methamphetamine is an extremely addictive - and extremely dangerous - drug that thousands of New Yorkers from all walks of life struggle with.
  • Methamphetamine addiction can be treated with several proven methods.
  • New Yorkers with methamphetamine addictions can find support groups, therapy, and medical detox services all over the city.

Meth Addiction Treatment Resources On This Page:

What is meth, and why is it so addictive?
How Do You Fix a Meth Addiction?
Long-Term Meth Abuse and Its Effects

What is meth, and why is it so addictive?

Methamphetamine, usually referred to as "meth,"  is an extremely addictive drug that gives its user a fleeting sense of false self-confidence, euphoria, and productivity.

The comedowns from methamphetamine are notoriously brutal and certainly contribute to its addictive nature, since users feel an intense need to get another fix.

Methamphetamine is a harmful derivative of the more general chemical family, amphetamines. Amphetamines were invented in Germany in the late 1880s and were given to German soldiers during World War II for stamina and confidence in battle, as well as to reduce appetites.

Amphetamines are used in the modern world to treat the symptoms of ADHD with prescription drugs like Adderall and Ritalin.

Methamphetamine is usually made in ramshackle labs using extremely dangerous and toxic chemicals, including:

  • Paint thinner
  • Battery internals
  • Pseudoephedrine in enormous doses
  • Red phosphorus
  • Lye (a chemical used to dissolve roadkill corpses)
  • Toilet cleaner

The effects of methamphetamine are the result of inflated dopamine responses in the brain, which quickly dissipate.

Dopamine production is severely limited after meth wears off, resulting in meth's horrific comedowns. The user feels, after consistent use, that the only way to return to normal is to take more meth. This is one of the primary drivers of methamphetamine addiction.

Ironically, meth is so addictive because it is objectively bad for your brain.

How Do You Fix a Meth Addiction?

While you can't really "fix" an addiction, there has been success in treating meth addiction through therapy, medical detox, and support groups.

Support Groups In NYC For Meth Addiction

In New York City, there are dozens of meth addiction support groups ready to help you take the steps to recovery. At Williamsburg Therapy Group, for example, we use group therapy over a period of time as part of our addiction treatment services. This helps patients build a network of support and learn from the experiences of other group members.

Methamphetamine addiction is so common that there are always people ready and willing to help addicts. Many of these people have been through meth addiction treatment before or have lost a loved one to meth addiction.

When used in conjunction with other practices, like individual psychotherapy or medical drug addiction treatment, support groups can be an extremely powerful way to begin the healing process.

Schedule Your Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment Today

Therapy For Meth Addiction in NYC

Substance abuse is a highly cognitive process since addiction impacts the brain's reward system and neurological responses.

Because of this, therapy shows great promise for helping addicts find relief. There are a few specific types of therapy that have been the most successful when treating methamphetamine addiction, including:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Contingency management intervention
  • Rational emotive behavioral therapies

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Methamphetamine Addiction

Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is widely regarded as the most effective treatment for meth addiction and other substance abuse disorders.

During CBT for drug abuse, a therapist will guide the patient to new understandings and new responses to their addiction. CBT focuses on improving current and future thought patterns, making them more positive and constructive than they are now.

Addiction, particularly a chronic meth addiction, can destroy a patient's trust in themselves as well as their self-image. CBT works to restore what was lost because of the patient's substance use disorders and then builds on their general mental health so that relapses and a return to drug use are less likely.

Family Therapy For Meth Addicts

Family therapy is a form of psychotherapy that involves the whole family, or a representative sample of family members, in the treatment process. This kind of therapy can be especially helpful for people who are addicted to methamphetamine, because drug abuse can have a big effect on family life and relationships.

During family therapy sessions, a trained addiction therapist works with the family to find and fix any negative patterns of communication and behavior that may be contributing to the patient's drug use. This can include:

  • Addressing codependency
  • Defining enabling behavior
  • Other issues that may be preventing the patient from seeking help or maintaining their recovery

The therapist can also help family members learn how to support the patient in their recovery and cope with the challenges that come with addiction. This may involve:

  • Setting boundaries
  • Learning how to communicate effectively
  • Finding healthy ways to cope with stress and emotions

Family therapy can also give the patient's family a safe place to talk about how they feel and what worries them about the patient's addiction. This can help reduce feelings of isolation and improve overall family functioning.

Overall, family therapy can be a very important part of a full treatment plan for someone who is addicted to methamphetamine. By addressing the impact of substance abuse on the entire family and providing support and guidance for healthy communication and behavior, family therapy can help to improve the patient's chances of recovery and prevent relapse.

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy For Enhancing Drug Abuse Recovery

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that helps people find and question their irrational thoughts and beliefs, which can lead to unhealthy feelings and actions.

This type of therapy can be particularly helpful for individuals struggling with a meth addiction, as addiction often stems from distorted thinking and negative emotions.

During REBT sessions, a trained therapist works with the patient to identify their irrational beliefs and the negative emotions and behaviors that result from those beliefs.

For example, a patient with a methamphetamine addiction may believe that they are unable to cope with stress or negative emotions without using drugs, and this belief may lead to feelings of hopelessness and continued drug use.

The therapist then helps the patient challenge and replace these irrational beliefs with more realistic and positive ones. For instance, the therapist may help the patient develop the belief that they are capable of managing stress and negative emotions without resorting to drug use.

This can help the patient develop healthier coping mechanisms and improve their overall emotional well-being.

Medical Detox as a Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment

A type of treatment program known as a medical detox offers medical supervision and support to people who are physically addicted to drugs or alcohol. Given that meth withdrawal symptoms can be both physically and emotionally taxing, patients who are addicted to methamphetamine may find this type of treatment to be especially beneficial.

Patients who undergo a medical detox are closely watched by health care professionals, who can offer support and intervention as necessary. This might involve giving the person support and education so they can understand their addiction and the recovery process, as well as prescribing drugs to ease cravings and treat withdrawal symptoms.

A medical detox can help to ease the discomfort of methamphetamine withdrawal, which can improve the likelihood of a full recovery. Medical detox can help prevent potentially dangerous withdrawal complications like severe dehydration or hallucinations by offering medical support and intervention.

A medical detox can also give patients a secure and encouraging environment in which to start their road to recovery. This might involve giving patients access to mental health services like therapy and counseling to help them deal with the underlying psychological and emotional problems that might be fueling their addiction.

Long Term Meth Abuse and Its Effects

The long-term effects of abusing meth include the following:

  • Extreme withdrawal symptoms
  • Rotting teeth and gums
  • Anxiety and other mood disorders
  • Psychotic behavior and hallucinations, often lasting years

While the long-term effects of meth abuse are severe, stopping meth use is always better than continuing.

What is "meth mouth"?

"Meth mouth" is a slang term that refers to a common occurrence in the dental health of meth users. It's characterized by dark, decaying teeth and rotting gums.

In a study conducted in 2015 by the American Dental Association, 96% of meth users had cavities, compared to approximately 25% of the general population.

Methamphetamine itself is acidic, but the more probable primary cause of the poor dental health of meth users is the drug's tendency to send its users into prolonged periods of poor hygiene.

What is a "tweaker"?

The term "tweaker" is an insensitive slang term for someone who is either under the influence of methamphetamine or who is going through severe methamphetamine withdrawal symptoms.

When someone is "tweaking," they may act strangely, talk quickly, and move around a lot more. They may also experience hallucinations, paranoia, and other psychological symptoms. Tweaking is often a sign of a severe methamphetamine addiction.

The term is often used to dehumanize people with methamphetamine use disorder.

Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment in NYC: The Program

At Williamsburg Therapy Group, we believe that people who are addicted to meth deserve a chance at recovery, and we're willing to help them every step of the way.

The Program by Williamsburg Therapy Group uses a combination of therapy and guidance by a psychologist to give New Yorkers the support they need to get and stay clean.

Schedule Your Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment Today

A woman with postpartum depression

How Postpartum Depression is Treated

Pregnancy, birth, and the immediate aftermath of parenting are times of enormous change and upheaval in a person's life. Pregnant and postpartum...

Read More
a teen in therapy

Effective Therapy Activities for Teens

Most of us understand that there is some difference to how therapy sessions are structured for teens and adults. However, many parents may be...

Read More
therapy office in austin

What Should I Do If I'm Attracted to My Therapist?

A strong therapeutic relationship can be essential to success in therapy, but when the professional relationship begins to take on romantic feelings...

Read More