What is Crystal Meth?
Methamphetamine, also known as crystal meth or “meth,” is a highly strong central nervous system stimulant. Physically, it has the appearance of white powder or chunky white crystals, hence it’s nickname “crystal meth.”
Crystal meth is a popular recreational drug due to the extraordinary feelings of euphoria and energy experienced by those who consume it. These aspects also make the drug extremely addictive.
Here are some statistics surrounding crystal meth use in the United States:
- A study from 2009 showed that the odds of committing a homicide were nearly nine times greater for methamphetamine users.
- Among people aged 12 or older in 2021, 0.9% (or about 2.5 million people) reported using methamphetamine in the past 12 months.
- It’s historically been a drug mainly used by middle-aged White Americans. However, it has grown more diverse in recent years. One study found methamphetamine use disorder without injection increased 10-fold among Black Americans from 2015-2019.
- In 2021, approximately 32,537 people died from an overdose of a stimulant that wasn’t cocaine. Most of those cases involved methamphetamine.
Because of the significant potential for abuse, methamphetamine is classified as a Schedule II substance by the DEA. It is the world’s most popular illicit substance after marijuana.
What Are the Dangers of Crystal Meth Abuse?
Crystal methamphetamine (meth) is an extremely addictive central nervous system stimulant that can have profound effects on the body and mind.
Physically, it wreaks havoc on almost every system.
Physical effects of crystal meth abuse include:
- Heart Problems — It can cause irregular heartbeats, increased heart rate, and high blood pressure, leading to heart disease or heart failure.
- Dental Issues — “Meth mouth” is a term used to describe the severe dental problems that often come with meth abuse, including tooth decay and gum disease.
- Skin Problems — Users may experience skin sores, acne, and a crawling sensation, known as “meth mites.”
- Weight Loss — Meth suppresses appetite, leading to malnutrition and extreme weight loss.
- Neurological Damage — It can cause long-term damage to the brain, affecting memory, judgment, and motor coordination.
- Sexual Dysfunction — Long-term use can lead to sexual dysfunction in both men and women.
- Sleep Disorders — It alters sleep patterns, often leading to insomnia.
- Kidney and Liver Damage— Meth’s toxic nature can cause severe damage to these vital organs.
Mentally, crystal meth leads to profound changes in a person’s psychological well-being. Its highly addictive nature can trap users in a vicious cycle that is hard to escape. Over time, users may experience severe depression and anxiety. In some cases, meth can even lead to psychosis, which may become permanent if untreated.
Cognitive deficits are also a significant concern, as chronic abuse can lead to long-lasting problems with thinking, understanding, learning, and remembering. These mental and psychological effects can drastically alter an individual’s personality, behavior, and ability to function in daily life.
How to Get Meth Out of Your System
If you’ve used meth for any significant period of time, by far the best option for getting meth out of your system is a medical detox.
Detoxification from methamphetamine can be a difficult process, and it’s usually best handled by medical professionals.
It often includes the following steps:
- Medical Assessment — Evaluation of physical and mental health, addiction severity, and individual needs.
- Supervised Detox — Medical supervision is often required due to potential complications and discomfort.
- Therapeutic Support — Counseling and therapy can aid in understanding the underlying causes of addiction and develop coping strategies.
Crystal meth will leave your system within three days after last consuming it. How long meth will stay in your system can be affected by polysubstance abuse. For example, alcohol will delay your body’s metabolism of crystal meth.
Crystal Meth Withdrawal Symptoms
Meth withdrawal can be challenging and uncomfortable, with symptoms such as:
- Body aches
- Increased appetite
Crystal meth withdrawal symptoms can be extremely unpleasant. For that reason, detoxing from meth should be overseen by professionals. While the acute phase may last a week or so, complete recovery often requires a long-term commitment to therapy and support.
Finding Reliable Meth Detox Centers
Overcoming an addiction to meth can be a complex and challenging process, often requiring specialized medical treatment.
For those who have struggled with meth addiction, treatment can be life-changing. Individuals can learn to regulate their urges, lower their risk of relapse, and enhance their overall health and well-being by seeking help and participating in a complete treatment program.
This professional and supportive environment can significantly enhance the chances of successful recovery, making the path to sobriety more attainable and sustainable. If you or someone you know is struggling with meth addiction, reaching out to a reputable meth treatment center is a crucial step in the path to recovery.
We are open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year.
Meth Treatment at South Coast Behavioral Health
For those struggling with polysubstance abuse, South Coast Behavioral Health is here to help.
The first step before treatment can begin is going through a medical detox. Our medical detox program in California is staffed by caring and compassionate professionals who can provide you with medications to manage your withdrawal symptoms.
At South Coast, we take pride in offering care that is closely tailored to specific issues. To that end, we offer gender-specific detox programs, with medical detox for men in Irvine, CA, and medical detox for women in Huntington Beach, CA.
After detoxing, proper treatment can begin.
Treatment for substance abuse takes place along an entire spectrum of care. Along that entire spectrum are various behavioral therapies, support groups, and the use of medically-assisted treatment (MAT).
These levels of treatment are, in order, as follows:
Residential Treatment in California
After successfully completing medical detox, you’ll move to inpatient treatment in Orange County California. There, you’ll receive medically-assisted treatment and dual diagnosis treatment to deal with any cravings or co-occurring mental health issues you may be battling. We also offer residential treatment facilities in Costa Mesa, Irvine, and Huntington Beach for those who desire gender-specific treatment. There, patients get round-the-clock medical attention and monitoring while living at the institution full-time.
In addition to individual and group counseling and medication management, you’ll also have access to leisure activities and family support services.
Partial Hospitalization in California
Most clients start substance abuse treatment with South Coast in our residential treatment program. After completing that, many desire something that still provides structure and support, but with extra space and time to oneself. For that, we offer Partial Hospitalization in Newport Beach.
A step down from inpatient care but with more structure than conventional outpatient programs, partial hospitalization offers a good balance for those looking to ease back into normal life. Clients can receive care five to seven days a week for a number of hours each day, returning back to their homes in the evening.
This way, they can recover without putting their daily lives completely on hold, receiving intense therapeutic interventions like group and individual therapy, skill development, and medication management as necessary.
Intensive Outpatient Treatment in California
For those leaving inpatient residential treatment or partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient programs (IOP) are yet another gradual step forward on the road to recovery.
With a focus on group therapy, individual counseling, and education, clients undergoing Intensive Outpatient Treatment in Newport Beach can meet three to five days a week. Each session lasts three hours.
This level of care requires the least amount of attendance at a facility.
Get Started Today
If you or a loved one are struggling with substance addiction but wonder how long addiction counseling takes or have other questions, call us at 866-881-1184 or contact us here. Our highly qualified staff will be happy to help give you an idea on what to expect from your addiction recovery timeline, help verify your insurance, and assist with any other questions you may have.