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Crystal Meth Addiction – Symptoms, Side Effects, How to Get Treatment & Rehab

Crystal Meth Addiction – A Summary

Crystal Meth addiction can have serious long term effects on you and others around you. It’s highly addictive nature means that help and support from experienced practitioners will dramatically increase the chances of you reversing any damage the drug has already caused. Help4Addiction can support you to find the right treatment for your needs.

There is no denying that battling any sort of addiction can be extremely draining both physically and mentally. If you believe that you have become addicted to crystal meth, or you are worried that someone you love has an unhealthy relationship with this drug, we are here to help you. It is important to recognise that you are not alone. Seeking help is the first step and is often the most difficult one. That is why we have put this guide together on our website to help you recognise the signs that you could be addicted to crystal meth or that someone you love could be having a problem with this drug. We can help you to find the right treatment so that you can get your life back on track. No matter whether you are ready to look for crystal meth treatment options or you simply want to talk to someone who understands, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. Simply read on to discover how to get help for crystal meth addiction.

Addicted to another drug? Read our detailed page on general drug addiction treatment

What exactly is Crystal Meth?

Before we begin talking about crystal meth addiction and the steps you can take to overcome this problem, it is helpful to identify exactly what crystal meth is and how it can become addictive. Crystal meth is short for the word crystal methamphetamine. This means that it is simply one of the different types of the drug ‘methamphetamine’.

nicolas-j-leclercq-1139469-unsplash-1024x683 Crystal Meth Addiction - Symptoms, Side Effects, How to Get Treatment & Rehab

Methamphetamine is a white crystalline drug that people take it through injecting it with a needle, smoking it, or snorting it, i.e. inhaling through the nose. There are some individuals that take this drug orally, although that is rarer.

 

No matter how this drug is consumed, it is highly addictive because it creates a false sense of well-being and happiness. People experience a rush, they get a lot of energy, hyperactiveness, and confidence, and it also decreases appetite. Most people will feel the effects of this drug for around 6 to 8 hours, however, it can last up to 24 hours. While people often experience pleasure at first, it can begin to destroy the user’s life, and this is what makes it so dangerous. We do not want crystal meth to take over your life or the life of a loved one, and we can help to make sure that that is not the case that you can start living a normal life again.

 

Crystal meth has a number of different street names. Some of the most common include speed, chalk, crank, and simply meth. While all ages can obviously take crystal meth is commonly viewed as a club drug. This means that a lot of people take this drug while they are at rave parties or nightclubs. The problem is that people take it for recreational fun yet because it is extremely addictive, simply using crystal meth on a one-off basis is not likely.

 

Is Crystal Meth addictive?

The short answer to this question is yes crystal meth is highly addictive. How addictive is crystal meth?  Some users can become addicted to meth after just one dose of the drug. This is because the drug is extremely tempting and it creates a methamphetamine high, which is essentially a state of extreme euphoria, and this often draws you back to the drug again and again. After this, the brain starts to wire in a different way, and this means that dosing on crystal meth seems like a necessity in order to feel happy. The brain can become depending on crystal meth in extremely short space of time. The reason why crystal meth addiction is not spoken about as often in the UK when compared with drugs like amphetamine and cocaine is because it is much more expensive to obtain. This is why one of the huge indicators that someone has a problem with crystal meth is if they start experience financial difficulties.

 

Why is Crystal Meth addictive?

You may be wondering what makes crystal meth so addictive. Initially, people often take the drug so that they can feel good and experience are high. It is likely that you may have had your first experience of crystal meth while you were at a party or some sort of social occasion. However, it is likely that you will have developed a tolerance to the drug and, therefore, you need to take more and more to get the effects that you initially experienced from it. This pattern of taking an increasing amount or a more potent level of crystal meth puts you in a state whereby you risked being dependent on the drug. Basically, your body has adapted in such a way that it needs a drug in order to function as expected. This is why you need help to come off the drug and get your body back to the normal state. With continued use of meth, the body starts to experience the impact of withdrawal, and this can be very uncomfortable both psychologically and physically. Most people continue to use crystal meth because they don’t want to experience withdrawal and so it is a vicious cycle that gets worse and worse. Even if your loved one has the best intention to quit using this drug, these intentions can quickly be squashed by the desire to stop off the withdrawal symptoms. However, with the correct treatments and professional help, you can make sure that these withdrawal symptoms are managed.

 

Crystal Meth addictive properties

It is good to understand what it is about crystal meth that makes it so addictive, i.e. the crystal meth addictive properties. Crystal meth is one of the most difficult drugs to quit permanently and it is three times as powerful as cocaine. It triggers dependency a lot quicker than the majority of other illicit substances. This is because it forces the brain to release an unnatural amount of adrenaline. This is how you experience a rush and then high. The use of this chemical will have a great effect on the limbic system in the brain, which is responsible for your memory and emotion. If you use the drug on a consistent basis it begins to re-wire the part of your brain is responsible for making decisions. When you get high for few times, the decision is a conscious choice. However, once you have started to use the drug regularly, the brain believes that needs to take the drug in order to stay alive and it becomes a survival mechanism. This is why you need help to return your brain to a normal state whereby methamphetamine feels involuntary and you no longer feel the need to take it.

 

The reason why people keep coming back to this drug again and again is because of the powerful euphoria they experience. You may have reached the stage whereby you are experiencing crystal meth binge. This is when you become hyperactive and you dose on the drug again and again because you want to experience the initial euphoric high all of the time. The problem is that the drug will decrease its potency the more you use it and so achieving this high becomes impossible.

 

What causes Crystal Meth addiction?

There is no universal cause of the crystal meth addiction. However, there are often a number of different factors that can increase your risk to experiencing any type of drug addiction.

 

Social factors

 

As mentioned, one of the main reasons why people become addicted to crystal meth is because they take the drug in a social environment and then they find that they cannot help but seek the euphoria that it gave them. Your environmental upbringing  and surroundings can have a massive impact on your likelihood of becoming addicted to crystal meth. Quite simply, if you are surrounded by people that take the drug, then there is a very high chance that you could end up becoming addicted to it as well.

 

Stress

 

We live increasingly stressful and hectic lives, and so a lot of us can resort to coping mechanisms to try and get by. You may find that you are experiencing a lot of stress in the workplace and it is getting you down because you cannot perform to the level that is demanded of you. Or, you may find that you are unhappy in your relationship and you have tried everything to fix it but you cannot. These feelings of sadness and depression can often cause people to resort to taking drugs so that they can feel happiness again.

 

Genetics

 

Generics can also play a role in addiction. If you have parents with a drug problem or a close relative who has been addicted to drugs in the past, you may have a higher risk of developing an addiction yourself. Naturally, some people simply have more addictive personalities than others, and this means that they are at greater risk of suffering a drug addiction..

 

Mental health disorders

 

If you suffer from depression or anxiety, you may find that crystal meth helps you to feel better. You get a sense of euphoria that you simply cannot experience for the day-to-day life and you may thrive on this feeling. In the short term, it gives you a happiness that you never felt was possible and you feel like you have overcome your depression thanks to the drug. However, relying on crystal meth rewired your brain and, therefore, it can make the symptoms of any sort of mental health illness a lot worse.

 

Stressful life events and dramatic incidents

 

Life has a tendency to be cruel and throw curveballs our way that can be extremely difficult to come to terms with. Examples include breaking up your partner, being made redundant, experiencing money troubles, and losing a loved one, or you may have experienced traumatic injury yourself. A lot of people turn to drugs like crystal meth as a coping mechanism. If you’re feeling agitated or upset, you may find that crystal meth takes you on a high and enables you to forget about whatever has put you in the dark hole to begin with. However, this is not sustainable and you will only find that these problems get worse and worse, especially those of financial nature.

 

Signs of Crystal Meth addiction

If you are worried that a loved one is addicted to Crystal Meth, there are a number of different signs you can look out for. This includes the following:

 

  • Displaying a twitch or a tic, which is a repetitive, small behaviour, for example, they may pick a particular spot on their skin a lot or pull their hair
  • Extreme loss of appetite
  • High energy and hyperactivity
  • Erratic sleeping patterns, i.e. hypersomnia and insomnia
  • Risky sexual behaviour
  • Distracted behaviour in social situations
  • Clumsiness (decreased fine motor skills)
  • Violent behaviour or increased aggression
  • They may forget important events, times, and dates
  • Obsessive focus on specific tasks or issues
  • Criminality (stealing money to fund their addiction)
  • Risky financial behaviour
  • A sudden shift in social groups
  • Isolating themselves from others
  • Neglecting relationships
  • Loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy

 

It is also a good idea to look out for the signs of a Crystal Meth addiction in someone’s home, personal space, or their vehicle. Some of the things that you should watch out for are as follows:

 

  • New rubber tubing or shoelaces, which are used as a tourniquet if injecting the drug intravenously
  • Syringes or needles, which are used to inject meth
  • Shards of broken mirror, razor blades, or pieces of glass, which are used to snort meth
  • Straws, empty pen cases, rolled up dollar bills, rolled up slips or paper, which are used to snort meth
  • Burned spoons
  • A paper, for example, a water pipe, which is used when smoking crystal meth
  • An unusually big quantity of aluminium foil, particularly with scorch or burn marks, which is used in smoking crystal meth

Am I addicted to Crystal Meth?

The vast majority of people find that crystal meth is not a drug that can be used recreationally or casually for long before the scales are tipped toward being addicted. Because it has a highly addictive nature, if you use the substance even just a few times, there is an extremely high chance that you could display addictive characteristics and, therefore, seeking help is advised. There are some questions you can ask yourself to determine whether you are addicted to crystal meth:

 

  • Have you experienced problems with the law related to crystal meth?
  • Have you been spending a lot of your time trying to obtain the drug?
  • Are you using your savings on crystal meth? Have you experienced financial problems lately?
  • Have your relationships changed?
  • Are you struggling at work?

 

If you have answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, yet you still seek the substance, you should seek help for a Crystal Meth addiction as soon as possible, and that is exactly what we are here to assist with at Help4Addiction.

 

What are the side-effects of Crystal Meth addiction?

An addiction to Crystal Meth can impact you in a number of different ways. Let’s take a look at some of the most common Crystal Meth addiction symptoms and side-effects:

 

Physical side-effects

 

  • Premature ageing of the skin
  • Bad breath
  • Broken teeth, which occurs due to meth-induced tooth grinding
  • Blackened, rotting teeth
  • Track marks on the arms
  • Burns, particularly on the fingers or lips
  • Dilated pupils
  • Sores that are slow to heal
  • Nosebleeds
  • Irregular breathing patterns
  • Extreme perspiration
  • Severe or sudden weight loss

 

Psychological side-effects

 

  • The belief that there are insects crawling under your skin (this can lead to meth sores)
  • Hallucinations
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Fidgeting or agitation
  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia

 

How to beat Crystal Meth addiction

There is no denying that the hardest part of overcoming any drug addiction is recognising that you need help to begin with and taking the steps to get this help. You may feel like you currently have control over when you take crystal meth and the amount that you consume, you should ask yourself whether you are really in the driving seat? Reaching out to help is the best way to take control back.

 

Which Crystal Meth addiction treatment methods are available?

There are a number of different treatment programs are available to help you overcome your addiction to crystal meth and the program that you adopt all depends on your level of dependence and the abuse that your body has already taken. Experts usually find that a mixture of different therapies are the most effective when determining how to overcome crystal meth addiction. Some examples of how to right crystal meth addiction are as follows:

 

– Cognitive behavioural therapy: this involves examining the role that substance abuse has on your life and helping you to develop the skill to avoid a relapse.

 

– Contingency management: this uses positive reinforcement to keep you abstinent.

 

– Counselling: sometimes counselling can be beneficial if the addiction has been linked to a traumatic event in your life or your mental health has been impacted. A counsellor will help you to talk through these tough times. In your life that you can process your emotions and find a way forward. Counselling is available through group session and one-on-one appointments, depending on what is most comfortable for you.

 

The Benefits of Crystal Meth Rehab

When it comes to figuring out how to overcome an addiction to crystal meth, rehab is an option that you should consider carefully. There are a number of benefits associated with going down this route:

 

– Supervised treatment: when in a rehab facility, you will receive care from a team of experienced health professionals who will assist you to drug detox and prepare you for life afterwards. They will help you with the withdrawal symptoms that you are probably worried about.

 

– Support from other people: a lot of people meet new friends through rehab and this can be very uplifting and it can help them with their life outside of the treatment centre because they are less tempted to fall back into old habits.

 

– Focus on recovery: a residential program will give you the ability to focus entirely on your recovery. While group support and outpatient care can be beneficial, considering the highly addictive nature of crystal meth, there are likely to be distractions at home that can make it even more difficult to overcome your addiction to this drug. You won’t have to worry about work or social life while rehab, and this makes a full recovery much more likely.

 

– Tailored care: every person is different and addiction can present itself in a number of different ways. A drug rehab centre will ensure that you receive a tennis care plan that is fully suited to your needs and level of addiction.

You can read more detailed information about a drug detox and going to rehab for drug addiction

 

Crystal Meth Withdrawal Symptoms

When coming off crystal meth its important that you do it the right way so that you can stay clean going forward and recover correctly. This is because when quitting Crystal Meth there are a number of withdrawal symptoms and side effects that can occur as a result of denying your body the drug. This can be different for every individual, we have compiled a full list on our drug withdrawal symptoms page.

 

Crystal Meth rehab cost

One of the main reasons why people do not go to crystal meth rehab and enrol in Crystal Meth rehab programs is because they are worried about the cost of it. This is especially the case when you consider the fact that crystal meth users are likely to be experiencing financial difficulties as it is. The cost of crystal meth rehab differs considerably based on the type of treatment that you undergo and the facility that you choose. Private rehab facilities usually charge £1000 a week for their residential programs. However, you may find that you are entitled to treatment on the NHS. If you are worried about the cost of drug rehab, please do not let this deter you from seeking help. Simply give us a call and we will provide you with all of your options that fit within your budget and explain the Crystal Meth rehab process.

Read more about: How much is rehab?

 

Find a Crystal Meth rehab centre

If you have decided that it is time to seek help for crystal meth addiction, and you would like to find out more about crystal meth rehab, we can help you to find the right facility for you. We have a huge network of contacts all over the United Kingdom, as well as connections with different rehab centres around the world, and we can make a recommendation based on your budget, your location, and your needs. Feel free to request a call back or call us now on 0203 955 7700.

 

Where to get help for Crystal Meth addiction

Are you worried that someone you love has a bad relationship with Crystal Meth? Perhaps you have been taking Crystal Meth yourself and are concerned you have become addicted? Here at Help4Addiction, we are here to help you battle addiction and get your life back. You can reach us on 0203 955 7700 or you can request a free callback via using our website. When you speak with one of our trained experts, you can rest assured that everything will be fully confidential. No matter whether you are ready to find a crystal meth rehab center or you simply want to talk, we are here to help you take the next step.

CALL 0203 955 7700 or REQUEST A CALLBACK

We are here 24/7 to help get you and your recovery on the right path.


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Detoxification (detox) is the medical intervention required for someone who is physically dependent to drugs or alcohol. If required, medical detoxification would be the first step taken in residential rehab. Detox is used to prevent uncomfortable and dangerous (even fatal) withdrawals symptoms resulting in suddenly becoming abstinent from alcohol/certain drugs.

The goal of a medical detox is to aid in the physical healing required following long term addiction and rid the body of all together of substance whilst providing a cushion for unpleasant symptoms of withdrawals. Detox is not considered the whole treatment for drug/alcohol addiction and it is always recommended that a comprehensive rehabilitation program is used along side to help maintain long term abstinence.

Medication is often required for alcohol detox. If you are dependent on alcohol and experiencing withdrawal symptoms it is vitally important to seek medical advice prior to stopping. There is a long list of medications used when treating alcohol addiction and the exact medication given to an individual will depend on their needs/medical history. Some of these include;

  • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
  • Lorazepam (Ativan)
  • Diazapam (vailium)


Librium and Valium are the most commonly used detox medication in the UK. All medication used to help with alcohol detox have been proven to help reduce the effects of withdrawal symptoms.

There are also a number of drugs recombined by the NHS to help treat alcohol misuse. Some of these include:

  • Naltrexone
  • Disulfiram (Antabuse)
  • Nalmefene
  • Acamprosate (campral)

Medication is always required for heroin detox. For someone suffering from heroin addiction, the thought of detoxification (detox) can be exceptionally daunting. Withdrawal symptoms from opiates, such as heroin, can be severe and include pain, vomiting, nausea and shaking.

There are different ways that heroin detox can be carried out, most usually either ‘maintenance therapy’ or ‘full medical detox’.

Attempting to switch from heroin to a heroin substitute, usually on a controlled prescription, is known as Maintenance therapy. Subsites used are most often methadone or buprenorphine.

A full medical detox from heroin will always be carried out in a residential rehab setting and will allow the individual to switch form heroin to a substitute and slowly withdraw completing treatment free of all substances. Someone using a heroin substitute can choose to have a full medical detox at any time, however detoxing substances such a methadone can often add to the length of detox required. Drugs most commonly used to fully detox from heroin are, Subutex, Suboxone and Methadone. Much like alcohol, the exact drugs used will be dependent on the individuals needs/medical history.

Once detoxed from heroin the risk of overdose is much higher following relapse due to tolerance following withdrawal.

The length of treatment in a residential rehab depends on a number of elements. Some substances require longer periods of detox than others.

Private paying patients will also often choose a length of stay that suites their therapeutic and financial needs. As a rule, a full treatment program in a rehab is considered to be 28 days (often referred to as a month), however, treatment is offered in several different ways and lengths starting at 7 days.

Treating alcohol addiction will always require a minimum of 7-10 days, this would be considered the detoxification (detox) faze. The length required for treating drug addiction can vary drastically depending on the substance being used. Detox for Heroin addiction is generally around 14 days minimum, with more time required if substances such a methadone are being used. Treating prescription drug addiction can often take the longest. The time required for treating gambling addiction, eating disorders and sex addiction will be based on the individuals needs.

Rehab programs can be as long as an individual requires but primary treatment is normally caped at 12 weeks, with the offering for further secondary and tertiary treatment thereafter.

*based on average rehab stays, everyone will vary dependant on needs and medical requirement/history.

There is no need for your employer to know that you are seeking help for trauma and addiction unless you choose to involve them with the process. All employers should have a policy that explains what you do if you cannot come to work due to illness – illness to include treating alcohol addiction/treating drug addiction.

If your work absence extends over 7 days your employer is likely to require an official statement of fitness to work which would be obtained from your GP. This would need to supply evidence of your illness as well as any adjustments required for returning to work, fazed return or reduced hours, but does not need to specify in detail the reason why you have been absent.

If you are absent from work for 7 days of less, for example entering rehab for a detoxification (detox) on a Saturday for 7-10 days taking a full week away from work, you can self-certify your illness by letting your employer work you will not be attending work for that period of time. Exactly how an individual would do this would be dependent on a specific companies’ policies on taking sick leave.

Any time longer than 7 days it is likely an employer will require a note from the individuals GP certifying their sickness and a fit note on return. Most companies have a clearly outlined policy on sickness and receiving sick pay so the exact requirement can vary. A rehab will always be willing to advise on time off work.

How much does rehab cost is a very frequently asked question. The cost of treatment can range from £1,000 per week upwards depending on the place, with luxury rehab being the most expensive.

There are free options available on the NHS but the waitlist of those looking for free treatment is longer than that for privately paying patients. Some private health insurance policies will cover treatment in some rehabs around the country.

Choosing the right rehab centre will often be based on priced but it is important to follow guidance on the most suitable treatment centre for an individual’s needs which our expert team of advisers are on hand to offer.

There are certainly pro’s for both treatment near by and traveling for treatment with one of the most asked question being should I get rehab near me? There are rehabs all over the UK and around the world that all offer expert programs, let’s look at how to choose a rehab.

Local treatment

Being close to home gives certainly has benefits. Visitors are normally permitted in rehab following the first 7 days stay, therefore if an individual is in treatment for a length of time longer than that being local will make it easier for loved ones to visit.

Most rehab centres will also provide a full aftercare plan for someone following treatment, this will include ongoing aftercare in the specific treatment centre. Living close by can make it easy to take full advantage of ongoing aftercare. There can also often be the option for ongoing care with an individual therapist, again being close by will allow that treatment to be carried out face to face.

Some individuals wish to be local but are willing to look broader, for instance the greater city of residence (London, Manchester, Liverpool, etc)

Treatment Away

Getting treatment away from home can be very appealing to some. Being out of the local area makes it a lot harder to just walk out of treatment as resources locally are unknown. Some also take comfort in knowing that they are not near home and focus more on treatment.

As the price for treatment can vary so much from one residential treatment centre to another, private paying patients often would rather travel to keep the cost down. Those using private health insurance may also have to travel to find a treatment centre covered in their policy.

When opting for treatment away from home this can be anywhere in the UK and also abroad. Aftercare can still be carried out and very successful using tools such as The Online Rehab.

There is no right or wrong when choosing where to go to residential rehab, but our expert advisors are always on hand to help provide information on all possible options.

Whilst millions of people in the UK have taken recreational drugs (amphetamine, cannabis, cocaine, crack, crystal meth, GHB, heron, ketamine, methadone, and prescription drugs) and drank alcohol not all become ‘addicted’. Most recent reports show that 279,793 individuals were in contact with drug and alcohol misuse services in the last year with over half of that being from opiate addiction and a quarter for alcohol.

There are several risk factors invoiced in addiction and those using drugs and alcohol socially, simply take the risk. These risks are as follows;

Tolerance – basically, if a substance is used repeatedly an individual’s tolerance to it will build. This will result in more of the same substance being required to get the same effect. In the long run this can easily lead to addiction and physical dependencies.

Environmental risks – these can include influences such a peer pressure and stress as well as physical or mental abuse of an individual (particularly as a child). Overall, those who live with frequent pressures and stress are more likely to reach for a substance to cope and are therefore at higher risk of becoming addicted.

Drug type – it is very well known that certain drugs are simply more addictive than others. Using substances such as heroin increases the risk of becoming addicted for need to ‘chase’ a high as well as physical dependency.

Drug administration – how a drug is administered can affect its addictive qualities. A drug injected rather than smoked or snorted will release a quicker and more intense high thus making it psychologically (and in many cases physically) more addictive.

Biological factors – it is now widely reported that being an addict is not only psychological but also biological. This includes your genetic makeup, mental health, sex and age. It is also reported to be 8 times more likely for the child of an addict to become an addict themselves.

Its believed that addiction is approximately half genetics and therefore some are 50% more likely to become addicted than others.

How do you help a loved one trapped in addiction?

The first step is to help and encourage the individual to become willing to accept help. They do not need to be shouting this off the rooftops, but they do need to be willing to go into treatment. There are ways to help someone become willing to get treatment for alcohol or treatment for drugs.

Set boundaries – set boundaries and stick to them. Once you have laid them out follow through with whatever consequences you have set however hard it is.

Stop finances – if you are financially supporting someone stopping these finances can be the quickest way for the addict needing to ask for help. With no money to acquire a substance an addict’s options become very limited.

Intervention – getting together with other family members/friends/colleagues and staging an intervention is often very successful in the fist stage of acceptance and gaining an admission to residential rehab.

You can’t make them quit, this can lead to dangerous withdrawal. Boundaries are very important in helping someone become willing to get help. Unfortunately you cannot do someone’s recovery for them and without self-motivation it is very hard to make it work.

The next step is to call our highly trained advisers 0203 955 7700.

There is a huge range of rehab options available and where to start can be completely over whelming so let us help.