Given the growing number of meth addictions, one might think that there would be a specialized type of meth rehab for people addicted to that drug. However, meth addicts respond to the same type of treatment given to other substance abusers, without the need for any type of specific meth rehab program. The biggest difference between someone in recovery from other drugs and someone recovering from meth addiction is the amount of time needed for the treatment to be effective and give the addict any hope of recovering.
In substance abuse programs, an initial detox period gives the user time to pass through the withdrawal stage once they stop using the drug. Only after this detox is the user ready to accept the rest of the treatment. A person still under the effects of the drug would view treatment through a distorted sense of perception that the drug provides. With meth rehab, the detoxification period needs to be much longer than with other drugs. While the inpatient portion of other treatment programs might be anywhere from one to two weeks, a meth user could still very well be feeling the effects of their last use, and therefore not finished with detox and unable to think clearly enough to benefit from further treatment.
So for meth rehab, a long-term program is really the only effective way to treat the addiction, and long-term inpatient treatment would seem to give the addicts a better chance of success. The meth user’s detox is unlike other drugs, as well, with no real approved drugs available to help with withdrawal symptoms. Anti-depressants are regularly prescribed, because meth damages the body’s ability to produce dopamine and feel its effects, so severe depression is common.
After detox, which most experts agree must last much longer than with other drugs, the treatment proceeds much as it does when treating other substance addictions like those with cocaine or heroine. An attempt is made to adjust the addict’s way of thinking about themselves and life, and to adjust their behavior and help them cope with everyday situations outside of the meth rehab.
The high failure rate of meth rehab is blamed both on the generally short length of time most rehabs encompass, usually because of insurance reasons, and the heinous and unusually addictive qualities of the drug. Meth often does severe damage to a way a person’s brain works when it comes to creating chemicals that signal pleasure, making the person almost numb to normal pleasures and unable to find gratification in anything but the instantaneous sense of satisfaction and pleasure that comes immediately after meth use.
Because the brain has been so altered, even after the first use, a long detox period is necessary. Only after the majority of the effects of the drug have passed does normal thinking return with the person’s ability to reason and understand the damage the drug is doing. The ability to get long-term treatment in meth rehab seems to be the major factor in whether treatment will succeed or fail.