Do You Need Detoxification for Coming Off Crystal Meth?

Crystal methamphetamine is more readily available, purer, and cheaper than ever before, according to this report in TheNew York Times. “Meth,” which gained notoriety in the early to  mid-2000s thanks to television shows like “Breaking Bad,” has since taken a back seat to the opioid epidemic, considered the deadliest, most insidious drug scourge in U.S. history.

The opioid wave isn’t enough to cover the persistent use of crystal meth and its manifold dangers. Meth is experiencing a revival as statistics suggest that meth use is as strong as ever. During the past six years, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the amount of meth seized by authorities has nearly quadrupled.

Few substances are as addictive. Few are as catastrophic to a person’s brain, health, and appearance. People are drawn to meth’s ability to produce an abundance of euphoria, delivering the kind of dopamine-fueled highs that far surpass those of other substances and activities.

What they discover after initial use is that they have to take more of it to recapture that euphoria. What they learn is that meth will destroy their ability to experience pleasure, provoking them to resume a continuous cycle of use.

This is precisely why detoxification and professional addiction treatment is vital. Without them, relapse is almost a certainty.



What Is Crystal Meth And Why Is It So Addictive?

Crystal methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug that stimulates the central nervous system (CNS). Meth is primarily a recreational drug, although a certain formulation of the substance is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obesity. Crystal meth is a form of the manmade stimulant known as d-methamphetamine. The colorless and odorless drug can be smoked, swallowed, snorted, or injected. It also goes by a variety of street names including crystal, speed, chalk, ice, crank, and glass.  

Meth activates the central nervous system to impart euphoria, heightened sexual arousal, increased energy, and excitement. It rapidly releases high levels of dopamine in the brain’s reward centers.

crystal meth drug rehab

What users feel is a sudden burst of sensations that last for a few minutes, followed by euphoria that can last between six and 12 hours. It is said that the dopamine rush from meth exceeds that of cocaine, not to mention other pleasurable activities like enjoying a favorite meal or engaging in sex.

It is this ridiculously potent rush that compels users to take more and more of the drug, which quickly triggers addiction. What eventually happens is that methamphetamine hijacks the brain’s dopamine function which means that a user cannot produce the chemical on their own. When someone stops using meth, they crash and experience severe depression. That absence of pleasure they feel is enough of an incentive for them to use again.

In the meantime, the drug damages the brain’s dopamine receptors and a user’s cognitive function. The damage the drug causes to the brain can be so grave that it takes years for the tissues to regenerate. Meth use can also cause emotional disorders.

What Are the Signs of a Crystal Meth Addiction?

Because of the litany of effects that crystal meth has on the mind and body, the signs of addiction are highly observable. Users can experience powerful cravings and display unorthodox behaviors. Because meth can induce addiction so rapidly, a user will display an excitability in the form of twitching movements. This is what people refer to as “tweaking.”

Meth cravings will cause users to exhibit compulsive behaviors around obtaining the drug, so much so, that it becomes their primary motive. Here are the telltale signs of meth addiction that appear after short-term use:

  • Unpredictable and compulsive behavior
  • Decreased appetite
  • Faster breathing
  • Bad breath
  • Dilated pupils
  • Increased wakefulness and physical activity
  • Isolation
  • Rapid and/or irregular heartbeat
  • Increased blood pressure and body temperature

Chronic, long-term meth use will begin to erode the mind and body to such as degree that a user will exhibit symptoms that look like the following:

  • Sleeping problems
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Severe dental problems ("meth mouth")
  • Intense itching and scratching, causing skin sores to form
  • Violent behavior

Crystal meth users can suffer permanent brain damage and can also increase their risk of getting Parkinson’s disease, a nervous system disorder that affects movement. Long-term users can also experience frightening auditory and visual hallucinations.

It is not unusual for meth users to believe they have bugs crawling underneath their skin, for example. This illusion can provoke them to scratch and pick at their skin until they have sores.

Despite these complications, people will continue to actively use the drug in an attempt to stave off withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, fatigue, severe depression, cravings, and psychosis. If you are concerned that you or a loved one is addicted to meth, then detoxification and treatment are necessary.

Ready to get help?

Let our treatment experts call you today.

Why Are Detoxification and Treatment Necessary?

While the withdrawal symptoms of a meth addiction are not as severe as say heroin, professional addiction treatment is absolutely vital to release meth’s hold on your life.


A professionally administered medical detoxification is needed because so many people who attempt to quit meth on their own, relapse, if only to mitigate withdrawal symptoms and answer their cravings. What’s more, relapse rates for a methamphetamine addiction are significant due to the nature of the drug.

In medical detoxification, the first phase of treatment, meth and other toxins will be safely and comfortably removed from your body. The medical staff will also perform a comprehensive evaluation to diagnose any co-occurring mental disorders or physical illnesses that may lie at the root of your addiction. The entire detox process takes place in an environment that is safe, secure, and strictly supervised.


Detox is only the beginning of the recovery process. Many people who successfully kick meth enroll in inpatient addiction treatment. Inpatient treatment is an intensive drug rehabilitation program that is highly structured and tailored to meet your individual needs. You will have time-tested treatment methods available to you, including individual and group therapy, life and coping skills training, holistic healing, and therapeutic techniques.


Because addiction is a lifelong condition, staying connected to a recovery community is necessary even after detox and inpatient treatment are completed. That’s why outpatient treatment and sober living homes are beneficial aftercare options. As someone who is newly recovered, these aftercare programs will help you understand the triggers and daily stress factors that lead to relapse. For example, we offer a 12-step program, one of the most effective treatment methods for meth addiction. In aftercare, you will discover lifestyle changes and coping skills that will help you combat meth cravings.    

Crystal Meth Abuse Statistics

  • Between 2010 and 2014, the number of methamphetamine overdose deaths jumped from 1,388 to 3,728, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
  • 61% of people treated for methamphetamine addiction relapse within one year.
  • 1.2 million people (0.4 percent of the population) reported using methamphetamine in 2012, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Start Your Journey to Recovery Today

A professionally administered medical detoxification is an essential first step to kicking crystal meth. Specialized, ongoing care at a treatment facility is next. At Ocean Breeze Recovery, a licensed and experienced staff will guide you through those phases of recovery so that you can quit meth for good.  

Call (855) 960-5341 anytime, day or evening, for a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable addiction recovery specialists. They can help you locate the right treatment option. You also can contact us online for more information.