Meth Detox, Treatment & Rehab

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Meth misuse is a dangerous habit and can lead to severe long-term conditions, including tolerance, dependence, and addiction. Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a Schedule II substance, meaning it has a high potential for misuse. (1) Individuals struggling with meth use are urged to seek detox and professional treatment to prevent further damage to their health, relationships, and lives.

At Guardian Recovery, we offer specialized rehab programs, personalized treatment programs, and multiple levels of care. Our goal is to provide our clients with the education, tools, and support needed to overcome addiction and promote long-lasting sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to begin your recovery journey, reach out to us today.

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What Is the Addiction Treatment & Recovery Process for Meth Addiction?

Professional treatment for meth addiction involves several evidence-based approaches. It begins with detox and is focused on behavioral therapies, services, and activities throughout the process. Because recovery is a lifelong endeavor, aftercare planning and continuous support are often needed to help individuals prevent relapse and sustain long-term sobriety.

Treatment & Recovery Protocols for Meth Addiction Include:

  • Comprehensive assessment.
  • Medical detox.
  • Medication-assisted treatment.
  • Inpatient and/or outpatient treatment programs.
  • Individual, family, group, and recreational therapies.
  • Life skills training.
  • Support groups.
  • Relapse prevention.
  • Aftercare planning.

Medical Detox for Meth

Medical detox is a process of safely managing symptoms that occur when a person dependent on a substance stops using it and undergoes the withdrawal process. During meth detox, individuals receive 24/7 care from medical professionals who monitor their vital signs, manage their withdrawal symptoms, and provide medications, nutrition, and hydration to help ease discomfort and cravings and promote optimal health.

Can You Detox From Meth by Going Cold Turkey?

At-home, cold turkey meth detox is not recommended. Without medical supervision and support, individuals often experience physical and psychological distress associated with meth withdrawal, including symptoms such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, and even psychosis. These symptoms can be severe and require medical intervention to ensure the person’s safety.

How Long Does It Take To Completely Detox Your Body From Meth?

The length of time it takes to eliminate meth from the body varies depending on the duration and frequency of use, the amount used, and the individual’s overall health. Meth has a half-life of approximately 10–12 hours, meaning it takes around two to four days for the drug to be completely cleared from a person’s system.

Timeline of Meth Withdrawal Symptoms:

Within the First 24 Hours—Fatigue, anxiety, and depression.

  • Days 2–10—Intense cravings, sleep disturbances, irritability, agitation, mood swings, and potentially tremors, sweating, and muscle aches.
  • Days 11–14—Cessation of many symptoms, but possible continuation of mood swings, irritability, and depression.

After Day 14—Possible continuation of sleep disturbances, mood swings, and cravings.

Medications Used in Medication-Assisted Treatment for Meth Detox

Although there are no FDA-approved medications for meth withdrawal, a few have been clinically shown to reduce symptoms.

Medications That May Be Used in the Meth Detox Process Include:

  • Provigil (modafinil), a stimulant. (2)
  • Aripiprazole, an antipsychotic. (3)
  • Benadryl, which can help with sleep and agitation. (4)
  • Trazodone, a sedating antidepressant for insomnia. (5)
  • Mirtazapine, an antidepressant that can treat depressive withdrawal symptoms. (6)
  • Analgesics, for relief of minor aches and pains.

How Long Are Meth Detox & Addiction Treatment Programs?

The length of meth detox and rehab programs varies depending on the individual’s needs, the severity of their addiction, and the type of program. Meth detox can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the individual’s level of use and physical health.

In terms of addiction treatment, the program length often ranges from a few weeks to several months or even years, depending on the program and the individual’s progress. However, according to the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs and other research, longer treatments tend to yield better outcomes and have a higher likelihood of preventing relapse. (7)

Dual Diagnosis & Co-Occurring Disorders That May Exist With Meth Addiction

Co-occurring disorders can complicate addiction treatment and recovery and require specialized treatment approaches to address both conditions simultaneously.

Co-Occurring Disorders That May Exist With Meth Addiction Include:

  • Depression.
  • Anxiety disorders.
  • Bipolar disorder.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Personality disorders.

Medical Treatment Options for Meth Addiction

Meth addiction can be challenging to overcome, but there are several medical treatment options available depending on the individual’s needs and the severity of their addiction.

Inpatient (Residential) Rehab

Inpatient rehab involves individuals living at the treatment facility, typically for 28 days to several months. These are often recommended for individuals with severe addiction or co-occurring mental health disorders.

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

PHPs provide a structured and intensive level of care while allowing individuals to go to a private residence overnight. PHPs are typically recommended for individuals who do not require 24/7 medical care, but who need more support than traditional intensive outpatient rehab can offer. They typically involve attending treatment sessions for several hours a day, five to seven days a week.

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) & Outpatient Programs (OP)

IOPs provide a lower level of care and treatment intensity, and typically have fewer treatment modalities. IOPs are often used as a step-down from PHPs or as a primary treatment option for individuals who do not require more intensive care.

Outpatient addiction treatment involves treatment only once or twice a week and is usually recommended for individuals with mild to moderate addictions who do not require a more intensive level of care and support.

Virtual & Online Treatment & Counseling

Virtual and online treatment and counseling for addiction have become increasingly popular and accessible in recent years, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the main benefits of these formats is that they provide a convenient and accessible option for individuals unable to attend in-person treatment for various reasons. These include teletherapy, virtual peer-led support groups, and online self-help programs.

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Behavioral Treatments & Therapies Used in Meth Addiction Treatment

There are several evidence-based approaches used in meth addiction treatment, many of which involve individual, family, and group therapies.

Individual, Group, & Family Therapies

Individual therapy is a form of mental health treatment that involves meeting one-on-one with a trained mental health professional to discuss emotional, behavioral, or personal issues. Group therapy involves a therapist-led session in which several individuals with similar issues come together to share experiences and provide mutual support.

Family therapy is a form of counseling that involves working with family members to resolve conflicts and promote communication and healing. It typically consists of sessions with the individual struggling with addiction and their family members, such as parents and spouses.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on helping individuals identify and change negative or unhealthy thought patterns and behaviors that may be contributing to their mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, addiction, and more.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

The DBT approach asserts that individuals who experience intense emotions have challenges regulating them, which can lead to self-destructive behaviors. DBT is a skills-based therapy that focuses on mindfulness, stress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.

Motivational Interviewing (MI)

MI is focused on helping individuals find and strengthen their own internal motivation for making positive changes in their lives. This is a counseling-based approach emphasizing empathy, active listening, and respect for personal autonomy.

Relapse Prevention, Aftercare, & Long-Term Recovery

Relapse prevention training and services typically involve helping individuals develop the skills and strategies they need to avoid relapse and maintain sobriety over the long term. These also include developing coping skills to productively deal with stress, anxiety, and other negative emotions. Furthermore, underlying mental health issues that contribute to substance use should continue to be addressed through individual or group therapy.

Aftercare programs can include individual therapy, group therapy, 12-step programs, sober living homes, and ongoing medical care. These programs help individuals build on the skills and strategies they developed during formal addiction treatment and continue working towards long-term recovery.

Key Elements of Relapse Prevention & Long-Term Recovery Include:

  • Working with a therapist to develop a personalized relapse prevention plan that describes the steps to take when experiencing cravings or thoughts of using meth.
  • Developing a strong support system with sober friends and family members and attending support groups.
  • Practicing self-care by eating healthy and engaging in regular exercise, meditation, and other self-care practices.
  • Avoiding triggers such as certain social situations, and developing strategies to handle them when unavoidable.
  • Ongoing therapy to continue working through any underlying issues related to addiction.
  • Finding purpose by identifying meaningful pursuits and activities, such as volunteering, engaging in hobbies, or going back to school.

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Reach Out to Us Today

If you or someone you know is struggling with meth misuse or addiction, it is essential to seek professional care immediately. At Guardian Recovery, we offer a variety of evidence based services, including medical detox, cognitive-behavioral therapy, life skills training, and a holistic approach to addiction treatment. Our caring and experienced staff and medical team will assist you throughout the recovery process.

Contact us today for a complimentary, no-obligation assessment and health insurance benefits check. If you are ready to pursue treatment and support designed to help you overcome meth addiction, reach out to find out more.


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Disclaimer: Does not guarantee specific treatment outcomes, as individual results may vary. Our services are not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis; please consult a qualified healthcare provider for such matters.

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Reviewed professionally for accuracy by:

Ryan Soave


Ryan Soave brings deep experience as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, certified trauma therapist, program developer, and research consultant for Huberman Lab at Stanford University Department of Neurobiology. Post-graduation from Wake Forest University, Ryan quickly discovered his acumen for the business world. After almost a decade of successful entrepreneurship and world traveling, he encountered a wave of personal and spiritual challenges; he felt a calling for something more. Ryan returned to school and completed his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. When he started working with those suffering from addiction and PTSD, he found his passion. He has never looked back.

Written by:

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Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and graduated from UCLA with a degree in playwriting. Since then she has been writing on addiction recovery and psychology full-time, and has found a home as part of the Guardian Recovery team.

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