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A Complete Guide to Meth Addiction


WRITTEN BY: Mark Shandrow

Finding Recovery at ASANA

At ASANA Recovery our treatment center will help you overcome your addiction to meth. Our Orange County rehab has several programs and services, each one supported by evidence-based research. Our team of professionals will work with you one-on-one to create a unique treatment plan that specifically addresses your needs. Join us at ASANA Recovery today and learn how we can help you achieve sobriety and help you towards a healthy, addiction free life.

What is Meth?

Meth or crystal meth are abbreviations for crystal methamphetamine. We usually see this drug in a white crystalline form. The drug can be injected, smoked, inhaled, or taken orally. We want to caution about this drug, as it is extremely addictive. It induces false feelings of confidence, happiness, and energy. While the effects usually last between six to eight hours, we have seen cases in which the effects lasted for a full 24 hours.

Although there is intense pleasure with the first use, the drug will eventually destroy the life of the user.

Meth is an illegal substance that entices individuals of any age group. Addiction to methamphetamine occurs every day and continues to increase across the United States. It can be found almost anywhere and is an extremely dangerous stimulant. Eventually it will begin to poison the mind and body, creating a dangerous dependency issue. This will often lead to painful withdrawal which can only be avoided by taking the drug again and increasing the dosage. The only way to stop this vicious cycle is through meth rehab.

The effect of methamphetamine is highly concentrated. Many users have admitted that they became addicted after just one dose. Due to it’s addictive quality it is considered to be one of the hardest substances to quit. However, if the addict doesn’t receive treatment then the result will be death.

meth rehab

What are the Side Effects?

“a mental and physical breakdown”

A question we get all the time is, “What are the side effects of doing meth?” In order to give the best answer possible, we conducted extensive research. When the effects of the drug wear off, the individual will experience a crash or a mental and physical breakdown. Using meth on a regular basis results in a loss of natural hunger leading to extreme weight loss. The short term and long term side effects include:

Short Term Effects

  • Loss of Appetite
  • Irritability, Hyper-excitability, and Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Nausea
  • Disturbed Sleep Patters or Insomnia
  • Delusions of Power
  • Psychosis and Panic
  • Increased Body Temperature, Blood Pressure, and Heart Rate
  • Hyperactivity
  • Violent, Erratic, and Bizarre Behavior
  • Anxiety
  • Dilated Pupils
  • Confusion
  • Agression
  • High doses can result in Seizures, Convulsions, and Death.
Loss of Appetite
Irritability, hyper-excitability and hallucinations
Disturbed sleep patterns or insomnia
Delusions of power
Psychosis and panic
Increased body temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate
Violent, erratic and bizarre behavior
Dilated pupils
High doses can result in seizures, convulsions, and death

Long Term Effects

  • Permanent Damage to Blood Vessels in the Brain and Heart
  • Lung, Kidney, and Liver Damage
  • When snorted, Destruction of Nose Tissues
  • When Smoked, Respiratory Issues
  • When Injected, Abscesses and Infectious Diseases
  • Strong Psychological Dependence
  • Severe Tooth Decay
  • Extreme Mood Swings
  • Psychotic Behavior and Aggression
  • Irregular Heartbeat, Stroke or Heart Attack
  • Weight Loss and Malnutrition
  • Depression
  • Memory Loss
  • Psychosis
  • Confusion, Apathy, and Disorientation
  • Cardiovascular Collapse Resulting in Death
Permanent damage to blood vessels in the brain and heart
Lung, kidney, and liver damage
When snorted, destruction of nose tissues
When smoked, respiratory issues
When injected, abscesses and infectious diseases
Strong psychological dependence
Severe tooth decay
Extreme mood swings
Psychotic behavior and aggression
Irregular heartbeat, stroke or heart attack
Weight loss and malnutrition
Memory loss
Confusion, apathy and disorientation
Cardiovascular collapse resulting in death

How Long Does Meth Stay in Your System?

There is no definitive answer as to how long meth remains within the body. The actual effects of meth generally last between six to 12 hours. Traces of the drug remain in the individual’s system for much longer. This is dependent upon how long the individual has been abusing meth, the average dose, and the physical characteristics of the user. We have found methamphetamine can be detected in the urine for a maximum of three days. The drug can be detected through a hair test for three months and one or two days with a saliva test.

“The effects can last 6 to 12 hours”

The drug will clear out of the individual’s system faster for recreational or occasional use as opposed to the heavy or frequent use of the drug. Once ingested, the drug can be found in the urine, sweat, blood, saliva, and hair. According to studies, a typical dose is between five and 10 milligrams. Once the user builds up a tolerance they will continue to increase the dose.

What are the Street Names?



Black Beauties


Crystal Glass









Chicken Feed

How Do You Quit Meth?

There are several important stages for quitting meth. The first step is finding a treatment center to overcome abuse issues through behavioral therapy and detoxification. Once the individual has completed rehab, the recovery process continues. There is no guarantee the treatment will ensure sobriety. We know that, unfortunately, addiction is a disease. To maintain a life of sobriety the addict must make a serious decision to quit that they will commit to for the rest of their lives. 

There are five stages for recovering from methamphetamine. The hardest stage is the beginning and it lasts for roughly two weeks. We have watched individuals suffering from addiction learn the skills they need for sobriety and to preserve a healthy and vibrant life. The process requires time, support, and medical assistance. The five stages are detailed below.

Stage 1

meth rehab

The withdrawal stage lasts for fifteen days and it is the first step in the recovery process. Withdrawing from meth is difficult due to its symptoms which include:

  • Heart palpitations 
  • Depression
  • Disorientation
  • Shaking

We strongly recommend that anyone who wants to quit use a rehab facility. Addiction professionals can administer medications to help relieve withdrawal symptoms.

Stage 2

The second stage lasts from the 16th day to the 45th. One of the answers to “how do you quit meth?” is completing the withdrawal process. After withdrawal, the body will start to recover. Energy levels increase, there is an improvement in optimism, confidence, mood, and cravings disappear. This does not mean the individual has recovered, we have witnessed relapses many times. 

Stage 3

This stage is day 46 through 120. During this stage, the individual has a higher risk of relapse. Most people are unable to find any pleasure in living and experience low energy, insomnia, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. We have spoken with numerous individuals who believe these symptoms are permanent. This is not true! The symptoms will fade over time.

Stage 4

From day 121 through day 180, the individual begins to adjust to their recovery. Many individuals start to feel optimistic and accomplished. We are proud of every person who successfully adapted to their new life, relationships, and jobs.

meth rehab

Stage 5

Meth Rehab

Stage five starts on day 181 and continues for life. At this point, the individual has been off meth for six months. New skills have been learned, the signs of relapse are known, new interests are established, and a brand new lifestyle is achieved.


Withdrawing from meth is a struggle for the first few months. Once treatment is completed and an individual leaves rehab, there will be triggers that can lead to relapse. One of the most common is revisiting an old neighborhood where the addict once bought and used methamphetamine. A lot of options are available for recovering addicts who have just left rehab. Group and individual therapy have been known to help prevent relapse. Staying connected with the community that was formed while in rehab provides accountability.

meth rehab

We believe it is important to acknowledge that some of the side effects that accompany meth use will never go away. Gum disease and tooth decay are common and should be treated by a dentist as quickly as possible. A treatment plan can be customized to handle mouth sores, mouth diseases, and any necessary dental work. We recommend avoiding sugary snacks and drinks as much as possible to improve oral health. Another common symptom of methamphetamine addiction is depression.

After Rehab

One of the most common is revisiting an old neighborhood where the addict once bought and used methamphetamine. A lot of options are available for recovering addicts who have just left rehab. Group and individual therapy have been known to help prevent relapse. Staying connected with the community that was formed while in rehab provides accountability.


Relapse Prevention

Unfortunately, relapse is fairly common with meth addiction. Approximately 40-60% of the people who successfully complete rehab will relapse. Although cravings are extremely difficult to manage, they generally disappear within fifteen to thirty minutes. We believe in helping people to understand that cravings will not last forever, in doing so they can resist the urge to relapse. There are many different strategies we recommend for avoiding relapse, including:

  •  Understanding triggers will enable the individual to avoid them
  • Invest in relationships with people who care about your health
  • Spend time with individuals not using drugs
  • Create a plan to avoid triggers
  • Participate in healthy and enjoyable activities 

“40%-60% of people who complete rehab will relapse”

Therapy after treatment is important for people focused on remaining sober. Sober living homes are available for those who have completed their inpatient program and need a safe and supportive environment to transition to. These residences provide a sober lifestyle. Strategies and coping mechanisms are critical for maintaining abstinence. Meth hotlines are available for anyone experiencing a relapse. 

How the Body Breaks Down Meth

Meth Rehab

Methamphetamine is absorbed quickly by the body whether they are taken orally, snorted, smoked, or injected. The liver partially breaks it down, and a portion of the drug is transformed into amphetamine. The chemical structure for this stimulant drug is very similar. Both amphetamines and methamphetamine will be excreted through the urine. The amount of time the drug stays in the body is dependent on the elimination half-life of the drug. 

A half-life is the amount of time required for half of the drug to be cleared from the bloodstream. There is no exact science for half-lives, however it is generally between six to fifteen hours for methamphetamine. The length of time necessary for excretion can be influenced by the pH or acidity of the urine. Additional factors include overall health, weight, and age.

Drugs Commonly Combined with Meth

Methamphetamine is frequently cut using other drugs. Some people will mix or use other drugs or alcohol to achieve a stronger effect. Some of the drugs most commonly used with meth include: 

Meth provides a stimulant effect capable of hiding the impact of alcohol. We have seen too many people drink to excess for this reason. This particular combination can cause increased hallucinations, psychosis, cancer, high blood pressure, chronic liver damage, and even death. 

One of the side effects of methamphetamine is anxiety. As an anti-anxiety medication, Xanax is often used to offset the anxiety. This results in an incredibly addictive combination frequently causing heart issues. Xanax slows down the heart, while meth speeds it up. The result is often heart arrhythmias leading to a fatal heart attack.

The combination of opioids such as morphine and methamphetamine is referred to as a speedball. The risk is more dangerous than using either drug separately. The user often experiences difficulty with motor functions, which can lead them to injure themselves or others.

Meth Rehab Centers in Orange County

Addiction is hard to overcome due the chemical structure that changes in the brain. Rehab centers provide optimal care for those who are ready to receive help. Once an addiction is developed, a rehabilitation center is the best choice to overcome it and regain a healthy sober life. We recommend conducting some research to determine which program would be best suited to the clients situation, budget, and client’s needs. An excellent support system and formal treatment are vital in achieving sobriety and helping prevent relapse. Two of the main types of addiction treatment are outpatient and inpatient programs.


Costa Mesa addiction treatment bedroom

Outpatient & Inpatient Programs

An outpatient facility enables the individual to live at home while going through treatment. The client will visit the facility regularly throughout the week. We have found this to be a good option if the addiction is mild and the addicted person has reliable transportation, as well as an excellent support system. An outpatient program is a popular choice for those who desire minimal disruption in their lives. During rehab, the patient can continue going to work or school and fulfill their other obligations.

There are several types of outpatient centers with different ranges in intensity. A Partial Hospitalization Program PHP is often referred to as a day treatment program.  Patients will receive treatment five to seven days each week from non-medical and medical staff members. An IOP or intensive outpatient program is when the individual has therapy six to seven hours each week. 

Typical outpatient programs are the least intensive form of treatment available. Most outpatient programs take place in a physician’s office or a clinic for two to four hours each week. An inpatient program provides the individual with support 24/7, with a residential facility and instant access to medication assisted treatment if needed. We have found this option is ideal for those who suffer from severe addictions or a combination of substance abuse and a mental health issue. 

The right treatment center is partially dependent on if the patient has completed a meth detox in the past. For individuals with no past history and severe physical addiction, there are outpatient rehab centers providing detox services 24/7. Withdrawal should be completed in a facility due to the severeness of the symptoms including depression and thoughts of suicide. Professional detox facilities make certain the individual is safe throughout the process of withdrawal.

Once the detox program has been completed, the patient will transition to substance abuse treatment. Whether it will be an outpatient program or inpatient program will depend on numerous factors. If you are struggling with drug addiction, we encourage you to call us at ASANA Recovery. Our treatment center will provide you will all the tools you need to live a happy, healthy, productive life.

The Importance of Meth Rehab Facilities

“All of the focus will be on treating addiction”

We understand that starting treatment through a residential facility can be an intimidating and overwhelming experience. During treatment, the patient will not be able to go to work, school, or fulfill any of their normal daily responsibilities. All of the patient’s focus will be placed on treating their addiction. If methamphetamine has been abused for a long period of time, the patient may have a serious impairment and have formed a dependency.  

For these reasons, we recommend a residential program due to the structure it provides. One of the most significant signs of addiction is developing a dependence. Chronic drug users have generally developed a physiological dependence on the drug. Once the user’s body has adapted to methamphetamine, the drug is necessary for normal functioning. If the individual stops using the drug suddenly, the result will be painful withdrawal symptoms. These can be extremely severe depending on the circumstance and the abuser’s history. 

We have seen the most severe symptoms when the individual continually binges and crashes. The person will use methamphetamine for several days in a row without sleeping or eating. Due to the severity of the withdrawal symptoms, the individual often starts using methamphetamine again immediately to make the symptoms stop. This is a destructive cycle consisting of using the drug compulsively, stopping, and then relapsing.

The individual is attempting to escape symptoms including extreme fatigue, paranoia, suicidal thoughts, depression, and anxiety. We want to encourage any individual struggling with an addiction to obtain help from a professional treatment facility. Without proper medical assistance, the consequences can be both detrimental and dangerous. Contacting a meth rehab facility sooner as opposed to later can help prevent or eliminate the symptoms of withdrawal. 

Rehab centers are completely confidential. The centers adhere to the HIPPA regulations just like hospitals. A meth rehab center is prevented from releasing the individual records to anyone not authorized by the individual or the individual. We recommend considering what will be said to an employer or a school regarding the absence of the individual. There are a lot of employers sponsoring EAPs or Employee Assistance Programs for addiction. 

These programs offer counseling and therapy for individuals who need help with a methamphetamine addiction. 

Length of Treatment

There are a lot of people all over the world experiencing difficulties with methamphetamines. We recommend considering a drug rehab program for a period of either 28 or 30 days. During the time the individual spends at the rehab facility, they have the opportunity for coming off meth and remaining clean without a commitment for a longer period of time. The length of the treatment is dependent on numerous factors including:

meth rehab

The severity of the addiction

meth rehab

The amount of time the individual can take off from work or school

meth rehab

Insurance Coverage


The mental health condition of the individual

We have seen patients achieve success with a program for one month followed by ongoing treatment through an outpatient program. We also understand in the case of a severe addiction, both significant psychological and medical help is often necessary. In this instance, the treatment may require a minimum of two or three months. Individuals previously living in an environment detrimental to their recovery, including an abusive home may require a safe place to stay away from any negative influences. 

“May require 2 or 3 months”

There is a set pattern for treatment for an addiction to meth. The addiction and medical history of the individual must be taken into account. The facility needs to be aware of how long the individual has been using methamphetamines and what factors may have been responsible for the addiction. The first step is detoxification. During this time, the individual will not be able to access methamphetamine. Supervision will be provided for the entire withdrawal process. 

No medications have been approved specifically for either withdrawal or dependence. There are supportive medications that can be administered to help the individual with the symptoms of withdrawal. We recommend therapy for any psychological issues to help determine the underlying issues leading to addiction. Group therapy, individual therapy, outpatient aftercare, support, and counseling are necessary to the individual to become and remain sober. 

Meth Rehab in Orange County

If you or a loved one are struggling with meth addiction, you’re not alone. Asana Recovery in Orange County has helped many who are struggling with meth addiction get their lives back on track. Our dedicated admissions staff are available 24/7 to guide you through the process. While the first and often hardest step is reaching out for help, recovery is possible. Give us a call at 949-763-3440 or learn more about Asana Recovery, here.