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Crystal Meth
Inpatient Rehab

How A Better Today Recovery Services Treats Crystal Meth Addiction

Crystal meth addiction results in rapid physical decline that comes with severe psychological and behavioral side effects. Because of this, crystal meth addiction always requires professional medical treatment. If you or a loved one is fighting a crystal meth addiction, A Better Today Recovery Services has the expertise and compassion needed to help you win the battle.

Crystal meth is well known as a party drug that can keep people up for days, and some people also first try it because they need an extended burst of energy or because they want to lose weight. Often, first-time users aren’t aware of the dangers of the drug and don’t realize how easy it can become addictive.

Crystal Meth addiction does not only harm you physically and mentally, but it also hurts all the relationships with friends and family and loved ones. Family members of those who abuse Crystal Meth are also victimized by the loved one’s addiction. Belongings can be stolen and sold for Meth; loved ones can lie to keep a substance abuse secret and many can be manipulated for money to get high.

Beating a crystal meth addiction starts with medically supervised detox to remove the addictive substance from the user’s body. After detoxing the body of the toxins, an inpatient rehab program is generally advised, and often individual counseling and family therapy are part of treatment as well.

Crystal Meth use contributes to over 100,000 emergency room admissions a year.

What is Crystal Meth?

Crystal meth is a stimulant that was originally synthesized in the early 1900s. Methamphetamine is chemically related to legal amphetamine drugs used to boost energy and fight depression. Some of those drugs, including pseudoephedrine, are now tightly regulated so that illegal drug dealers can’t obtain the amounts needed to create crystal meth. As a result, toxic substances are often added to the manufacturing process, so any user never really knows what’s in the drug they’re taking.

Crystal Meth is a Central Nervous System Stimulant and is made by refining and synthesizing Amphetamines to form a crystal-like substance. The crystalized substance can be crushed and snorted, liquefied under heat and injected or smoked and is extremely addictive. The United States has gone through several crystal meth epidemics, with the most recent one beginning in the 1990s. On the street, crystal meth is known by a lot of different names, including crystal, tina, speed, crank, ice, and glass.

In its cheapest form, known as crank, it’s brown, but the purer forms of crystal meth look very much like a crystal or a piece of rock candy. The crystals can be smoked, crushed into powder for snorting, or dissolved in liquid for injecting. Sometimes the liquid or the original rocks of crystal meth are even swallowed whole.

Drug & Alcohol Interventions for Crystal Meth

Because crystal meth addicts can show volatile and even violent behavior, intervention can be especially difficult. If your loved one is fighting a meth addiction, you will probably find that you need a professional intervention specialist to help you assess the situation and handle the intervention. Intervention’s aren’t something that can be winged and made up on the spot though. It must be planned accordingly and even rehearsed.

To complicate the difficulty of getting a crystal meth addict into treatment, often meth users are incorrectly diagnosed by medical doctors. Because of the wild behavior that many addicts display, they’re frequently diagnosed with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, which can delay the start of the needed treatment.

A crystal meth intervention often takes many hours. While the addict often believes the intervention counselor is there to arrest them, leading to a volatile session, an intervention can go very badly if loved ones attempt it without professional guidance.

A crystal meth addict is likely to display paranoia, aggression and even violence during an intervention, and their inability to think rationally adds to the complexity of the interaction.

The Many Faces of Crystal Meth: The Physical Damage

Crystal meth causes drastic physical damage in the short- and long-term, including damage to major body organs. The drug disturbs the heart’s rhythm and constricts blood vessels, sometimes resulting in heart attacks, blood clots and strokes. Toxins including drain cleaner, lithium, lead, and Freon also can cause drastic damage to the liver, leading to hepatitis, cirrhosis and even liver failure.

Other organs are also subject to damage. Kidneys are damaged by the elevated blood pressure and body temperature caused by meth, and urine retention combined with reduced blood flow can cause kidney failure. Those who smoke meth also sustain severe lung damage.

The brain also suffers badly from crystal meth use. Physical and psychological damage to the brain includes decreased attention span, severe memory impairment, increased risk of Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and paranoia, and poor impulse control, which can lead to homicidal or suicidal behavior.

Meth addicts also sustain severe damage to their teeth, experiencing severe dental decay known as “meth mouth.” Other physical effects include insomnia, damage to nasal passages, abcesses that can become infected, and extreme weight loss. Much of the physical damage caused by meth addiction is irreversible, highlighting the urgent need to get your loved one into treatment.


Of the 500 metric tons of methamphetamine produced, only 4 tons is legally produced for legal medical use.

Common Behaviors Associated With Crystal Meth Addiction

Crystal meth addiction causes many behavioral changes that get worse as your loved one goes deeper into addiction. Initially, the meth user displays confusion, erratic behavior, and mood swings, which can become severe. The addict also loses their appetite and experiences weight loss as a result. Because meth is a stimulant, it keeps the user awake, leading them to experience insomnia. As the addiction grows worse, your loved one may become hostile and prone to violent behavior.

Over the long term, crystal meth provokes even worse behavior. Chemical changes to the brain cause profound disturbances to brain function and emotional response, some of which may persist even after a detox and treatment program have been completed. Crystal meth also causes psychosis, which manifests by making users feel as if bugs are crawling under their skin, so they pick their skin raw. Paranoia and schizophrenic symptoms are also common.

The Dangers Associated with Crystal Meth Abuse

Signs & Symptoms

Physical signs and symptoms of crystal meth use start showing up right away in the body of any addict. Take a look at some of the key physical signs of use:

  • Loss of weight
  • Increased physical frailness
  • Sores that appear like extreme acne on the face
  • Tooth Decay
  • Droopy skin on the face
  • Tremors and convulsions
  • Extreme scratching
  • Increased body temperature


Withdrawal from crystal meth begins within 24 hours of the most recent use, and it lasts two to three weeks.

During withdrawal, the user feels fatigue and sleepiness, jitteriness, increased appetite, thirst and dry mouth, and depression. The user also experiences severe cravings for the drug; the more intense the cravings are, the more likely it is that the user will relapse during withdrawal.

Many users also experience symptoms of psychosis during withdrawal, including paranoia, delusions, and hallucinations. Because of this, it’s imperative that your loved one undergo withdrawal in a protected and professional environment.


Acute crystal meth overdose results in an over-stimulation of the nervous system that is always dangerous and can be fatal. If you suspect that your loved one is in the middle of an overdose, look for the following signs:

  • Extreme paranoia
  • Seizures and even stroke
  • Difficulties with breathing
  • Kidney failure
  • Extreme agitation
  • Dangerously high body temperature

While acute overdose is extremely dangerous, over-stimulation to the nervous system also occurs over time in what some consider to be chronic overdose. With chronic overdose, long-term use of crystal meth results in the same sorts of physiological and psychological symptoms.

Anyone experiencing a crystal meth overdose requires immediate emergency medical attention.


What is Crystal Meth?

Crystal Meth is a synthetic drug. It produces stimulant effects on the user.

What is Crystal Meth’s origin?

Crystal Meth is usually trafficked from Mexico into the United States, although there are domestic laboratories that produce and distribute Crystal Meth. Crystal Meth can be made from many different chemicals, but it is often made with products containing Pseudoephedrine.

What are Crystal Meth’s common street names?

Black Beauties, Crank, Go-Fast, Ice, Poor Man’s Cocaine, Shards, Stove Top, Tweak, Ventana, Yellow Bam, G, Chalk, Methlies Quick, Shabu, Tina, Uppers, Yaba, Bikers Coffee, Chicken Feed, Glass, Speed, Vidrio, Crystal, Hiropon, Meth, Trash

How is Crystal Meth abused?

Crystal Meth can be smoked, snorted, swallowed, or injected. Users often change their method of intake, user higher doses, or take Crystal Meth more frequently in order to intensify the drug’s effects.

What is Crystal Meth’s effects on the mind?

Crystal Meth is a stimulant that affects the central nervous system (CNS), and is highly addictive. A brief, short rush results from smoke inhalation and injection. A long-lasting high results from oral ingestion and snorting. Intense addiction is a result of long-term Crystal Meth abuse. Additionally, long-term Crystal Meth abuse results in violent behavior, confusion, paranoia, aggression, insomnia, anxiety, delusions, mood disturbances, and visual and auditory hallucinations.

What is Crystal Meth’s effects on the body?

Crystal Meth’s effects on the body include irregular heartbeat, severe dental problems, hyperthermia (overheating), increased wakefulness, suppressed appetite, memory loss, increased physical activity, convulsions, cardiovascular collapse, extreme anorexia, rapid breathing and heart rate, and possibly death.

What are Crystal Meth’s overdose effects?

Crystal Meth’s effects on the body include irregular heartbeat, severe dental problems, hyperthermia (overheating), increased wakefulness, suppressed appetite, memory loss, increased physical activity, convulsions, cardiovascular collapse, extreme anorexia, rapid breathing and heart rate, and possibly death.

Which drugs cause similar effects as Crystal Meth?

Crystal Meth shares similar characteristics as Amphetamines, Methylphenidate, Crack Cocaine, and Cocaine.

What are the withdrawal effects of Crystal Meth detox?

When the user stops abusing Crystal Meth, he/she could experience withdrawal symptoms such as depression, energy loss, and an inability to experience pleasure.

Finding the Right Type of Treatment is a Phone Call Away

Providing Quality Treatment for Crystal Meth Addictions

The first stage in treatment for crystal meth addiction is detox, which takes at least two weeks. Cravings for meth begin almost immediately and last for at least the first few days. During this time, your loved one will also experience fatigue and depression.

As detox continues past the end of the first week, the cravings continue. During this time, the patient also experiences mental symptoms including mood swings, difficulty concentrating, paranoia and, at times, hallucinations. Physical symptoms include restlessness, increased appetite, and various aches and pains. During the second and third week of detox, these symptoms start to taper off. Cravings and moodiness can continue past detox, as can brain impairments.

During detox, doctors may prescribe various medications to ease withdrawal symptoms and to lessen cravings for more crystal meth. A safe and supportive inpatient environment, such as the one we provide at A Better Today Recovery Services, is always recommended for detox from crystal meth.

Most meth addicts require extended inpatient rehab in a residential facility for a period of three months or more. During this time, patients receive group and individual counseling to help understand their own addictive behaviors and to learn strategies for coping with their addiction once they return to their normal lives.

After release from the inpatient facility, meth addicts should stay in aftercare treatment to maximize their chances for successful recovery. Aftercare may include further therapy, 12-step programs, and sober living homes.

Saving Lives, Healing Families

Reputable Sources About Crystal Meth Can be One Step Closer to Recovery

At A Better Today Recovery Services, it is important to us that we provide our patients and their families with reputable sources. Many people do not feel comfortable discussing their meth addiction with their doctor in fear of feeling shame or blame. Because of that stigma associated with addiction it is important for ABTRS to provide information that you can count on.

Our reputable sources are impartial and proven or tested to be effective in the scientific or psychology community. Below are the sources that we used to provide you with the information trustworthy of helping you make good decisions about treatment and substance abuse. We will continue to provide our patients and their families with reputable sources that are up to date and relevant.

The burden and management of crystal meth use Jane A. Buxton, Naomi A. Dove CMAJ Jun 2008, 178 (12) 1537-1539; DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.071234

NIDA. (2018, June 6). Methamphetamine. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/methamphetamine on 2019, February 25

Barr, A. M., Panenka, W. J., MacEwan, G. W., Thornton, A. E., Lang, D. J., Honer, W. G., & Lecomte, T. (2006). The need for speed: an update on methamphetamine addiction. Journal of psychiatry & neuroscience : JPN, 31(5), 301-13.

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