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Methamphetamine Detox

Methamphetamine, also known as meth, is a highly addictive and illegal stimulant drug. Because methamphetamine is so accessible and affordable, rates of misuse and dependence are high nationwide. The 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that roughly 2.6 million Americans over the age of 12 used meth at least once over the course of the past year. Additionally, an estimated 1.5 million Americans suffered from a diagnosable methamphetamine use disorder. When it comes to recovering from a meth addiction, entering into a medical detox program is an important first step. At Princeton Detox & Recovery Center we provide clients with a safe, pain-free meth detox while effectively treating physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal as soon as they develop. Contact us today to learn more.

What is Meth

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant drug with potential for widespread misuse. Not only is meth relatively accessible, but it tends to be the most affordable stimulant drug in circulation, making it a favorite among those in lower income brackets. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Methamphetamine was developed early in the 20th century from its parent drug, amphetamine, and was used originally in nasal decongestants and bronchial inhalers. Like amphetamine, methamphetamine causes increased activity and talkativeness, decreased appetite, and a pleasurable sense of well-being or euphoria. However, methamphetamine differs from amphetamine in that, at comparable doses, much greater amounts of the drug get into the brain, making it a more potent stimulant.” If you or someone close to you has been suffering from a methamphetamine use disorder, Princeton Detox & Recovery Center is available to help. Contact us today to learn more.

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Meth Trends in New Jersey

Methamphetamine use is a growing problem in the state of New Jersey. The DEA reports that Southern Jersey has been particularly hard hit. The majority of methamphetamine distributed throughout the state originates from Mexico and has a relatively high purity level. The National Drug Intelligence Center reports, “Methamphetamine is more available than it has ever been in New Jersey, but remains a low threat when compared with other major drugs. Drug intelligence sources indicate that organized crime and the popularity of raves contribute to an increase in methamphetamine availability. Methamphetamine is commonly distributed in combination with other drugs at raves. Some MDMA users in New Jersey mistakenly purchase methamphetamine believing it is MDMA.”

Methamphetamine Addiction Signs & Symptoms

Individuals who have been struggling with a methamphetamine use disorder will typically exhibit a wide range of behavioral, psychological and physical symptoms. If you believe you or someone close to you might be struggling with a methamphetamine use disorder of any severity, there are several signs and symptoms to look for.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-V) outlines a list of diagnostic criteria associated with methamphetamine use disorder. If you answer “yes” to two or more of the following questions, entering into a treatment program of some degree is likely a good idea. However, it is important to note that symptoms of methamphetamine addiction vary in severity, and a multi-staged program of recovery is not an ideal option for everyone. Contact us today to learn more about what type of treatment program will best meet your unique, personal needs. 

The DSM-V diagnostic criteria  for a methamphetamine use disorder are outlined below. Ask yourself the following questions when attempting to determine whether or not professional treatment is right for you. 

  1. Do you often use more methamphetamine than intended for a longer period of time than intended?
  2. Have you attempted to cut back on the amount of methamphetamine you ingest only to find yourself unable to cut back or quit for an extended period of time?
  3. Do you spend a significant amount of time obtaining methamphetamine, using methamphetamine and recovering from its effects?
  4. Are you often consumed by thoughts of using methamphetamine, or do you experience cravings for methamphetamine throughout the day?
  5. Does using methamphetamine or recovering from the effects of methamphetamine use affect your ability to take care of personal responsibilities and obligations?
  6. Has methamphetamine use caused issues and interpersonal problems between you and your family and/or friends?
  7. Have you given up activities you previously enjoyed because of your methamphetamine use?
  8. Have you experienced an increase in risk-taking activities as a result of your methamphetamine use, like combining methamphetamine with other chemical substances, driving while under the influence of methamphetamine, or obtaining methamphetamine from an unknown drug dealer?
  9. Have you experienced worsening symptoms of a physical or mental health problem as a direct result of your methamphetamine use?
  10. Have you developed a physical tolerance, meaning a larger amount of methamphetamine is required in order for the desired effects to be achieved?
  11. Do you experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop using methamphetamine abruptly?

Methamphetamine Side Effects

The effects of methamphetamine take hold quickly and last for a short length of time. In order to maintain a high, those who use meth will often “binge” on the substance, ingesting a significant amount over a short time period. This leads to an even more rapid development of addiction. Side effects common with meth use include: 

  • Increased heart rate.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Increased blood pressure. 
  • Hyperactivity. 
  • Increased alertness and energy levels.
  • Increased body temperature. 
  • Decreased appetite. 
  • Extreme anxiety. 
  • Paranoia. 
  • Hallucinations and delusions. 
  • Impulsive behaviors. 

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Methamphetamine Withdrawal

Acute meth withdrawal can include a host of physically and psychologically pervasive symptoms, such as flu-like symptoms, tremors, paranoia, hallucinations, and suicidal ideation. At Princeton Detox & Recovery Center we are dedicated to alleviating these symptoms while ensuring that each individual client is as comfortable as possible. Our comprehensive program of meth addiction recovery caters to those who are in need of quality, clinical care in order to overcome their dependence and go on to lead a happy, healthy life.

At Princeton Detox & Recovery Center we follow a three-phase recovery process.

  1. Evaluation – Each client is assessed on admission to determine personal background and history, any potential underlying disorders and individualized needs and detox requirements. All medically relevant details will be documented for future evaluation.
  2. Stabilization – During stabilization, each client will work towards physically and psychologically stabilizing with the help of a team of qualified and compassionate professionals. If deemed necessary medication assisted treatment will be administered, and clients will have the opportunity to engage in group and one-on-one therapy sessions. Comfort is always the number one priority. With each individual patient’s drug and medical information documented, the staff will be able to effectively develop a personalized aftercare/continuing treatment plan.
  3. Transition – We work to make the transition into the next appropriate level of care as simple and seamless as possible. We offer individualized and intensive aftercare planning for this very purpose. In most instances, those who are struggling with meth addiction will benefit from attending an inpatient rehab facility immediately after completing medical detox (becoming physically stabilized).

Meth Detox

There are a great deal of long-term effects when it comes to persistent meth abuse. One of the most significant effects is withdrawal, which refers to a host of symptoms that will occur at the onset of detoxification. The symptoms of meth withdrawal will begin to present themselves within roughly 24 hours after the last dose is taken. Initially, the afflicted individual will experience increased fatigue, and may sleep more often and for longer periods of time than is normal. Within the first one to three days, psychological symptoms, such as feelings of depression and intense anxiety may start to set in.

At around the fourth day of the detoxification process, symptoms will begin to grow increasingly severe. Cravings and mood swings become more prominent, and in some instances, more detrimental psychological symptoms – such as paranoia – will begin to take hold. It is extremely important for psychological symptoms to be treated by a team of medical professionals and licensed psychiatrists. Meth withdrawal has been known to lead to long-term mental health issues if not overseen around the clock and treated accordingly.

Once an individual begins to approach the second full week of withdrawal, they may begin to notice more disrupted sleep patterns. Regardless of how effective the detox treatment is, it is not uncommon for depression and intense cravings to continue on for one or several months after the medically monitored detox process concludes. Seeing as meth is one of the most addictive chemical substances available, transferring from medical detox directly into an inpatient treatment facility is highly advised. At Princeton Detox & Recovery Center, we work to make this transition as simple and straightforward as possible by offering detailed aftercare planning.

Methamphetamine Treatment

The best treatment options for methamphetamine misuse or addiction depend on your unique case. When it comes to professional treatment, several factors should be taken into close consideration, including:

  • The severity of the methamphetamine use disorder. If the methamphetamine use disorder is moderate or severe, entering into a longer term treatment program is likely a good idea. It is important to note that because this specific chemical substance is so potent and habit-forming, addictive disorders progress over an extremely short period of time. 
  • The potential of withdrawal symptoms. Because the psychological symptoms associated with methamphetamine withdrawal can be unpredictable and uncomfortable, it is important for anyone who has been suffering from a methamphetamine use disorder to enter into a professional medical detox program for short-term monitoring. 
  • The presence of any co-occurring disorders. If a person has been simultaneously suffering from a methamphetamine use disorder and a mental illness, entering into a longer term dual diagnosis treatment program might be necessary. 

In most cases, it is recommended that a person who has been suffering from a diagnosable methamphetamine use disorder of any severity enter into a multi-staged treatment program, which begins with medical detox and transitions into the next appropriate level of care. Depending on your personal needs, you might choose to follow detox with an extended stay in an inpatient treatment center, or continue with a more flexible and less time-demanding option, like outpatient treatment. 

Treatment options include:

  • Medical detox. In medical detox a person undergoes a safe and comfortable methamphetamine withdrawal under the close supervision of a team of medical professionals. 
  • Residential inpatient treatment. This is the most intensive treatment option; residential programs typically last for between 30 and 90 days depending on the needs of the individual. Most inpatient programs incorporate individual, group, and family therapy, 12 Step program education and involvement, and holistic treatment modalities to provide a comprehensive treatment experience. 
  • Partial hospitalization. This level of care is a step down from inpatient treatment, and includes full days of intensive therapeutic care (usually 7 days a week) with the freedom to return home in the evenings. 
  • Intensive outpatient treatment. Also known as IOP, this level of care is ideal for those who have completed a short stay in medical detox and are looking for a flexible treatment option with an ample amount of personal freedom. IOP is ideal for those with an extremely short-lived methamphetamine use disorder and no co-occurring issues. 
  • Outpatient treatment. Outpatient treatment, or OP, is one more step down from IOP, with group sessions typically only meeting between 2 or 3 times a week for several hours. 
  • Aftercare. Because methamphetamine addiction is a chronic health condition, ongoing treatment is necessary to longer term recovery. Most aftercare plans consist of ongoing involvement in a peer support group (like Alcoholics Anonymous or Recovery Dharma) and ongoing individual therapy. 
  • 12 Step program involvement. While many recovering individuals choose to participate in a 12 Step recovery program like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, there are numerous other options available. Peer support is often an important part of most aftercare plans. 
  • Individual therapy and/or ongoing psychiatric services. Because many individuals who suffer from a methamphetamine use disorder simultaneously struggle with co-occurring issues, ongoing therapy and/or psychiatric care often come recommended.
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If you or someone you love has been suffering from a methamphetamine use disorder of any severity, Princeton Detox & Recovery Center is available to help. Our medically monitored detox program was designed with client comfort in mind. We provide our clients with a safe, pain-free methamphetamine withdrawal in a therapeutic setting, actively preparing them to take the next appropriate step on their personal recovery journeys. As soon as you make the decision to reach out for help you will be put in contact with one of our experienced and compassionate Treatment Advisors, who will help you determine whether or not our methamphetamine detox program is right for you. If we believe our program is a good fit, we will proceed with a brief pre-assessment and a free, no obligation health insurance benefit check. We accept coverage from most major national health insurance providers as well as most regional providers throughout New Jersey and surrounding areas. To learn more about methamphetamine addiction and treatment or to begin your own personal journey of methamphetamine addiction recovery, contact us today.

Methamphetamine FAQs

Methamphetamines are a type of highly addictive and stimulant drug, and can be illegal or come in the form of a prescription stimulant.

There are many different street names for methamphetamine, including crank, speed, ice, chalk, trash, dunk, wash, rocket fuel, and cookies.

Methamphetamine is made exclusively of man-made chemicals, usually in a hidden and illicit laboratory. Manufacturing methamphetamine is extremely dangerous, seeing as several of the chemical compounds used to create it are combustible when combined.

Methamphetamine is a stimulant drug that releases excess amounts of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that stimulates feelings of pleasure and motivation as well as cognitive abilities like problem solving and memory. Ongoing methamphetamine use can severely damage the brain, and cause other serious health issues like cancer, heart disease, lung disease, skin infections and abscesses, and tooth decay.

Methamphetamine is most commonly smoked, though it can also be used intravenously, swallowed, or snorted.

It is possible to overdose on meth. Acute methamphetamine overdose occurs when a person ingests too much of the drug in one sitting. While methamphetamine overdose is rarely fatal, it can result in heart palpitations, heart attack, stroke, seizures, extreme paranoia, delusions, and hallucinations.

Amanda Hilzer

Reviewed for accuracy by: our Executive Director:

Amanda Hilzer M.Ed, CAADC, IADAC, ICCS, LCADC, CCS


Amanda graduated from Lehigh University with both an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a Master’s of Education degree in Counseling Psychology and has worked in the field of substance use disorder treatment and mental health treatment as a counselor and as a clinical manager for over 14 years.

  1. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/methamphetamine/what-scope-methamphetamine-misuse-in-united-states
  2. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/methamphetamine/what-methamphetamine
  3. https://www.justice.gov/archive/ndic/pubs0/669/meth.htm#:~:text=Methamphetamine%20is%20more%20available%20than,an%20increase%20in%20methamphetamine%20availability.