Meth Addiction and Treatment at Northstar Transitions

Many individuals may only know about meth addiction from movies and TV shows that do not accurately depict the true ins and outs of the disease. Meth addiction can affect anyone and wreak havoc on their lives, but the person will likely continue using despite the negative consequences on their life. The only way out of meth addiction is to find proper treatment at a facility that knows what is required to set the client up for long-term sobriety. At Northstar Transitions, you can be sure to find this at their beautiful Boulder, Colorado facility. Learning about how meth addiction develops and what treatment looks like at Northstar can help prepare you for the start of your recovery journey.

How Meth Addiction Begins

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive substance that can instantly be habit-forming. Inhalation of the substance causes it to stay in the body for long periods, causing the brain’s reward system to be rewired. Therefore, individuals continuously need meth to feel any kind of pleasure. It does this by causing the brain to produce higher amounts of dopamine, causing the euphoric high that many individuals describe. Over time, the brain becomes dependent on meth because its receptors become damaged. Meth becomes the central focus in a person’s life as they leave behind their responsibilities to the point of losing their job, house, friendships, family relationships, and more. Some even continue using despite legal trouble related to their addiction. The only escape from meth addiction is through rehabilitation at a certified treatment center with experience in treating clients struggling with meth. 

Signs and Symptoms of Meth Addiction

Long-term periods of meth abuse can lead to physical, psychological, and behavioral consequences. Knowing these symptoms can help spot someone who may be struggling with meth addiction. 

Common symptoms of meth addiction include:

  • Paranoia
  • Weight loss
  • Dehydration
  • Increased body temperature
  • Hallucinations
  • Social Isolation
  • Abscesses on the skin
  • Lowered libido
  • Sleep problems
  • Osteoporosis
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Consistent use despite negative consequences
  • Withdrawals from not using meth
  • Failure in stopping use despite a desire to

Treatment for Meth Addiction

At NorthStar Transitions, treatment for meth addiction can last anywhere between three to twelve months depending on the severity of the addiction, how long the person has been using meth, how much was ingested during each use, mental health concerns, and medical history. 


Typically, the first step in treatment is medical detox. The detox process can last anywhere from two to seven days, with those that injected meth often having a more extended detox period. Detox is used to rid the body of the substance and any toxins that may be present. During this process, the client may experience withdrawal symptoms. These vary from person to person, but general symptoms may be experienced. 

During the first 48 hours of detox, individuals usually have an energy crash and experience mild symptoms. Symptoms peak around day three and can last until day ten. Symptoms will begin to subside around the second week, but cravings may continue as well as depression and fatigue.

Common symptoms of meth withdrawal include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Dehydration
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Agitation
  • Nausea
  • Stomach aches
  • Paranoia
  • Increased appetite
  • Depression
  • Red, itchy eyes
  • Suicidal thoughts

After Detox

Once the client has completed detox, they will most likely enter into residential treatment. Residential treatment is when clients live on-site, allowing treatment to occur within a close-knit and supportive environment. Clients will have the opportunity to engage in various therapy programs, holistic therapy programs, and recreational therapy programs that will help them learn proper coping methods and uncover the causes of their addiction for complete healing. Residential programs typically last around four weeks for those recovering from meth addiction.

Following inpatient treatment, clients can choose to enter into day treatment or a partial hospitalization program. Day treatment is an outpatient form of treatment that allows clients to participate in the program for about 30 hours a week and live at home or in a sober living home. This type of program typically lasts around four weeks as the client works on continuing their strides during recovery and monitoring any post-acute withdrawal symptoms.

After day treatment, intensive outpatient (IOP) is the recommended next step. IOP is a less intensive program at Northstar that involves group therapy three hours a day, three days a week. Clients can also continue meetings with a therapist to monitor their progress as they prepare to leave treatment and begin navigating the world of recovery independently.

The portrayal of meth addiction in popular culture often has people believing that it can only happen to those typically around drugs for most of their lives. However, meth addiction can strike anyone of any background and wreak havoc on their lives. Because the drug is so addictive, it is possible to crave it even after only one use. The best chance for overcoming meth addiction is enrolling in rehabilitation at an accredited treatment center such as Northstar Transitions. Facilities like Northstar offer medical detox and various treatment programs to help clients heal physically, mentally, and emotionally from addiction and learn healthy coping mechanisms to maintain their sobriety in the future. The NorthStar difference is clinical excellence, evidence-based therapeutic modalities, personalized treatment plans, and our location in the serene and majestic setting of Boulder, Colorado. Northstar has years of experience helping those that have struggled with meth addiction find successful healing, and they can do the same for you. To learn more about the programs at NorthStar, call us today at (303) 558-6400.

Back to blog
Call 866-407-2240
Verify Insurance