A guide to meth rehab
Inpatient Treatment Options in Thailand

Among the meth addicts who undergo little more than a simple detox, many will start using again within a few months of receiving treatment for withdrawal. The high rate of relapse is due to the strong physical and psychological effects of the drug, which combine to create an often irresistible pull. Attending an inpatient meth rehab allows you to detox from meth in a safe and controlled environment, where 24-hour medical and psychological support are available. Meth rehab also provides the ability to address the underlying issues that are behind your addiction, giving you a much higher likelihood of maintaining your recovery over time.

What is methamphetamine addiction?
Methamphetamine, or meth, is an extremely addictive and potent stimulant that can be injected, taken orally, smoked, or snorted. It’s commonly referred to as crystal meth, speed, or ice, and it causes intense feelings of euphoria, energy, and focussed attention. In countries like Australia, use of this drug has reached epidemic proportions – outpacing the rates of heroin and cocaine addiction.
Meth is three times more powerful than cocaine and it is one of the most difficult drugs to quit. Dependency is triggered faster than with most other illegal substances, as meth causes the brain to release an unnatural amount of dopamine, which in turn causes an intense high. Regular use of the drug actually rewires neural pathways in the brain, making it even harder to break the addiction.

When do you need rehab for meth?

It’s important to recognise the signs and symptoms of meth addiction in yourself or a loved one, so you can seek the appropriate kind of help. If you answer “yes” to six or more of the following questions, you probably have a severe dependence on meth – and most likely require rehab for meth.

How meth rehab works

Rehab for meth addiction will have you go through a withdrawal process, which needs to be conducted in a safe and medically supported environment. Some facilities have their own detox clinic onsite, but most will require clients to complete detox prior to entering a treatment programme. Once detox is complete, the psychological damage needs to be addressed with therapy as meth has a tremendous impact on the user’s state of mind. Therapy can provide effective strategies to help you abstain from using meth and other harmful substances, as you rebuild your life toward a healthy, drug-free future.
An effective rehab for meth addiction will utilise various treatment modalities including:

The effects of meth withdrawal are intense and require stabilisation. During this time, the emphasis will be on encouraging clients to get lots of sleep and regaining appetite. One of the more dangerous side effects of meth withdrawal is psychosis. If you’ve been using meth for a long period of time, you are likely at risk of developing psychosis during withdrawal, which can include paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions.

Low doses of antipsychotic medication such as Seroquel may be prescribed to help relieve these symptoms. Treatment for meth withdrawal can be done in a residential (i.e. in a hospital or an inpatient rehab) or non-residential (i.e. in an outpatient clinic) setting.

Research has suggested that cognitive behavioural therapy should be a standard intervention in meth addiction treatment. CBT teaches meth addicts to identify the negative thoughts and emotions that led to their meth use. Once you learn to recognise these negative patterns of thought, you can begin to replace them with a more positive mental framework. This technique enables you to fend off cravings, while also overcoming other psychological and physical challenges.

People with meth addiction often suffer from a mental health problem like depression or bipolar disorder. Effective dual diagnosis treatment involves addressing both disorders within the same treatment programme. Support for both types of issues is provided at a single facility, where complementary care can be given by specialists who have expertise in treating substance abuse as well as mental health disorders.

Many meth rehab centres in Thailand use the secular 12-step method popularised by Alcoholics Anonymous as the foundation for their treatment model. 12-step programmes provide a popular and in many cases effective framework for meth addiction and recovery. The 12 steps use group participation to help meth addicts resist their impulses and regain control of their lives. As a series of practical methods for maintaining sobriety, the 12 steps include an admission of powerlessness, followed by commitments to following a better path and making up for past harmful behaviour.

SMART Recovery provides an alternative to traditional 12-step programmes, incorporating a scientific approach which will help you to overcome your addiction through personal counselling and group therapy, with an additional online component after the main period of care has ended. The SMART Recovery approach trains you to make better decisions and stick with them, through a process that begins with acceptance, then continues from contemplation all the way through to action and personal maintenance.

Many luxury rehabs in Thailand offer inpatient treatment in a secluded, vacation-like setting, while providing holistic treatments such as spa and massage therapy, acupuncture, physical exercises, gourmet food, animal-assisted therapy, and mindfulness meditation. These alternative practices are used to supplement the formal course of psychological therapy that rehab clients undergo on their road to recovery.​

What happens in a thailand meth rehab centre

Inpatient meth rehab centres in Thailand are generally located in peaceful and secluded settings, which allow clients to break from the triggers of their daily lives and focus all their efforts on recovery. 

Outpatient vs inpatient rehab for meth addicts

In general, there are two main types of rehab settings for meth addicts. These include outpatient and inpatient programmes, both of which can be effective in treating meth addiction, depending on the circumstances.

Outpatient meth rehab

Outpatient rehab for meth addiction provides scheduled therapy sessions that may be appropriate if you have social, familial, or work-related responsibilities, no co-occurring disorders, a good support network, and are suffering from mild addiction. Outpatient treatment utilises behavioral approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy, contingency management, and the Matrix Model. The success of outpatient treatment additionally depends on your personal discipline; under an outpatient programme, you will receive comparatively little supervision, and will therefore need to take it upon yourself to avoid temptation when you are outside the treatment centre.
Depending on your needs, typical outpatient programmes involve attending regularly scheduled sessions that can total up to nine hours per week. This setup allows you to get frequent help and support, without disrupting any obligations you may have in your day-to-day life.

Inpatient meth rehab

By providing accommodation and comprehensive personal support within a fully supervised facility, inpatient treatment is the more appropriate choice for severe cases of long-term meth abuse. Inpatient care requires a stay of 30 days – or longer, depending on the severity of the addiction. For the duration of the inpatient programme, a team of addiction experts will provide a wide range of integrated treatment methods and modalities, including detox, individual therapy, and group sessions.
During your stay, you will go through several challenging stages on the path to wellness – from physical improvement and recovery from withdrawal, to coping with cravings, readjusting to life without meth, and setting the wheels in motion for a meth-free future. Inpatient treatment programmes have higher price points than outpatient programmes, due to the more comprehensive level of care and the greater number of services they provide.

What happens after rehab for meth addiction?

In addition to following the steps outlined in the aftercare plan provided by meth rehab centres, clients are encouraged to attend support groups such as Crystal Meth Anonymous, especially early in sobriety.
Crystal Meth Anonymous (CMA) is a 12-step programme for former meth users, much like Alcoholics Anonymous for recovering alcoholics. Sessions are usually led by recovering addicts, and involve former users listening to each other, sharing their own experiences, and discussing useful recovery strategies. Attending CMA meetings can help keep your recovery on track, as the group provides a supportive community to aid in your recovery. The principles of the 12-step programme are valuable to many former meth users, and the support group helps to reinforce these benefits.

How long is rehab for meth?

Generally, the minimum stay for inpatient meth rehab is 30 days – but if you suffer from complicating issues such as multiple addictions, or co-existing mental health conditions, you would most likely benefit from a 60 or 90-day rehab programme. Research shows that meth addicts who stay in rehab for longer and receive an integrated treatment programme are significantly less likely to relapse when they return home.

Your present psychological and physical condition, including the severity of your addiction, will influence the recommended length of treatment. Yet other factors may also be relevant in determining your length of stay, such as your work or household obligations, your budget for treatment, and your rate of progress during treatment.

How much does meth rehab cost?

Prices for meth rehab can vary greatly, depending on where you seek treatment, the type of programme, and whether you go to an outpatient or inpatient facility. In countries like Australia, the cost of a 30-day inpatient programme at a luxury facility can range between $40,000 – $100,000. For standard inpatient rehab, you will pay between $8,000 – $30,000. Intensive outpatient programmes (IOPs) can range from $3,000 – $7,000 per week whilst outpatient counselling will cost you between $100 and $500 per treatment session.

Overseas meth rehab centres in Thailand

To avoid the high costs of quality treatment in their home countries, many meth addicts look to overseas rehab centres for treatment options. Rehab centres in Thailand provide an outstanding level of medical and psychological care for a fraction of the cost of similar rehab facilities found in countries like Australia, the UK, and the USA.
Joining an overseas rehab centre can be an excellent alternative to undergoing rehab in your home country. Even after considering travel costs, attending a meth rehab centre in Thailand can still be a very affordable option by comparison. Most rehab facilities cost around $10,000 for a month’s worth of quality rehabilitation care and a wide range of additional holistic activities.

Why rehab for meth addiction in Thailand

Attending rehab for meth addiction in Thailand gives you the added benefit of a break from the difficulties you face in your daily life, allowing you to start your recovery journey in complete privacy. While rehab can indeed be very hard work, coming to Thailand for rehab allows you to begin this essential period in a beautiful tropical setting, helping you have a productive and memorable recovery experience.
  • Recover in a safe and secluded environment without any distractions, far away from enablers, triggers, and stressors
  • Attend treatment in a relaxing holiday setting with access to resort-style accommodation – perfect for recovery
  • Access to a wide range of holistic therapies such as mindfulness meditation, yoga, and massage
  • Receive secular 12-step treatment (as well as non 12-step options) that has been adapted to treat clients from around the world
  • Undergo a complete change of environment, which has been shown to increase recovery success rates 
  • Opportunities to go on adventure trips and cultural excursions that you’d never experience at home
  • Quality treatment that meets international standards
  • Access to group and individual online counselling sessions post-treatment

Are you ready to begin your recovery? Contact us to arrange a free consultation with one of our clinical coordinators, as a first step toward creating long-lasting change in your life.

Author
Cameron Brown
Psychologist
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    2. Jenner L and Lee N (2008). Treatment Approaches for Users of Methamphetamine: A Practical Guide for Frontline Workers. Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, Canberra.
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    4. Bussing-Birks, Marie. Mental Illness and Substance Abuse, The National Bureau of Economic Research, www.nber.org/digest/apr02/w8699.html.

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