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Meth Outpatient Rehab: How It Works

By Neha Kashyap
Meth outpatient rehab can be a viable path to sobriety for those wanting to maintain their independence while saving on healthcare costs.

Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, is not inherently deadly, but long-term use of the drug can severely damage the body and mind. If you or a loved one is struggling with meth addiction, it’s important to get treated right away. If life responsibilities or cost are barriers to treatment, outpatient rehab could be right for you.

Why People Choose Outpatient Meth Rehab

Lower cost and the ability to maintain everyday responsibilities are part of the appeal of outpatient meth rehab. Whether outpatient rehab works for meth use might depend on your level of use and living environment. However, severe cases have been treated with outpatient services, Chelsea Fielder-Jenks, M.A., LPC, Supervisor of Thrive Counseling in Austin, Texas, tells WebMD Connect to Care.

“Benefits of seeking outpatient care include remaining employed or in school, remaining connected to social supports or building new social supports, [and it’s] more cost effective, although it may result in more long-term expenses if the person seeking treatment has a more severe substance use disorder that may be better treated at a higher level of care,” Fielder-Jenks says.

Outpatient meth treatment could also help with determining whether you’re ready for sobriety, says Justin Baksh, MS, LMHC, MCAP, Chief Clinical Officer of Foundations Wellness Center in Port St. Lucie, Florida. “Outpatient treatment allows you to test the waters and your level of commitment to change while allowing you to remain employed and active in your home life,” Baksh says. “The desire, motivation, and perseverance to follow through on your commitment falls more so on the individual.”

How Outpatient Rehab Works

Intake: During intake, a clinician will determine your treatment needs. American Society of Addiction Medicine guidelines advise assessing the following: 

  • withdrawal symptoms
  • physical health
  • emotional issues
  • commitment to change
  • potential for relapse
  • living environment

Detox: Detox is the process of physically adjusting to sobriety. Withdrawing from meth can cause depression, intense cravings, fatigue and in extreme cases, psychosis, according to CNS Drugs.

“Patients visit the clinic to get physical and mental check-ups and may receive medication to help them manage their withdrawal symptoms,” Brian Wind PhD, CBSM, Chief Clinical Officer of Tennessee-based JourneyPure treatment centers, says.

Therapy: Outpatient meth rehab can include individual, group or family therapy.  “Patients work with therapists to address issues underlying their addiction, while group therapy sessions help patients to connect with other recovering users,” Wind says.

Addressing the effects of long term meth use on the brain is also a part of meth rehab. These effects include paranoia, memory loss and difficulty processing thoughts, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Some refer to the meth as having melted your brain. It’s going to take time for your brain and body to heal before the clinical work can begin,” Baksh says.

Aftercare: Aftercare entails maintaining sobriety through therapy and support groups while adjusting to sober life.

“Outpatient care doesn't have the same 24/7 monitoring and supervision as inpatient treatment,” Nicole Arzt, a licensed psychotherapist in southern California, says. “Patients learn skills in treatment and receive valuable support, and they learn to balance their recovery in the real world.” 

Get Help Now

It’s imperative to address a meth addiction as soon as possible. If you or a loved one is struggling with meth addiction, WebMD Connect to Care Advisors are standing by to help.

Life After Meth Addiction Treatment