Methamphetamine (commonly called “meth” or “crystal meth”) is a powerful illegal stimulant drug that is extremely addictive. It is chemically similar to amphetamine, a medication prescribed to people with narcolepsy (excessive sleepiness) and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Illegal meth is sold on the street in the form of glossy, bluish-white crystals under names such as speed, ice, blue, or crystal meth.

People use methamphetamine by smoking, snorting, injecting, or swallowing the drug. The euphoric high that meth causes is rapid in onset but also fades quickly. This means people often use the drug in a “binge and crash” pattern. Some addicts continuously binge on methamphetamine (this is called a “run”), where they take the drug every few hours for many days, often giving up sleep and food. [1]

According to the 2022 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), over 16.5 million people aged 12 or older (approximately 5% of the population) reported that they had used methamphetamine at least once during their lifetime. Additionally, around 2.7 million people reported past-year use and 1.68 million reported past-month use of methamphetamine. Despite the dangerous associated with its use, methamphetamine remains a commonly abused stimulant drug in the US and around the world. [2]

Besides a range of short-term health effects, methamphetamine can also lead to serious long-term health complications. In addition, meth users can overdose on the drug, leading to serious medical complications and even death.

What Does a Meth Helpline Do?

A meth helpline helps people who have developed a meth addiction get the information and care they need to overcome their drug dependence. There are effective treatment options available for methamphetamine abuse and addiction. But navigating the addiction treatment landscape can be challenging for many drug users. Calling our meth hotline can be the first important step towards recovery.

A methamphetamine helpline is a toll-free telephone number where callers can obtain free information about meth abuse and addiction. Trained staff answer the calls and offer advice, guidance, and support to individuals and families struggling with meth addiction. Advisors can answer questions about treatment options and help you understand how meth rehab facilities work. If you suspect a loved one may be using meth or is addicted to methamphetamine, you can call the helpline to learn how to recognize the warning signs and symptoms of meth addiction.

Calls to our meth hotline are free of charge and completely confidential. Our hotline operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays. You can remain anonymous if you don’t feel comfortable giving your name. The advisors who answer calls at our hotline are helpful, knowledgeable, caring, and non-judgmental. Our meth helpline is therefore a great first step and a continuing source of support for anyone with a methamphetamine addiction.

How Can a Methamphetamine Hotline Help Me?

Individuals and families struggling with meth addiction often have multiple questions on their minds. However, because of the stigma attached to drug abuse and addiction, it is not always possible to turn to extended family or friends for help. Calling a helpline is like talking to a knowledgeable and helpful friend who can answer your questions and help you decide on the next steps. Some of the information that a meth hotline can provide includes:

  • Signs and symptoms of meth addiction
  • Health effects of meth use
  • Recognizing a meth overdose
  • Meth rehab programs in your area
  • Insurance coverage for meth addiction treatment
  • Access to resources and programs in your community
  • Preventive strategies for parents of teenagers

If you or a loved one is using methamphetamine, do not hesitate to call our meth hotline. Get answers to all your questions, free of cost, and in complete confidentiality.

person in telephone box

Cost of Meth Addiction Treatment

Many people struggling with meth addiction are motivated to get help but are unsure whether they can afford rehab. The cost of meth addiction treatment varies from person to person and depends on various factors.

For those without insurance, intensive outpatient treatment for 30 days can cost $3,000–$10,000, while residential treatment costs anywhere from $5,000 to $80,000 or more.

Insurance: Most health insurance plans cover meth rehab at least partially. Call the National Drug Helpline on (844) 289-0879 to learn more about insurance coverage for meth addiction treatment.

Inpatient vs residential treatment: Residential programs are considerably more expensive than outpatient meth rehab. Call our helpline to identify the type of treatment appropriate for you and get an estimate of the cost.

Free meth rehab: Government-funded meth rehab programs provide free or low-cost addiction treatment for deserving candidates.

Financial assistance: Some rehab clinics offer financial assistance opportunities, including sliding-scale payment, deferred payment plans, and scholarships.

Meth Hotlines

Please note that hotlines cannot deal with emergencies. If you or a loved one is in a life-threatening or dangerous situation, such as a meth overdose, please call 911 or go to the closest emergency room.

The following national substance use hotlines can provide information and support in non-emergency situations:

National Drug Helpline:  (844) 289-0879

The National Drug Helpline provides methamphetamine support 24/7. Trained, helpful staff provide information about meth abuse and addiction without judgment or reprimand. On occasion, your call may not be answered due to staff shortage or high call volumes. Please try calling back at another time, or call one of the other helplines listed below.

SAMHSA: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is a United States government organization that provides extensive information and resources to people with meth addiction. The SAMHSA helpline offers referrals to meth rehabs nationwide. The hotline operates 24/7, and operators are bilingual in English and Spanish.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

If you are feeling suicidal or are in emotional distress, you can call the National Suicide Prevention helpline, which provides free, 24/7, confidential support to people in crisis.

National Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222

Poison Control can provide information about drug overdoses, including meth overdose.

Side Effects of Meth Addiction

Methamphetamine use can cause a range of unwanted adverse effects, such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Chest pain
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased body temperature
  • Decreased appetite
  • Flushing
  • Itchy skin
  • Muscle twitching
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations

In addition to these side effects, an intentional or accidental overdose of meth can lead to stroke, heart attack, seizures, organ failure, and death. When used for a prolonged period, meth can cause negative health effects in multiple organ systems, including the lungs, heart, liver, and kidneys. Also, long-term meth use is associated with a host of psychological problems, such as memory loss, impaired cognition, aggression, depression, delusions, and paranoia.

Recognizing Meth Addiction in a Loved One

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is a set of guidelines that mental health professionals use to diagnose conditions such as a substance use disorder, for example, a methamphetamine use disorder. A person is said to have meth use disorder if two or more of the following criteria are present in the last year: [3]

  • Continued meth use despite negative health consequences and psychological problems related to drug use.
  • Neglect of responsibilities (e.g., academic, familial, professional).
  • Giving up previously enjoyable activities to use meth.
  • Relationship problems due to meth use.
  • Withdrawal symptoms when methamphetamine is not in the system.
  • Requiring more and more meth over time to experience the same high.
  • Using larger amounts of meth or using for a longer duration than planned.
  • Repeated failed attempts to quit meth abuse.
  • Large amounts of time spent on using meth and recovering from its use.
  • Use of meth in unsafe situations (e.g., while driving).
  • Cravings for meth when the drug is not available.

If you or someone you love meets two or more of the above criteria, call a helpline as soon as possible. Taking this first step towards getting better could save a life. This is especially important for people with a severe meth use disorder (people who meet five or more of the above criteria).

What to Expect During Meth Addiction Treatment

When you call a meth hotline such as the National Drug Helpline, you are acknowledging that there’s a problem that needs to be fixed. This is a great start to your journey of recovery.

The first step in meth addiction treatment is usually detoxification. During this phase of recovery, the body is allowed to expel the drug. It is done under medical supervision to ensure safety. The medical team monitoring you (or your loved one) can manage any withdrawal symptoms and make it easier to quit meth use.

The next stage of meth recovery is counseling and behavioral therapies, which can be provided through outpatient or residential rehab programs. Addiction treatment experts use a variety of psychotherapy modalities to help a person addicted to meth develop the mental strength necessary to say no to drugs. Aftercare and relapse prevention programs provide ongoing care to people recovering from meth addiction to ensure long-term sobriety.

Can I Call a Meth Hotline for a Family Member?

Yes, meth hotlines such as the Drug Helpline offer help to people struggling with meth addiction as well as their friends and family members. If you are worried about a loved one, do not hesitate to call and get the support and guidance you need to help them get their life back on track.

Calling the Drug Helpline at (844) 289-0879 for information about methamphetamine use or addiction is free of cost. This hotline is a toll-free number, and you will not incur any call charges. You do not need insurance to call. The information is available to insured, under-insured, and uninsured people.

Calls to the Drug Helpline are confidential. You will not get in trouble with law enforcement for asking questions about meth addiction. You can choose to remain anonymous. However, you may need to tell the representative your location to receive information about appropriate resources in your area.

When you call the Drug Helpline, you are under no obligation to start treatment. You can speak to trained staff who will give you information about various treatment options, but it is your call whether you want to start recovery now or later.

It can be overwhelming and frightening when you’re dealing with something like meth addiction. Call the Drug Helpline and find a friend to help you in this challenging journey. You are not alone. We are here to give you lots of valuable information and access to resources. Then it’s your call on what you want to do. If you or a loved one is battling meth addiction, call (844) 289-0879 for free, confidential advice.

Last updated: March 22, 2024

Dr. Jennifer Merrill

Dr. Jennifer Merrill is an Associate Professor in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Brown University. She received her PhD in 2012 from the University at Buffalo, and is a licensed clinical psychologist in Rhode Island (Credential ID: PS01479).

Dr. Merrill has published over 70 peer-reviewed articles in journals such as Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, Addictive Behaviors and Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Her published work includes 'Drinking over the lifespan: Focus on college ages' and 'Event-level correlates of drinking events characterized by alcohol-induced blackouts'.


1 National Institute on Drug Abuse. Methamphetamine Research Report – Overview. Available online. Accessed on March 22, 2024.
2 SAMHSA. NSDUH 2022. Available online. Accessed on March 22, 2024.
3 Am J Psychiatry. 2013;170(8):834-851. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2013.12060782 Hasin DS, O’Brien CP, Auriacombe M, et al. DSM-5 criteria for substance use disorders: recommendations and rationale. Available online. Accessed on March 22, 2024.