People who have been using meth for a very long time, using the drug very frequently, or at high doses typically experience a difficult detox with severe meth withdrawal symptoms. There are no specific drugs to treat meth addiction, but prescription medications can be used to alleviate specific symptoms such as tremors, depression, or anxiety.

A comprehensive treatment program for meth addiction includes medical detox and behavioral therapies. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recommends a minimum of 90 days of participation in substance abuse/addiction treatment programs to achieve the best results.

Meth Detox

Detoxification is the process by which the body flushes out harmful toxins or drugs. It takes around 50 hours. As the body adjusts to the absence of harmful substances in the system, the person undergoing meth detox can experience symptoms such as increased hunger, tiredness, anxiety, and depression. These are signs that the body and brain are recovering and learning to rebalance themselves without the drug.

Some people choose to stay at home during the meth detox phase. However, undergoing detoxification from methamphetamine in a medical facility is ideal. It lowers the chances of relapse because a team of healthcare providers is on hand to manage uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. In contrast, it is easier to relapse at home if withdrawal symptoms are intolerable. Moreover, any complications that may arise during meth withdrawal can be taken care of by trained health professionals in a medical facility.

Behavioral Therapy

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug. Trying to quit meth frequently causes intense drug cravings. Many people relapse more than once when attempting to stop using the drug. Professional addiction treatment with ongoing care is therefore the best way to successfully stop meth abuse. Behavioral therapies are designed to teach people healthy ways to manage triggers and cravings and build long-term resilience. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), this is a proven method to recover from meth addiction and prevent substance use disorders in the future.

The two types of behavioral therapies commonly used in meth addiction programs are:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): Individual and group sessions using CBT help people struggling with addiction learn ways to deal with drug cravings and negative thoughts and control unhealthy behaviors. Research suggests that improvement is observed after only a few sessions of cognitive-behavioral therapy.
  • Contingency management: People in recovery receive incentives for reaching certain goals, such as verified abstinence from meth use. The rewards help to reinforce positive behaviors and increase the chances of them being repeated. [1]

Other similar approaches include 12-step programs and support groups through which a person can find peers who have gone through similar experiences. [2] Support groups provide hope and encouragement to participants so they don’t feel alone in their struggle and also help to normalize their experiences.

Last updated: March 29, 2024


1 Am J Psychiatry. 2005 Aug;162(8):1452-60. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.162.8.1452. PMID: 16055766; PMCID: PMC3633201. Carroll KM, Onken LS. Behavioral therapies for drug abuse. Available online. Accessed on March 30, 2024.
2 Addiction. 2007;102 Suppl 1:121-129. doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2007.01773.x Donovan DM, Wells EA. ‘Tweaking 12-Step’: the potential role of 12-Step self-help group involvement in methamphetamine recovery. Available online. Accessed on March 30, 2024.