This article has been written by an Inspire Recovery Alumni for LGBT people looking for info about meth rehab and advice for people who are in early meth addiction recovery. If you’re reading this and want to get help with your meth addiction, call Inspire Recovery to find out what your options are.
Dear Meth Addicts,
Before you continue to beat yourself up (as I did once upon a time), take a long, deep breath. It’s natural to be overwhelmed, but if you’re getting the help you need to recover from meth addiction—trust that you’re in good hands.
Guilt and shame is something that I felt a lot when I entered into a meth addiction rehab program. Since then, I have learned about letting go of judgments about my choices and how messed up my life had gotten. It’s an undertaking, but the staff and your peers in rehab and 12 step groups will help you get there!
Also, it’s okay to feel scared right now and unsure of your future. As long as you do not go back out and pick back up meth you’re going to be OK. At this point in your journey, it may not seem like there is a lot of hope for you, but I promise there is. Focus on the opportunity to get clean, sober and get your life on track.
Recovering from Meth Addiction
Recovering from an addiction to crystal meth or any of the other forms of methamphetamine is a challenging journey.
It’s a journey that requires help from medical professionals, therapists, psychiatrists, and support groups. In addition to Narcotics Anonymous, many cities also have Crystal Meth Anonymous (CMA) 12 step meetings. Once you start on your recovery journey, these groups are going to be invaluable to you.
Before you can manage your recovery on your own, you will need to get professional help to stop using meth. In rehab, you’ll explore the root causes of why you first picked up methamphetamine, to begin with. Even if you don’t want to discuss these things, it’s a necessary factor that plays into recovering from meth addiction. Processing your past in a safe and supportive space helps clear your conscience so you can move forward with your life.
As a grateful meth addict and alcoholic in recovery, the best advice I can give you is to pace yourself and take things one day at a time. It’s going to be a long road to recover. However, it’s a road that can be accomplished with time, patience and help from meth addiction rehab professionals.
It doesn’t take using meth to understand that it is one of the most addictive and dangerous drugs in the world. The actual recovery rate for people addicted to meth is very small. According to a study, sixty-one percent of people being treated for meth addiction “use within one year after treatment discharge.” The study also states that twenty-five percent of people in meth recovery use again during the first two-to-five years in meth addiction recovery.
These statistics help paint a clear picture of how hard it is to recover from meth addiction. As the report states, even after living drug-free for a couple of years, people still relapse. This is because of the long-term effects meth has on our brain. Research shows that it can take up to five years for your brain to heal from long-term meth use and recovery from it.
If you find yourself sitting at a rehabilitation center, wondering where it all went wrong—take a deep breath. You are one of the lucky few who, even though you have become addicted to methamphetamine, are in a position to get better.
Professional Help for Meth Addicts
Very few meth addicts end up seeing the inside of a rehabilitation center. The overwhelming addictive power of the drug meth is too much for many addicts to get the help they need. Most people end up dead, unwilling or unable to go to a drug rehabilitation center.
There is no shame in needing help or asking for help. It is a necessary and key part of the recovery process.
Reach out to Inspire Recovery, and get advice on what is the best path you can take right now. Depending on how long and how frequently you have been using meth, your brain could take years to recover. Meth is extremely addictive and even if you want to quit on your own, it’s very hard to.
Take any opportunity you have to go to rehab. There, you’ll get on the medications that they think will best help you manage mood swings and other mental states that are associated with meth addiction. If you feel yourself experiencing withdrawals reach out to a staff member and talk to them about it. They will do the best that they can to help you.
Entering Meth Addiction Rehab
When I first entered rehabilitation for methamphetamine, I didn’t even know where to begin to “fix” my life. I couldn’t imagine how to make things right for myself and my family.
It’s important to remember that not knowing what to do or where to start is exactly why you are checked into a meth rehab center right now. You are surrounded by a lot of people who genuinely care about your recovery. If they didn’t care about the recovery of addicts they would not be working at a rehab center.
My Meth Addiction Rehab Recovery Journey
If you’re a meth addict, you probably won’t listen to me unless you understand that I have been through many of the same things that you are going through right now. Let me introduce myself.
I am a 26-year-old recovering meth addict who has not touched or picked up the drug in almost four years. A lot of that is thanks to the folks at Inspire Recovery. The reason I went to Inspire is that I am apart of the LGBTQIA+ community. My gender puts the “I” in the LGBTQIA+ acronym. I’m one of the 0.07 percent of the population born intersex. I identify as an intersex woman. However, I also identify a lot with the trans community for personal reasons, due to similarities, and I was married to a trans woman.
When I was on the drug crystal meth, I was the lowest of the low.
Towards the end of my meth addiction, I looked into a mirror and I no longer recognized the person starring back at me. I was sleeping on a dirty mattress, on the floor, in a trap house, in the middle of nowhere. I was having random hookups with people, and I was miserable.
Recovering from Meth Addiction
You may face many challenging events and experiences of growth as you work your way through the stages of early addiction recovery. From detox to drug rehab to halfway house living—there are different levels of care you will go through. Most meth addicts need to go to a detox center before they enter rehab. When you call Inspire Recovery, they will connect with you to a detox facility.
There are levels to this entire system of recovery for a reason. Following the instruction of addiction professionals is the most supportive way for you to succeed at becoming the best version of yourself. For yourself, and for the people that you love.
If you have your doubts, you won’t be the first person to question the process or think you can succeed without it.
My Advice to Meth Addicts in Early Recovery
- Take your time.
- Keep a notebook with you and write down everything that you are going through. You are going to need to learn and remember as much as you possibly can to stay clean, sober and healthy throughout the rest of your adult life.
- Take advice from the nutritionist. Learning how to eat healthy will aid in your recovery.
- Listen to your psychiatrist and take the medications that he or she prescribes to you.
- Talk to your therapist about how you’re feeling and try to figure out the root of why you started using in the first place.
- Go to 12 step recovery meetings.
- Find a sponsor and work the steps.
- Join a meditation class and try other techniques to calm and heal your mind.
- Become friends with people with long-term recovery time, and start taking their suggestions.
- Find a place to volunteer while you’re still in rehab. This will help you to slowly find your way back into the work field. A job = stability = greater chance to stay away from meth and other drugs and alcohol.
Recovery, Rediscovering Ourselves
This is the time to focus on yourself and get better—mentally, emotionally and physically, too. Take advantage of it because the opportunity very well may not come to you again. In rehab, you get to fully immerse yourself in the healing process. You have access to resources that are very hard to come by elsewhere. This is the beginning of the rest of your life, and it will determine whether you make it. So please, take it seriously.
Think about it this way: from the point in which we started to use alcohol and drugs, we began to lose ourselves. What we liked to do for fun and the people we hung out with were probably determined by our access to drugs and alcohol. This is how dabbling with substances starts but, as addicts and alcoholics, the “hungry ghost” (as it’s been described) inside us, is never satisfied.
In addiction recovery, you’re going to learn so many things about yourself. Among them, you’ll learn about who you are as a person and how you fit into society as a whole.
Finding Yourself & Your Recovery Community
Though it seems like a stretch, rehab might be an experience you look back on with fondness and joy. Some of the people that surround you in early recovery could become as close, or even closer, to you as your family of origin. Many people in both the recovery community and the LGBTQIA+ community create chosen family members.
For example, many people have a tough time getting along with the family they were raised by. Perhaps, they feel that their family “makes” them want to use. Or maybe their family doesn’t accept them as a gay, queer, trans or gender non-conforming person. If you can relate to these experiences, just know, you’re not alone. In time, you will trust your recovery fellowship to be there for you in ways your family might not know how to be.
Accidental Drug Overdoses
Every year, more people die from drug use—without the intention of taking their life. Using meth after living clean for some time can increase the potential to accidentally overdose.
When someone is overdosing on crystal meth they might have trouble breathing or have a seizure. Always call 911 if you or someone you know is overdosing. People who have no desire to die still have the desire to use and they think they can get high “one last time.” Unfortunately, for those who die, that was the last time they ever used it.
The truth is, some of your peers in meth addiction rehab might relapse and someone you meet or befriend might die from their addiction. Even while they’re getting the help they need. To recover from meth addiction, you have to be incredibly strong. You have to want to recover. Fear and doubt of life without drugs or alcohol is a dangerous mindset. I walked that path, and it only brought me to worse places than my life before I started rehab.
The Road to Meth Recovery
The road to meth recovery is a long one, and a hard one. However, it’s a journey that is completely worth going through—just to get to the other side. One of the first steps is to go to meth addiction rehab.
Take things slow, and one day at a time. There have been times for me when it was one breath at a time. Be present as possible to the help and the resources that you have available right now in meth rehab.
If you’re an LGBTQIA+ person, Inspire Recovery will know how to care for you in an affirming way. Your sexual orientation and/or gender identity isn’t “an issue” there. The staff is amazing people and they will help you on your journey. They’re very supportive. I was a patient at Inspire while several other trans women were there. Knowing I wasn’t the only person at the center who was trans and an addict helped me to focus on my healing.
Don’t give up, you are loved, you are worth it, and you do have people who care about you deeply. Even if they haven’t met you yet. Whether you see it right now or you don’t—you are loved, and your recovery matters.
Your Brain on Meth
- Meth affects your memory. You gradually lose the ability to remember things and learn new information.
- Your cognitive functions slow down, effecting your movement and how well you perform physical activities. Even the things you have mastered in your life, like a specific sport or skills that use hand-eye-coordination are effected. When you’re using meth, you might think you’re acting “normal.” However, at work, your boss or co-worker might notice this change in your behavior and call it into question. Your partner, friends or parents might question you, as well, and make you feel threatened, paranoid or mistrusting of them. This is an effect of the drug methamphetamine.
- Your “reward” receptors in your brain are thrown off and you only “feel good” when you use meth. This is a false reality. Your mental health symptoms (depression, anxiety, etc.) will increase because it’s addicted to the “reward” from meth.
- The problem-solving part of our brains is also impaired. This is one of the greatest challenges, along with the reward receptors being thrown off. Both of these effects are two of the main reasons meth addicts have an extremely hard time getting help or staying clean long enough to heal this part of the brain.