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Different Stages of Crystal Meth Addiction

Methamphetamine is an extremely addictive central nervous system stimulant. Methamphetamine is a synthetic drug that can be made from household medications and liquids. Referred to on the street as ice, glass, crystal meth, or simply meth, it is a growing problem in rural areas of the United States. Meth is considered one of the most addictive substances known to mankind, and several studies have claimed that after nicotine and before crack cocaine, methamphetamine is the second most addictive substance available. Meth destroys the lives of the user and their loved ones, as dependency develops very quickly. However, there are several stages of crystal meth addiction, and seeing the warning signs of a developing addiction may save somebody’s life.


The first stage of crystal meth addiction is experimentation. During this stage, the user is trying methamphetamine for the first time. The most common way for a first time user to ingest it is nasally, although meth may be smoked or injected as well. Due to its addictive properties, this stage does not generally last very long in comparison to other drugs.

Habitual Use

During the habitual use stage of crystal meth addiction, the potential addict begins using methamphetamine on a regular basis. As the user begins ingesting the drug more frequently, tolerance begins to develop. In this phase of methamphetamine addiction, the increased tolerance causes the user to need more of the drug in order to achieve the desirable effects, leading them into the next stage.


As tolerance increases and the user begins to feel as if they need meth in order to feel normal, dependence arises. In the dependence stage of crystal meth addiction, the user develops a psychological dependence upon the feelings created by the drug. Without the presence of methamphetamine, the person may have difficulty experiencing pleasure. At this point, they may begin to choose methamphetamine use over daily obligations, and problems may begin to appear.


Once crystal meth addiction has fully taken hold, it is a tough road to recovery. The strong physical addiction created by the brain’s adaptation to having meth present makes it very difficult to quit. Immediately after the effects wear off, the addict feels like they need another dose. Serious problems with priority begin to be apparent, as methamphetamine use becomes the main motivating factor for the person. Problems with anger, unstable emotions, paranoia, and delusions may occur.


As one of the most addicting substances, methamphetamine is extremely difficult to stop using. Without proper help, almost all addicts return to meth use. A detox facility can help curb drug cravings, as well as ease withdrawal symptoms. Although detox will successfully cleanse the body, more action is required to avoid relapse. Inpatient and outpatient drug treatment offer cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques in order to help prevent relapse and sober living houses offer a method of reintegration back into everyday life.



Our mission at The Hills Treatment Center is to offer a unique combination of educational and therapeutic drug and alcohol rehabilitation. In that spirit we present answers to some frequently asked questions. However, don’t stop here. Our knowledgeable and compassionate admissions specialists are available to speak with you personally 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

How do I know if someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol?
Diseases of drug and alcohol addiction are complex and impactful. We encourage you to speak with your physician, or refer to the symptoms checklists offered by respected agencies in the field of addiction research and treatment like The National Institute on Drug Abuse, or NIDA .
What drug and alcohol treatment choices do you offer?
At The Hills, we offer a wide variety of treatment choices ranging from residential drug and alcohol treatment to intensive outpatient treatment, each applying the latest and best addiction treatment therapies. Plus, at every level there are counseling and support groups from which to select to maximize the process of recovery.
Is detoxification a painful experience?
Not if you’re detoxing from drug or alcohol addiction in a residential setting at The Hills, where you’re given round the clock care and attention every step of the way, safe and secure in a private room with counselors, message therapists, and world class chefs to aide and advise you in comfort.
What if your detox program doesn’t work for my needs?
That’s not possible at The Hills Treatment Center because all of our treatment plans are personalized to specifically support the rehabilitation and recovery of each individual client.
Can I receive treatment for more than one addiction?
Yes. The Hills recognizes that many people suffer from multiple addictions compounded by mental and emotional health issues. Our Dual Diagnosis program addresses all of these compounding issues.
Won’t drug and alcohol treatment put me behind at school?
We understand how important it is to achieve your academic goals, but that will not be possible without addresses the challenges of addiction. Through our Young Adults program we will develop a rehabilitation schedule that allows you to continue your education.
What happens to me after detoxification is complete?
You are not left alone after drug or alcohol detox. We offer a myriad of counseling and educational programs to support your rehabilitation and recovery including Relapse Prevention, Sober Living and Sober Companions, Family Outreach, and New Lease on Life.
Who comprises your staff?
The staff here at The Hills is led by eminent addiction expert, Dr. Howard C. Samuels; columnist, published author, television talk-show guest on the leading edge of drug and alcohol treatment modalities. Our team of experienced professionals and paraprofessionals often know first – hand what drug and alcohol treatment and recovery are all about. Our team is here to assist and support you at all times.


A guide to locating appropriate treatment, entering a rehab and more. Includes questions and answers, and a California Drug Rehab Guide.

• Family Involvement • Specific Drugs • Treatment Facilities • Financial Issues • Before Entering Rehab • After Drug Rehab • California Drug Rehab • Legal Issues

About Dr. Howard Samuels

Howard C. Samuels, PsyD is a leading drug and alcohol addiction expert. He is a licensed therapist with a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology with years of experience running two successful treatment centers, and is the founder of The Hills Treatment Center.

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