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One of Alberta’s most notoriously addictive illegal stimulants is methamphetamine, also called meth, crystal, glass, ice, speed, crank, and so on. This illicit drug affects the body and brain, altering both to a drastic extent. For the record, no one uses meth casually. Addiction takes hold almost instantaneously, and as the addict smokes or otherwise ingests meth, it rapidly creates an intense rush of euphoria. This white crystal-like drug can be introduced to the body in a variety of ways including smoking it, snorting it through the nose, or injecting it into a vein. Quickly, tolerance builds, making the addict unable to feel this same rush of pleasure. Overcoming meth addiction can be one of the more difficult tasks for any Albertan to face. 

Meth use not only permanently alters the brain but can also affect emotions and memory. Dopamine is simply tapped out (the pleasure neurotransmitter) and the addict no longer can experience the familiar euphoric rush. Unfortunately, because their addiction is so strong, they cannot stop using it even though it destroys their health, changes their appearance, alters their mind, and makes them lose everything important to them.

Crystal meth addiction can be combated by a mixture of therapy and medication and doing so in a treatment centre in Alberta where a proper detox and treatment plan has been laid out makes the whole process less painful and scary. 

Could Someone You Love Have a Meth Addiction in Alberta?

Is a friend or a loved one in Alberta acting differently and you are curious about the signs of meth addiction? You may be wondering what meth addict symptoms to look out for if you suspect someone is using the drug. Typically, one major sign of meth addiction is the person will lose any desire to do things that they once loved or were once a major part of their life.

You may see them suddenly withdraw from beloved hobbies, or witness strain in their relationships, or issues with their job, school, or other responsibilities. Erratic behaviours and mood swings become more frequent.

Physical Signs of Meth Addiction in Alberta

physical signs of meth addiction

Not only does meth physically change the chemicals in the brain, there are other physical symptoms of meth addiction that you may also witness in your loved one. It can be scary or concerning to witness the physical deterioration of an addict.

  • Distractibility
  • Dilated pupils
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Dry mouth and bad breath
  • Nausea
  • Muscle twitching and tremors
  • Violent or aggressive behaviour
  • Personality change
  • Outbursts, erratic behaviour, mood swings
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia or strange sleeping patterns
  • Rapid and extreme loss of weight
  • Tooth decay and teeth rotting
  • Hyperactivity
  • Twitches or jerky facial movements
  • Anxiousness or paranoia
  • Sores on the skin


Long-term meth abuse can damage the brain and cause symptoms of psychosis, including paranoia, aggression, hallucinations, and delusions (such as the sensation of bugs crawling on or under the skin). These symptoms can last for years after a person stops taking the drug.

Important Symptoms of Meth Addiction You Need to Know

There are two other symptoms of meth addiction that you will want to be aware of.

First, you may see a friend or a loved one go through a phase known as tweaking. This tweaking phase usually occurs when someone is towards the end of a drug binge.

This phase can last up to two weeks and the user will typically have high anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations and insomnia during this time. It can also cause strange psychological behaviour in someone, including acting out in violent ways.

In addition, someone may also exhibit what is known as a crash phase if they are using meth in Alberta. This occurs when there is no more dopamine to provide to the body because it was all used up during the drug binge.

With no dopamine in the body, extreme exhaustion will occur. This phase can last up to three days and effects may include extreme cravings, long sleeping periods, intense fatigue, and symptoms of depression and anxiety.

If you suspect your friend or loved one in Edmonton, Red Deer or Calgary is using meth, you will want to also keep an eye out for seizures, heart attack symptoms or heat stroke, which can all occur if someone takes too much of the drug. These symptoms can be fatal if help isn’t administered immediately.

Treatment for Meth Addicts in Alberta

No one wants to watch someone they care about become addicted to meth and potentially destroy their life. Long-term addiction to crystal meth causes even more meth addict symptoms and can cause long-standing health problems both physically and psychologically. Meth is one of the most highly addictive drugs, someone mustn’t try to withdraw or handle symptoms of meth addiction on his or her own.

We can recommend a variety of detox and treatment options available in Alberta that can help someone overcome meth addiction while being cared for by a dedicated medical team.

Reach out to our interventionists and addiction specialists in Edmonton or Calgary today and learn about setting up an intervention or more about our program options available across Canada. 

How To Find & Choose the Right Treatment or Rehab Centre in Alberta

treatment rehab centre in alberta

When you’re comparing addiction treatment programs in Alberta a quick Google search will show you hundreds of options. It can be overwhelming to know which is the right one for you and your family. The Detox and Treatment Centres we work with in Edmonton, Red Deer and Calgary meet the highest standards and are accredited. All the Alberta Treatment Centres we recommend use evidence-based services that are proven to provide benefit for people with a substance use disorder or meth addiction. We offer rehab centres in Alberta with certified Counsellors or other certified Addiction Specialists and Interventionists. The treatment centres we work with also address co-occurring disorders to other substances and/or mental health disorders and offer a continuum of care that begins with medical detox programs in Alberta and continues to residential treatment and aftercare services, when possible.

Other factors to consider when choosing a rehab program in Alerta are whether or not insurance or payment options are important, treatment length, substance use/treatment history, and the personal goals for treatment. Treatment is most effective when you choose a program that fits your and your family’s specific needs. 

Addiction treatment requires an individualized approach and no one method works for everyone, it’s important to choose a rehab centre that’s a good fit for you.

As you search for inpatient facilities in Alberta that provide individualized care, also consider the following…

  • What is the staff-to-patient ratio?
  • Do they employ medical staff such as licensed counsellors and/or physicians
  • Do they offer aftercare or alumni services?
  • What detoxification services are offered?
  • Is medically assisted detox available?
  • Are they capable of addressing co-occurring mental health conditions?
  • Are multiple therapies offered?
  • Is any family therapy or family counselling available from home in Edmonton or Calgary?
  • What is the program length payment, including if they accept your health insurance
  • What recreational activities they offer (yoga, swimming or hiking trails), as well as amenities for comfort (private rooms, massages or nutritious meals)
  • Where is the rehab facility located in Alberta and if not how will you get there?

Detox and Withdrawal From Meth

How long the detox process takes will depend on the severity and type of addiction and the person’s medical history. Detox treatment is the first step in a proper treatment plan. Detox helps clear the body of the substance. It’s critical for a person undergoing detox to be supervised by trained personnel since detoxing from certain substances can produce painful and even life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. 

We work with private detox centres in Alberta that offer medically assisted detox and provide the latest evidence-based approaches to help clients safely detox and manage withdrawal symptoms. Trained clinical staff provide round-the-clock care to ensure clients detox safely and comfortably. Medications may be used to ease withdrawal symptoms, depending on a person’s needs.

Meth Withdrawal Symptoms

meth withdrawal

Meth dependency can cause uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, especially in the first 24 hours after a person stops using the drug. These can include the following.

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Strong cravings
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Sleep problems and nightmares
  • Sluggishness
  • Increased appetite


Symptoms vary from person to person and may last anywhere between 7 and 14 days. Some people can successfully quit using meth on their own, but most long-term users in Alberta will need professional help to quit.

Who Needs Medically Assisted Detox?

Medically supervised detox is appropriate for people with severe addictions or physical dependency, and those who have tried to quit on their own unsuccessfully. Meth use can cause neurological changes in the brain. With repeated use at high dosages, a person’s brain becomes reliant on the active ingredient(s) in the drug to produce a release of neurotransmitters. This causes the brain to produce fewer neurotransmitters on its own.

Part of the withdrawal process involves learning to cope with a minimal number of vital neurotransmitters until the brain heals and relearns to produce its own. It can be a difficult process, which is why it’s so important to have the right support.

Common Components in Private Alberta Detox Centres

The detox process typically includes the following three steps.

  • Evaluation – This includes testing to determine which substances a person is using and how much of the substance is in their blood. The evaluation process also includes screening for co-occurring physical and mental health conditions. This evaluation helps the treatment team determine what care a person needs and how to proceed.
  • Detoxification/Stabilization – This includes the medical and social components of the detoxification and withdrawal process. The goal is to get as much of the meth as possible out of the client’s body and ensure they are medically stabilized. The clinical team may use medications to ease withdrawal symptoms and ensure safe, comfortable detox.
  • Preparing for ongoing treatment –  Many, if not most, clients with serious addictions will need ongoing treatment, such as time in a residential treatment program, to address the psychological, behavioural, and social components of addiction. During the detox process, clients will be prepared for ongoing treatment.

What To Expect at Inpatient Treatment Centre

group therapy

Many private residential or inpatient treatment centres in Alberta take place in non-hospital settings and are modelled after resorts or are home-like environments. The goal of these programs is to guide you towards long-term recovery in a stable, comfortable and supportive environment before returning to your day-to-day life back home in Edmonton, Red Deer or Calgary.

Treatment begins with an assessment of your needs and situation. After this initial assessment, an individualized treatment plan will be created and implemented by various treatment specialists and professionals at the rehab centre in Alberta. Staff on your treatment team may include substance abuse counsellors, therapists, nurses, nutritionists/personal trainers, psychiatrists, physicians, case managers and interventionists. Within your personalized treatment plan, you’ll likely also have access to the following services.

  • Medically assisted detox
  • Group therapy or peer support meetings
  • Individual counselling
  • Behavioural therapy
  • Peer support groups
  • Integrated mental and behavioural health care
  • Wellness activities like yoga, meditation or prayer, and exercise
  • Aftercare services
  • Family therapy


Participants will have a daily schedule organized and tailored to their needs. This includes three nutritious meals, therapy, counselling sessions, relaxation, and other treatment activities that promote a healthy recovery from meth addiction.

The Benefits Of Inpatient Rehab in Alberta

Inpatient rehab is beneficial because it can attend to not only the meth addiction itself but also help with overall health needs in general. By staffing programs with a wide range of professionals, inpatient rehab programs can address social, medical, and psychological needs, as well as assist in employment and other life endeavours.

Other benefits of inpatient meth abuse treatment include.

  • Structured and safe environment with constant support
  • Living away from influences and triggers that could contribute to relapse
  • Living in a therapeutic community where people in addiction recovery learn from and motivate one another
  • Building a community of peers that lasts a lifetime

Who Should Attend Inpatient Drug Rehab in Alberta?

Inpatient programs are well-suited for any Albertan struggling with meth, alcohol or any drug addiction. However, these programs work best if you or your loved one have attended outpatient treatment with little success or live too far from an outpatient program in Alberta. If the patient lives in an environment where drugs and alcohol are frequently used or where there is easy access to them an inpatient rehab centre should seriously be considered. Inpatient treatment is also recommended for individuals who need to detox first, have co-occurring mental health issues or whose meth use may cause them to hurt themselves or others.  

Outpatient Treatment for Meth Addiction

After detox, outpatient treatment is a treatment option for Albertans working toward meth recovery. Outpatient rehab provides similar therapy and support as an inpatient treatment centre but allows the person to maintain independence while living at home. Outpatient care in Alberta allows clients to continue to work or attend school. It allows them to practice sobriety in the real world. Outpatient treatment for meth works well when people have a stable place to live and can avoid others who use meth. It is not a good option for people who still actively use meth or do not support the community. Starting treatment in an outpatient program can determine whether the person is committed to sobriety or whether they need a higher level of care. Outpatient programs in Alberta offer group and individual therapy, educational or work support, and holistic treatments that give people the tools to manage stress effectively, deal with past traumas and live life on life’s terms.

Recovery from Meth Mouth

One of the most devastating physical effects of meth addiction is extensive tooth decay and gum disease. Unfortunately, this oral damage, sometimes called meth mouth, can linger long after a person has stopped using the drug.

Oral damage from meth can be challenging to treat and repair. It may require tooth extractions and the use of dentures. But dental treatment for meth-associated tooth damage is an important part of the recovery process and can help restore a person’s self-esteem and confidence.

Conquering meth addiction can be challenging, but taking those difficult first steps toward recovery could be the best and most important decision you ever make. 

Meth Recovery and Aftercare in Alberta

Unfortunately, relapse is common when it comes to meth addiction. However just because someone relapses doesn’t mean that the treatment program has failed. Relapse can even be an expected part of recovery. Meth recovery requires continued vigilance and effort. With dedication and the right aftercare resources, the risk of relapse can be minimized. 

People do come off of meth but it takes time. Support from others is essential to long-term sobriety. While family and friends play a vital role in recovery, encouragement from peer support communities, counsellors, sober coaches and other recovery support staff is just as important. Our professional addiction specialists and interventionists in Alberta offer after-care support programs in Edmonton, Red Deer and Calgary for when the afflicted person returns home. This may include weekly drug testing, family programs, weekly addiction counselling and case management. Sober living options will also be given to the client while the client is still in treatment. Once the client comes home, the family needs to continue to set up healthy boundaries to make sure the loved one doesn’t go back into previous patterns and old behaviours. The person returning home from meth treatment should be attending an outpatient program, meeting with counsellors and going to AA, NA or other group peer support meetings in Ontario after their treatment program ends. 

Sober Living Homes in Alberta

For many people, returning to the home environment too soon can put their recovery at risk. Sober living homes can ease the transition from treatment to routine living. Also known as halfway houses, these sober homes are located across Edmonton, Red Deer and Calgary. They are drug-free environments that generally offer a structured living situation to individuals after inpatient treatment. These residences provide a safe environment where people in early recovery can practice using the tools and techniques they learned in treatment.

Getting Help For Meth Addiction in Alberta 

meth addiction in alberta

Addiction does not have to be a permanent way of life. There are ways out. Using meth makes it impossible for people to live full, healthy lives. It interferes with people’s ability to work, learn, form relationships, or take care of their responsibilities in the community. It is impossible to have a good quality of life when you are using meth. The fact of the matter is that meth is so highly addictive, that most people need the intervention of a meth addiction rehab centre to recover and lead self-directed lives. We are here to help and make the process as simplified and successful as possible for you or your loved one to get the treatment that is needed to recover from meth addiction.

It is never too early to hold an intervention. Our Albertan interventions are highly successful in getting your loved one to agree to go to treatment no matter what stage of addiction they are at. We offer Drug & Alcohol Intervention Services all across Canada. For more information on intervention services in Edmonton, Red Deer and Calgary. Contact us today. We can meet in person with you or your family in Alberta within 48 hours.