If You Are Buying This Book for Someone Else…

Preface to the 2018 Update


 Chapter 1 – Getting Ready

A Question of Timing – It’s as Individual as You Are

Do I Really Have to Hit Bottom?

Get Family Involved – Quitting for Them Works, Too

Detoxing Alone or With a Doctor?

Should I Consider Rehab?

Doing a “Geographic”

That Last Run

Trashing Paraphernalia

What About Marijuana/Alcohol Maintenance?

Is It Also Time to Quit Cigarettes?

What About My Depression? Or My ADHD? Or My…?

Those Dark Thoughts You Had While High on Meth Were NOT Your Thoughts

CMA and Other Programs – No One Is an Island

A Few Words About Relapse


Chapter 2 – Withdrawal: 3 to 21 Days

What to Expect

The Crash – Acute Withdrawal

Protracted Withdrawal – What Comes After Acute

Eating & Appetite

Sleeping, and More Sleeping

Confusion, Difficulty in Concentration, and Memory Loss

Strong Cravings to Use

What About Hearing Voices, Feeling Paranoid, and Seeing “Tree People?”

Emotional Surges – Tears, Angry Outbursts, or Both

Feeling Anti-Social

Abscesses, Staph Infections, and Meth Mouth

On Average, Most Withdrawal Symptoms Resolve Within 14 Days

The First Month is the Hardest, Usually

What to Do

If Possible, Get the Expertise of a Certified Addiction Specialist

Replenish My Body

Calm My Mind

Banish Shame

Do Not Make Any Big Decisions

Set a Sobriety Date (or Not)


Chapter 3 – The Honeymoon: 16 to 45 Days (Up to 8 Weeks)

What to Expect

The Pink Cloud

Dreams of Using Meth

Memory Loss May Get Worse at First

What About Numbness From Injection Sites?

Triggers and Cravings

What to Do

Keep the Goal of Quitting, Today

Keep Other Small, Daily Goals

Normalize Sleep and Routine

Recognize Triggers

Stop the Thought

Counteract the Craving

Change Phone Number and Contact Info

Delete All Using Contacts

Delete Social Media, Too

When You Get a Call or Text from an Old Using Friend

Change Old Patterns & Routines

Move (or Redecorate)

Find a Person With Whom I Can Be Completely Honest

Practice an Elevator Pitch for Saying “No”

Schedule a Dental Exam

Get Professional Help – Drug Counseling vs. Traditional Therapy

Attend a CMA Meeting


Chapter 4 – CMA Meetings: What It’s All About

Why These Meetings

The Pros

The Cons

Other Fellowships – AA and NA

What to Expect at a Meeting

“Hello, My Name is X and I’m a Crystal Meth Addict.”

The Typical CMA Meeting

Slogans, Slogans… and more Slogans

Can I “Pass” If I’m Called On to Share?

What About “Clean Time”?

What Are the 12 Steps Anyway?

How to Find “My” Meeting

What If I Don’t Like 12 Step Meetings?

In Summary


Chapter 5 – The Wall: 6 Weeks to 4 Months

What to Expect

Exhaustion, Loneliness, and Boredom Return

What if I Feel No Joy In Life?

Using Fantasies, Flashbacks, and Euphoric Recall

Sexual Appetite Spikes

Nerve Jolts and Misfires

Getting an Earful from Friends and Family

Excuses and Justifications to Use Increase Ten-Fold

What to Do

Prioritize Recovery

Keep Avoiding High-Risk People, Places and Things

Exercise and the Gym

Keep Busy – Declare War on Boredom

Schedule Medical and Dental Checkups

Collect Milestone Chips at Meetings

Safety in Numbers

Goodbye Crystal Sex, Hello Sober Sex


Chapter 6 – Adjustment: Months 4 to 8

What to Expect

Getting Better Through the Rough Patches

Triggers and Cravings Lessen

First-Time Sober Experiences

Weight Gain

Sleep Normalizes, Kinda

Sexual Urges Normalize, Kinda

Past Feelings Are Going to “Complete” Themselves

Consequences From the Damages Done While Using

What to Do

When You Don’t Want to Avoid a Trigger: Feel and Move Through It

Go Back to Work or School

Work With a Therapist

Keep Vigilant about Sex Without Crystal

Make Plans and Keep a Socially Active Calendar


Chapter 7 – Ongoing Recovery: Everything That Follows

What to Expect

Triggers and Cravings Out of Nowhere

Well Deserved Pride

And Still, My Addiction Whispers Its Favorite Relapse Lies

What to Do

Put Recovery First

Get to Know Yourself Again – The “New” Old You


Throw a Birthday Party for My First Year


Chapter 8 – A Year and Beyond

What to Expect

Your Brain Recovers

Floundering – A Few Years Into Sobriety

Triggers and Cravings Mostly Disappear

Long-Term Consequences From Using

 What to Do

Keep Moving – The Escalator Model

Don’t Use No Matter What

Deepen Spiritual Life

Give Back – Pay It Forward

Hopeful Research

Can I Stop Being an “Addict” and Just Be Normal Again?


Chapter 9 – What About Relapse?

What to Expect

Lie #1: Relapse is a Moral Failure

Lie #2: My Previous Progress in Recovery Was Wasted

Lie #3: Since I’ve Slipped and Already Have to Restart My Sobriety Date, I Might As Well Party One More Time

Welcoming Embraces and Cold Shoulders

What to Do

Get Immediately Back into Recovery

Don’t Dwell on Shame and Guilt

Try to Learn From This So It Won’t Happen Again

5 Things to Consider With “Chronic” Relapsing


Appendix – Resources


Living the Full & Free Life After Crystal Meth & Addiction