Meth Withdrawal | Symptoms, Timeline, Detox, & Treatment
Meth withdrawal can be a difficult process due to the intensity of the symptoms like depression, fatigue, cravings, and irregular sleep. Luckily, there are detox and addiction treatment programs available to help you begin your recovery.
Meth Withdrawal Symptoms | Timeline, Detox, & Treatment
Methamphetamine (also known as meth or crystal meth) is an addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system by increasing the amount of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. This increase leads to a euphoric feeling, and the craving for this feeling is what often leads to meth addiction.
Just how dangerous meth is can be shown in the statistics for drug overdose deaths. In Ohio in 2020, overdose deaths from meth consisted of 20% of all unintentional overdose deaths that year.
When you abuse meth over a period of time, you can build up a dependence. Then when you try to stop using, intense withdrawal symptoms can occur that make addiction recovery difficult.
Meth Withdrawal Symptoms
When you abuse meth for a long time, your body becomes used to its presence. If you stop using the drug, your body will no longer know how to function without it. Your body’s reaction to the absence of the drug is when methamphetamine withdrawal symptoms are likely to show up.
Short-Term Meth Withdrawal Symptoms
The short-term withdrawal symptoms that come after meth abuse can last as long as a week and may include:
- uneasy mood
- slow movements
- anhedonia (loss of ability to feel pleasure)
- increased appetite
- decreased appetite
- suicidal thoughts
Long-Term Meth Withdrawal Symptoms
Some symptoms of meth withdrawal can last two weeks or longer. These symptoms may need extra treatment in order to fully address them. The long-term withdrawal symptoms can include:
- irregular sleep
- cognitive issues
Meth Withdrawal Timeline
How long the meth withdrawal symptoms last and how intense they are depends on a number of factors, including how long you used the drug, whether you used it daily or binged occasionally, and your overall physical and mental health.
The average timeline for the whole withdrawal process can include both psychological and physical symptoms.
1-10 Days After Last Use
Within 24 hours of your last dose of meth, you may experience what’s known as acute withdrawal.
During this time, you may notice dysphoria, increased sleep, depression-like symptoms, anxiety, intense cravings, and agitation. These symptoms will most likely last 7-10 days. It’s during this time that relapse has a strong chance to occur.
After the first week, most symptoms will likely become milder. The depressive symptoms may go away during this second week but that’s not always the case. Anxiety, mood swings, and meth cravings may stick around as well.
While most of the physical symptoms usually pass by this time, the psychological symptoms may continue. Depression, anxiety, and drug cravings can continue for weeks or even months after your last use.
Withdrawing from methamphetamines on your own is not recommended because the symptoms can be so intense. A medically-assisted detox program can ensure you stay comfortable during the whole process.
During meth detox, medical professionals help you manage your withdrawal symptoms. They can do this with medications, IV fluids, and other measures to keep you comfortable.
Detox can also be beneficial because it takes you out of the place where you may have normally used meth. This can reduce the chances of relapse in the first week of recovery.
Once you’re stable, inpatient or outpatient treatment is typically the next step.
Meth Addiction Treatment
Professional treatment for meth addiction involves inpatient or outpatient treatment. Both of these forms of care offer access to healthcare providers, support groups, treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders, and behavioral therapy.
Common types of behavioral therapies used to help those struggling with meth addiction include:
- cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- contingency management (CM)
- the matrix model
As for other forms of treatment like medication, unfortunately, there are currently no FDA-approved medications that counteract meth or reduce meth use.
At Ohio Recovery Center, we address methamphetamine addiction with treatment options that include medical detox, individual and group therapy, and ongoing aftercare support.
For more information about substance abuse treatment for you or your loved one, please call our helpline today.
- Addiction — Withdrawal symptoms in abstinent methamphetamine-dependent subjects https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3071736/
- American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse — Characterizing methamphetamine withdrawal in recently abstinent methamphetamine users: A pilot field study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3063384/
- National Institute on Drug Abuse — Behavioral Therapies https://nida.nih.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/evidence-based-approaches-to-drug-addiction-treatment/behavioral-therapies
- National Institute on Drug Abuse — Methamphetamine DrugFacts https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/methamphetamine
- National Institute on Drug Abuse — What treatments are effective for people who misuse methamphetamine? https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/methamphetamine/what-treatments-are-effective-people-who-misuse-methamphetamine
- Ohio Department of Health — 2020 Ohio Drug Overdose Data: General Findings https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/wcm/connect/gov/6a94aabe-ea77-4c01-8fd8-2abdd83b4ff8/2020%2BUnintentional%2BDrug%2BOverdose%2BAnnual%2BReport.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CONVERT_TO=url&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE.Z18_M1HGGIK0N0JO00QO9DDDDM3000-6a94aabe-ea77-4c01-8fd8-2abdd83b4ff8-o2GcAjB