The amount of time it takes to detox from meth can fluctuate due to a number of variables, the majority of which are unique to each person.
Generally, withdrawal symptoms begin within 24 hours of initiating the detox process.
The side effects of cutting out a meth addiction can produce many unpleasant symptoms, but can also reignite appetite and dysregulate sleep schedules.
Because of this, the first two days of meth detox usually involve a lot of sleeping and eating, two functions that are normally pushed aside due to the cycle of drug abuse.
After the initial 24-48 hours, it can take up to five days for any leftover methamphetamine to leave the body.
While there aren’t any medications to help speed up the process of methamphetamine detox, there are medications that can help to lessen the severity of some withdrawal symptoms.
Factors That Influence Meth Detox Time
Each person is unique — they weigh different amounts, have varying ages, and have used different kinds of meth for different periods of time.
This means that there is no standard length of time for how long it takes to detox from meth, but there are modes of operation in place to work around these factors during the detox process.
Length Of Time Abusing Meth
One primary factor is the length of time spent abusing meth—for instance, people who abuse meth heavily may be affected by withdrawal symptoms for up to two months after cessation.
Amount Of Meth Used
The amount of meth used also plays an important role when it comes to dealing with the effects of meth withdrawal.
Due to the addictive nature of methamphetamine, especially crystal meth, the more you use, the more you want to continue using the drug.
This leads to a gradual increase in dosage amounts, increasing meth buildup levels in the body, which can make meth detoxification take longer than normal.
People with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders may have an even more difficult time during the detoxification process.
For example, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) may make it harder to detox due to pre-existing dopamine deficiency.
The lower the dopamine levels, the more cortisol is released (one of the brain’s regulatory stress chemicals) which can increase the fear surrounding detox.
Since people who use meth experience serious rushes of dopamine during a methamphetamine high, it may be more difficult to abstain from the drug, as it is their main source of dopamine.
The higher the methamphetamine tolerance level, the longer it will take to detox.
Factors such as how much meth is used during each instance of substance use and the potency of each dose can also contribute to a heightened methamphetamine tolerance.
These two factors, once combined, spell out increased levels of methamphetamine metabolites in the body: the more there are, the longer it takes to remove them.
Other Health Conditions
If a person experiences an overdose, their metabolism, respiratory function, and cardiovascular health may have suffered damage, some of which is potentially severe.
If there are pre-existing health complications prior to administration to a meth addiction treatment center, healthcare professionals may have to alter programs to work around them.
How Symptoms Of Meth Withdrawal Are Treated During Detox
There are a number of medications and services that can help alleviate mental and physical symptoms during the withdrawal process.
Treatment providers may also consider behavioral and therapeutic treatment methods as an alternative to medication to better facilitate long-term sobriety.
Anxiety can present itself as a severe symptom following methamphetamine withdrawal.
This mental disorder can be onset as a result of substance abuse or as a side effect of withdrawal, as the neurotransmitters begin to reorient themselves.
Medications such as buprenorphine have been used to treat mental health disorders under medical supervision.
A recent clinical trial found that singular buprenorphine doses of 52 mg or higher had a substantial effect on patient anxiety levels and showed efficacy in alleviating it.
While there are no approved medications to alleviate the strong drug cravings associated with meth withdrawal, such as methadone for opioid withdrawal, there are other ways to address cravings.
Mostly, counseling, therapy, and a strong support system help people stay on track and fight triggers to use meth, in addition to distraction and relaxation techniques.
Antidepressants such as Bupropion — generally used to treat depression and help people quit smoking — have seen initial success in the treatment of depression for people undergoing meth withdrawal.
It does this by regulating the production and release of dopamine, the ‘feel good’ chemical that stimulates pleasure and focus.
Meth-induced psychosis is an unfortunate but not entirely uncommon symptom in both methamphetamine overdoses and meth detoxification.
Treatment options for hallucinations include antidepressants such as benzodiazepines, which can clear up many of the symptoms of drug-induced psychosis.
Disrupted Sleep Patterns
Better sleeping habits, re-regulated diets, and repeated doses of melatonin have shown promise in treating the disrupted sleep patterns that are so common to drug detox.
Additionally, narcolepsy medications can help people regain their sleep schedules as they work through their detox facility’s treatment plan.
Can You Detox From Meth At Home?
While it is possible to detox from meth at home, it is not recommended.
The dangers of doing so at home include increased risk of relapse as well as unnecessarily severe withdrawal symptoms, many of which can be treated at an accredited rehab center.
Medical Detox Programs For Meth Abuse
Fortunately, there are a number of medical detox programs available at treatment facilities that have been proven to help people recover from meth abuse.
Some of these meth detoxification programs and services include:
- supervised drug screenings
- inpatient residential treatment
- dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders
- behavioral therapy
Post-Detox Treatment Programs For Methamphetamine Addiction
Detoxification is only one of the steps necessary to achieve sobriety when it comes to seeking help with a methamphetamine addiction.
There are a number of services and programs for meth addiction that can aid in strengthening relationships, preventing relapse, and ensuring comprehensive recovery.
Some of these programs include:
- access to telehealth services
- relapse prevention programs
- outpatient treatment
- continued residential treatment
- educational and vocational programs
Find Substance Use Disorder Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center
If you or a loved one are looking for substance use disorder treatment for a methamphetamine addiction, call our helpline today to discuss enrollment at Bedrock Recovery Center.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/methamphetamine-meth
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) https://nida.nih.gov/download/37620/methamphetamine-research-report.pdf?v=f6a96a8721a56a0f765889a3d3e678c7
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) https://store.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/d7/priv/sma15-4131.pdf
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment/medications-counseling-related-conditions