Meth withdrawal occurs when someone who has been using the drug heavily suddenly stops using it or significantly cuts back on their use.
Withdrawal looks different for everyone who experiences it, but it usually includes some physical symptoms that are very uncomfortable, as well as mental symptoms such as intense cravings for meth.
Meth withdrawal typically ends within a few weeks. The safest place to undergo the withdrawal process is at an inpatient detox center.
What Are The Symptoms Of Meth Withdrawal?
The symptoms of meth withdrawal are not usually life-threatening. Still, they can be very uncomfortable and the risk of relapse during the acute withdrawal phase (initial) is high.
Fatigue And Sleepiness
Methamphetamine addiction makes people agitated and causes them to stay awake for long periods of time. Meth can even cause psychosis in people who use it regularly.
As meth leaves the system, deep fatigue usually sets in. This is part of the process of the drug exiting the system.
Dry mouth is a very common symptom among people in meth withdrawal. Although dry mouth does not usually pose a health risk, it can be very uncomfortable.
Heavy meth use affects brain chemistry and makes the brain dependent on meth to release neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which help us to feel good.
When people stop methamphetamine use after a prolonged period of abuse, depression is a common side effect.
Depression might last longer than other withdrawal symptoms.
Suicidal thoughts may occur in more severe cases of withdrawal.
This is one of the most dangerous aspects of meth withdrawal, as these thoughts are often temporary and the result of brain chemistry imbalances that are a natural part of the detox process.
It’s important that interventions like medical supervision and antidepressants are accessible during meth withdrawal.
Hallucinations may occur during the meth detoxification process. Sometimes, hallucinations can cause people in withdrawal to harm themselves or others.
Psychological symptoms such as hallucinations sometimes last longer than the short-term physical symptoms of meth withdrawal.
Meth Withdrawal In Infants
Meth withdrawal can occur in newborn babies when their mother was using meth during pregnancy.
Newborn meth withdrawal can include some dangerous symptoms and may require extra monitoring by healthcare professionals as the baby goes through withdrawal.
Methamphetamine Withdrawal Syndrome Timeline
Meth withdrawal does not look the same for everyone. The following meth withdrawal timeline can serve as a general guide for what to expect, not a definite rule.
The First 24 Hours
During the first day of meth withdrawal, people ‘crash’ after having used the drug heavily for a prolonged period.
Symptoms during this phase include decreased energy and alertness, nausea and stomach pain, and sweating.
First Seven To Ten Days
During this period, withdrawal symptoms are likely to reach their peak. Extreme fatigue, hallucinations, shaking, and deep depression are all possible during this time period.
This is when monitoring by medical professionals is most critical.
If any suicidal thoughts or erratic behavior occurs, it is best to be in a treatment center where staff is equipped to handle such risks.
14 Days After Last Use
Withdrawal symptoms from meth usually last two to three weeks. Physical symptoms should start to subside, although psychological symptoms and intense cravings can last for a long time.
Usually, around two weeks after the last use, a person will be stable enough to transition from detox into inpatient care.
Treatment Options For Meth Addiction And Withdrawal
If you or a loved one are addicted to meth, it may be helpful to understand the detox and treatment process.
Substance use treatment may take multiple steps, and it is important to take the time you need to enter recovery in order to avoid relapse.
Meth Detox Programs
Meth detox programs are recommended for people who have been engaged in heavy meth drug use.
Detox programs usually take place at an addiction treatment facility. They often include medical monitoring and around-the-clock care.
The point of a detox program is to be in a safe and stable environment as you go through meth withdrawal.
This decreases the risk of withdrawal complications, including relapse. A meth detox program may be the best way to start your recovery.
Detox is a stepping stone to inpatient treatment. Once a person has stabilized and their withdrawal symptoms have mostly faded, they can begin a meth inpatient treatment program.
Meth addiction treatment programs are designed to address drug use by uncovering its underlying causes and working to heal these issues.
Addiction treatment also aims to strengthen and stabilize the body and mind after the effects of a prolonged period of drug abuse.
Meth inpatient addiction treatment programs may include:
- behavioral therapy
- group counseling
- healthy diet
- life coaching
- skills building
- meditation and yoga
- journaling and art classes
Inpatient treatment is a time to completely focus on your recovery from substance abuse. It is a unique opportunity to heal old patterns and envision a new, drug-free life for yourself.
Find Substance Abuse Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center
Bedrock Recovery Center is one of the east coast’s top addiction treatment facilities. We offer inpatient detox and treatment programs for people with drug and alcohol abuse issues.
Bedrock is located in Canton, MA, just outside of Boston. We serve people seeking addiction treatment from anywhere in the U.S.
Are you ready to put substance abuse behind you? Call our helpline today to learn more about our treatment options.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) –– Methamphetamine https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/methamphetamine-meth
- National Library of Medicine –– Withdrawal symptoms in abstinent methamphetamine-dependent subjects https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3071736/
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) –– Know the Risks of Meth https://www.samhsa.gov/meth
- United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) –– Methamphetamine https://www.dea.gov/factsheets/methamphetamine