Author: Charles Frank

3 Stages of Methamphetamine Withdrawal

methamphetamine withdrawal symptoms

Many people who quit using meth experience this condition, called anhedonia. Anhedonia can continue for years after a person stops the drug. Withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable even if a person has only used meth for a short time. Withdrawal symptoms are more likely to occur based on how long and how much of the substance has been used. It usually does not matter whether the drug has been snorted, smoked or injected because of how profoundly meth affects the brain.

Nurses and doctors on staff will ensure you are adequately hydrated and have the proper nutrients, allowing you to detox healthily and safely. Though it’s not impossible to stop using meth on your own, it is often more challenging. There are also medical risks to quitting meth without medical care, depending on the level and length of addiction.

methamphetamine withdrawal symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms are fatigue, depression, anxiety and increased appetite. These are all signs that the body is ridding itself of the methamphetamine, flushing out the toxin and returning to a state of health. Methamphetamine withdrawal is usually an unpleasant experience. Fatigue may set in first, followed by overwhelming feelings of depression.

But some pharmacological treatments have shown promise in reducing meth use. Bednarczyk said avoiding withdrawal is “part of the reinforcement for addictive behavior.” Using meth makes people addicted to the drug feel better. Unfortunately, while medications like this exist for other drugs (opioid pain medications, for example), there are no FDA-approved prescriptions for stimulants like methamphetamine. Withdrawal symptoms can begin within 24 hours after last using methamphetamine and last around 14 to 20 days. The SAMHSA phone line can also help people who are caring for loved ones who have a substance use disorder.

During this time, individuals may experience fatigue, excessive sleep and increased appetite. When people take meth frequently or in high doses, it can eventually lead to a substance use disorder. Meth addiction can induce symptoms of withdrawal, a set of health problems that can linger for days. Withdrawal from methamphetamine typically lasts a week or two. While this might seem a short amount of time, medical supervision for the process is highly recommended to help someone cope with potential symptoms of psychosis. Methamphetamine withdrawal can present with symptoms that affect a person’s mental and physical health.

What Is Meth Withdrawal?

Some may experience severe mental health problems such as depression or meth psychosis. As the 2010 study mentioned above explains, most symptoms of methamphetamine withdrawal resolve within 14 days. However, some people can experience intense cravings for methamphetamine for more than 5 weeks.

  1. When it comes to using medication to manage withdrawal symptoms, receiving a prescription is best.
  2. Someone who has abused meth for several years will likely experience stronger effects of withdrawal than a person who has abused the drug for a couple of months.
  3. The first stage of rehabilitation is an evaluation by trained clinical staff.
  4. First, those who have taken meth for longer periods of time will usually withdraw for longer.

It also teaches the person to identify triggers for drug use and learn to manage those triggers effectively. One of the most important aspects of this phase is determining if a person has any co-occurring conditions. If so, treating these simultaneously is a must during the recovery process. BetterHelp can connect you to an addiction and mental health counselor. Once tolerance develops, people need to take higher doses of the drug to achieve the desired effects. They may start smoking or injecting meth to experience a stronger, more immediate high.

How To Quit Meth

The vast majority (95%) of all participants experienced meth cravings for up to seven weeks after beginning withdrawal. The next step is a clinical assessment, in which the person and healthcare professionals discuss treatment options. In the United States, there are many treatment facilities for substance use disorders. A person ready to stop methamphetamine use can search for local facilities at In some cases, the emotional symptoms of withdrawal, such as depression, anxiety, or intense cravings, can last for months. It will also discuss treatment options for methamphetamine withdrawal and provide links to helpful websites.

methamphetamine withdrawal symptoms

When you stop using meth, though, your brain is left without enough dopamine or serotonin, causing withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms fade as your brain replenishes its store of dopamine and serotonin. In addition to therapy, people with a meth addiction also benefit from other forms of counseling and support.

Symptoms are similar to those of withdrawal but resemble a hangover from alcohol. There are treatment options available to help users safely manage withdrawal symptoms. The initial phase of methamphetamine withdrawal is called the acute phase.

Another thing to consider is the support system you have at home. Are there people at home who can be your accountability partners as you recover? People can experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using it.

Should you seek professional care?

There is still a risk of relapse, but with consistent support, a person who makes it to this phase has a much better chance of recovery. This phase lasts approximately two weeks beyond the first 7 to 10 days of recovery. During the first two days of abstinence, a person experiences a crash, also known as a come down. The body is depleted of energy and becomes more vulnerable to disease.

What You Need to Know About Meth Withdrawal

Detoxification is one major step toward rehabilitation, but the journey to health and wellness continues long after this phase. Many addiction professionals believe recovery is never truly finished. The Recovery Village helps clients develop a personalized plan to address individual symptoms, underlying issues and life circumstances for long-term recovery.

The primary physical symptoms of meth withdrawal are sleep problems along with painful headaches. During initial withdrawal, people may spend most of their time catching up on food and sleep. Appetite and sleep patterns usually return to normal after a few months without meth. Some people may safely tolerate meth withdrawal without medical supervision or intervention. But others may opt for, or even require, supportive care to manage their symptoms. The depression that arises for many going through meth withdrawal can trigger suicidal thoughts and tendencies.

Many people also experience paranoia, hallucinations, anxiety and insomnia. You’ll definitely want to consider consulting a medical professional first if you also intend to stop using other substances you’ve been mixing with meth. This is especially important for alcohol, GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate), GBL (gamma butyrolactone), or benzodiazepines, as these can be dangerous to stop using on your own. The same 2011 study found that participants slept a lot in the first few days of not using meth and reported higher post-sleep refreshment. Yet the overall quality of sleep, measured by the length of time it takes you to fall asleep and the number of times you wake up, remained low even after 3 weeks had passed.

When this happens, the person may experience a range of distressing physical and psychological health problems. The first stage of rehabilitation is an evaluation by trained clinical staff. If the patient is still acutely intoxicated, they will undergo detoxification. This process may serve as a personal milestone for those who complete the experience.