Author: Charles Frank

Meth Addiction: Causes, Risks, and Treatment

methamphetamine withdrawal

This process may serve as a personal milestone for those who complete the experience. After some time, a patient’s body will stabilize, and they can move on to the next stage of rehabilitation. Detoxification is a natural process by which the body rids itself of harmful substances.

  1. However, recreational use of meth is illegal because it is a highly addictive drug that impairs brain function and changes the person’s thoughts and actions.
  2. Because withdrawal symptoms are severe, it is strongly advised that users should seek help and shouldn’t do the process alone.
  3. When this happens, the person may experience a range of distressing physical and psychological health problems.

When high levels of dopamine are released in the body, it can cause feelings of euphoria or bliss. So, exposure to substances, such as crystal meth, that increase dopamine production in the body can become highly addictive. Work with a medical professional to diagnose your level of dependency to methamphetamine and create a safe treatment plan that works for you. Recovery is a lifelong process, and there are many resources and communities available to help you stay on that path. 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.

Signs and Symptoms of Addiction to Meth

Your nervous system uses it to send messages between nerve cells, which is why dopamine is often referred to as a chemical messenger. The SAMHSA phone line can also help people who are caring for loved ones who have a substance use disorder. Acheson warns that the science of post-meth experiences is incomplete.

Once detox is complete, people can seek counseling and other services to learn how to quit meth and maintain long-term sobriety. Dehydration often accompanies the withdrawal process, which can be dangerous. For this reason, medically supervised detox can be a crucial part of a care plan. Detox centers and rehabilitation facilities provide around-the-clock medical supervision to those undergoing detoxification.

methamphetamine withdrawal

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. During this time, individuals may experience fatigue, excessive sleep and increased appetite.

As long as the person stays hydrated and eats a balanced diet, they can combat this, especially with medical help. Unfortunately, while medications like this exist for other drugs (opioid pain medications, for example), there are no FDA-approved prescriptions for stimulants like methamphetamine. According to a 2022 review, withdrawal symptoms occur when the body tries to re-adapt to a decrease in drug usage. No medications are approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating meth addiction. But some pharmacological treatments have shown promise in reducing meth use.

You can try to anticipate the intensity of your symptoms based on your consumption patterns, but there’s no guarantee around how things will unfold. Shame and stigma can also have a negative effect on the post-meth experience for some people, notes Vivian Veronica, a methamphetamine specialist. Veronica works with Project Neon, a harm reduction organization.

Crystal Meth Withdrawal & Comedown: Symptoms and Treatment

Meditation and spiritual practices are one way; walking, hiking, even playing with a pet can help. The comedown from methamphetamine is just the opposite of the high. When someone binges on methamphetamine, they go through two distinct phases. After a single dose, the comedown is similar to a hangover following a night of drinking alcohol at a bar. Listed below are the short-term and long-term effects of using meth.

Another small 2011 study involving 13 participants found that depression symptoms largely resolved after 1 week, while anxiety and other symptoms decreased within 2 weeks. Dopamine and serotonin are two chemical messengers called neurotransmitters that can affect a range of things, including your mood, sleep cycle, and digestive process. Meth causes your brain to release its stores of both these neurotransmitters, contributing to meth’s pleasurable effects. Keep in mind that your behavior while using meth, like not eating or drinking water, can make your withdrawal symptoms more severe. Here’s a closer look at meth withdrawal, including how long it lasts and how to manage it. AddictionResource aims to present the most accurate, trustworthy, and up-to-date medical content to our readers.

methamphetamine withdrawal

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. Older adults or people who’ve used meth for a long time may experience more severe, longer-lasting symptoms.

Our goal is to offer people a single source of relatable, reliable information at any stage of their recovery journey. This might involve attending a support group for people in similar situations. During this call, someone from the facility will ask the person questions about their addiction.

Identifying the exact duration of meth withdrawal is difficult because the length and severity of withdrawal symptoms vary by person. 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. Methamphetamine addiction can lead to painful withdrawal symptoms. Although most effects of withdrawal subside within about a week, some symptoms can persist for several weeks. Rehab centers can assist individuals in safely detoxing from meth abuse.

Methamphetamine Withdrawal

Whether you have only recently started using or you have used methamphetamine over many years, recovery is possible. Those who choose to stop using the drug cold turkey without medical supervision may not know how to alleviate painful withdrawal symptoms. Attending rehab for detox is much safer because patients have access to immediate medical care.

The initial phase of methamphetamine withdrawal is called the acute phase. As the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains, methamphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant. When people who regularly take methamphetamine stop using it, withdrawal symptoms can occur.

What Makes Meth So Addictive?

Due to this experience, it is essential that individuals are monitored in order to avoid extreme hydration. During this phase, there will also be a sharp decline in an individual’s cognitive, or mental, function and overall energy levels. As the 2010 study mentioned above explains, most symptoms of methamphetamine withdrawal resolve within 14 days.

Always consult a medical provider for diagnosis and treatment. As the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) explains, it can be challenging to care for someone who has a substance use disorder. People who provide such support should make sure to practice self-care. Bednarczyk said avoiding withdrawal is “part of the reinforcement for addictive behavior.” Using meth makes people addicted to the drug feel better.