• CALL (877) 659-4555 RECOVER NOW
Meth Withdrawal and Detoxification

Meth Withdrawal and Detoxification

Recovering from meth addiction is the most challenging battle an addict can take. Methamphetamine is one of the most addictive substances on Earth. The rehab process is not an easy task. It consists of physical and mental pain, but the result is worth the suffering- a healthy, happy and productive life. Being an ex-abuser is not something to be ashamed of. In fact, it is something a person should be proud of! The process of recovery starts as soon as the addict gives up on the drug.

Withdrawal symptoms for meth

The severity of withdrawal symptoms depends upon the duration methamphetamine was abused for and the amount it was taken in. After a short term use, fatigue, depression and increased appetite are the main challenges for the patient. After a long term use, the recovery process is more complex and challenging. Symptoms may be divided into two categories- mental and physical symptoms.

Psychological signs and symptoms:

  • Depression (it can be treated with antidepressants, but often the therapeutic effect is missing due to the heavy imbalance of brain chemicals)
  • Anxiety (this is just an instinct reaction- the body mistakenly “thinks” that it needs meth as much as it needs food. As soon as the brain chemistry goes back to normal, the anxiety will vanish)
  • Suicidal tendencies (They are produced due to psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety and the wrong self-assurance of the patient that the agony will never end. They also settle down after the brain chemistry returns back to normal)
  • Paranoia, psychosis and other mental disorders (due to functional damage to the brain, some mental disorders developed under the influence of meth, may become more obvious when the drug is quit)

Physical signs and symptoms:

  • Increased appetite (when the meth abuse is quit, the hunger emerges as an instinctive reaction to a malnutrition that was developed through the course of drug abuse)
  • Sleep pattern changes (hypersomnia, insomnia or disturbances in sleep-wake cycle occur)
  • Nightmares
  • Pale skin
  • Slow body movements
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Cramps
  • Memory impairment

Withdrawal timeline for meth addiction:

The severity of the withdrawal symptoms and its duration differs from person to person.

  • In the first three days tiredness, need for sleep and depression occurs.
  • Day 3-10: Cravings became more and more challenging. Fatigue, unpredictable behavior, psychological problems, headaches, hallucinations and mood swings reach to their peak levels. The first 10 days are the worst. Symptoms slowly start to subside after tenth day.
  • Week 2-4: Cravings, low energy levels and sleeping problems become the main challenge for the patient.
  • One to three months after the last use there are occasional cravings. Withdrawal symptoms subside significantly, and the patient feels a lot better physically and emotionally.
  • The third month is important because that’s when strong cravings may occur again. Mental changes that are the consequence of structural damage of the brain need to be treated under psychiatric supervision.
  • All symptoms gradually subside as the time passes by. By the end of the first year since the last use, everything goes back to normal. The most important thing that should be done after the rehab is resocialization. Starting a new life in a drug free environment is a task of exceptionally significant.

Is it possible to die from meth withdrawal?

The absence of meth can’t kill a person, but some withdrawal symptoms may lead to death. Depression may be so severe that a person could make a suicide attempt. Some people tried taking dangerous amounts of sedatives (or some other substances) to suppress the meth cravings (for example sedatives and alcohol can be a deadly combination). Poor decision making and cognitive insufficiency can be life threatening. A recovered addict commenting on the withdrawal experience said: “Once I fell asleep outside during winter. I would have frozen to death if my parents didn’t find me”. So the answer to above quoted question would be: No, the meth absence won’t kill you, but under the influence of the withdrawal symptoms you could make poor decisions that could result in death. That’s why the professional supervision is needed.

Medications used during meth withdrawal

Although there are no medications specifically designed to treat meth addiction, some OTC drugs can be used to treat withdrawal symptoms.

  • Bupropion is used to reduce mild meth cravings. It is an antidepressant used in the treatment of tobacco addiction.
  • Modafilin is a drug used in the treatment of narcolepsy. It can help patients with excessive sleepiness.
  • Fluoxetine is used in the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder. It reduces the severity of panic attacks in patients.
  • Mirtazipine is an antidepressant which can reverse the severe depression that sometime occurs in the patients.

All of these medicines have to be used under medical supervision. Some of them may cause addiction, so patients should be extra careful while taking them.

Detoxification process for meth:

safely eliminate meth metabolic products from the body and avoid the further worsening of mental health. It lasts around 3 days for light to moderate users, up to 7 days for heavy users. Cravings, sleep problems, depression and other withdrawal symptoms could last for a few more days if left untreated. Ex abusers need all available resources to help them maintain the discipline and motivation to go through the rehab process. during a supervised detox program, the patient remains under the supervision of medical professionals who closely monitor his condition and undertake all necessary steps to ease down or prevent certain physical or mental problems that may arise. Oral therapy, injections, and IV infusions may be administered during detox therapy if needed.