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What to Expect from Meth Withdrawal

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and fact-checked by an addiction expert.
Clinically Reviewed By: Karen Williams, LPC
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and fact-checked by an addiction expert.

If you’re using meth, you need to know what to expect from meth withdrawal. 

Almost 24,000 people died1 from a methamphetamine overdose in 2020 (or other similar stimulant drugs). If you or a loved one is currently using meth, now is the time to seek help and find freedom in recovery. 

In this resource, we dive into all you need to know about meth withdrawal.

Searching for help with drug and/or alcohol addiction? Call us now at (800) 643-2108.

Contents

What Can I Expect During Methamphetamine Withdrawal?

Your body has built a reliance on methamphetamine for however long you have been regularly using the drug. As you withdrawal from the drug through detox and other therapeutic methods, it will not be a walk in the park, but it won’t be as bad as you think, either. Meth withdrawal symptoms include:
  • Mouth dryness.
  • Suicidal thoughts.
  • Depression.
  • Jitters.
  • Insomnia.
  • Headaches.
  • Feelings of irritability.
  • Larger appetite.
  • Tiredness.
  • Feelings of delusions, paranoia, or even hallucinations.
If you desire to hurt yourself or others, reach out to the suicide prevention text line. Simply text 988 on your smartphone to get the help you need via text message. Calling a family member or friend you trust can also help guide you through feelings of wanting to hurt yourself or others. Go to them for an in-person discussion.

How Long Do Meth Withdrawals Last?

Methamphetamine withdrawal symptoms and length will depend on how long the person has utilized the drug and their genetic makeup. Of course, those who have used meth for a shorter time, such as one year or less, will not have as bad of withdrawal symptoms as the person that has used the drug for years.

Meth Withdrawal Timeline

The entire withdrawal process can take as little as three weeks to as long as a one to two-month span. Here is a timeline of what to expect when withdrawing from meth: Day 1: Withdrawal symptoms begin. Days 7-10: Withdrawal symptoms are at their most intense. Days 14-20: Symptoms will ease up as you will go back to feeling a little more normal with each day that passes. Days 21-28: You will feel much better, but you may still have lingering withdrawal symptoms. Keep in mind that this is only a guide to the overall withdrawal process as seen through multiple scientific studies. The exact day when symptoms will peak and diffuse will be different for all patients.

Less Dopamine As You Withdraw From Meth

Taking meth causes an influx of dopamine to enter your brain. Too much of this neurotransmitter throws off the natural processes of feeling pleasure, recalling memories, learning new concepts in life, and more. Withdrawal symptoms will begin in the first 24-48 hours of your last meth dose. Your body is used to feeling the surging dopamine levels and not receiving it by stopping meth use will initiate the intense withdrawal symptoms mentioned above.

Genetics Versus Length of Withdrawal Symptoms

The World Health Organization states that 350 million people2 experience a major depressive disorder. Hence, the overall rate of inheriting a gene that causes depression in the individual is 37%. Scientific studies have shown that people with depressive disorders are more likely to seek out meth as a solution for their condition because of the drug’s stimulating effects. People with the A1 form of the dopamine receptor, DRD2 are more likely to become addicted to drugs and alcohol than other individuals with a different allele of the dopamine receptor. Hence, those with the DRD2 receptor may have a more difficult time with meth withdrawal than those with a different allele.

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How Long Does Methamphetamine Withdrawal Take for Heavy Users?

Heavy users who have had meth in their systems for multiple years will have a longer withdrawal period than those that used meth for a year or less.

When referring to the guide of time enduring meth withdrawal symptoms, you may want to add an extra five to 10 days to the timeline projections.

Those who repeatedly used meth could feel the peak of their withdrawal symptoms sooner than seven days because they are used to drugs constantly in their systems.

Withdrawal symptoms such as night sweats, hallucinations, and paranoia could be even worse for those who have endured heavier usage than those with only a normal meth addiction.

The hallucinations and paranoia can lead the person to hurt themselves or others around them.

Heavier users need closer monitoring so they can detox accordingly without going to the extremes of hurting themselves or others without knowing how their actions are affecting those around them at the time.

Can I Get Through Methamphetamine Withdrawal At Home?

Whether the meth withdrawal symptoms are acute or severe, the process should be medically assisted and never done at home.

The desire for meth may override the ability to withdraw from it if you do not have the proper medications and medical personnel to support you through the process.

Enlisting the help of a rehabilitation services center will be a better avenue than staying at home and doing it.

Especially if you live alone, you may have tempting thoughts of seeking another hit of meth for that pleasuring surge of dopamine.

Start talking to a representative from your local rehabilitation center to begin the treatment process. Help through detoxing from addiction is better than attempting to brave it alone.

Do I Need To Go To Detox for Meth?

Yes, because going through methamphetamine detox for withdrawal increases your chances of success in detox. Meth withdrawal is difficult; however, the detox process is faster than detoxing from other drugs. Detox is essential for the withdrawal process to go more smoothly.

There are no medical drugs for taking meth out of the body for detoxing. Drugs can be prescribed to help the patient detox slightly more comfortably.

You don’t have to go the medicated route if you want to withdraw effectively. However, some medicines work to help the process.

Options like Wellbutrin assist your dopamine levels in returning to normal, while Prozac can be described if you are feeling anxiety-induced symptoms.

Ask your therapist about the available medications that can get you through methamphetamine detox to have a more comfortable withdrawal period.

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Can I Try To Taper Off Meth?

The addictive substances in methamphetamine will make it too difficult to taper off using it independently without the help of physician intervention and detox procedures. It’s admirable to want to take the proverbial bull by the horns and stop using meth.

There is no harm in asking for help. The first step is to admit that you have a problem and are willing to make the necessary changes to focus on detoxing from the drug.

Meth addiction is one of the most dangerous experiences in overall drug addiction. As users build their overall tolerance to their current dose, they will increase it to return to feeling the dopamine rush. Increasing the dose by too high of an amount can cause an unforeseen overdose.

Your body has already built a tolerance to meth, and if you do not get your next dose, your brain will tell you to seek out another hit. Receive guidance from a medical professional to have a more thorough and quality detox.

Recovery From Meth Addiction Is Possible

Recovery from meth addiction can happen with time, dedication, and support from medical professionals and the rest of your support system. The stages of recovery include:

  • Abstinence stage.
  • Repair stage.
  • Growth stage.

Abstinence Stage

The abstinence stage happens for the first couple of years after successfully detoxing and withdrawing from meth. Over time, you may endure post-acute withdrawal symptoms as you continue to abstain from relapsing with meth use.

The cravings will come and go. Your job in the abstinence stage is to focus on your priorities and keep yourself productive to reduce giving in to meth cravings.

It’s natural to feel the desire to relapse, especially because you have used meth for a long time. However, your job is to nip the temptation in the bud by focusing on other manners to advance your life.

Get rid of affiliations with the crowd of other meth users who have not chosen to rehabilitate as you have.

  • Affiliate with a drug abstinence self-help group to keep you on track.
  • Be honest with yourself and your support system.
  • Find healthier ways as outlets for your anger or sadness rather than resorting back to meth use.
  • Listen to music.
  • Do yoga.
  • Write down your thoughts in a journal.
  • Or talk about things bothering you to a trusted individual.
  • Find a new hobby that boosts your creativity.

REPAIR STAGE

The repair stage will last about two to three years after your last dose of meth, while the growth stage will begin within three to five years after you stop using meth.

You will:

  • Visit self-help groups as needed.
  • Be ok with feeling uncomfortable.
  • Break generational patterns and reform the way you act.
  • Fix relationships harmed through meth addiction.
  • Enhance your self-care routine to not relapse.
  • Live a healthier lifestyle than your prior years.

Where Should I Go To Get Help With Methamphetamine Withdrawal?

Seek help from a drug treatment and rehabilitation center like ours. We are a drug rehab that treats meth addiction in Scottsdale, Arizona. We are your destination for drug and alcohol treatment, therapy, and rehab.

Addictions are powerful, but the resolve to conquer them can help you rise above them and have more strength within yourself than the addiction has over your mind.

Rehabilitation centers have experienced therapists and treatment methods curated around your specific needs as a drug-dependent patient.

Not everyone withdrawing from drugs has the same needs as one. One patient may need a more immersive treatment plan for heavier drug use, while another person may only require a few weeks of therapy because of lower-than-normal drug use history.

Call us or engage in a live chat with one of our online representatives. Whether by chat or phone call, someone is always ready to answer your questions and guide you through the first stages of the treatment process any time of the day as we operate a 24/7 drug rehab facility.

Cornerstone Healing Center Specializes in Methamphetamine Addiction

While we offer multiple drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs, Cornerstone Healing Center specializes in methamphetamine addiction. In 2020 alone, 1.5 million people aged 12 and older utilized meth for recreational purposes.

We are on a mission to reduce meth use in America and help those addicted to it to have a better life.

We have served many patients with meth use symptoms such as fatigue while sometimes experiencing insomnia, feeling mentally drained, and unable to move because of the physical crashes.

That’s no way to live. Let the professionals at Cornerstone Healing Center guide you through addiction treatment and rehabilitation so that you can achieve your goals in life and be there for your family and friends longer than the years that meth can shave off your life.

Sources 

[1] The Scope of Methamphetamine Misuse in the USA

[2] World Health Organization on Depression

Need help for addiction? We will meet you with compassion and care.

Call to learn about our programs. Even if we can't help you, we will give you life-saving resources.
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Published On: 10/19/2022

Author: Susana Spiegel

Author: Susana Spiegel

Susana is a recovery, mental health, and addiction education enthusiast with other 7 years of experience in addiction recovery herself. Susana holds a Bachelor of Arts from GCU. She is anti-addiction stigma and believes that accurate and factual information is essential to beginning the recovery process.

Clinical Reviewer: Karen Williams, LPC

Clinical Reviewer: Karen Williams, LPC

Karen is a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 15 years experience. She not only specializes in addiction, but is in recovery as well. Karen is our clinical director.

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