Meth Withdrawal Symptoms - What To Expect In Meth Detox
By Midwest Detox Staff
Methamphetamine, more commonly known as meth, is a synthetic central nervous system stimulant that is highly dangerous and highly addictive. As a stimulant drug, it interferes with the brain’s dopamine production and induces feelings of intense euphoria. Once experienced, the user will often chase that intense feeling of elation and continue to abuse the drug. Detoxing from meth can seem daunting and impossible. The addict may fear that there is no point in even attempting to stop.
However, as impossible as it may seem, it is feasible to detox successfully from meth. Understanding meth withdrawal symptoms and what to expect during the detox process can greatly help the addict in achieving success. It may not be easy, but the physical and psychological long term benefits will make the struggle worth it.
Meth Withdrawal Timeline
It is critical to understand the timeframe for meth withdrawal and its symptoms. There are two primary stages of meth withdrawal, the acute stage and the protracted stage. Symptoms can already begin to occur a few hours after the addict’s last dose. Approximately one to three days later, the addict will experience a crash. This is when the symptoms will be most severe and it is the most acute period in the meth withdrawal timeline. This stage can last for up to seven days.
A week after the addict’s last dose, symptoms will begin to lessen in severity and taper. This is a gradual process and may take about seven days. However, this protracted withdrawal stage can sometimes last for two weeks. In actuality, when it comes to answering the question of how long does meth withdrawal last, the answer can vary.
It is important to note that the meth withdrawal timeline is not rigid and can vary from individual to individual. Factors that can affect this timeframe are the duration of the addict’s addiction, the amount of meth they have abused, their individual health and mental history, and whether they suffer from any co-occurring disorders.
Meth Withdrawal Symptoms
The symptoms of meth withdrawal include extreme exhaustion, energy loss, anxiety, irritability, agitation, depression, apathy, lack of motivation, intense cravings for the drug, and unpleasant dreams. These symptoms can progress to include psychomotor retardation, paranoia, disorientation, and the inability to feel pleasure.
The addict’s pattern of drug use can also affect their withdrawal symptoms. Whether they binge and crash or are chronic users can impact the amount of symptoms they experience, as well as the severity of their symptoms. The type of methamphetamines they have been abusing can also play a role in their withdrawal from meth.
Methamphetamines come in three forms. The first is a white or off-white powder most commonly known as speed. It can be snorted, injected, or swallowed and is generally considered the least potent form of methamphetamine. The second type is base. This is a damp or oily substance that has a higher potency than powder and is usually injected, but can also be swallowed. The third and most potent form of methamphetamine is crystal meth. It is a crystalline substance that is typically smoked with a glass pipe or injected.
Known for its high purity levels, crystal meth produces longer lasting and more intense feelings of euphoria than other types of methamphetamines. It is for this reason that it is the most commonly abused and most dangerous type of meth. Crystal meth withdrawal is therefore also more likely to present with more severe symptoms.
Can You Die From Meth Withdrawal?
Besides the obvious fear of wondering whether withdrawal is even possible and constantly questioning whether recovery is attainable, it is understandable to worry whether you can die during the detox process. After all, the list of withdrawal symptoms is a long one and if the addict’s drug use has been severe, it can be a very difficult process.
The good news is that most of the physical side effects are relatively mild. This does not mean that they are not uncomfortable. The addict will suffer through the detox period, but the physical withdrawal symptoms are not life threatening. However, there are potential risks associated with meth withdrawal. The first is the risk of depression which can worsen if not monitored correctly. Left unchecked, the depression can become severe and lead to suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
The second and most common risk associated with meth detox is the potential for relapse and overdose. During the withdrawal period, the addict will suffer from intense cravings for the drug. When combined with the plethora of physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms they are experiencing, the craving may be impossible to ignore. Before they have even achieved full withdrawal, they can relapse and use again.
However, because their body has begun the withdrawal and the cleansing process, their brain has started rewiring itself. As such, the dose of meth previously required to achieve a euphoric high will no longer be the dose required to obtain the same sensation. Unbeknownst to the addict, a much lower dose would be enough. However, without giving it much thought, they take their usual dose, putting themselves at high risk for accidental overdose and death.
Other potentially fatal risks include seizures, dangerous behaviors due to potential paranoia and psychosis, and driving impairment as a result of psychomotor retardation. Psychomotor retardation is the slowing down of both mental and physical abilities. This typically presents itself as impaired thinking and slow body movements. While these can negatively affect the addict in any environment, these symptoms can be particularly dangerous behind the wheel of a car.
Why Meth Withdrawal Management Is Essential
Due to these potentially fatal risks, proper meth withdrawal management is essential. Under the proper guidance, the addict can achieve meth detox in a safe and controlled way. In a medically supervised detox center, licensed professionals can carefully monitor each symptom and provide the care necessary for the addict to be successful in their recovery.
Meth is not a drug one can successfully stop using by simply slowly tapering their drug intake. The only way to successfully detox from meth is by stopping cold turkey. However, due to the severity of the withdrawal symptoms and the risks they present, attempting to stop at home is not only extremely likely to be unsuccessful, it can be highly dangerous as well. A medical detox center is necessary in order to ensure that the entire withdrawal process is closely monitored.
Detox Safely From Meth With Midwest Detox
At Midwest Detox, our dedicated team of therapists, behavioral health technicians, and nurses work together to help each patient through the difficult process that is meth detox. Expertly trained in the risks associated with meth withdrawal, it is our goal to make the detox process as comfortable as possible.
Armed with the knowledge that meth is one of the most dangerous street drugs on the market, our dedicated staff works tirelessly to provide dignified care to each patient caught in its tentacles. Without judgment, we supply the tools and expertise necessary to combat the crystal meth epidemic. Allow us to help you achieve success in your recovery journey in a safe and controlled environment, tailored specially to your comfort and care.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Reach out to Midwest Detox at 414-409-5200 or send us a message today.