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Meth Withdrawal Symptoms

​​​​Addiction to meth is one of the most difficult addictions to overcome. Sadly, it is also one of the most serious, as it is well-known for physically and psychologically destroying those who use it. Meth or Methamphetamines belongs to a class of drugs known as stimulants. A stimulant can negatively impact the performance of the central nervous system (brain), respiratory system (breathing), and cardiovascular system (heart). It can come in pills, powder, liquid, and crystal form called crystal methamphetamine. Its street names might include meth, crystal, ice, speed, jib, and crank.  

The Side Effects Of Meth?

When people use stimulants, they report initially feeling more alert and fuller of energy. They may present as having a reduced interest in eating and sleeping. Some of the negative side effects of using may include:

  • skin sores
  • feeling confused
  • angry outbursts
  • feeling paranoid or irritable
  • muscle spasms
  • problems with thinking, memory, concentration, and coordination

Symptoms Of Meth Withdrawal

Proper treatment can induce symptoms of withdrawal. The substance the individual is addicted to can affect the symptoms they have. For example, alcoholics have different withdrawal symptoms than opioid users or marijuana users. Some common symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • feeling anxious, paranoid, or hallucinating
  • nervousness and intense cravings for more meth
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Pain
  • Sensitivity to light/noise
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • muscle spasms and seizures
  • Coma

Timeline of Crystal Meth Withdrawal

The most challenging time and intense withdrawal symptoms experienced during meth detox generally occur within the first 24 to 72 hours after the last use of the drug. But withdrawal symptoms can persist for weeks, months, and even years after the last use of the drug. The following is a typical breakdown of a crystal meth withdrawal timeline:

Phase 1 Of Meth Withdrawal Timeline: First 48 Hours

As discussed, the first 48 hours are often the most difficult in the timeline of crystal meth withdrawal. This first phase is known as the “crash” period. During this time, individuals will experience intense symptoms of nausea, abdominal cramping, and sweating. Due to this experience, individuals must be monitored to avoid extreme hydration. There will also be a sharp decline in an individual’s cognitive or mental function and overall energy levels.

Phase 2 Of Meth Withdrawal Timeline: Days 3–10

During the second phase in the crystal meth withdrawal timeline, an individual may experience severe depression, anxiety, or fatigue symptoms. During this time as the body attempts to find equilibrium without meth. Drug cravings will be heightened during this phase, and individuals may experience muscle aches, shaking, or tremors.

Phase 3 Of Meth Withdrawal Timeline: Weeks 3–4

In the third phase of a typical crystal meth withdrawal timeline, most intense physical withdrawal symptoms will begin to subside during the third to fourth week of crystal meth detox. However, while the physical symptoms will start to decline, intense drug cravings will probably continue during this time. Along with intense drug cravings, symptoms of fatigue may linger, and depression may be experienced. So, it is essential to have a support team and detox plan even a month out from the last use of the drug.

Phase 4 Of Meth Withdrawal Timeline: One Month+

Finally, after a month without crystal meth use, the fourth phase in the crystal meth detox timeline will be reached. During this final phase, the worst of the withdrawal symptoms have typically subsided. But psychological symptoms like depression and anxiety may be in full effect because the body’s dopamine levels have not had enough time to return to normal functioning. The symptoms of depression and anxiety can last for many months or even years after the last use of meth. Typically, depression and anxiety are worse for individuals who engage in prolonged use of the drug. Ultimately, phase four in the crystal meth withdrawal timeline is where recovery from addiction truly begins.

Overland IOP| #1 Intensive Outpatient Programs | Los Angeles CA Virtual PHP and Virtual IOP Services

Meth Detox & Rehab Should Be Your 1st Step!

Methamphetamine, or “meth,” can destroy the lives of those struggling with addiction. The first step in confronting meth addiction is detoxification and rehabilitation, ridding the body of an addictive substance. Detox is the first step to recovery and a life of sobriety. This is because detoxing allows the body to rid itself of the harmful toxins inside of it. 

For the best chance at recovery, however, patients must also undergo treatment for addiction, such as rehabilitation, counseling, and therapy after the detox. 

Going through an addiction treatment program will help the patient learn the root cause of their addiction so they can work to maintain sobriety in the long run.

 How Can I Help Someone Going Through Meth Withdrawal?

Watching someone in drug withdrawal can be scary and make you feel helpless. You can help support someone in withdrawal by:

  • making sure the person gets proper medical care
  • making sure the person sleeps lots
  • making sure the person drinks lots of fluids
  • giving the person healthy food
  • helping the person learn to live again without the drug
  • reminding the person that the brain and body need time to heal
  • acknowledging that withdrawal is very hard and sometimes painful
  • encouraging the person and telling him or her it is a smart move that takes courage
  • encouraging the person to connect with an addiction treatment center
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Dual Diagnosis & Co-Occurring Disorders: What’s the Difference?

At Overland IOP, we use a comprehensive and holistic meth treatment plan to address meth addiction. This plan begins with detoxification to remove any traces of the drug from your body so that you can begin to learn how to function without it. After detox, a counseling and therapy program addresses the impact and damage inflicted on you psychologically by your meth use, while identifying underlying issues that contributed to your addiction and providing you with the education and tools you need to stay sober for the long term.

Published: December 03, 2022

Last Updated: December 20, 2022

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Natalia Golenkova

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