Meth Withdrawal Timeline
Meth Withdrawal Symptoms
Methamphetamine, also known as crystal meth, shard, ice, crank, or glass, is a potent, synthetic stimulant drug that can be made using a combination of household chemicals. Meth looks like small blue or white rocks, powder, or small pieces of glass and it is usually snorted or smoked, but it can also be eaten or dissolved, and injected. It is highly addictive and, as a street drug, may be cut with additives that may be dangerous to human health like iodine, sulfuric acid, red phosphorus, hydrochloric acid, and lithium metal. Even substances like baking soda can be harmful to the body if injected or smoked. Cutting meth is done to increase the profit the dealer makes. The symptoms of meth withdrawal may include:
- Increased appetite
- Dry mouth
- Depression/apathy/hopelessness/suicidal thoughts
During detox, users will often have extreme cravings for meth that are difficult to handle. These cravings do not last for a long time but are intense and often result in relapse if intervention by professionals does not occur.
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Severe depression and psychosis are the most dangerous of the withdrawal symptoms from meth, both of which are more likely to develop in individuals who have pre-existing or co-occurring conditions, and in older patients.
Many people who stop using meth will experience short- to long-term cognitive defects like shorter attention spans, memory issues, and trouble with planning and paying attention. The research on how long these effects can last is still in progress at the time this article is being written.
Timeline for Meth Withdrawal
Drug detox is different for everybody, but the meth withdrawal timeline is unique in that it is mostly an emotional and psychological withdrawal, accompanied by associated physical symptoms. Withdrawal from meth is not consistently severe and is not physically dangerous unless self-harm occurs, but it is still very difficult and requires professional help most of the time.
The timeline for withdrawal from meth is as follows:
- In 24 hours after last use – symptoms appear
- In 7-10 days – withdrawal increases in intensity, reaching its peak
- In 14-20 days – you will feel a bit better each day, with a steady decline of symptoms
20 days is usually the longest a detox will take, with 14 days being the norm.
Meth Comedown vs. Meth Withdrawal
Meth comedowns are different from withdrawal. The effects of methamphetamine include feeling alert, energetic and sociable. These effects last for up to 8 hours, after which, you may begin to feel terrible.
During meth come down, you are basically experiencing a hangover. Your brain has been flooded with neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, along with chemicals that have been converted into toxins that your body needs to remove. You will also be physically exhausted from the high, and may experience symptoms like:
- Muscle weakness/fatigue/no motivation
- Decreased appetite
- Muscle pain (especially from clenching the jaw)
Comedown symptoms are intensified when meth is used along with other drugs like amphetamines, opioids, or alcohol. Mixing drugs like this can also result in serious overdose and even death, as meth will disguise overdose symptoms until it is too late.
Some of the comedown symptoms resemble meth withdrawal and will last for a few days, but it is not the same thing.
Because of the discomfort, depression and physical exhaustion, and weakness caused by meth come down, it may lead to bingeing meth, known as ‘tweaking’. When meth is used for long, unbroken periods of time, the original euphoria wears off but issues like psychosis, dehydration, pain, irritability, and aggression remain. When a person is tweaking, they may not sleep for 3 to 15 days, creating a host of issues that can lead to dangerous overdoses, brain damage and cause long-term harm to the body.
A person who is tweaking will develop repetitive behaviors and may begin to hallucinate or suffer from delusions. Formication (picking and scratching at the skin) is a common behavior that can lead to infection. As a person uses more meth, they will develop worse comedown symptoms, causing a cycle of use that is difficult to get out of.
Medications Used in Meth Addiction Treatment
There are no FDA-approved medications that have been created to specifically help patients detox from methamphetamine, but some doctors will prescribe certain medications to help manage withdrawal symptoms. The most popular of these are:
Wellbutrin is the brand name of bupropion, an antidepressant drug that can help with reducing cravings for meth in mild to moderate cases. It has also been shown to improve cognition for some patients.
Provigil is the brand name of the mild stimulant medication modafinil. It is usually prescribed for patients with ADHD, and to treat narcolepsy. This medication can be employed to reset disruptive sleep patterns and will increase energy levels in those experiencing lethargy and tiredness.
Paxil is the brand name of a type of antidepressant SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor), paroxetine, that helps some patients in reducing cravings for meth.
Prozac is the brand name of the medication fluoxetine, an antidepressant that helps treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic, and other psychological issues. It may help users deal with cravings and the depression and low mood withdrawal can cause.
Remeron is the brand name of the atypical antidepressant mirtazapine. It acts on the body’s serotonin and norepinephrine levels and helps prevent relapse during withdrawal.
You may also receive short-term prescriptions for anxiety medication like lorazepam, or be given acetaminophen or ibuprofen for body aches and pains. Antipsychotic drugs and sedatives may be required to help you get through a difficult withdrawal.
Meth Detox and Rehab at Resurgence Behavioral Health
For meth detox, it is advised to undergo treatment with medical supervision, especially if you have been using meth for a long time. There is a risk of dangerous levels of dehydration, along with hallucinations, paranoia, and anxiety that can all be treated in a Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) program.
At Resurgence, we offer the full spectrum of treatment, so we can seamlessly guide you through detox, inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab, and into a long-term aftercare program, keeping you connected to a safe, sober community for as long as you need.
As part of our continuum of care, Resurgence offers an integrated MAT program that can keep you safe, comfortable and help you rest as you detox from meth. All our programs are 100% customized to your individual needs, budget and goals. Through an in-depth interview, along with physical and mental health screenings, we can find out about your level of addiction and get to know you as a person, helping us provide the best treatment options for you.
Our MAT program involves not only taking care of your physical health and monitoring your progress as you live in our detox center, but we also bring in counselors and therapists to help you deal with any emotions or issues you want to address. We can begin to find the root of your addiction and address any co-occurring conditions you may have, like trauma or a mental illness. We will ensure you are comfortable and do not suffer as your body adjust to its new normal.
Drug rehab at Resurgence is the next step after detoxing. At Resurgence, we have inpatient and outpatient services that are tailored to best be able to help each of our patients.
In inpatient meth rehab, you will move into our residential rehab facility for 30 to 90 days, during which time you and your peers will have fully scheduled days full of therapy, groups, educational programs, and physical health coaching. There will be plenty of time for rest and recreation provided in the evenings, and you will gain recovery skills that will last you a lifetime as you heal your mind, body, and spirit.
Outpatient meth rehab is recommended after inpatient rehab is complete, to help slowly transition you back into your everyday life. In our Partial Hospitalization Program, you will live at home or in a sober facility, and commute in for full days of programming. Once you are ready, you can move into our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), a flexible program that will fit around your schedule so you can return to work, school, and other important responsibilities as you go to rehab in the evenings or on your days off.
Aftercare is for patients who have completed a full rehab program and still want connections with a supportive sober community. There is no end date for our aftercare program. You will never need to be alone in your recovery again.
At Resurgence, we have comfortable beds, fresh food prepared by onsite chefs, and a welcoming, community-oriented atmosphere. Our staff is knowledgeable and caring and uses trauma-informed methodologies to ensure you always feel safe in our hands. We have games, offsite outings, and we are pet-friendly. You can smoke in designated areas at Resurgence, and we have family and couple’s counseling as well as vocational and life-skills training sessions to help you land on your feet with plenty of support after you leave our care. Contact us today and we will answer any questions you have about meth detox and rehab, our medical detox program, or prescription drug rehab.
— Resurgence Behavioral Health (@RBHRecovery) November 19, 2021