Meth Withdrawal Symptoms, Timeline, and Detox Treatment

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Meth Withdrawal Symptoms, Timeline, and Detox Treatment

Methamphetamine (meth) is a dangerous, illicit drug. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 1.5 million people in the United States use meth. Many become addicted to it.

People create meth in illegal labs using hazardous chemicals. Meth abuse can lead to long-term, sometimes life-threatening consequences.

Meth is a highly addictive drug. People who use it may quickly become physically dependent on it. Once people become addicted to meth, it is nearly impossible for them to quit without professional treatment and support.

Methamphetamine withdrawal can be incredibly challenging. Most people who attempt an at-home meth detox cannot get through the withdrawal process. People must participate in a medical detox program in an accredited treatment center.

Understanding what to expect during each stage of detox can help you stay motivated, even when the process is challenging.

This article will detail a standard meth withdrawal timeline. You will learn what symptoms may occur at each stage of detox. You will also learn about how addiction treatment programs can support you during detox and recovery.

Contact the Archstone Behavioral Health specialists now to learn about our holistic treatment programs.

Methamphetamine Addiction

Meth is a potent, addictive stimulant drug. It is a synthetic substance, meaning that people make it. The process of making meth requires a variety of common, toxic chemicals.

Meth increases central nervous system (CNS) activity. Users experience short-term side effects, including:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Increased body temperature
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Quick breathing
  • Increased energy and physical activity
  • Decreased appetite

People may overdose on meth if they use more than their body can process. A meth overdose is a life-threatening medical emergency.

Heavy meth use can change how the brain works. People who use meth may become addicted to it after a long period of heavy use. Long-term meth use has other consequences, including:

  • Severe dental issues, including tooth decay or loss
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Malnutrition
  • Skin infections, sores, and scars
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Memory problems
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Violent behaviors
  • Aggression
  • Seeing or hearing things that aren’t there
  • Paranoia

Meth abuse can permanently change how your brain functions. People who abuse meth must seek treatment as quickly as possible to avoid life-altering complications, overdose, or death.

Symptoms of Meth Withdrawal

If you use meth, your body can adapt to it. This is called tolerance. Over time, you may discover that you need to use more to get the effects you want.

Using large doses of meth puts you at risk of an overdose. It can also lead to addiction. Once you become physically dependent on meth, you are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop using it.

Common acute meth withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Low energy
  • Anxiety
  • Chills
  • Depression with suicidal thoughts
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive sleep
  • Sluggish thinking
  • Inability to feel happy or experience pleasure
  • Strong cravings

After the acute stage of withdrawal, some people continue to experience lingering symptoms. They may develop a condition called post-acute withdrawal (PAWS).

Symptoms of PAWS include:

  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Loss of pleasure
  • Fatigue
  • Sleeping too much
  • Increased appetite
  • Weight gain
  • Psychosis
  • Cravings

It can be challenging to avoid relapse during detox. People must have medical supervision and mental health support to have a safe, complete detox.

Treatment At Each Stage of the Meth Withdrawal Timeline

Many factors can affect how long you experience meth withdrawal symptoms, including:

  • How long you used meth
  • How much meth you used
  • Your mental and physical health
  • Other substances you used at the same time

However, many people experience withdrawal symptoms that follow a typical timeline. Here is an overview of what to expect during withdrawal and the treatment you will receive.

First 24 hours

Your withdrawal symptoms are likely to develop in the first 24 hours after you last use meth. You may experience:

  • Chills
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Cravings

In a treatment facility, you will have round-the-clock access to care. Your treatment team will provide FDA-approved medications to help you manage discomfort during detox. Detox treatment programs also include:

  • A structured routine
  • A safe, secure environment
  • Mental health treatment
  • Emotional support, including individual and group therapy
  • Holistic treatments like massage, nutrition support, mindfulness, and yoga

Medical professionals will monitor you for signs and symptoms and provide tailored care to keep you safe and comfortable.

Week one

Withdrawal symptoms will likely peak during the first week of your detox. Your symptoms may begin to improve as you near the end of the first week.

Your treatment team will continue to assess your withdrawal symptoms. They will provide medical and emotional support to help you complete the detox process.

Week two

You may begin to feel much better by the end of the second week. However, cravings may still threaten your progress.

Your treatment team may help you transition from a detox program into a substance use disorder rehab program. In rehab, you will continue your progress and work toward lifelong recovery.

Week three and beyond

Your symptoms will be mostly gone or much easier to manage at this stage. It is still important to participate in comprehensive treatment so that you can learn how to prevent relapse.

Supervised Meth Detox With Archstone Behavioral Health

If you or someone you love struggles with meth abuse or addiction, you are not alone. Reach out to the Archstone Behavioral Health team now to learn about our meth addiction treatment programs.