meth abuse facts
Methamphetamine is a highly potent and addictive stimulant drug. Also known as crystal meth, ice, or meth, this drug produces a long-lasting high followed by painful withdrawal symptoms. While meth withdrawal typically isn’t life-threatening, it can be difficult to cope with without professional help. In the end, the best way to overcome a meth addiction is to attend a trusted meth detox center.
How Addictive is Meth?
Meth is one of the most addictive substances out there. As an extremely potent and sometimes long-lasting substance, it can produce intense highs that last for days at a time. The problem is that when a meth high wears off, users “crash.” During a crash, users will experience withdrawal symptoms that can last for several weeks – unless they get high again.
This is why so many people get addicted to meth after using it just one or two times. Meth withdrawal symptoms can be so debilitating that some users would rather continue using the drug than go through detox to get clean. Moreover, by the time many meth users realize their drug use has become problematic, it is too late – they are already physically and mentally dependent.
People who have become addicted to meth should attend a medical detox and rehabilitation program. Substance abuse treatment programs are able to support recovering addicts with around-the-clock medical and psychiatric care. Once people finish meth detox, they may move onto an inpatient or outpatient rehab program so they can learn how to stay sober.
symptoms of meth withdrawal
Each person is unique and will experience different withdrawal symptoms while detoxing. Both the severity and duration of withdrawal depends on a variety of factors, such as the method of administration, length and frequency of drug use, and regular dosage amount. For example, someone who has been injecting meth for one year may experience a more painful and long-lasting withdrawal than someone who has been smoking meth for one month.
Common meth withdrawal symptoms include:
- Increase in appetite
- Lack of motivation
- Suicidal ideologies
While these symptoms alone aren’t necessarily life-threatening, severe depression, hallucinations, and suicidal thoughts can be extremely disturbing. Individuals may struggle with cravings and psychological symptoms so much that certain medications, such as antipsychotics, may be beneficial.
meth withdrawal timeline
Although the duration of withdrawal varies from one person to the next, a general meth withdrawal timeline ranges from two days to one week. After one week, some minor symptoms such as mood swings, cravings, and sleep difficulty may persist for several months. Here is a rough timeline of what people can expect during meth withdrawal:
- 24 – 48 hours: one day after use, the effects of meth will begin to wear off and users will enter the “crash” phase. People may experience a lack of energy, nausea, stomach cramps, sweating, and cravings.
- 3 – 7 days: withdrawal symptoms will peak during this time as the body attempts to adjust to functioning without methamphetamine. Users may experience extreme depression and psychological distress as well as muscle aches, pains, and tremors. Drug cravings will be particularly intense during this time.
- 8 – 14 days: the most intense symptoms should begin to fade after one week. By the end of week two, most physical symptoms should subside, leaving people with cravings, depression, and fatigue.
- After 1 month: the worst of meth withdrawal is over after a month and any lingering symptoms will slowly fade away over time. Ongoing treatment is helpful at mitigating psychological symptoms and drug cravings.
symptoms of meth detox
The safest way to detox from meth, or any other substance, is to do so at a medical detox facility. Meth detox is broken down into three phases:
- Evaluation and assessment – This is when the medical team meets with the patient to assess their health, substance use, withdrawal symptoms, and well-being. This step is necessary because it helps the detox team develop a treatment plan for the patient.
- Medical stabilization – Stabilization is the phase of detox that consists of medical support, psychiatric care, and detoxification. Doctors and nurses monitor patients closely throughout this phase until they are done detoxing.
- Treatment planning – When a patient is almost done with detox they will meet with a substance abuse counselor to set up a treatment plan. This is because meth detox doesn’t cure or treat addiction – it only deals with the withdrawal symptoms.
While there are currently no FDA-approved medications that are specifically designed to treat meth withdrawal, there are some medications that may be prescribed to help manage some symptoms. For example, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and antipsychotics may all be helpful during withdrawal. Detox centers will also encourage patients to eat a healthy diet, take their vitamins, and do everything possible to manage their symptoms.
Find a Meth Detox Center Near You
Checking into a medical detox center is the safest and most comfortable way to begin overcoming meth addiction. If you or a loved one are addicted to meth and are ready to start a new way of life, pick up the phone and call us now. We can help connect you with a meth detox center near you.