Crystal Meth Withdrawal Symptoms, Detox + Timeline

Meth withdrawal symptoms happen when someone stops taking meth after a chronic period of use. Methamphetamines are highly addictive synthetic stimulant drugs that affect the central nervous system. Methamphetamines, or crystal meth, addiction has become more of a problem because the drug is easy to buy and is made from relatively cheap products. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, about 1.6 million people reported using methamphetamine in 2017.

Once methamphetamines are taken, they are very hard to stop because the drug is highly addictive. Meth influences dopamine production and has a long-lasting euphoric high.

When someone becomes physically addicted to crystal meth and stops taking the drug, they will begin to experience meth withdrawal symptoms. This happens because the body has developed a tolerance. Tolerance develops when someone needs a higher dose of the drug to achieve the same effects. Meth withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous and without the proper medical care, symptoms can be too much to bear and individuals can quickly resort back to using the drug.


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    Meth Withdrawal Symptoms

    Symptoms can cause different acute and post-acute symptoms. The severity and duration of withdrawal symptoms can vary based on several different things, such as someone’s route of administration (smoked, snorted, swallowed, or injected), the dose that was taken, drug purity, level of intoxication, duration of time they have been using meth, their history of meth use, and various other factors.

    Acute meth withdrawal symptoms can include:

    1.  Fatigue

    2.  Anxiety

    3.  Irritability

    4.  Lack of energy

    5.  Weight gain

    6.  Dehydration

    7.  Chills

    8. Insomnia followed by hyper-somnia

    9. Dysphoria

    10. The inability to think clearly

    11. Anhedonia (the loss of ability to feel pleasure)

    12. Drug cravings

    Post-acute symptoms can include:

    1.  Depression

    2.  Mood swings

    3.  Drug cravings

    4.  Loss of ability to experience pleasure

    5.  Psychosis

    6.  Suicidal thoughts / ideation

    7.  Fatigue and excessive sleepiness

    8.  Increased appetite

    Meth withdrawal symptoms can be incredibly uncomfortable and unpleasant; however, they are typically not life-threatening.


    Meth Withdrawal Timeline

    The most intense symptoms of meth withdrawal symptoms occur within 24-34 hours of the last use of the drug. During this time, individuals can experience nausea, abdominal cramping, and sweating. There will also be a decline in cognition and overall energy levels. After the first week of withdrawal, most of the intense meth withdrawal symptoms begin to taper off; however, the effects of meth can be felt months or years after use. 


    After a month without meth use, the worst detox symptoms will have been felt. However, psychological effects including depression and anxiety can be felt because the dopamine in the brain has not had enough time to return to its base-level functioning. For those who have used crystal meth on a long-term basis, dopamine levels can take up to two years to fully restore themselves.

    Medications Used for Meth Withdrawal Symptoms

    There are several medications to help during meth withdrawal symptoms and they can help ease the damage caused by meth use, depression, anxiety, or other psychological issues, and can help minimize drug cravings experienced during meth withdrawal. The medications often used are as follows:

    1.  Bupropion: an antidepressant often used to help individuals quit tobacco

    2.  Modafinil: a medication commonly used to treat narcolepsy and ADHD, which can help ease meth cravings.

    3.  Fluoxetine: a medication used to help individuals ease panic attacks and anxiety.

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    Can Using Meth Once Cause Meth Withdrawal?

    Using meth once does not cause any meth withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal only occurs to those who are chronic meth users and choose to stop or cut down on using methamphetamines. 

    What To Expect During A Medically-Assisted Meth Detox?

    Meth detox is typically the first step for any type of addiction treatment program. During a drug detox, a team of substance use disorder professionals will get your history, and medical history, and learn about what your initial needs are. From there, they will help you manage your symptoms of withdrawal. You may be administered medications to help with the side effects. A medical meth detox typically lasts between five and seven days. 

    What to Expect After Meth Detox

    What to Expect After Meth Detox

    After the drug is removed from the body, it is best to receive long-term treatment. Long-term treatment can look several different ways; however, the best opportunity for recovery is finding an in-patient or out-patient program to seek insight into substance use disorder and begin building the foundations of recovery.

    Can I Detox From Meth on My Own?

    It is best to seek help from medical professionals to ease the symptoms of meth withdrawal symptoms. Detoxing on your own causes the individual to be at risk of severe dehydration, depression, and suicidal thoughts, which can lead to self-harm and/or suicide. If you or a loved one is experiencing meth withdrawal symptoms, reach out to a medical professional for assistance.

    Find Crystal Meth Detox Today!

    With proper treatment, users can successfully detox from meth and recover from meth withdrawal symptoms. There is hope. At Detox ATL, we understand the struggles that come along with meth addiction and recovery from substance use disorder. Detox ATL can help in the process of minimizing the meth withdrawal symptoms and make the detox process as comfortable as possible and ensure your safety during the process. We will also ensure the next steps in getting each patient an individual continuum of care. Call us now at 470-828-2226.