Crystal Meth Withdrawal Medication and Help
Crystal meth causes a short-lived euphoric high, which is sometimes accompanied by feelings of excitement, anger, fear, and nervousness.
Takeaways from this article:
Crystal meth addiction treatment
Crystal meth withdrawal medication
How to quit crystal meth
Crystal methamphetamine, also known as crystal meth, is a highly addictive stimulant and a popularly abused illicit drug. Crystal meth causes a short-lived euphoric high, which is sometimes accompanied by feelings of excitement, anger, fear, and nervousness. Many people seek help for crystal meth withdrawal due to meth’s highly addictive nature and the ability to create a strong chemical dependency. These issues can be managed through detox in a facility with medical supervision.
Options for crystal meth withdrawal treatment include medical detox centers, short- and long-term inpatient treatment, and outpatient programs. These programs can monitor withdrawal, prescribe medications, and teach techniques to avoid triggers and cues that can lead to relapse.
No medications are approved for crystal meth addiction or withdrawal. But healthcare providers may prescribe medications for specific symptoms, such as trazodone for sleep or antidepressants. Following detox, crystal meth rehab programs can help you overcome addiction and ensure the best chance of sustained recovery.
Treatment Options for Crystal Meth Withdrawal
If you are considering getting help for crystal meth withdrawal, you can choose from any number of treatment options, including:
- Medical detox centers – Medical professionals supervise detox, monitor symptoms, and prescribe supportive medications, if necessary.
- Short-term inpatient treatment – Treatment begins with medically supervised detox at a facility and continues with different forms of addiction therapy and activities for up to 30 days. Luxury and executive options are also available for people who want a high level of comfort or need to stay connected to their jobs.
- Long-term inpatient treatment – Treatment begins with medically supervised detox at a facility and continues with different forms of addiction therapy and activities for 30 days to 18 months.
- Partial hospitalization or day treatment – The user reports to a hospital setting 5-7 days a week for 4-8 hours per day. Most programs provide individual and group counseling. Nurses and physicians are available to provide clinical care, including medically supervised withdrawal.
- Intensive outpatient – The person reports to a treatment facility for 2-5 days per week for 2-4 hours per day for group therapy, though they may also attend individual counseling. These programs may provide medical care, but they may refer you to another facility for detox before beginning the program.
- Standard outpatient – These programs include attending therapy sessions 1-2 days per week for 1-2 hours per day. They may not offer medically supervised withdrawal, and they may require you to be detoxed before you start the program.
When deciding which treatment option is right for you, consider:
- Where you would be most comfortable.
- What your medical insurance will cover.
- Where you will have the most success and be free of temptations and stress.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), no medications are approved for crystal meth withdrawal.2
Preliminary research in a small-scale study showed that the antidepressant medication mirtazapine (Remeron) may help reduce crystal meth withdrawal symptoms. But these findings have yet to be replicated, and Remeron is not approved for crystal meth withdrawal treatment.2
During treatment, a physician or mental health professional may prescribe common medications to help manage withdrawal symptoms. For example, many treatment facilities will prescribe diphenhydramine (Benadryl), trazodone, or other mild drugs for people with insomnia.2 Antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors may be prescribed if the user becomes depressed during withdrawal. 2
Tapering Off Crystal Meth
Reputable drug treatment facilities will not help you taper off of crystal meth. Crystal meth is an illicit drug, which means it is illegal to possess, distribute, or use. Trying to taper off crystal meth is dangerous and can lead to relapse and even overdose.
The most common method of treating crystal meth withdrawal and withdrawal from other stimulant medications is abstinence.2
Detoxing Cold Turkey at Home
Intense cravings combined with depression are likely to lead to relapse unless the user is in a supervised detox facility.
Going cold turkey (abruptly stopping the use of the drug) is the most common form of recovery from crystal meth. However, in cases of significant methamphetamine dependence, or if the person has had medical complications in the past, going cold turkey and detoxing at home may not be the safest way to proceed.
Most users feel intense cravings after they stop using the drug, and crystal meth withdrawal is associated with some potentially dangerous side effects, including depression and, in rare cases, seizures. 4
People who want to quit crystal meth should strongly consider going through detox and withdrawal in a drug rehab recovery center that offers medical supervision.2 Professional help gives users the best chance of sustainable recovery.
. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2016). Methamphetamine.
. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services. (2010). TIP 45: Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment.
. Barr, A. M., Panenka, W. J., MacEwan, G. W., Thornton, A. E., Lang, D. J., Honer, W. G., & Lecomte, T. (2006). The need for speed: An update on methamphetamine addiction. Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, 31(5), 301-313.
. Winslow, B.T., Voorhees, K.I., & Pehl, K.A. (2007). Methamphetamine Abuse. American Family Physician, 76 (8): 1169–1174.