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Methamphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms and Signs and Detoxification

Methamphetamines affect the central nervous system. Methamphetamine withdrawal symptoms can start as early as a few hours after the last hit of the drug for heavy users. For light users, withdrawal symptoms may take several days. When you decide that you want to stop taking methamphetamines, inpatient detoxification and rehabilitation programs are usually necessary.

The use of methamphetamine, which is a stimulant, alters the way cells in the central nervous system communicate. Because of this, your body must correct cell communication when you stop using the drug. The withdrawal symptoms for a person who is detoxifying from methamphetamine are sometimes likened to the withdrawal symptoms of crack and other stimulants.

While you are detoxing from methamphetamine use, you will likely become very agitated. Generally, the withdrawal symptoms aren't considered life-threatening; however, seeking treatment in a medical facility can help you to learn to cope with the withdrawal symptoms. In some cases, medical professionals may treat your symptoms with controlled doses of amphetamines.

Some of the most common methamphetamine withdrawal symptoms include severe agitation and extreme mood changes. These symptoms make it difficult to think rationally and can make getting through the detox period difficult. Depression and changes in sleep habits are also possible.

Some people going through methamphetamine withdrawal may sleep a lot more than normal, but this sleep is likely to be disturbed and fitful. Some people going through the detox phase experience difficulty concentrating, loss of cognitive function, and a disinterest in their surroundings.

Withdrawing from Methamphetamine: Treatment Methods and Options for Help

Inpatient treatment is usually the first choice to help a person quit the use of methamphetamines; however, outpatient programs are also available. If you or someone you know needs help with a methamphetamine addiction, call the 24/7 hotline at 1-888-935-1318Who Answers? to find a methamphetamine withdrawal treatment program that fits your individual needs.

Outpatient treatment may be a viable option for a methamphetamine addict who is a light user, but it is vitally important that the user is removed from temptations to use the drug again. Because the user's friends and methamphetamine dealers probably live close by, special precautions must be taken if an outpatient program is chosen. Even though the user is an adult, supervision may be needed to ensure that he or she stays away from methamphetamine.

According to Psychology Today, some methamphetamine programs don't offer a detoxification phase because withdrawing from methamphetamine use isn't considered as difficult as some other drugs, such as opiates. Despite this fact, opting for a program that does include a detox phase can help to make the overall rehab experience better, and it may lead to a lessened likelihood of relapse in the future.

Detoxing, Addiction Treatment, Rehab and Recovery

Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Detox

In treating alcohol and drug dependence, the detox process does not include the actual removal of the alcohol or drug from a person's body. It is the abrupt cessation from alcohol or substance and then replacing these with cross-acting agents. Detoxification can be completed in two treatment settings: inpatient detox and outpatient detox.

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Most methamphetamine rehab programs include a well-rounded and comprehensive approach to treat the addiction and its underlying causes. Individual counseling, group therapy, behavior modification therapy, life skill lessons, and family therapy are usually included in the treatment plan. Individual therapy helps the addict learn his or her triggers and deal with deep-rooted issues that negatively affect his or her choices.

Group therapy helps the recovering addict learn to share problems and talk through feelings that may lead to a relapse. Behavior modification therapy helps the recovering addict to learn healthy methods to cope with the everyday stresses of life. Life skill lessons teach a recovering addict on how to function without having or wanting to feel high. Family therapy helps to restore the damaged relationships between recovering addicts and their loved ones.

All of these aspects of treatment work together to help the patient stay clean and sober after he or she is discharged from inpatient care.

Once the user is discharged from inpatient care, some level of outpatient care is usually needed. In the beginning, this may mean frequent meetings with counselors or peer groups. As time progresses and the recovering addict remains clean and sober, the frequency of these meetings will likely decrease until the recovering addict is only contacting the counselor or a member of the peer group when he or she feels the urge to use methamphetamines again.

The road to recovery isn't a short one for methamphetamine users. The withdrawal aspect of treatment can last three days to a week. The overall methamphetamine rehab program can be as short as a month or as long as a year.

For almost every recovering methamphetamine addict, the urge to use the drug can remain for years after the initial methamphetamine withdrawal period is over; however, these urges are usually controllable for a recovering addict with a strong support system.

Meth Information at a Glance
Medication Name, Costs Class of Medicine
  • Generic Name: Methamphetamine
  • Generic Name Variations: Meth
  • Chemical Name: N-methyl-1-phenyl-propan-2-amine
  • Brand Name: Desoxyn
  • Brand Name Variations: Desoxyn Gradumet
  • Cost/Price: $100 per gram average in the U.S.
  • Used to Treat Addiction? N/A
  • Function or Use at Low Dose: Stimulant
  • Function or Use at High Dose: Euphoric high
  • Chemical Makeup: N/A
  • System: Suppresses dopamine
  • Duration of Action: 5-20 minutes
Form, Intake and Dosage Interactions and Complications
  • Drug Forms: Pills, capsules, powder, chunks
  • Administration Routes: Injection, snorting, smoking, suppository
  • Dosage: N/A
  • Overdose: 50 milligrams for first time user
  • Alcohol Interaction: increases chances of overdosing
  • Illicit Drugs: N/A
  • Prescription Medications: Insulin, cold medications, antidepressants
  • Contraindications: N/A
Effects and Adverse Reactions Substance Abuse
  • Short-Term: Insomnia, paranoia, decreased appetite, anxiety, convulsions
  • Long-Term: Chronic depression, heart and lung disease, brain damage, hallucinations
  • Risk of Substance Abuse: Highly addictive; causes a chemical imbalance so the body craves more
  • Signs of Abuse: Anxiety, incessant talking, extreme mood swings, repetitious behavior
Physiological Problem Signs and Symptoms Dependence and Addiction Issues
  • Withdrawal Syndrome Onset: N/A
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: Depression, convulsions, nausea, sweating, fatigue, headaches
  • Tolerance: The more you use it, the more tolerant your body becomes
  • Cross Dependence: N/A
  • Physical Dependence: Body craves more, but effects are more short term
  • Psychological Dependence: Brain tells the body it needs it
Legal Schedules and Ratings
  • Controlled Substances Act Rating: Schedule II


Questions and Answers (FAQ)

How long do meth withdrawals last?

If you or your loved one has used meth for a short length of time, you may recover in a matter of days. However, if you have been using meth over a longer duration of time, your recovery timeline may take months – and relapses are not uncommon without professional help.

Do you have a list of popular terms or slang terms for morphine?

Crystal meth, crystal, meth, crank, ice, snappy, tina, glass, chalk, speed, vidrio, feed, black beauties, bikers coffee, trash, yaba

Are there any home remedies for getting clean safely?

Although a home remedy can be a good alternative in some cases, the best method with meth addiction is to stop using. To ease or relieve the withdrawal symptoms is usually difficult, especially alone. If you or someone you know, whether it’s your spouse, a sibling, a child or a friend, is trying to get relief, please call 1-888-935-1318Who Answers? and let us help you.

How long does it take to detox from meth?

With medical options, physical detoxification for meth usually lasts about a week. Psychological effects may last much longer due to the dopamine suppression in the body’s system. Without professional programs, meth detox may last longer due to the increased chance of relapses.