Methamphetamine is a synthetic (man-made) central nervous system stimulant that is commonly sold on the streets and used for recreational purposes. Although it is in the amphetamines drug class, it produces longer-lasting effects, as well as deadlier physical and psychological symptoms. As a highly addictive street drug, it is common for addicts to experience physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms when they attempt to quit or cut down on the drug. For those who are struggling with meth addiction, our methamphetamine detox at our Sebring, FL, rehab can make recovery safer and more effective.
What Is Meth Withdrawal?
Meth withdrawal is the result of physical dependence. As a stimulant, meth impacts the performance of the central nervous system, particularly the activity of the neurotransmitter dopamine. When methamphetamine enters a person’s system, it blocks the reuptake of dopamine in the brain, causing a flood of the chemical.
Dopamine is linked to improved mood and feelings of pleasure and well-being. When levels are elevated, the individual will experience an intense sense of euphoria or a “high.” This feeling, along with other symptoms, is what marks methamphetamine high.
The longer an individual uses meth, the more accustomed the brain becomes to this forced surge of dopamine. Over time, the individual becomes psychologically and physically dependent on using the drug to feel good or “normal.” At this point, if the individual were to suddenly stop using meth or cut down on their dosage, they would experience withdrawal symptoms.
Methamphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms
When people abuse meth, it is common for them to experience an energetic and euphoric high. They may also have a reduced appetite, which is why people who take prescription or illicit stimulants tend to lose weight in the process.
Because methamphetamine’s side effects are normally linked to high energy levels, withdrawal symptoms will be the complete opposite. However, the severity and longevity of detoxing from meth depend on the person, how long they have been using the drug, the doses they took, and other factors.
Common withdrawal symptoms of methamphetamine include:
- Angry outbursts
- Disturbed sleep or insomnia
- Dry mouth
- Feeling anxious or irritable
- Feeling paranoid or hallucinating
- Feeling confused
- Feeling very tired
- Muscle spasms
- Not eating enough (malnourishment)
- Problems with thinking, memory, concentration, and coordination
- Skin sores
It is also common for individuals who are withdrawing from stimulants like meth to experience a depressed mood and sometimes suicidal thoughts. To ensure the individual remains safe, we recommend our medically supervised detox.
How Long Does It Take To Detox From Methamphetamine?
The three main phases of meth withdrawal are the crash, cravings, and recovery. While methamphetamine withdrawal can take some time, it usually does not last longer than a couple of weeks but can last up to a few months for heavier users.
- 24 to 48 Hours: The first one to two days of withdrawal is the “crash” period. This period is marked by a sharp decline in energy and cognitive function. Depression is common during this phase, and in some cases, patients will experience hallucinations, paranoia, and anxiety. Cravings for meth are also typically high but may be suppressed because a person usually spends a lot of time sleeping during the crash phase.
- 3 to 5 Days: Withdrawal symptoms usually begin to subside during this period. However, this is when cravings intensify, increasing the risk of relapse. As the person starts to feel better and gain more energy, they may begin to experience cravings for meth.
- 2 to 4 Weeks: At this point, cravings begin to lessen, but psychiatric symptoms may begin to present themselves, including symptoms like psychosis, depression, and anxiety. These may require specialized psychiatric care to be effectively managed.
- 1 to 2 Months: Protracted withdrawal or post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) can happen in the months following acute meth withdrawal, especially in people with a history of severe methamphetamine abuse. Symptoms usually include anxiety, unstable emotions, lethargy, sleep problems, and stimulant cravings.
Because stimulants like meth are highly addictive and difficult to recover from alone, receiving medical methamphetamine withdrawal treatment can decrease the chances of relapse and make it more likely that the individual will move forward with their recovery.
Meth Detox Near Me
Methamphetamine detox is just the first step of recovery at our drug rehab in Sebring, FL. Following detox, patients can then move on to the therapeutic aspect of our meth addiction treatment, during which they will meet individually and in group settings with our counselors. In addition to individual and even family therapy, clients will also attend 12-step meetings in their area and possibly meet a sponsor who can guide them through their recovery.