What is Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine is an illicit central nervous system stimulant. Known more commonly as meth, there are very limited approved medical uses for this potent and dangerous substance. Meth is one of the most common drugs in the amphetamine class.
It is highly addictive, as are most drugs that increase our dopamine levels. Dopamine is a naturally occurring feel-good chemical that produces feelings of pleasure and motivation. It can also help boost our memories.
The human brain produces this chemical naturally. But it does so in smaller quantities than the production levels that occur under the influence of certain mind-altering substances. Because it modifies important chemicals in the body, it can be difficult to stop using meth.
What Are Meth Withdrawals
With prolonged meth use, your body and brain come to rely on it for higher-than-normal dopamine production. You become reliant on the euphoric feelings that come from it. After some time, it becomes difficult for your body to regular its dopamine levels on its own.
When you try to stop using meth, your body doesn’t remember how to act without it. The side effects of this imbalance may make you feel emotionally or physically unwell. These troubling withdrawal symptoms are a common reason for relapse.
Warning Signs of Meth Withdrawal
One of the first signs of trouble, when you are starting to detox, is meth cravings. Drug cravings are one of the most common relapse triggers, and they can make you feel as if you cannot function without ingesting more. Mood changes are also common in the early withdrawal stage.
Any changes to your regular routine can be a sign of trouble. We see similar patterns in those who are trying to determine if they have an addiction. Feeling mental or physical changes, avoiding friends or family, and choosing drugs over hobbies or work are all signs that it is time to make a change.
Symptoms or Side Effects of Meth Withdrawal
Because of its potent and addictive qualities and overwhelming withdrawal symptoms, prescription methamphetamine use is extremely limited. Desoxyn is a methamphetamine-based medication that treats severe attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms.
In rare and extreme cases, it may be used to treat obesity. But most methamphetamine use is illicit. Meth is widely available on the streets, making it even easier to abuse. And once you begin using meth, prescription or otherwise, the short-term effects and addictive qualities can make it hard to avoid becoming addicted.
Once addiction forms, withdrawal symptoms become inevitable. Some of the most common meth withdrawal symptoms are:
- Depressive symptoms.
- Symptoms of psychosis.
- Drug cravings.
Meth Withdrawal Timeline
Depression, psychotic symptoms, and cravings are typically the first withdrawal symptoms to appear. Changes in appetite, altered sleep patterns including insomnia or vivid and unpleasant dreams, and fatigue are also common.
In many cases, depressive and psychotic symptoms are said to resolve within the first week. Many of the other symptoms listed above will last one or two weeks after meth use ceases. Drug cravings may last for about five weeks.
So, how long does it take to detox from meth? The answer can be a bit different for everyone.
Why Meth Withdrawals Aren’t the Same for Everyone
Many individual factors can alter your detox experience. And these factors can alter your experience in several ways. The timeframe, type, and severity of your withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on things like:
- Your weight and medical history, particularly if you have pre-existing health conditions like high blood pressure.
- The presence of other drugs or alcohol in your body.
- The method of drug use (smoke, snort, swallow, etc.)
- The frequency of use and dosages of drug use.
Post-Acute Meth Withdrawal Symptoms
Methamphetamine is a Schedule II drug because it has a high potential for abuse and could lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. The stimulant effects of meth are dangerous and addictive. They may have long-term consequences.
Withdrawal symptoms that linger after the first few weeks are called post-acute symptoms. While short-term withdrawal symptoms are the ones that recovering individuals often worry about the most, the long-term effects of meth use are also troubling.
Post-acute withdrawal symptoms are the lingering effects of drug abuse after you have safely detoxed. When it comes to meth, these are typically any symptoms that remain after five weeks. While the symptoms we have discussed will have mostly subsided by then, others may remain.
These symptoms are primarily emotional and include drug cravings that may go on for several months are you get sober. Most addictions aren’t built in a day. Unfortunately, sobriety works the same way. It takes time and effort to build a healthy, sober life you can be proud of.
Thankfully, the experts at Circle of Hope are here to help you do just that.
Why Formal Detox Programs are Better than Cold Turkey Withdrawals
Withdrawal symptoms can be scary, and in some cases, even dangerous. For anyone battling addiction and withdrawals, we recommend detoxing under the care and guidance of a professional team.
Detoxing in the safety and comfort of our facility offers several benefits. First, a change of scenery while you work through the stage of early sobriety helps eliminate triggers and temptations.
A medical team on-site helps ensure your safety and success by providing support and guidance, as well as monitoring your progress and keeping you properly hydrated and fed. After your detox, we will have spent enough time together to help guide you through the next steps.
We offer a variety of inpatient and outpatient treatment programs based on research-based and proven addiction treatments. We will help you choose and personalize the program that best suits your unique addiction, needs, and schedule. You do not have to face this alone.
Support for Those Suffering from Meth Withdrawal
People who do not produce the necessary levels of motivation and pleasure on their own may feel compelled to turn to meth. Low levels of dopamine can leave any of us feeling sad, anxious, or tired. Dopamine levels in the brain fluctuate for many different reasons.
Lack of sleep, poor eating habits, lack of exercise, and stress can all reduce dopamine production. Dopamine deficiency is also linked to depression. Drug abuse may offer a short-term solution to the lack of this important feel-good chemical, but that boost will not last.
The more sustainable solution involves getting to the root of the problem. For different people, this will mean different things. But some of the most common solutions involve:
- Treating an underlying mental health disorder.
- Maintaining a balanced diet, a healthy exercise routine, and participating in other activities that naturally boost your dopamine levels.
- Getting the appropriate amount of sleep and hydration.
- Building healthier habits and coping mechanisms.
At Circle of Hope, we will help you identify and address the root of your addiction so that you may build a new life. Free from the grasp of your addiction, a healthier and happier life waits right around the corner.
Meth Withdrawal Treatment Options
Meth withdrawal symptoms can be a lot to handle. But the alternative is a difficult and lifelong cycle of abuse and health impairments. Recovering from meth addiction starts here. It’s time to let your last relapse be your last. Call us today at 818-391-5259 to get started.