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What To Expect From Meth Withdrawal

If you’ve been using an addictive substance, such as methamphetamine, and decide to quit cold turkey, the sudden lack of the drug being introduced into your system may cause you to experience moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms are often physical and psychological, manifesting as the brain tries to cope with a sudden absence of methamphetamine. Withdrawal symptoms can be vary widely, depending on the amount of drug, the individual’s health, and the length of addiction.

Withdrawal Symptoms Follow a Typical System of Progression

If you’re addicted to methamphetamine or crystal meth, understanding what withdrawal symptoms are most common can help you prepare for the experience of getting clean. As might be expected, you’ll experience the most intense or strongest withdrawal symptoms immediately following your last dose of meth. This first 24-hour period may be extremely difficult to handle, because withdrawal symptoms will likely be strong and leave you with intense cravings to use the drug again.

Over the next two weeks, withdrawal symptoms tend to lessen in frequency and in severity. This doesn’t mean you will stop experiencing these symptoms altogether, only that they gradually decrease. It will take another two to three weeks for meth withdrawal to completely fade away. If your addiction is strong, or you have been using meth for a long period of time, you may experience a condition known as post acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). In PAWS, the individual continues to experience withdrawal symptoms for several months. While PAWS can be an extremely frustrating syndrome, people in recovery are able to manage their symptoms successfully with the help of a strong support team.  

How Will You Feel During Withdrawal?

In some cases, people need to utilize a profession detox, because the withdrawal symptoms can prove too intense. Again, this depends on the strength of a person’s addiction and their physical condition; so each case is different.

For instance, older addicts will generally experience harsher meth withdrawal symptoms than younger individuals. Those who have been using for a shorter time will likely experience less severe symptoms than someone who has been using for several years.

What Symptoms Can You Expect?

While each individual will experience different withdrawal symptoms as they go through their detox from meth, there are some symptoms that are common. Each recovering addict experiences a different combination of withdrawal symptoms, so you may experience some and not others.

  • Anxiety: One of the most common symptoms of quitting meth is anxiety and it affects as many as 30% of recovering addicts. In many cases, feelings of anxiety can be controlled through lifestyle changes, such as increased physical exercise, and through medication.
  • Fatigue: It isn’t uncommon to feel tired and inactive through your first week of detox. As the body tries to adjust to the lack of meth in the system, you’ll probably sleep more, especially during those first seven days. You should expect to sleep up to 11 hours a day until your body adjusts.
  • Cravings: You may also experience cravings, which will drive you to want to use more meth. The only real way to cope with these cravings to use is to ride them out. As time goes on, the cravings will be less frequent and less severe.
  • Food Cravings: Meth use is characterized by a loss of appetite, which is one reason so many addicts are unusually thin. As you detox, the opposite may become true and you may experience cravings for starchy carbs and sweets. While this doesn’t present an immediate danger, giving into those cravings can cause unwanted weight gain and further compromise heart health.
  • Depression: Depression is another emotional symptom of withdrawal, but it typically lasts just two or three weeks. If you still experience depressive episodes after three weeks, it may be wise to bring this to the attention of your drug addiction counselor or therapist.
  • Psychosis: It can also be common to experience visual or auditory hallucinations as you detox from meth. In addition, some individuals experience delusions, which involves believing fantasy to be true.

As this brief overview suggests, withdrawal from meth can be emotionally and physically devastating. This is why it’s often a good idea to participate in a recovery program at a drug addiction treatment center. Structured programs ensure you get the addiction treatment you need to recover, while also addressing the emotional and psychological withdrawal symptoms.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing substance abuse and/or symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being.

You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.

 

How Do Those in Meth Addiction Recovery Experience Executive Functioning?

Consider the following tasks:

  • Driving a car
  • Budgeting
  • Meeting a deadline
  • Scheduling an appointment
  • Following instructions

There is one commonality amongst all of these – executive functioning. Executive functioning allows people to plan, organize, and complete tasks. Frontal lobes in the brain are connected to many other brain areas, coordinating different activities and allowing executive functioning to occur. There are three main components to executive functioning: working memory, mental flexibility, and self-control. As previous research has shown, substance abuse can affect chemicals in the brain and its structure – causing significant effects to executive functioning as well.

Methamphetamine (meth) is a stimulant drug that increases the amount of dopamine (a neurotransmitter that sends signals of pleasure and reward throughout the brain), which can cause severe changes in one’s emotion, memory, and learning capabilities over an extended period of time. A 2017 study published in the journal Basic and Clinical Neuroscience sought to explore executive functioning amongst 161 individuals who fell into one of the following categories: currently abusing (41 people), abstinent (60 people) or those without addiction to serve as a comparison group (60 people).

Researchers from the study found that those actively use meth and those abstinent from meth performed worse on executive functioning assessments than those considered healthy without addiction; overall, the study’s findings suggested that abstinent may repair some damage lost from long-term meth addiction, but some executive functioning damages may remain.

The take away of drug addiction is this: the sooner you seek help, the greater the chances you have at repairing any mental and physical damages the addiction caused to you. Recovery is always worth seeking out, however, no matter how far along you are in addiction – not seeking help could certainly place your life at risk. If you haven’t already, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center to learn more about recovery programs and which may be the right fit for you. It’s never too late.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.

How Do Those with Meth Addiction Experience Depression & Anxiety During Recovery?

Methamphetamine (meth) is an extremely addictive, stimulant drug that can damage the mind, body, and spirit. Treatment for meth addiction, or any substance for that matter, can come with its own challenges – mostly depending on the substance use, the length of time and severity of addiction, the person’s medical and family history, and much more. For many individuals who enter treatment for meth addiction, the first step is typically detoxification, a process in which the body natural dispels (or is led to dispel from medicine) toxins acquired throughout the period of drug use. Several unpleasant withdrawal symptoms may appear, such as anxiety, sleepiness, inactivity, meth cravings, carbohydrate cravings (sugary or starchy foods), depression and psychotic symptoms.

A 2015 study published in the International Journal of High Risk Behaviors and Addiction sought to show the effects of abstinence on those with meth addiction – particularly on their depression, anxiety, and quality of life. Thirty-four people participated in the study, and researchers assessed them both before and after three weeks. Results from the study showed that short-term abstinence actually decreased depression and improved quality of life, but increased anxiety overall. It’s important to note, however, that each person is different and during these times, it’s increasingly important to rely on your healthcare team.

Previous research has shown that meth withdrawal is at its worst during the first 24 hours after you last use the drug. After that, the withdrawal effects have been shown to slowly fade over the course of 2-3 weeks. During this time, it’s important that you receive close medical monitoring – making a professional treatment center the top choice for addiction recovery. Very Well Mind emphasizes the importance of medication management, which is often a crucial aspect of a treatment program. In addition to this, you want to try and get as much sleep as possible. Nutrition is another vital component to the restoration of your mind, body, and spirit, as healthy food provides you with the energy your mind and body need to heal and restore.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.

How Do Those with Meth Addiction Experience Recovery?

Methamphetamine, also known as meth, was used by approximately 1.2 million people in 2012, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). Drug use is a major problem in the United States, with more and more Americans today searching for something that will ease their pain and provide them with feelings of happiness and contentment. Unfortunately, though this temporary “high” may seem to tick all of those boxes, even more Americans are becoming addicted – placing their mind, body, and spirit in jeopardy. Whether you’ve recently joined a reputable addiction recovery treatment program or you know a loved one who has, learning about what to expect can ease some of your curiosity and can help prepare you for the recovery road.

Many people with meth addiction must first undergo detoxification, a process in which the body naturally – or assisted through medication – dispels unwanted chemicals that were acquired through active drug use. This process is necessary in order to cleanse your body as you begin your journey to recovery. It may be a bit painful or uncomfortable, but having a healthcare team by your side will ensure your safety. The worst phase of your withdrawal symptoms will be within the first 24 hours that you detox; side effects may include anxiety, inactivity and sleepiness, cravings for the drug, cravings for sugary or starchy foods, depression, psychotic symptoms such as delusions or hallucinations, and more. Your treatment center may be able to provide you with non-addictive medication to help abate some of these symptoms.

A 2017 study published in the journal Addictive Disorders & Their Treatment sought to explore everyday problems that those with meth addiction experienced while in recovery. Thirty participants with meth addiction were involved in the study, while 24 non-addicted participants served as a comparison group. Several measures were conducted and results from the study showed that those with addiction experienced significantly greater objective and subjective problems related to executive functioning and impulsivity; executive functioning involving emotional control, working memory, planning and organizing, organization and more, and impulsivity involving cognitive instability, motor functioning, self-control, perseverance and more.

Yes, recovery from a long-standing addiction can be painful. You may experience a lot of backlash from your mind and body from the pain that addiction caused you; recovery is possible, however. It takes time and arduous work, but don’t give up.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.

The Most Common Triggers of Methamphetamine To Watch Out For

Methamphetamine (meth) addiction affects more than 1.2 million people each year – the drug can be smoked, inhaled, injected, or orally ingested. Meth generates for users a feeling of energy and sense of well-being, which can be quite demanding on the body; after the “high” from meth has faded, individuals may experience a “crash”. Other side effects of the drug involve weight loss as meth suppresses hunger appetite, hyperactivity, nausea, delusions of power, aggressiveness, and more. If you or a loved one have been seeking to recover from meth addiction, attending a reputable treatment program is the first step towards recovery.

As with other drugs, many people in recovery experience cravings or triggers – people, places, things, or emotions that provoke a person to want to use again. Triggers are a central part of the discussion of relapse prevention, as identifying your triggers and developing action plans to deal with them are some great tactics to prevent falling back into a pattern of drug use. Meth is one of the most addictive drugs in the world, so it’s important that you work closely with your healthcare team to generate a plan. Watch out for the following common triggers:

People, places, or things that bring back memories of drug use

  • People you used to use drugs with
  • Passing by a house or other building you used to use in
  • Items associated with the environment you were in when you used meth

Sights, sounds, and smells that bring up cravings for the drug

  • Flashing lights or bright colors associated with being high on meth
  • Certain smells, such as cleaning supplies, soap, food or some other smell that reminds you of using
  • Music or the sound of someone’s voice whom you used to use meth with
  • Being in the neighborhood of where you used to use

Thoughts and Emotions

  • Feeling bored
  • Thinking about sad events or losing loved ones
  • Anger or depression
  • Feeling very happy and confident
  • Retreating back to thoughts you had when you were high, such as “Nobody cares about me anyways”

The most effective therapies shown for meth addiction involve behavioral therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy and contingency management. With your healthcare team, you’ll be able to work on building your recovery social support network as well as mental strategies to help you move past these triggers when they occur.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.

How Can Meth Destroy the Body?

According to a 2012 survey conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 1.2 people reported using methamphetamine – also known as meth – that year. Several years later, meth use continues to be a problem, as the New York Times highlights 232 people who died in Oregon from meth use in 2016. When a person consumes the drug, it releases a surge of dopamine transmitters in the body – causing feelings of intense euphoria and pleasure. Over time, continued meth use can damage a person’s natural dopamine receptors in the brain, causing them to rely more and more on the drug to feel pleasure. Recreational use of the drug can cause loss of appetite and significant weight loss, change in sleeping patterns, major mood swings, elevated blood pressure, and more.

Immediate use can certainly cause changes to the body, but chronic, long-term meth use can cause those changes to have significant, damaging effects on the brain’s structure and function as well as the entire body’s. In addition to changing the brain’s wiring over time as dopamine receptors become damaged, there are several other damages that take place:

  • Brain functioning: cognitive capabilities such as memory, judgment, and motor coordination are often significantly impaired from meth use
  • Behavior changes: anxiety, wakefulness, obsessive behavior, intense focus, aggression, hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and more are all long-term effects of meth use.
  • Skin damage: meth dehydrates the body, making it look dull, dry, and wrinkled. As the toxins attempt to leave the body, many meth users have severe acne. Many individuals who use meth experience feelings of bugs crawling under their skin, which lead to abscesses all over from intense scratching.
  • Tooth damage: as many who use meth crave high-sugar foods, tooth decay is quite common. Meth can cause a person to place their hygiene as a last priority, meaning that without regular brushing and flossing, tooth rot and decay are quite common.
  • Vital organ damage: liver damage, rise in body temperature which can cause brain damage, increased heart rate, convulsions, stroke, and even death may occur from meth use.

The best way to prevent these severe, damaging effects is to simply not consume this drug. If you’ve been struggling with meth addiction, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center today. It’s never too late – seeking help could help revitalize your body and help reverse some of the damage that meth has caused to your body.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.

References

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/meth/body/

 

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/methamphetamine/what-scope-methamphetamine-abuse-in-united-states

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/13/us/meth-crystal-drug.html

 

https://drugabuse.com/library/the-effects-of-crystal-meth-use/

 

Methamphetamine And Psychosis: Everything You Need To Know

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive, synthetic drug that affects the central nervous system and is prescribed legally to treat conditions such as narcolepsy. Long-term abuse can cause many negative affects to nearly every aspect of a person’s life. Chronic users of methamphetamine have been shown to exhibit symptoms such as anxiety, confusion, insomnia, mood disturbances, violent behavior and more; psychotic symptoms such as paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions may also become present. Psychotic symptoms may last for months or years after a person stops using methamphetamine, and stress has been shown to bring about recurring symptoms of psychosis for previous methamphetamine users. If you or a loved one have been struggling with methamphetamine addiction, seeking treatment is the first and most crucial decision you can make.

Previous studies have shown that meth addiction can cause reduced motor speed and impaired verbal learning, as well as structural and functional changes in the brain. Psychotic symptoms affect nearly 40% of meth users, with misdiagnosis of schizophrenia occurring if a clinician does not obtain adequate drug-related information. What are some examples of psychosis?

  • Hallucinations: Perceiving that something is there when it’s not, such as there being a person or object in the room when there really isn’t. Hallucinations could also include hearing, smelling, or touching something that’s not there.
  • Delusions: Believing in something that isn’t true, such as believing that someone is “out to get” you or being spied on by some entity that isn’t there.
  • Aggression: Long-term meth use can make it more difficult for the brain to control impulses, as individuals lose their sense of rationality to situations and may follow through with their anger

A 2016 study published in the journal CNS Drugs emphasized the use of interventions to help those with meth addiction reduce their psychotic symptoms; antipsychotic medications may play a significant role, as well as psychosocial treatment such as psychotherapy, case management, and relapse prevention to help individuals improve their quality of life. The ability to reduce the damage done by methamphetamine mostly depends on individual factors related to the person such as their age, drug abuse history, severity of addiction, symptoms, mental health history, and much more.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.

References

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/methamphetamine/what-are-long-term-effects-methamphetamine-abuse

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5027896/

 

https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/meth-addiction/meth-psychosis/#gref

Meth Mouth”: What Are the Oral Consequences of Methamphetamine Use?

A stimulant drug that is a white, bitter-tasting powder, methamphetamine (also known as “meth”), is estimated to be used by nearly 1.2 million people in the United States each year. Besides addiction and withdrawal symptoms, chronic use of meth can lead to significant anxiety and confusion, paranoia, hallucinations and delusions, and more. Research has shown that meth can cause reduced motor speed and impaired verbal learning, as well as severe structural and functional changes in the brain related to emotion and memory. Physical effects of long-term meth use include weight loss, skin sores, dry mouth, and what is commonly called “meth mouth”. Meth mouth often refers to the severe tooth decay that many people with methamphetamine addiction experience.

The largest study of methamphetamine users to date, researchers from the UCLA School of Dentistry, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and the UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Program investigated the patterns and severity of dental diseases in 571 methamphetamine abusers. Over 96% of the users studied had dental cavities, and 58% of users had untreated tooth decay. Only 23% retained all of their natural teeth. The study’s results also concluded that women were more at risk for significant tooth loss and decay, as well as a more significant prevalence of cavities in the front teeth. Periodontitis, a serious gum infection that can cause teeth to loosen or lead to tooth loss, was found in 89% of the participants. The researchers concluded that methamphetamine users who were older, African American, and/or cigarette smokers at an elevated risk for having severe periodontitis.

As you can see, methamphetamine use has significant consequences in several aspects of one’s life. When it comes to oral hygiene, the most common result of significant tooth damage from meth use is getting the damaged teeth removed and getting dentures placed in. If you have been struggling with methamphetamine addiction, make the decision to seek help today. If treatment is sought early enough, developmental damage to the brain can be prevented. Don’t wait any longer to seek the help you need.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.

Can Meth Severely Damage the Body?

Someone explained their story of using crystal methamphetamine on Vox, and here is a clip from what they said:

“I started using meth every weekend. Then I started using it weekdays after work. Then I used it before work, then during work, then instead of work. There were two groups of people in my life: those from whom I’d conceal my use, and those from whom I’d conceal how much I was using.”

According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Abuse and Health, approximately 1.2 million people reported using methamphetamine within the past year; 440,000 reported using it within the past month. Methamphetamine (also known as crystal meth) is a synthetic chemical that affects the central nervous system in a significant way. It has been used for medical reasons, to help individuals with attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) and obesity, but many use it recreationally to experience feelings of euphoria. However, crystal meth can be incredibly dangerous to the body.

When a person consumes meth – within the span of a few minutes – the user can begin feeling an intense euphoria; their heart beat will race, and their blood pressure will rise, but the “pleasurable effects” can last between 6 to 12 hours. Once the high is gone, a person may experience depression because there is a drop in the large amounts of dopamine that are released when the brain’s receptors interact with the drug. PBS notes that meth can destruct tissues and blood vessels, causing the body to become unable to repair itself. The following are other repercussions of using meth:

  • Acne appears, slower repair of sores, and skin loses elasticity, making the person appear up to decades older than they really are
  • “Meth mouth” – broken, discolored, and rotting teeth
  • Increased risk for contracting Hepatitis B or HIV/AIDS
  • Liver damage
  • Convulsions
  • Extreme rise in body temperature can lead to brain damage
  • Stroke
  • Death

Meth can cause serious complications to one’s health and lifestyle, with many losing their job, home, family, friends, finances, and more. The damages of meth outweigh the “benefits”. Once someone has become hooked, it’s much more difficult to put everything down and resume a healthy lifestyle. If you’re considering using methamphetamine, don’t place your life at risk. There are so many people out here that want you to succeed, that want you to make the decision towards resolving your problems by working through them. If you’re struggling with substance abuse, seek help today. It’s never too late to seek help, and recovery is possible.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery treatment center. If you’re ready to seek treatment from substance abuse, call us today at 888-743-0490 for a consultation. Recovery is possible and there are people who want to help you.

Can I do Something Creative to Fight my Depression?

According to the World Health Organization, more than 300 million people of all ages experience depression. Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide – with symptoms of sadness, hopelessness, isolation, fatigue and more, it can be hard to manage daily life. Although depression can host many negative symptoms, thankfully there are many tools that you can use to combat this. Creativity is an excellent way to express yourself while learning a safe and healthy way to cope with the feelings you may be experiencing.

Everyday Health notes that art therapy, in addition to more traditional depression treatment, can be very beneficial. Therapeutic art activities may include drawing, painting, sculpting, dancing, storytelling, acting, improvisation, listening to, playing, or writing music. Routa Segal, certified creative art therapist in New York, explained the benefits of art therapy as this:

“Creative art therapy is a journey of finding out who you are, where you are, what you have, and what you need to get where you want to be in life.”

Depression can deplete your energy, and engaging in activities that will give you life are most important. If there is a creative activity that you used to enjoy, force yourself to do it when you’re depressed, even if you don’t want to. Depression can take away the things that you once used to love, which can make it even more difficult to get back into.

There are many benefits to creative activities. For one, it gives you a product that you can see and learn from. Perhaps there is something there in your artwork that speaks to a larger cause, something that you didn’t realize before. Evaluating your own artwork can help you pinpoint certain areas in your life that you may want to change as well, which leads to a process of self-improvement. Expressing yourself through art could also be a terrific way for you to feel free from the judgment of your depression.

If you’re in a treatment center, art therapy that is done in groups can help you to better connect with others. Lastly, letting go of your emotions in your artwork can give you a sense of freedom, trust, and strength. This will further aid in your healing process.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery treatment program. We believe in holistic recovery, meaning that we provide resources and support to help you restore your mind, body, and spirit through art therapy and other methods of treatment. Make the decision to seek help today. Call us at 888-743-0490 for a consultation.