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What To Expect From Meth Withdrawal


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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 844-244-4219 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.