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What Are the Symptoms of Meth Withdrawal?

a man holds his stomach as he wonders about the symptoms of meth withdrawal

Methamphetamine, or meth for short, is an extremely potent central nervous system stimulant that can produce a wide range of symptoms. Methamphetamine can appear as a legal substance known as Desoxyn, which is often used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The drug is used far more in its man-made, illicit form. This drug can be powder crushed from the pill or a rock-like substance, also known as crystal meth. Due to the drug’s extreme potency, it can be difficult to stop using methamphetamine. Once someone does cease methamphetamine use, they may experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

At Vertava Health, we understand how difficult it can be to overcome meth addiction. Our meth detox and withdrawal treatment programs are designed to help you through every step of the process, from detox to aftercare. To learn more about our options for meth addiction treatment, please reach out to Vertava Health today at 844.470.0410.

What Are Meth Withdrawal Symptoms?

Possible methamphetamine withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Meth cravings
  • Red, itchy eyes
  • Dysphoric mood
  • Mild to severe paranoia

These symptoms can begin anywhere from a few hours to several days after meth use has ceased. The specific timeline will vary depending on several factors.

Meth Withdrawal Timeline

Usually, withdrawal from methamphetamine lasts one to three weeks. In some cases, though, meth withdrawal may last a month or more. The amount of time it takes to withdraw from meth will depend on an individual’s frequency of use and how large a dose they are used to taking. Typically, the more severe the addiction, the longer the withdrawal will take.

Withdrawing from methamphetamine will be a different experience for each individual. However, meth withdrawal can generally be broken into two stages: acute withdrawal and subacute withdrawal. Acute withdrawal lasts between seven to 10 days, and subacute withdrawal lasts at least another two weeks afterward.

The initial withdrawal period from meth typically peaks about 24 hours after the last dose and declines in severity from then on. The first seven to 10 days after stopping the use of methamphetamine, individuals usually experience symptoms such as:

  • Increased sleep and appetite and a cluster of mood-related symptoms
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Cravings for the drug

Physical symptoms tend to resolve during the acute withdrawal phase. However, psychological symptoms, such as cravings, may last for months and are often the biggest obstacle to staying substance-free for an extended period of time.

Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms of Meth

Some individuals who chronically use methamphetamine may also experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS). These can include worsening anxiety, cravings, depression, and mood swings. These prolonged symptoms can last up to six months or more. Therefore, it is best to seek medical assistance during early withdrawal from methamphetamine in order to receive proper emotional support.

What Causes Meth Withdrawal?

Individuals who require methamphetamine treatment habitually can easily develop a physical dependence on the drug. This occurs when the body adapts to the constant presence of the drug in its system. Once a physical dependence is established, tolerance to the drug typically follows. This means that the individual will need larger and more frequent doses of methamphetamine to feel the same effects as a smaller dose once created.

Although the effects of methamphetamine can be felt quickly, the drug leaves the body in a rapid fashion, which can lead to a crash. When someone repeatedly takes large doses of meth one after the other in a short period to avoid this crash, it can speed up the development of physical dependence and tolerance.

If someone suddenly stops using the drug, they will likely experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Even though methamphetamine withdrawal symptoms can persist and affect someone’s mood, it is important to know that there are many treatment programs available to help.

Is Medication-Assisted Treatment Available for Meth Addiction?

There are currently no medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help treat methamphetamine withdrawal, but there are several medications that can be used to ease the resulting withdrawal symptoms. These medications include antidepressants to help ease depression and less potent stimulants to ease sporadic sleep patterns.

Most treatment will begin with some level of detoxification, which is a process whereby the drug is removed from someone’s body. For meth addiction, there is no single program that works for everyone, as treatment should be customized to each individual. It is best to consult an addiction treatment specialist when considering quitting any substance in order to find a treatment program that meets an individual’s specific care needs.

Seek Support at Vertava Health Today

Vertava Health is here to help you on your journey to recovery. Our meth addiction treatment programs offer a wide range of therapies and services, such as:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Motivational interviewing (MI)
  • Trauma therapy
  • Adventure therapy

For more information on methamphetamine withdrawal and addiction treatment, contact us at 844.470.0410 today.