Help for meth withdrawal
Meth is highly addictive.
So, what can you do when you ready to stop using? Where can you get help. We review here. Then, we invite your questions in the comments section at the end. In fact, we try to respond to all legitimate questions with a personal and prompt response.
Is meth withdrawal dangerous?
Sometimes. Although the withdrawal from some drugs can be life threatening (like alcohol or benzodiazepines) methamphetamine withdrawal, on its own, is rarely dangerous. However, in some extreme cases, the way methamphetamine withdrawal makes you think or feel can lead you to hurt yourself or others. Specifically, methamphetamine withdrawal can be dangerous if:
1. You experience strong psychosis and are a danger to yourself or to others
2. You become very depressed and have suicidal thoughts
3. You experience underlying psychological or health issues which complicate withdrawal
More on when to seek emergency help for meth withdrawal here.
Is meth withdrawal hard?
Like other drugs, meth withdrawal can be hard. What is meth withdrawal like? Abrupt discontinuation of meth can produce extreme fatigue, mental depression, apathy, long periods of sleep, irritability, and disorientation. The most noted symptoms of meth withdrawal – cravings and dysphoria (an extreme dissatisfaction with life) usually resolve in the weeks after last use. Still, some symptoms of mood and sleep disorders can continue for weeks to months later. These symptoms are called protracted or post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) and should be assessed after initial detox.
The length of time it takes to withdraw from meth dependence on how you have been using meth (amount, frequency, duration) and your physical health. However, the most common signals of meth withdrawal are:
- depressed mood
- drug craving
- feelings of hopelessness
- increased appetite
- increased need for sleep
- loss of interest in life
- psychomotor slowing or agitation
- vivid and unpleasant dreams
Meth withdrawal methods: Help for meth withdrawal symptoms
How can you withdraw from meth? There are currently no medications used during meth withdrawal. Researchers are looking into prescription medications that can counteract the specific effects of methamphetamine or that prolong abstinence from and reduce the abuse of methamphetamine by an individual addicted to the drug…but nothing is on the market yet.
The most effective treatments for methamphetamine withdrawal at this point are behavioral therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral and contingency-management interventions. For example, the following methods have been shown to be effective in reducing methamphetamine abuse:
- Behavioral therapy
- Contingency management interventions and drug testing
- Family education
- Individual counseling
- Motivational incentives
- 12-Step support
Natural help for meth withdrawal
Meth can provoke intense memories and thoughts about what life is like when you’re high. These memories and thoughts are called triggers. Triggers can lead to craving, an intense need or feeling that you want to use. Much of the work of quitting meth is learning how to deal with triggers and cravings. They are automatic, natural and inevitable. But you can learn new ways to deal with triggers and reduce your cravings. Acupuncture, nutritional supplements and some herbal remedies can be very helpful for reducing cravings, balancing moods and regulating sleep. Health food stores and natural health clinics are good sources for information.
Furthermore, quitting or cutting back can be hard on your body. See your doctor or local community clinic to make sure you don’t have any untreated health problems. Exercise helps produce endorphins and other “feel good” chemicals in your body. It also stimulates your immune system, relieves boredom and improves energy. Try walking, working out, roller-blading, yoga, or other gentle exercise to help improve mood and balance out your adrenal and nervous systems.
How to ease meth withdrawal?
To ease meth withdrawal, SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION when you detox from meth. Preferrably, seek inpatient treatment followed by several months or years in a halfway house.
During acute withdrawal, supportive medical interventions can address symptoms as they occur. Part of treatment is teaching the user how to feel good without drugs. So, ongoing psychiatric care with antidepressant therapy is effective in early recovery.
Keep in mind that help for methamphetamine problems is not entirely different from that of other drugs. What seems to make a difference in meth treatment is time. This is because meth can stay in the body from 6-12 months. Treatment is difficult and uncertain due to the unusually intense cravings the substance induces.
Help with meth withdrawal
So, who can you turn to for help with meth withdrawal? Seek help from any of the following:
- addiction counselor/psychologist
- addiction doctor (MD specialist)
- addiction treatment center
- drug detox clinic
- family doctor
Helping meth withdrawal questions
Meth addiction is very real, and many health risks are associated with both short-and long-term use of the drug. If you or someone you know is a meth user, you can stop the cycle of drug abuse today. It is never too late to seek help for any type of addiction.
Please leave your questions or comments in the section below. We are eager to hear your experience during meth withdrawal.
Reference Sources: NIDA: What treatments are effective for methamphetamine users?
Photo credit: geralt