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How long does meth withdrawal last?

Withdrawal symptoms can provoke relapse, especially when you are trying to quit meth.  During the acute “sleep, eat, and drink” stage, your body and brain are in healing overdrive. Understanding of the course of meth withdrawal symptoms can help you plan your recovery and avoid relapse.

So, what can you expect during meth withdrawal? What’s the average duration of detox? We review here. Then, we invite your questions about meth withdrawal at the end.

How long until meth withdrawal starts?

Methamphetamine withdrawal varies depending on the level of addiction and frequency of meth use. However, symptoms develop within a few hours to several days after cessation of or reduction in heavy and prolonged use of  meth. The most common symptoms which occur during meth withdrawal are:

  • anxiety and nervousness
  • depression
  • gradual reversal of the pleasurable feelings induced by the drug
  • increased appetite
  • increased need for sleep, fatigue

Before you actually stop, it is a good idea to make sure your environment supports you. Finding help during meth withdrawal is crucial. This will mean distancing yourself from using buddies, places that remind you of using and surrounding yourself with people who will support you during your withdrawal.

How long do meth withdrawal symptoms last?

Withdrawing from meth can be hard, but the unpleasant feelings and physical sensations will not last forever. Withdrawal usually lasts from 1 to 2 weeks, but it can last upwards of 4 weeks (in some extreme cases, longer).

Methamphetamine withdrawal is most severe in the acute phase of withdrawal, peaking during the first 24 hours and usually declining by the end of the first week of abstinence. Also known as the “sleep, eat, and drink” stage, your body and brain are in healing overdrive. Depressive and psychotic symptoms may also accompany acute withdrawal from methamphetamine, but usually resolve within a week, or so.

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Following the acute withdrawal phase most withdrawal symptoms remain stable and at low levels for the remaining couple of weeks of abstinence. However, while the physical symptoms may resolve quickly, craving is also present. Cravings for meth are so difficult because of the extreme euphoria meth can induce. Most cravings last at least 4-5 weeks. This is where psychological and behavioral treatments can help.

Meth withdrawal timeline

Withdrawal from meth will be different for different people. The intensity of the symptoms experienced can depend on a few things such as how much you were using, your general health, any existing mental health issues and the length of time you were using meth. Here is a basic outline of how and when the signs of meth withdrawal appear. Please note that these are generalizations – not everyone will experience every single symptom within these windows of time.

24 – 72 hours – In this period of time you’ll probably feel exhaustion, need to sleep longer and feel depressive. Be on the lookout for extreme anxiety, panic, or suicidal thinking. Report any feelings of paranoia or hallucinations. These symptoms can be treated. Supportive medical interventions during acute detoxification and withdrawal are effective.

Week 1 – After a week, strong cravings for meth can appear. A feeling of hopelessness is common during this time, as are mood swings, anxiety, irritability, tiredness, agitation, sleep problems, poor concentration, aches, pains and headaches. You can also expect to feel hunger which can trigger rapid weight gain.

Week 2 – In two weeks you may still experience mood swings, depression, sleep problems and cravings. Other withdrawal symptoms can remained stable and at low levels for the remaining few weeks of abstinence.

Weeks 3-4 – After a month you should start to feel much better. Sleep patterns will improve, your energy levels will get better, and the mood settles.

Meth withdrawal: How long?

To review, meth withdrawal consists of two phases. The first phase is most intense during the first 24 hours after you last use meth, and gradually gets less intense over the course of about two weeks. The second phase is less intense, and lasts for about another two to three weeks. However, sometimes meth users experience withdrawal symptoms for months, known as post acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS).

Meth withdrawal length questions

Did you find this article useful? If you still have questions about meth withdrawal or how meth withdrawal is treated, please write to us at the bottom of the page. We`ll try our best to respond to you personally and promptly…or to refer you to someone who can help.

Reference Sources: NCBI: Withdrawal symptoms in abstinent methamphetamine-dependent subjects
MethHelp: Meth withdrawal
About Addictions: What to Expect from Meth Withdrawal
Quitting crystal meth: Stage 1: Withdrawal
NCBI: The nature, time course and severity of methamphetamine withdrawal
NCBI: Withdrawal symptoms in abstinent methamphetamine-dependent subjects
ND Meth Summit

Photo credit: Unsplash

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24 Responses to “How long does meth withdrawal last?
kathy
4:38 pm September 1st, 2015

How can I tell the difference btwn the meth withdrawal and bipolar disorder

11:48 am September 9th, 2015

Hi Kathy. Maybe a professional assessment by a medical doctor can help determine whether it’s one or the other.

Roxanne
9:56 pm January 8th, 2016

Can meth withdrawals make u feel nauseous and cause u to feel like your going to throw up

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
7:16 pm January 11th, 2016

Hi, Roxanne. Meth withdrawal symptoms may include nausea to some people. Here is a list of suggested readings on this topic: http://drug.addictionblog.org/tag/meth/

mike
11:05 pm January 14th, 2016

`What liquids teas, juices etc. Can help clean system and help with recovery. After 2 years continuios use I have 5 days of no use. Want to make 6 days`

Tracy
3:08 am January 31st, 2016

Can meth withdrawal cause pain in the right quadrant of the lower back.

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
12:59 am February 2nd, 2016

Hi, Mike. You may eat more fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of liquids such as lemonade, cranberry juice, and teas. Here’s suggested reading on the topic: http://addictionblog.org/tag/healthy-eating-in-addiction-recovery/

12:36 pm February 9th, 2016

Hi Tracy. Detox from meth and back pain might not seem like they go together, but they do. So, it’s a symptom experienced quite often and in many people. Experiencing back pains during the process of detox and withdrawal from meth may have several causes, but one is likely the fact that the body is under a lot of physical stress. Usually, taking a muscle relaxant or simply resting can help alleviate any back pain associated with methamphetamine withdrawal. I’d still suggest that you get checked by a doctor, just to be sure there is nothing else that may be causing the problem.

JUSTIN
4:36 pm February 11th, 2016

I was just wondering the best action for my family and I, we have 2 children together and I have a 15 yr old from another girl . Kids are 11 yr. Old girl, 12 yr. Old boy with my wife of 13yrs. And my 15 yr old that’s already starting the wrong choices in life. I been to rehab for a month in Florida., and tended AA. For a most of the time after rehab. I feel as my life is controllable but when I look back there has been almost 13 yrs of little time off of meth. My family is falling apart and I just don’t know what to do. My wife is getting ready to have breast cancer surgery that’s the end of her process she has done so good beating it.. I feel that’s due to me making her so tough going through this addiction for the last 13yrs…. She has. Never done any illegal drugs of any kind by the way so what’s the best plan you think would be best interest of my wife and kids . I just gotta stay strong so I can be here for her while she does this surgery and yes I will be here for her…….thanks former addict on a leash…..,,,,,

Can u still feel depression after 2 months of meth usesge
10:46 pm February 13th, 2016

Can u still get a sick feeling in your stomach after 2 months clean and be depressed also is loneliness a reason people use

David
5:16 am February 16th, 2016

Does meth use leave you psychotic my son use to be on it but not now he stole all my power tools cutting torches 3 saws and a miter say all combined around 4,000 dollars and when asked about them he would lie out his teeth He gave me a bass boat . he took it back and sold it . he came home one night about 8 pm he had a I phone he had bought about 2 weeks before I told him if he decided to get another ph I would love to have that one when he came in he looked at me and said here is you D m ph threy it on the floor busted it all to pieces and said here is your ph using bad language.I am a minister Pentecostal . he went to the rest rom his girl friend stayed in the living room with me he had been in the bathroom about 25 minutes I got a close hanger to open the door he opened it we went in the living room lowered his head and bull rushed me I had a lot of shoulder surgeries and had a hard time fighting him off he picked me up by the neck and took his belt off and lifted me off the floor and hit me in the eye . he went and got my AR 15 telling me he would show me I grabbed the clip and hid it He hit me so hard he almost busted my eye globe.
we moved and he stoled my 18 in belt sander a compute with a 24 in screen , He got my ar 15 claiming he was going to have a scope put on it I begged him to leave it alone the nxt day the car came up missing with my AR. The AR ment more to me than he will ever know I have forgiven him I do not hold a grudge but it still hurts it’s as he has no conscience he has threaten to kill me more than I can count my fingers It hurts when the son you raised gets on meth

4:36 pm February 25th, 2016

Hi David. Yes, one of the side effects of meth addiction can be psychosis and aggressive behavior. Have you tried to get any addiction help for him? I’m afraid that when he can’t steal any more things from home, he may try to obtain the drug in other illegal ways and get incarcerated.

Shanna
6:14 am March 23rd, 2016

I want to get off meth. I am a 19 year addict, IV user. I had few bouts of sobriety. The most recent was from Thanksgiving till Xmas. I’ve used every day since then. I hate it. I need help with the emotional overload I experience, the anxiety, and most of all the dizzy and nauseous feelings I get from about 8 hours after use and lasts for aprox 4 days. What causes this? I only started experience this symptom maybe a year ago. Is it because of chemical difference?

Thanks for your input

Shanna

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
3:02 pm March 23rd, 2016

Hi Shanna. I suggest you call the helpline you see on the site to get in touch with a trusted treatment consultant to access the right kind of treatment that will fit your needs.

Alam
5:32 am April 4th, 2016

Hello, today I reached two weeks clean, but Im feeling like my body isgoing back to the crash stage. I wake up feeling extremely tired and confused, sometimes I even feel like I’m still dreaming and immediately after eating anytime of the day i get so exhausted. Is there something that I can do to improve this? Thank you in advance.

Also on the evening I started feeling really agitated, with very hellish feeling of “cold-heat” and started sweating and trembling like if I was about to pass out.

Angela
6:17 am April 6th, 2016

How long will withdrawal from meth last for someone using for a month and has Prozac and seraquel medication help?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
11:42 am April 13th, 2016

Hi Angela. Meth withdrawal varies mostly depending on the level of addiction and frequency of meth use. Usually, withdrawal lasts from 1 to 2 weeks, but it can last upwards of 4 weeks or even longer.

Brandon
11:09 am April 14th, 2016

Should some I come down from using meth for a year straight there first time or SE they have some one with them to watch over them

David
1:35 am May 2nd, 2016

I’ve taken 25mg/day prescription meth for years.
Is that a lot? what should I expect as I whithdraw?

Ramona
4:02 pm May 17th, 2016

I used a bunch of meth last night. My last hit was about 3am. Now i want to sleep but cant. I dont want to use again. I dont like the way i feel. What is the best way to come down.

Brandon
9:09 am May 21st, 2016

This is my first time doing meth and I’ve been none stop for a year and a half my work and select few of friends tell me that they will take me to a clinic but the thought of that give me the worst anxiety I see it a a crazy house and I’m to good for that but I want my life back and my fiancé back to how can I convince my self to go get help k

Jonn
12:25 am June 7th, 2016

I have been diagnosed with depression and heart palpatations three weeks after taking meth, but i wasn’t a regular user i binged once. Will this last forever

Jesus
7:23 am July 5th, 2016

Hi my names Jesus I’m 22 going to be 23 this month and Ive been a meth addict for 5 years and it seems likeel everytime I quit the withdrawal doesn’t go away I mean the longest ive been clean was 3 months but even after I get passed the most severe part of the withdrawal the anxiety and depression still lingers. I can’t even look people in the eyes and have a normal conversation. I don’t want this to last forever because i use to be a very social person and got along with everyone and I have alot of friends but I can’t be around them. I am using method right now and I’m planning nylon going into a rehab this month but I wanted to know if the withdrawal symptoms can last forever I’m very distant from my family

james
8:30 pm September 2nd, 2016

After quitting Adderall, I had blackouts mixed with strange behavior, the neurodoc thinks I had ‘complex parttial seizures. This is one of the scariest experiences I have ever had, does anyone have anything they could tell me about this, your input would be greatly appriciated and might tell me how much longer I should abvoid driving and when I can return to work

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