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Meth withdrawal treatment: How to treat meth withdrawal

Regular use of meth changes brain chemistry. So, how can you assist the brain in returning to normal processes after using meth? We review how you can treat meth withdrawal here. Then, we invite your questions about meth withdrawal and its treatment at the end. We try to respond to all legitimate questions with a personal and prompt reply!

Effects of withdrawal from meth

Withdrawing from methamphetamine is not a pleasant process; however it is not one of the more dangerous drugs to detox from. Detox is best managed under the careful eye of trained medical professionals, as inpatient detox can boost the chances of successful withdrawal. But what happens during withdrawal?

How to withdraw successfully from meth requires planning.  In fact, research shows that 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. In fact, depressive and psychotic symptoms accompany acute withdrawal (especially if you go cold turkey off methamphetamine) but usually resolve within a week.

The second phase is less intense, and lasts for about another two to three weeks. Craving is also present and lasts at least 5 weeks. Sometimes meth users experience withdrawal symptoms for months. The main symptoms of meth withdrawal include:

  • anhedonia (extreme dissatisfaction with life)
  • anxiety
  • craving methamphetamines
  • decreased energy
  • deep, dark depression
  • decreased sexual pleasure
  • emotional liability
  • increased sleeping
  • irritability
  • lack of motivation
  • paranoid ideation
  • night sweats
  • red, itchy eyes
  • resumption of eating, leading to weight gain
  • sleep difficulties
  • suicidal ideation

STEP 1: Treating withdrawal from meth symptoms

The first step in treating symptoms of withdrawal is to seek medical help. Everyone’s experience of meth withdrawal is different, but there are certain common features. If symptoms feel severe, see your doctor as soon as possible, and tell him/her that you are withdrawing from meth. Especially during the first week of withdrawal, you’re likely to feel very inactive, tired, and sleepy. This usually peaks around the fifth day of withdrawal, when people sleep an average of 11 hours per day. This is a phenomenon known as hypersomnia.

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STEP 2: How to treat meth withdrawal symptoms

The second step during withdrawal is to seek effective therapies. Supportive medical interventions during acute detoxification and withdrawal are effective. These include:

  1. 12 Step recovery programs
  2. Appropriate referrals for community support
  3. Family involvement in recovery increases effectiveness
  4. Increase skill base in dealing with life
  5. Longer than average rehab stays
  6. Ongoing psychiatric care with antidepressant drug therapy
  7. Psychotherapy to modify thinking, expectancies and behaviors

During withdrawal, it is normal that you feel disoriented, depressed, and very fatigued. Very explicit direction is required during this period, which is why inpatient detox and rehab are recommended. If you don’t feel you have somewhere you can go or you are worried about what will happen when you are in withdrawal, there are facilities you can go to. Detox units provide a safe, supervised environment.

Best way to withdraw from meth

Before you actually stop using meth, it is a good idea to make sure your environment supports you. This will mean distancing yourself from people who use meth, places that remind you of using and surrounding yourself with people who will support you during your withdrawal. Getting meth withdrawal help also includes seeking medical advice. In fact, the best way to withdraw from meth (with the best outcomes for long term sobriety) are to seek medical help and 24-7 supervision to help you cope with cravings, depression, and symptoms.

Meth withdrawal treatment questions

Do you find this useful? If there are some questions about meth withdrawal treatment,please send them to use via the comments. We try to respond to all legitimate questions with a personal and prompt reply.

Reference Sources: NCBI: Withdrawal symptoms in abstinent methamphetamine-dependent subjects
Meth Help: Meth withdrawal
State of North Dakota: Meth Summit
Acadiana Addiction:Meth Abuse & Addiction Signs, Effects & Symptoms
Addictions: What To Expect From Meth Withdrawal

Photo credit: PublicDomainPictures

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18 Responses to “Meth withdrawal treatment: How to treat meth withdrawal
Donna
9:13 pm February 18th, 2015

Hi im Donna, i have suffered with meth addiction since i was thirteen. Now im 38yrs old. i cant seem to stay off it for longer than a month at most. would it be worth going into a inpatients detox for myself ? as my body cannot handle it much longer. i break out in sores over my whole body and all over my face. It looks worse than measles or chicken pox. i try to hide it all, but just possibly cant. Also having a stricked father, and very scared and worried mother.Please tell me if that would be the best option for me at this stage in my life ? I would greatly appreciate some advice from someone to help me decide which are better options for me. thank u all.

5:50 pm March 2nd, 2015

Hello Donna. Inpatient rehab is a good place to start. The medical personnel can help you detox in the most comfortable way. But, the most important thing is the treatment after the detox. You can start searching for adequate addiction treatment center in your area here http://addictionblog.org/find-treatment/ and here https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/

Scott
3:08 pm October 1st, 2015

Very helpful thanks, all most certain my 24 yr old son is addicted to meth, looking for help. Not sure of the right approach, going to call my doctor

The Hills
8:55 am October 14th, 2015

This article sounds really good and helpful for meth addiction treatment, thanks for posting; everyone should get rid of meth.

Bea
12:12 am December 8th, 2015

Help I’m an everyday ice user for three years now,every time I’m on meth I feel the very strong determinations to stop but after a day I feel a very strong craving and begin to be confuse about stopping and end up having it again, I live with a denial meth addict husband as well and would get us to use it as soon as I said so, I don’t know what to do I want to stop for the sake of my son whom I’ve finished his trust fund for this drug, what would be my first step not to crave and be confuse after my first sleep. Thank you and hoping for an elightenment.

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
1:21 pm December 11th, 2015

Hello, Bea. I suggest you consult a professional, who can help you end your addiction. Also, you may consider counseling sessions, and group therapies.

cindy
8:50 am July 1st, 2016

hi I’ve tried many times to quit ice and am finding it extremely hard. I’ve been using regularly for 2 years, I get too week 2 and the cravings and withdrawals get very intense. I’m on Prozac to help with depression but am finding my anxiety levels higher than usual. I sometimes take Valium or smoke pot to help curb these horrible intense feelings.
I’ve been taking vitamin b tablets too as I’ve read that they help with depression. my question is what can I do to help my brain to produce the right amounts of dopamine and return to normal. or is the damage I’ve cause my brain permanent. I am determined to beat this demon so any advice would be helpful.

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
5:45 pm July 14th, 2016

Hi Cindy. If you’re looking for treatment program, call the number you see on the website to speak with a trusted treatment consultant.

Jasmine
4:22 pm August 22nd, 2016

My18 year old boyfriend recently stopped smoking weed hes used it for a wholr 7 months every single day he started meth for 4 days and quit a day or two ago . he feels rib lung and chest pains on the back of his head hurts out of no were gis ears get weird pains and his legs feel weak . What wrong ?

1:46 pm August 24th, 2016

Hi Jasmine. He is most likely going through withdrawal from the two drugs he used. You can get some over-the-counter medications to help treat his body aches and pains. Also, make sure he drinks plenty of fluids and eats good, whole food to help his body and brain recover.

Please remember that you can always seek medical assistance should his symptoms worsen.

Deborah
9:56 am August 31st, 2016

My husband is trying to get off meth. He is very angry psychotic and itchy. He is scratching till he bleeds. Trying to kick in the wall and screaming. He has been on meth for 7yrs. How much does a rehab facility cost and what if any is the success rate?

Jackie
8:26 am September 3rd, 2016

I have dated, lived with and now back to dating this man. He would binge about every 3 to 6 months on Crack…. somewhere along the way someone told him they got off Crack by doing meth….. he told me this after he started doing meth…. I have tried to support him and told him I would stand by him if he commits to fighting this addiction…. my concern is that he would stay with me for a few days….. sleep, have sweats, tremors … i would makes sure he was drinking and eating… get him to feel better to even see that spark come back.He then basically would leave and I would not hear from him again for a day or two…. he breathes so strange when he sleeps…. he has complained about pain when urinating and has blamed it on bladder infection. He gets the shakes (tremors)bad when he is in bed…. he says he hasn’t been doing meth for a couple weeks….my question is …. if he hasn’t done meth in the last couple weeks would he still have the shakes? I mean he gets so depressed, and will argue about anything….he says he has to do this on his own..I said he needs professional help…he is in denial…. I am not sure what steps to help him…. as I don’t recognize the person I knew … I don’t want to walk away but have told him I refuse to watch him do this to himself….what does a person do who wants to help….when is it time to walk away from someone you love😕

jason
3:17 pm September 8th, 2016

This is one drug where unlike opiates as someone said anyone can get addicted (for the sake of this story) with ice/meth you will become addicted, don’t care who you think you are, you will. You will suffer the same and just as severe side effects as everyone else simply because of how its designed to work, you will lose everything for the sake of feeling, ultimately, normal and fail to see or acknowledge any of it. If you would steal and sell your grandmas tv for a hit of heroin, you would do the poor woman in and sell her body parts plus throw in her worldly possession’s and your own left testicle all for 50 bucks to get your next hit of meth. Then start planning your next way of finding another 50 bucks for the next one. That’s your whole life then. Nothing decreases the value of a possession like a meth addiction. $10000.00 car, $500.00, $3000.00 TV, $100.00, Your $3000.00 wedding ring, $50.00. Your fathers prized collection of anything, swapped for 1 hit, oh, and hes not dead yet, you broke in and stole it while he was away and seeing hes recognised you on his security camera you just never talk to him again but you will ask him for money with the promise to pay him back until he has none as well. You will ask epole and relatives you only see at christmass to loan you money which you will never repay because simply if you ever have any money you buy meth with it not pay people back so you slowly owe everyone you have ever known who now hate you because you lied to them and owe them money and they haven’t seen you since. You get up and do nothing but search for the money and then a source and don’t stop till your sorted then masturbate or have sex for 5 hrs then come down and do it all over again. that’s now your whole life…….alone.
eality.

I heard an er doctor quoted as saying “give me a regular old heroin addict any day, theyd get a bit annoyed that youd ruined their fix and they would leave. Meth turns people into temporarily insane individuals that are capable of anything including the harm and worse of others at certain stages of use and or withdrawal. If you can swat an irritating fly you are capable of hurting even those you love or worse if they don’t seem to share or inhibit your potential access to your next fix. Once you get on, you wonder what all the fuss was about because to you its perfectly rational and normal behaviour.
Yep, it will get millions before the damage it can do is truly addressed and understood let alone researched enough to find a treatment or control its supply in any way.
To me the only successful treatment which is currently dismissed in most of my experience in favour of antidepressants etc (band aids on axe wounds) is the same as for opiates etc and the use of methadone. Replacement and gradual reduction with medical supervision and the research needs to be done to work out the effective dosage of prescription medication to do this. Use Adderall or some other amphet based medication, the stigma and strict control of this medication means doctors wont use it for this purpose (but they will give it to 5 yr olds). There is still the potential for abuse relating to the replacement itself but I would assume the percentage of non genuine patients would be low. I would suggest use the same statistics as opiate patients who use methadone as part of their continued heroin habit never intending to give up either one.
Most users I have come across would take up that opportunity even if it meant a safer cheaper option for them that allowed a consistent state of mind and mood to function in every other aspect of life so they could pause, concentrate and think clearly and rationally long enough to gradually just be themselves again. How long that takes if ever without any substance or medication is probably the only individual variable.
Its completely taken the lives of everyone I know that has used it in the same way for each one and ive seen so many in just my tiny spec of the world its everywhere and the people who should be all over it are literally 10 steps behind a meth user.

Honestly, any other suggestion or advice that claims to assist or be a treatment for meth or ice withdrawal is well known by users to be powerless to stop you using. You may stop and withdrawal once a week every week or two, only because you are broke or cant find any but even once you suffer the withdrawal and actually get out of bed after 3 – 5 days and feel, well…. ok, you will go straight back to the cycle of obtaining, using and withdrawal again. After all, that’s the only reason you eventually got out of bed. It is truly an evil thing that a person who has never used it could never understand. Consider yourself lucky, very wise and in an ever diminishing minority if you have managed to avoid or not used this drug.

jason
3:58 pm September 8th, 2016

Jackie, leave, walk away, meth users don’t want help no matter what they say, they might mean it ? but deep down they know the only thing they want and will help is more meth. He will only get help for himself once he hits rock bottom if at all and anyone that tries to help is just enabling a never ending cycle of deception and use. If a meth user tells you they haven’t used for a month cold turkey they are a liar. They tell people that love and trust them what they need to hear so they don’t leave. He doesn’t know he is not the same, he isn’t the person you knew and that will get worse but to him he has not changed a bit from who he was before. Its not denial, eventually you see the damage, you sort of were always still you on the inside, in your mind, you sort of wake up one day and people you love are crying and looking at you funny, or gone, people hate you or are scared of you and you cant for the life of you reason why ? You feel hurt and abandoned by their distance from you, you will realise one day that it was you and the drugs that caused the whole situation your in……….. but you will still use. Unless you are shipwrecked on a tiny desert island for 12 months you will always want to and continue using meth. Anyone that says im wrong is a user deceiving himself and others that he is in control or the true extent of his habit.
Warning, never leave cash or small valuable items within reach of a meth addict and blink. Seriously.

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
1:03 pm September 9th, 2016

Hi Deborah. The cost of rehabs varies from many factors such as conditions, place, what addiction is treated there, etc. I suggest that you call the number you see on the website to speak with a trusted treatment consultant who can help your husband find a treatment program that fits his needs.

Kay
2:04 pm September 30th, 2016

My 30 y.o. Son is addicted to meth. We live 500 miles apart. I’m going to help him get off. He doesn’t have electricity, water or gas. I’m afraid for him and myself. I’m really not sure what to do. He has had some psychotic episodes.

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
5:19 pm September 30th, 2016

Hi Kay. Call the helpline you see on the website to speak with a trusted treatment consultant.

Kevin
1:24 pm November 16th, 2016

Hey there! In a bit of a jam in the midst of Meth use. My girlfriend and I along with another friend spent a day together then at night my girlfriend and I started using it by inhalation in nose and drinking it with water. I believe my friend had drank from the bottle we had mixed with and could be going through severe crashing and my girlfriend is worried and all my tactics have proven wrong. He’s been eating, taken 2 hot showers, he’s tried relaxing and just can’t. Can you suggest and abnormal but fast ways to help him instead of an er trip?

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