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What are meth withdrawal symptoms?

Quitting meth can be very difficult. This is mostly due to the intense and uncomfortable meth withdrawal symptoms that most people experience when they try to quit.   So whether you snort meth, smoke it, or inject it…meth is one of the hardest drugs to quit.  But getting help for meth addiction is possible!!!

What can you expect when you withdraw from meth?  Learn more about meth withdrawal symptoms, how long they last, and what you can do about them here. Then, ask us your questions about withdrawal at the end. We do our best to respond to all legitimate questions personally and promptly.

Why do meth withdrawal symptoms occur?

In order to understand why meth withdrawal symptoms occur, you must first understand homeostasis, which is the process that helps keep all of the body’s functions balanced. The body has trouble functioning properly with extremes, such as the extreme dopamine rushes that occur with meth use. After regular use of meth, the body’s functions actually begin to change in order to compensate for the extreme changes brought on by the drug. When a person stops taking meth, the body is still trying to function at this altered homeostasis. It is this disruption in the internal environment that causes meth withdrawal symptoms and it takes time for these “rebound” symptoms of hunger, fatigue, and mood to even out.

What are symptoms of meth withdrawal?

The three main symptoms of meth withdrawal include:

1. Depression

2. Extreme fatigue

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3. Increased appetite

Meth affects the brain by flooding it with dopamine, a neurotransmitter that directly stimulates the brain’s pleasure centers. When a person who is physically dependent on meth stops taking it, this causes a drastic drop in the levels of dopamine in the brain. Therefore, one of the main symptoms of meth withdrawal is depression. In some cases, depression caused by meth withdrawal can even result in suicidal thoughts or actions.

Meth is also a very strong stimulant, and many users suffer from sleep deprivation without even knowing it until they quit. It is also an appetite suppressant as well. Because of this, symptoms of meth withdrawal also usually include excessive sleepiness and increased appetite. Weight gain can also occur during meth withdrawal.

Meth withdrawal symptoms: How long?

For most people, meth withdrawal symptoms begin shortly after the last use of the drug, usually withing a few hours to a day later. These symptoms typically peak roughly a few days later before they start to decrease in intensity. Meth symptoms may last anywhere from a week to several weeks, depending on the severity of the dependency.

Meth withdrawal symptom treatment

The best way to get meth withdrawal symptom treatment is to withdraw under medical supervision. For many, it’s very difficult to quit using meth and deal with the withdrawal symptoms without professional help. A meth detox facility, or other drug detox facility, can help individuals detox from this drug safely. Because of the depression during meth withdrawal, some individuals may also benefit from antidepressants as well as mental health counseling.

Questions about meth withdrawal symptoms

Whether you’re dealing with meth withdrawal yourself or you’re looking for help for a loved ones, there’s a good chance you have a few questions. Don’t hesitate to ask your questions in the comments below, and we’ll try to answer them as soon as we can. Also, feel free to comment if you have any advice of your own or would like to share your experience.

Reference Sources: NIDA: Methamphetamine Abuse and Addiction
PubMed: The nature, time course and severity of methamphetamine withdrawal
Illinois Attorney General – Treatment for Meth Addiction
SAMHSA Tip 45: Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment

Photo credit: caruba

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21 Responses to “What are meth withdrawal symptoms?
7:06 am July 1st, 2013

I’ve been addicted to meth on and off for the last 5 years.

Most recently I’ve been smoking daily for about 8months although only in relatively small amounts. I would say I consume about 1-1.5grams /wk.

Just wondering if anyone has any advice on kicking this habit for good and approximately how long it will take for the withdrawal symptoms to pass if I were to quit.

Appreciate any help. Thanks :)


1:46 pm July 1st, 2013

Hi Maddy. It can take weeks or months for meth cravings to significantly weaken. I’d suggest that you seek help for stopping from a certified psychologist who works with addictions. And/Or seek help from a treatment center or support group. Meth is one of the toughest drugs to quit and I commend you for taking a look at your use and wanting to stop. You are not alone!

12:40 pm January 28th, 2014

My boyfriend is attempting to quit on his own. Hes already a troubled individual, really emotional. im not sure how to help never dealt with this before and afraid he may commit suicide or something

11:05 am January 31st, 2014

Hello Nicole. Id’ suggest that you look into a supervised detox clinic for him. In addition to making him comfortable medically, a detox clinic can provide experienced emotional and psychological support that is qualified and based on best practices.

Asif Rahman
9:46 pm January 31st, 2014

i’ve been addicted to meth for last 1.5 years.i take 2-3 pills a day.i don’t take it always.4-5 days in a i want to totally stop meth.but i want to know what will be the withdrawal symptoms.and how long it lasts.
please help me.Appreciate any help.

6:36 am February 1st, 2014

Hello Asif. Symptoms of meth withdrawal may last anywhere from a week to several weeks, depending on the severity of the dependency. I’d suggest that you continue reading about symptoms by searching for these terms on the internet “ meth withdrawal symptoms”.

7:56 pm February 23rd, 2014

I have a daughter that has been using and I don’t know what to do to help. She was just recently put on an antidepressant but wonder if it will help if she is still using. She has also just recently told her counselor and me that she wants to go to a rehab but now seems to be dragging her feet. Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated.

9:37 am February 25th, 2014

Hello Mary. Check out the CRAFT method. CRAFT teaches you how to encourage your loved one to reduce use and enter treatment. The other goal of CRAFT is to help you enhance your own quality of life. This non-confrontational method shows better, more lasting results than the traditional, confrontational “intervention”.

1:13 pm March 24th, 2014

My son has been using smoking meth for a week straight. He is now home and he wants to sleep all the time and he doesn’t want to do anything. He says he doesn’t feel well. Can he be having withdrawal symptoms only after a week of using?
Thank you

1:44 pm March 24th, 2014

Hello Cindy. Absolutely. Week-long binges on meth can result in extreme fatigue. Have you thought about setting boundaries with him and trying to get him into treatment? Co-dependence can take on many forms, including enabling.

2:25 am October 21st, 2014

Ive been using meth for years and i tend to gain a ton of weight eat more and have no energy i doze off on it tend to sit on my ass as it gets bigger and just smoke while i get bigger and bigger and look fat and ugly am so done with this shit God bless!

5:53 am April 7th, 2015

Is it true that even with one time use of meth that you can have some of the withdrawal symptoms for the rest of your life?

12:40 pm April 9th, 2015

Hi unknown. No, withdrawal symptoms occur only as the substance you’ve formed physical dependence to is leaving your system. They can also occur if you significantly lower your usual dose or stop taking a substance completely (but only if you’ve been using the substance for a while).

3:15 am April 24th, 2015

Ive been using meth for bout 10months straight evryday i put inside capsules and taken orally whole time…been clean bout 2 dsys and i get these ljke electrical skocks all the way from my head to tip of my fingers to tip of my toes get so light headed and dizzy i think im a fall over.. its kinda freaking me out and im starting to get a lil scared i just wanted to no if this is normal withdraw symptoms or should i be nervous

11:23 am April 26th, 2015

Uv got a ? So I know someone who’s been doing meth but I’m not sure if he’s still doing it but he’s acting crazy now like walking in the woods thinking cameras are up an running around cars an dunking, I wanna know if this can happen when you quit doing meth?

6:07 pm July 5th, 2015

My 27 year old daughter is very addicted to meth and so is her boyfriend . They break into businesses at night for metal to recycle for money. They have been doing this for years. She was recently arrested for a warrant that had nothing to do with her break ins. Her bail was $35,000. But she was released that night. I prayed for the jail to keep her until court date. No such luck. When she called me from jail I told her she needed rehab and her response was they do drugs in rehab. She told me when she got out that she wasn’t going to do anymore. I do believe she wants help but is very afraid . I know she will not keep her court date and another warrant will be put out and the same cycle will begin again. The original warrant was for destruction of property, hit and run and physical abuse. I know the jails are crowded but if they would just keep her for a month or two I do believe she would get the help she needs. How do I get the system to help keep her until her next court date and for the judge make her do rehab or do time in jail ( prison). Some one have any ideas or know a police officer or judge to help. We live in hesperia california near apple valley. any ideas would help

8:25 pm August 28th, 2015

I quit cold turkey. My big issue from withdrawel is constant bowel movement. Is this common?

12:29 am December 2nd, 2015

My friend took meth for the first time and is facing withdrawal symptoms. How long will it take tk recover?

2:04 pm December 2nd, 2015

Hi Joe. Did your friend use meth only that one time? Within the first 24 – 72 hours he will probably feel exhaustion, need to sleep longer and feel depressive. Be on the lookout for possible anxiety or panic.

5:16 pm December 19th, 2015

my son was not a full user of meth but he shot up for a couple weeks at a time,, then quit then shot up again,, he has been off for about 3 weeks, and he still has bumps all over his body that he says itches so bad,, ..what can we do to help this, is it from the meth? or maybe something else,,..thank you,

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
2:44 pm December 21st, 2015

Hi, Regina. Yes, itching may be meth withdrawal symptom. Have your son tried baths or lotions that ease itching? If not, he can try them.

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