Wednesday November 22nd 2017

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When to seek medical attention for meth withdrawal

When you should seek emergency or medical help during meth withdrawal? Basically, serious symptoms of meth withdrawal include suicidal thoughts, severe depression, or even psychosis. A review of problematic symptoms and protocol for their treatment here. Then, we invite your questions about medical attention during meth withdrawal at the end.

Fierce meth withdrawal symptoms may require professional help

Because of the erratic and serious nature of meth withdrawal symptoms (including the distinct possibility of extreme depression), recovery from meth addiction usually requires professional help. Meth addiction, which can happen quickly and powerfully, is difficult to overcome alone. The chances of relapse are significantly higher for a meth addict who does not seek medical, psychological, emotional and spiritual help. So, what can happen during meth withdrawal to put you or a loved one in danger?

At first, in a stage professionals call “the crash,” feelings of hopelessness and panic arise, and the body needs the nutrition it has been lacking during a crystal binge. The principle need during this phase of meth withdrawal is to fulfill the need to sleep and eat. As withdrawal continues, a meth addict may continue to feel completely exhausted in every sense of the word, and suicidal thoughts may occur. It is these symptoms of dysphoria (the opposite of feeling high) that can provoke dangerous thoughts, behaviors, or actions.

In many cases, withdrawal symptoms may lessen within a week or two, but not always, even if you go cold turkey off meth. Sometimes even after a few weeks after an addict has given up the use of meth, withdrawal symptoms can continue to crop up. An untreated addict will tested to give in to meth cravings in order to feel better rather than endure a severe or lengthy withdrawal period. With professional help, however, people withdrawing from meth can learn to cope with symptoms and then begin to build a foundation for recovery.

Medical reasons for meth withdrawal symptoms

Excessive use of any drug or alcohol, particularly crystal methamphetamine, will affect the way the brain and body function. The brain chemistry actually changes, and vitamin deficiency occurs after repeated use of meth. A medical explanation for one of the strongest meth withdrawal symptoms: depression-is the sudden drop in dopamine levels, which results in the inability to feel pleasure. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, which spikes with the use of crystal methamphetamine. When meth suddenly stops coming into the system, the pleasure factor also stops. The resulting dark mood, which is the extreme opposite of the sensations that have occurred under the influence of meth, can be a factor in relapse for meth users who try to recover without professional medical and therapeutic help.

Extended meth use also can damage serotonin neutrons. Serotonin levels can affect anger, mood, sexuality, sleep and appetite. Serious damage to serotonin neutrons has the potential to cause brain damage and limit cognitive functions. The effects of meth on dopamine and serotonin are still under study; however, the complexity of the issue is further evidence of the need for professional intervention in recovering from meth addiction.

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Meth withdrawal symptoms might include psychotic breaks

In more severe cases, people recovering from meth addiction can experience a psychotic break. The psychotic symptoms include hallucinations and delusions. Hallucinations range from auditory (one hears voices) or visual (one sees things that do not exist), to tactile (one feels as if bugs are crawling on the skin) sensations.  Delusions are false beliefs, such as exaggerated sense of importance or fear of persecution.

Other psychotic symptoms may be paranoia or obsessions. With paranoia, a person becomes overly suspicious of others and believes that people are watching him. Obsessive or compulsive behavior might be something like repetitively washing one’s hands. These symptoms are particularly difficult, if not life-threatening, to handle without proper medical and psychological care.

The importance of medical help during meth withdrawal

For these reasons, it is extremely important that you seek medical supervision during meth withdrawal. You need not go through meth withdrawal alone. And it can actually be dangerous to quit meth on your own. Not only for yourself, but for those around you. Furthermore, you may benefit from short term prescription of antidepressant or anti-psychotic medications.

Where can you go for help?  Doctors, psychologist, and psychiatrists can provide you with assessments for addiction AND can help refer you to specialist centers for withdrawal. Detox clinics trained in protocols for withdrawal can help ease the process with psychological and emotional support. IF you are looking for a continuum of care, you can look into short or long term residential rehab centers with detox clinics. This way, you can transition from detox directly into addiction treatment more easily.

Questions about emergency meth withdrawal

Do you still have questions about when to seek medical help for meth withdrawal? Please ask us in the section below. We do our best to respond to all questions with a personal and prompt reply.

Photo credit: Darko Stojanovic

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16 Responses to “When to seek medical attention for meth withdrawal
11:22 am June 15th, 2015

Please help me find a free detox/treatment center in Daytona Florida. Have sober friends there and i want outvof Texas asap! I’m around dangerous people here and wantvmy life back.

5:25 pm June 18th, 2015

Hello Nikk. You can start your search through the treatment locator: I already selected Daytona, FL and now you can choose specifications such as type of treatment, payment options, service settings, etc. Also, call the helpline number displayed on our site to get in touch with our trusted treatment providers.

12:53 am August 25th, 2015


I used meth for 2 days straight, and quit cold turkey the next day. I could not sleep the following days. I feel pairanoyed and fell like I can’t stay in one place I only use those two days and quit after bt I still fell weird feelings after 4 days of the use, how long will I feel like this?

12:54 pm August 25th, 2015

Hello Gustavo. It will take a few days before your organism stabilizes from the use of meth and heals. Drink fluids to eliminate metabolites faster and eat whole and healthy food to support your body and mind.

1:37 pm November 9th, 2015

I am on day two detoxing at home and don’t know if I need to go to the hospital or if this is normal… I am so constipated I can barely sit or stand, stomach extended 2-3 times more than normal, can barely eat because of it I think. Also my legs ankles and feet are so swollen it’s hard to stand or walk. They hurt pretty bad, but my whole body does. Oh I’m also very weak and exhausted but can barely sleep.

I don’t want to go in if this isn’t that big of a deal and I’m just having some paranoia and this gets better on its own.

Thank you

5:14 pm November 10th, 2015

Hello Riley. Hang in there! You make the right decision. Have you tried any home remedies about your constipation? Make sure to drink many fluids, and take into account over-the-counter medication. If your condition get worse, then seek help from a doctor.

4:19 pm March 14th, 2016

im 17 and currently on probation & house arrest. I’ve recently quit using meth, and I have very bad headaches and strong withdraw. Im open to go to the hospital for medical help but would the hospital have any legal obligation to tell probation if im on an electric monitor? thanks

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
11:07 am March 18th, 2016

HI Desiree. It seems to me that the hospital should have legal obligation to tell your probation officer. Or you may call your probation officer and ask him.

2:41 am March 18th, 2016

I have gone on a week and half long binge, I have IV used close to a half ounce of meth and cold turkey quit… family is there hours away and insist I get home. I can’t find the mental strength of drive to get home . my last pay check is coming to work tomorrow since I walked out on the job and my sober house…..what should I do.

5:15 am May 1st, 2016

I need some advice on how to convince my sister in law that she needs to seek professional help right away. She is having hallucinations both visual and auditory. She also feels that people are following her with the intention to take her life.

9:01 pm July 11th, 2016

I have beginning stage of meth mouth , I have gmcuts from clinching on teeth , tounge is A little sore, mouth is super dry & mh glands hurt & are inflamed , should I go to get treated from urgent care , will I get in trouble ? What will happen ?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
1:27 pm July 21st, 2016

Hi Lololo. I suggest you call the number you see on the website to speak with a trusted treatment consultant who can help you find the treatment program that fits your needs.

9:17 am October 21st, 2016

I’ve been awake for 5 days now. I need to sleep but have laid in bed each night, all night, til sun comes up.

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
3:26 pm October 28th, 2016

I Jon. I suggest that you see your doctor.

5:04 am January 30th, 2017

I finally want to quit Crystal meth but my withdrawals are seriously horrible. Please help me find where to detox asap before tomorrow. I don’t have insurance or money. I live in camden county new Jersey,and don’t know if an emergency room couple do anything

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
11:49 am February 1st, 2017

Hi Scott. Call the helpline you see on the website to speak with a trusted treatment consultant who can help you find a program that fits your needs.

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About Jillian Jesser

Jillian Jesser loves life and tries to live it to the fullest each and every day. After failing to finish two drug and alcohol detox programs in as many years, she managed to complete the program the third time and follow through with residential treatment ending her addictions for good.

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