Crystal meth detox symptoms

Symptoms of crystal meth detox include muscle & joint pain, fatigue, depression, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. More on what to expect during crystal meth detox here.

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Crystal meth is a strong stimulant drug with nearly instant psychological impact which can occur right after the first dose. Paranoia, delirium and extreme violence are all signs of drug abuse, and the point at which detox and treating crystal meth addiction is critical.

But crystal meth withdrawal can be uncomfortable and severe. Acute episodes may last for hours, days or weeks and can highly affect perception. It’s hard for anyone to predict what the withdrawal period will be like. Even though some addicts try a cold turkey crystal meth detox, doctors suggest that you DETOX FROM METH UNDER MEDICAL SUPERVISION, so that you can get professional help when required. More on crystal meth withdrawal symptoms, duration, and methods here, with a section at the end for your questions.

Crystal meth detox: How long?

There is no actual pre-defined period of time during which user complete detox from crystal meth; in fact, meth detox largely depends on the quantity used and period of abuse.  In general, crystal meth withdrawal has two phases: the acute phase (which can last from 7-10 days) during which symptoms are more intense or severe, and the sub-acute phase (which can go on for at least 2 additional weeks).

As with any other addiction, the craving for the drug during these two early stages of addiction recovery can be very intense. It is very important that the individual undergoing this process is under strict professional supervision which can help them avoid relapse. It is advisable to choose an intense and long-term treatment for cases of crystal meth dependency and continue with professionally supervised help and counseling for six months to a year, after detox is done and the drug is out of the system.

Symptoms of crystal meth detox

Methamphetamine in not a drug one can detox from easily. The beginning of the withdrawal symptoms usually manifest as soon as the last dose wears off, and they reach a high-point within 24 hours. Although the initial withdrawal period is only 3-4 days, some symptoms are severe, and some continue over the next weeks or month after last use. Someone going through crystal meth detox is likely to experience emotional and physical “crash” as a result of the body having to re-adjust to the new situation – a lack of drug in the system.

Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms which occur during meth detox include:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • fatigue
  • fever
  • joint pain
  • muscle pain
  • nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • paranoia
  • psychosis
  • severe hunger
  • sleep deprivation

Crystal meth detox side effects and treatment

When first entering treatment, patients are usually mentally and physically unbalanced. One of the crucial parts of crystal meth detox is the initial process of stabilization. Personal issues should be addressed in order to help create a stable and balanced state of mind. Also, a physical examination should be done, in order identify to rule out any previous illnesses.

Currently, the best way to help crystal meth addiction is through a combination of psychological and behavioral therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral and contingency-management treatment and interventions. At the moment, besides the cognitive behavioral therapies, no specific medications are used in crystal meth detox treatments because none have proven to be effective in neutralizing the unique effects that methamphetamine has on the body and brain, or that are helpful in prolonging the abstinence from the drug and aid in decreasing the abuse by addicted users. Yet, short term use of antidepressants may be appropriate for crystal meth detox patients, as are other medications which can address underlying mental health disorders or physical health problems that occurred as a result of the addiction.

Comprehensive approaches that combine behavioral therapy, 12-step support, individually tailored counseling, family education, and drug testing have proven to be very effective in reduction of the methamphetamine abuse. Other types of interventions include contingency management, and motivational incentives, which use tangible incentives to the users if they agree to participate in treatment and maintain abstinence from the drug.

Detoxing from crystal meth at home

While inpatient care provides you with complete isolation from possible negative influences, outpatient programs are available for users who wish to stay at home, and continue working, and taking care of themselves and their loved ones. While detox from crystal meth at home is possible, IT IS NOT RECOMMENDED. Crystal meth detox requires eating, hydration, and rest, but without the necessary professional and supervision, risk of relapse increases.

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Questions about crystal meth detox

If you are interested in more details about what to expect when detoxing from crystal meth, please ask. If you or your loved one has had any experience, and can offer some advice, feel free to write to us in the comment section below. We welcome your questions and thoughts!

Reference Sources: SAMHSA: Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment
SAMHSA: KAP Keys Tip 45
NIDA: What treatments are effective for methamphetamine abusers?
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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