When to seek medical attention for meth withdrawal

When you should seek emergency or medical help during meth withdrawal? A review of problematic symptoms and protocol for their treatment here.

minute read

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.

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.

About the author
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.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I have read and agree to the conditions outlined in the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

  1. My wife is on day 4 to my knowledge. She is extremely violent I have spent the past 4 nights on the couch. Woke up to her talking to herself about bleaching all my clothes and lots of crazy things. How long does this last? What are my options?

    1. Hi Brett. Crystal meth withdrawal can be unpleasant and dangerous. For short-time users the symptoms will usually last a few days. The duration and severity of the symptoms increase depending on how long and how much crystal meth has been used. It is recommended that meth withdrawal be done under medical supervision in a clinical setting.
      I suggest you call the helpline displayed on our website so you learn more about the treatment option available for your wife.

  2. Hi my boyfriend is coming off of meth and is in a lot of pain mostly his back, knees, hips, feet and hands. To the point he wakes in the middle of the night crying grabbing his wrists or thighs. Also his hands and feet are very swollen. What can I do to help him if he won’t see a doctor?

  3. I’m writing for my dear friend, Elise. She isn’t supposed to use any drugs or alcohol due to a DUI a few years back. She is currently under the influence of Methamphetamine and wants to go into the ER due to blurry vision and twitching in her right eye. Her heart rate is a little high and she’s a little worried. Is this something she would need to be seen for? Will the hospital report her to the police because of internal use of the drug?

    1. Hi Jay. First of all your friend has a serious problem with substances. Not only she put her life at risk, but she also put others when she drove under influence. Second, I suggest that she goes to the hospital for her current symptoms. Finally, I suggest that you as a her friend to talk about her drug use, and even stage an intervention for enrolling into rehab.

  4. Hi I was a heavy ongoing meth user IV and smoking. I’m about 1 day in and my spine hurts, I’m swollen all over headache and there is a sticky wet fluid that hleaks out my skin enough to leave drops on the floor. I have some abdominal pain. My skin feels crispy and leather. I have fuzz like white junk coming out and feels like hair is all over me. Is this normal?.or should I seek medical help

  5. I am experiencing very strong negative thoughts and emotional torture. At this time I am not sure what to do I feel so embarrassed to ask for help and I am at my doctors/counselors office and I can’t get myself to tell someone exactly what is going on. I think everyone knows about a decision I made while high. I am looking for some kind of help and I am not sure what to ask do or say or think.
    I have never felt this way in my life and I am barely holding on.

  6. Stopped using meth bout 3 days ago got fever really bad cough and a headache that feels like my heads gonna pop..i feel like i have the flu but i get this way when i stop using

  7. My husband went cold turkey off extreme meth binge of a week and he has type 1 Diabetes as well as bipolar disorder and heart valve leakages. He is extremely exhausted and very depressed. We don’t have insurance that supports any mental or substance abuse issues so we have to do it this way. I love him so very much and he has beennusing on and off for a year but this last binge was the longest. He came to me and said he did not want anymore but cannot say no if it is near him( and his family member deals Irvin the same home he lived in and is now only 10 miles away). We are seeking help through our church and a facility of abstinence and work but do you suggest any other type of therapy? And how do we go about getting it? We live in Huntsville, Texas which is in Walker county and there is no help here which is ironic because the meth problem in this area is supposed to be one of the worst in the country. I watch intervention all the time and wonder why they don’t know about what goes on here. I haven’t called for him because his family is all addicted or insensitive and I don’t want him to be exposed or hurt anymore. Can you please help us? I feel lost and hopeless. Thank you.

    1. Hi Michelle. First, I suggest that you do a research on SAHSA’s treatment locator: https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/
      You may add more specific information such as sex, insurance, specific substance abuse services, area, etc. to narrow down the rehab facilities. Each center on the list have a phone number, so you can call and discuses the options for your husband.
      Also, call the helpline you see on the website to get in touch with a trusted treatment consultant who can help you find the best rehab for your husband.

  8. Hi my 24 yr old son is trying to quit meth cold turkey. He called for me to puck him up and bring him 6 hrs away from the life he had been living. He is now home and the withdrawal is starting. He has been in “crash” for about 4 days but this morning complained of severe itching and irritability. Before he came home he agreed to go to hospital for a 3 day chemical detox and when I mentioned it this morning it upset him some. We the family agree he needs to be under medical supervision especially during the withdrawal symptoms, he’s afraid he will be locked down for weeks or that going into the hospital will haunt him for future employment. Is this just parinoia on his part or are his fears real? This is all new to our family but he trusted me enough to call and admit he has an addiction and needs help, now reluctant to go in…please help

    1. Hi Kimberly. Anxiety, depression and paranoia are frequent withdrawal symptoms when a person is quitting meth. It is usually because of the strong psychological difficulties that at home detox is not advised. You and your son should not worry about privacy issues as most detox clinics keep your information strictly confidential. The key benefit of undergoing a medically supervised detox is the care people receive when feeling depressed and/or anxious. If you want to discuss in details about the opportunities of a medically supervised detox call 1-877-759-8240.

  9. 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

    1. 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.

  10. 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 ?

    1. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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…..my 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.

  13. 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

    1. 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.

  14. 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

    1. 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.

  15. Helo,

    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?

    1. 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.

  16. 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.

I am ready to call
i Who Answers?