Methamphetamines are highly addictive even if a person only uses once. Some people may use a handful of times and not become addicted but it is possible to become addicted quickly because of the properties in meth. Withdrawal can be quite tricky depending on the individual, length of time using and amount used. Learning what happens in withdrawal from meth can guide people to a better understanding of what help is available.
Some drugs can be life threatening during the withdrawal period (alcohol or benzodiazepines) but meth withdrawal is unlikely to be dangerous. In extreme cases, the way a person feels or thinks can lead to self harm or potential harm for others. Methamphetamine withdrawal may be dangerous under the following circumstances:
- Experience strong psychosis and become danger to self or others
- Become very depressed or suicidal
- Experience underlying psychological or other health issues which complicate withdrawal
Challenges of Meth Withdrawal
What meth withdrawal feels like varies person to person. Quitting meth cold turkey can produce extreme fatigue, mental depression, apathy, long periods of sleep, irritability and disorientation. The most notable symptoms of meth withdrawal include cravings and dysphoria (extreme dissatisfaction with life) which usually resolves in the weeks after last use. Some symptoms of mood and sleep disorders can continue for weeks to months later.
The amount, frequency and duration of use of methamphetamine can determine how long it takes to withdraw from dependence on the drug. Physical health is also a factor. The most common signs of meth withdrawal may include:
- Depressed mood
- Drug craving
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Increased appetite and need for sleep
- Loss of interest in life
- Vivid and unpleasant dreams
Getting Help for Meth Addiction
No medications can be used to treat meth withdrawal. The most effective treatments for methamphetamine withdrawal include behavioral therapies, cognitive-behavioral and contingency-management interventions. Others may include family education, individual counseling and 12-step support groups.
Intense memories and thoughts about life occur when a person is high on meth called triggers. Triggers can lead to cravings which are an intense need or feeling to use meth. Most of the work of quitting meth revolves around dealing with triggers and cravings. This is an inevitable part of quitting meth which can be dealt with through education but also natural remedies such as acupuncture, nutritional supplements and some herbal remedies. Balancing mood and regulating sleep can help reduce the desire to use meth including a healthy diet.
Easing Withdrawal from Meth
Seek medical attention to detox from meth. The preferred method is through inpatient treatment followed by several months or years in a halfway house. During acute withdrawal, supportive medical interventions can address symptoms as they arise. Part of treatment focuses on teaching the person to feel good without drugs. Ongoing psychiatric care with antidepressant therapy has proven effective in early recovery. A person who wishes to withdraw from meth may turn to the following individuals for help: addiction counselor, doctor, psychologist or treatment center, drug detox clinic, family doctor or psychiatrist. Any of these individuals or treatment protocols can support a person’s recovery from meth.
There are possible health risks associated with meth withdrawal.
Help is available to cope and regain control of your life.
Call Hired Power at 800-910-9299 to find out
how we can help you on the journey to recovery.