What to Expect When Quitting Meth


The physical withdrawal symptoms a person experiences while quitting meth are not as severe as for people quitting other types of drugs. That’s not to say, however, that quitting meth is any less difficult. Meth users can go through a variety of physical and intense emotional withdrawal symptoms, most common of which are fatigue, hunger, sleep cycle disruptions, restlessness, and cravings.


Psychological Withdrawal from Meth

While quitting meth, severe psychological withdrawal symptoms are most common, and they present the biggest challenges. As with all withdrawal symptoms, the severity will be affected by factors such as how long a person was addicted to meth, how much they used each day, and the presence of other medical conditions or additional drug use. After an addict’s last dose of meth, it takes about 24 to 48 hours for it to be cleared from their system. Methamphetamines essentially raise the levels of dopamine in a person’s brain. Dopamine affects a variety of psychological processes, and it most notably affects feelings of pleasure and reward. Methamphetamines also destroy dopamine receptors in the brain. After quitting meth, addicts can descend into a deep depression and experience anhedonia, which is the inability to feel pleasure. Additional psychological withdrawal symptoms can include paranoia, psychosis, anxiety, agitation, suicidal thoughts, and vivid, lucid nightmares. All of these symptoms can be severe and may last for weeks, and depression can persist much longer.


Treatment for Meth Withdrawal

The best way to quit using meth is to detox in the safety of a medical center. Because meth withdrawal is mostly psychological, the detox center can provide a supportive atmosphere and try to keep patients comfortable. Many meth users are also detoxing from other drugs, too, however, so they may need to receive medical treatment for other withdrawal symptoms. In the process of quitting meth, a person may experience experience severe depression, anxiety, psychosis, suicidal thoughts, or sleep problems that last longer than one or two weeks. They might be treated with medication like antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication (non-benzodiazepine), anti-psychotic medication, or sleep aids.

It can be difficult to treat these problems for those who are quitting meth, because it can be a long time, usually months, before their brain chemistry improves. In very severe cases, the damage done to a meth addict’s brain can be permanent. The most effective treatments are those that are multifaceted and may include cognitive-behavioral therapy, group and individual counseling, education on drugs, addiction, and relapse, and a program (for example, a 12-step program specifically for meth addicts is Crystal Meth Anonymous). Former meth addicts may also need to get treatment for dental or skin problems, or other physical deterioration’s that occurred during their addiction. As long as a meth addict is willing to accept help and work toward change, a full recovery is achievable.

Quitting meth is a very serious life choice. Meth has very destructive qualities to it, and it is especially harmful to your body. Your best option is to detox, and then attend an addiction treatment center. Too often people try quitting meth without professorial help, and very rarely does it work out.


ulises acosta - January 19, 2014.

I been sober for 1 moth but I still wounder how long do I need to be ok

Emmalee Barnes - January 21, 2014.

Been sober itll be 2 years as of 6.30.14

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LpzA - February 15, 2014.

Been sober for one month. I haven't touched Meth or been Around anyone who goes at it. I'm wondering how long it will take for my mood swings to go away and my cravings ? Thanks

LpzA - February 15, 2014.

I sometimes feel "lost" like I'm not this sober person IAM now. I guess I got so custom being the "superstar kid" while in meth that now in like WTF who am I? Ugh makes me wanna go get high so I can feel "normal" again but I know meth is evil and I don't want any part of it

Alicia - February 20, 2014.

I've been sober going on 2 months after 4 years of using as much as i wanted daily i have no problem with drug cravings but have extreme anxiety in public

Elaine - March 18, 2014.

I am married to a meth addict; I abuse alcohol. He cannot get beyond the first week without meth, although we once went over a month without. Off of meth he is a nice, funny human who says he feels great and life is better. So why do we end up back to using? Because we do not realize it is a lifelong battle and we do not seek treatment. We think we can do it ourselves, we just have to figure out what it takes. Can couples get sober together?

Tim Stoddart - March 18, 2014.

Anything is possible Elaine. You should call us we will hep you through it. 866-317-7050.

maria - March 19, 2014.

I just found out my 18 is using meth. I'm very sad and confused. I want to help her but don't know how. Please someone help me. Please email me mf010673@gmail.com. I want to just lock her in a room for days until she sobers up...then get counseling.

Kari - April 6, 2014.

If I can give someone hope an change their life I'm going to share with you my story of recovery. I was 24 when my best friend brought meth to my door. My life went on a roller coaster ride that I couldn't get off for 12 years I was a user not an abuser. Thinking I was a little better but it wasn't I wish I would of never touched it. It destroyed my life and the rebuilding of my life has been a very trial episode. Five years ago was my deepest darkest hole of quitting im 5years clean and I will never look back and think that I could ever touch meth again my life has turned around tremendously to actually have hope and and Live my lifethink it'll always get better each day don't ever quit trying to get off even if you fall back and just know that it is possible and it is I did it by myself in a house by myself and that's after 12 years so we're stronger than we think with a supported family too helps. An what I learned from my usage is I have to love myself no matter what no one is going to love you unless you love you first take care

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