Methamphetamine, also commonly called crystal meth, is a synthetic stimulant. Any use is deemed illegal, though it has become increasingly popular as an illicit substance because of the powerful high it produces. The drug does much more than cause a high feeling, though. Its use is also accompanied by side effects that range from minor or annoying to severe and intrusive. Meth typically comes in the form of small white or blue rocks. It is smoked or snorted.
What Does Meth Withdrawal Feel Like?
Meth is an incredibly powerful drug. Thus, withdrawal symptoms show up relatively soon when use is stopped. Typical signs of meth withdrawal include:
- Fatigue, sleepiness, or exhaustion
- Increased appetite
- Dry mouth
- Depression and apathy
- Paranoia, delusions, and even hallucinations
- Intense cravings for meth
The psychological impact of meth withdrawal is perhaps the most concerning meth withdrawal symptom. Crashing from stimulant use causes depression and even suicidal thoughts. This, matched with another sign of meth withdrawal of intense cravings, makes relapse incredibly common for meth users. Getting off of meth is always an uphill battle because of the drug’s strong hold over a person’s body and mind.
Another risky aspect of meth withdrawal is the potential for psychosis and cognitive impairments. Paranoia, delusions, and hallucinations are all frightening experiences that recovering meth users may run into. Memory problems may also ensue when someone stops using the drug. These often persist for months.
Meth Comedowns and Withdrawal Process
Meth also differs from other drugs in the severity of its comedown, which differs from full withdrawal. Comedowns from meth might be compared to a hangover from drinking too much alcohol. This is largely a result of meth’s power and how it imbalances brain chemistry. These symptoms somewhat resemble meth withdrawal symptoms, though they are typically less severe. Things like headaches, insomnia, light depression, and tiredness characterize meth comedowns.
Comedowns are such a dangerous period as they can tempt users into bingeing meth to avoid these annoying side effects. From there, an addiction becomes quite likely. The next time someone tries to stop using, they will experience full meth withdrawal symptoms instead of just a comedown.
For those who wonder what meth withdrawal feels like, it is hopefully obvious that meth withdrawal is incredibly uncomfortable. The slight saving grace is that, unlike many other drugs, meth poses a relatively consistent withdrawal timeline. Withdrawal symptoms set in within 24 hours of last use. They peak at around one week and begin to taper off after that. The majority of people in recovery indicate that withdrawal ends at two weeks.
Discover Your Meth Addiction Treatment Options at The Arbor
No medications have yet been approved to specifically address meth withdrawal symptoms. However, certain medications may be prescribed to target certain aspects of meth withdrawal. One example is antidepressants like Wellbutrin. This can be used to remediate the depression associated with meth withdrawal. Research also points to its benefit in reducing meth cravings for people going through detox. It appears most helpful in cases of light to moderate addiction.
The most often used to treat meth addiction are cognitive-behavioral therapy, the matrix model, and contingency management. The matrix model includes more than just behavioral therapy. It also employs education, 12-step programming, drug testing, and motivational intervention to support sobriety. This comprehensive approach typically spans 16 weeks, at which point further evaluation may occur to figure out the next steps beyond a full cycle of the matrix model.
Overall, treatment for meth addiction is typically inpatient or intensive outpatient. Contact 844.413.2690 to learn more about overcoming meth addiction.