Meth Withdrawal: What You Need to Know
24 June, 2022
Struggling with an addiction to methamphetamines has disastrous effects on the body and mind. Stopping meth use is essential for one’s health. However, overcoming meth addiction can be incredibly difficult, and preparing for the effects of meth withdrawal is crucial while navigating recovery during this transformative time.
Despite the difficulties of withdrawal, overcoming addiction and pursuing a life of sobriety is always possible with the right treatment and support.
Forms of Methamphetamines
Meth comes in a variety of forms. The most common form is known as “crystal meth,” named for its ice- or rock-like appearance. However, meth’s various other forms, such as “base” and “speed,” are just as dangerous. Speed takes on a powdery appearance, while base presents as a white or yellowish oily substance commonly administered as an injection.
Regardless of the form of meth used, its destructive effects cannot be denied. Coupled with the fact that it may be cut with more illicit substances or administered through unsanitary practices, it can be incredibly difficult to determine all the ways addiction to methamphetamines may affect each person.
Overcoming an addiction to meth is complicated, as there may be unknown other chemicals or effects when it comes to street-level drugs. This can introduce further unforeseen side effects and challenges to recovery.
The Effects of Meth
Meth carries a plethora of detrimental effects on the body and eliminating the use of the drug is necessary for one’s health. While each individual will react differently to the drug, some of the most common effects of meth use include:
Tooth and gum decay
Sores and scabs
High blood pressure
The effects on one’s body can be further exacerbated if one experiences “meth mites,” which cause an individual to pick at their skin or scabs. Coupled with track marks if one is using injection as an administration method, the damage to one’s body can be severe, on top of the destructive mental and emotional effects.
Finally, there is a very real risk of methamphetamine overdose.
Preparing for and navigating withdrawal from meth during one's recovery journey requires the help of medical detox professionals.
Factors of Meth Withdrawal
Not everyone will experience withdrawal symptoms in the same way, and there are several factors involved that may inform how intense the experiences may be. The method of use — whether one is injecting, smoking, or snorting the drug — the frequency of use, the concurrent use of other drugs or alcohol, and one's diet all impact experiences with meth withdrawal.
Professional supervision is crucial to help cope with these intense or unforeseen effects of meth withdrawal to best react to one's needs in an informed, decisive, and prepared manner.
Symptoms of Meth Withdrawal
Taking the first step toward a healthier future means facing detox and withdrawal symptoms, and those struggling with an addiction to methamphetamines will need to overcome this difficult first hurdle. Intense cravings for meth can set in within 24 hours of the last use, and come coupled with feelings of panic, depression, anxiety, paranoia, and hopelessness.
The intense psychological effects of meth withdrawal can also cause an individual to engage in risky or self-destructive behavior to attempt to quell these intense symptoms, and professional monitoring is essential to ensure that one doesn’t compromise their sober efforts early in the journey.
Luckily, these withdrawal symptoms are temporary, and getting through them safely can set one up for a healthy transition to further treatment and recovery. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) can help alleviate some of these symptoms, but an individual will still have to work with professional therapists on their coping strategies to navigate this time.
The Timeline of Meth Withdrawal
Withdrawal symptoms are typically most intense right at the onset of them and may last for about a week. While this is challenging, symptoms should also begin to subside after this initial phase, where symptoms may still be present over subsequent weeks and months but get less severe.
However, cravings and urges to reengage with methamphetamines will likely continue to persist and navigating detox and withdrawal does not mark the end of the journey with recovery from meth addiction. Detox is only the first step in the treatment process if one wants to reach lasting recovery and sobriety.
The Need for Professional Detox
Even the most genuine and caring loved ones of someone struggling with an addiction to meth are not professionals when it comes to detox and withdrawal. There is no replacement for professional support during this time. Not only does surrounding oneself with trained and understanding medical professionals provide essential resources, but it also provides access to professional therapy and medication to manage the psychological effects of withdrawal and help cope with the intense effects.
Navigating withdrawal in a dedicated detox program also ensures that one isn’t inadvertently surrounded by unnecessary stressors or opportunities to reengage with meth. This sober and stable environment can promote a healthier, safer atmosphere as one begins their journey toward a truly healthy, transformed, and clean and sober future.
The Edge Treatment Center Offers Proven Treatment for Meth Addiction
Withdrawal from methamphetamines poses a difficult battle, and The Edge Treatment Center can help you begin your journey to recovery today. We take a personalized approach to recovery, filling your time with us with individualized approaches and strategies to build upon your strengths and unique goals for sobriety.
We also offer an array of programs, from detox and residential care to partial hospitalization and outpatient treatment, helping you transition throughout your entire journey.
For more information on how we can help you, contact The Edge Treatment Center today.