What to Expect When Detoxing from Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine has a reputation for being a life-destroying drug. Its highly addictive nature can lead to long-term consequences, such as psychosis, cognitive dysfunction, memory loss, violent behavior, weight loss, and severe dental problems. The drug can produce long-lasting neurological damage. However, recent research suggests that some of this damage may heal itself with prolonged abstinence. Some studies have found that brain functions, such as focus and impulse control, recover after a year or more of abstinence, indicating the possibility of neurological recovery from meth. Those addicted to meth must recognize that there is still hope. The earlier one decides to quit meth, the more likely they are to avoid, or to recover from, the long-term damage the drug can cause. Successful meth addiction recovery begins with meth detox.
Detoxing From Meth
The first step in meth addiction recovery is detoxification, meaning stopping use and removing all traces of the drug from one’s system. Meth’s highly addictive nature ensures that strong cravings will be present when one discontinues use. It is therefore not advisable to attempt the detox process at home on one’s own, due to the risk of relapse. Instead, detoxing under the guidance and supervision of a medical professional is highly recommended. Individuals with severe cases of meth abuse should consider an inpatient medical detox setting, where medical professionals can assess the patient and provide supportive care to manage withdrawal symptoms.
Common Withdrawal Symptoms of Meth
Withdrawal from methamphetamine presents differently in individuals depending on their time and severity of use of the substance. Meth withdrawal is generally not life threatening, although the mental and emotional states it can cause in severe cases can lead to dangerous behaviors, such as suicidal ideation or psychosis. Common symptoms of meth withdrawal include potentially severe depression, anxiety, paranoia, psychosis, increased appetite and sleeping, and intense cravings.
Meth Withdrawal Stages
Typically, meth withdrawal occurs in two stages. First is the acute phase, in which symptoms begin with a severe peak within 24 hours of last use of the drug. This initial peak is often referred to as a “crash”. These symptoms gradually taper off until about a week to 10 days from last use. Then, a sub-acute withdrawal phase of about two weeks occurs in which symptoms are still present, but considerably milder. One study found depressive and psychotic symptoms persisted and resolved through the first week of withdrawal (the acute phase), but that cravings continued through the second week until slowly decreasing thereafter. As with many other addictive substances, post-acute withdrawal syndrome – an experience where individuals with long-term drug use experience prolonged symptoms after withdrawal — can occur with meth, presenting symptoms such as decreased brain function and mood disturbances.
Meth Addiction Recovery at a Treatment Center After Detox
While detoxing from meth and getting through the withdrawal process are critical, they are just one step on the road to recovery. Detoxing without addressing the underlying issues that led to meth use in the first place is likely to lead to relapse. This speaks to the importance of finding post-detox care. Dedicated substance use treatment centers can give meth-addicted individuals a supportive, drug-free environment in which to receive the treatment necessary to take back their lives.
Granite Recovery Centers in New Hampshire offers comprehensive drug rehab treatment plans that include 12-Step work and clinical care, designed to treat the causes of addiction and give individuals the sense of community, support, self-direction, and control they need to build better lives, free of meth and other substance addiction.
Call Granite Recovery Centers at 603-339-4160 to speak with an admissions specialist.