Methamphetamine (also sometimes referred to as “crystal meth”, or simply “meth”) is a strong central nervous system stimulant that is mostly used as a recreational drug. It has a long history of abuse and can have extremely damaging effects on your body. Suddenly stopping after prolonged use can produce unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, so it’s important that you seek medical help before attempting meth detox,
Detox is a word that gets used a lot these days, but what does it really mean? While it can be sometimes used to describe an array of health practices, detox is the process by which your body clears out impurities. In the case of drug addiction, it refers to how your body experiences a period of withdrawal as it returns to equilibrium. Meth detox can be complicated, hence the reason why specific treatment programs exist in order to help people go through it safely.
In this blog, we will discuss the effects that meth use has on your body, and how you can safely overcome it at NP Addiction with the use of medically assisted meth detox.
Meth users may find that the initially pleasant effects of meth make repeated use tempting. However, it is highly addictive and can result in highly uncomfortable withdrawal, along with other problems. Ultimately, it may progress to the point that you may be in need of medically assisted detox to help you break the cycle of addiction and maintain long-term sobriety.
Meth withdrawal is where the brain’s chemistry has been altered to the point that the body struggles to function properly without it. Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant that releases huge amounts of dopamine – the neurotransmitter that makes us feel good.
Naturally, dopamine serves to reinforce positive behaviors such as eating, having sex, or socializing. However, meth causes unnatural levels to be released, and when it wears off we “crash”. This leaves people feeling sad, anxious, depressed, and worn out. Some people will continue their meth abuse to avoid this feeling.
Prolonged meth use causes our dopamine receptors to become desensitized, meaning that our bodies become unable to function effectively without the presence of meth. We cannot create enough dopamine to feel happy, and the dopamine we produce doesn’t have as much of an effect as it would in a non-addicted person. This starts a vicious cycle where people compulsively re-dose to avoid this crash but ultimately make their problem worse in the long run.
Why Do People Abuse Meth?
Meth is a very commonly abused drug in the United States. Some studies claim that up to half a million people in the United States use methamphetamine every week. It has certain effects that make it a legitimate prescription medication and has been useful in treating both ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and obesity. This is due to the fact that it improves concentration but also because meth suppresses the appetite. Despite its legitimate prescription use, it’s mostly abused as an illegal substance bought on the black market. It produces effects such as:
- Increased alertness
- Increased energy
- Increased concentration
- Elevated mood
- Reduced appetite
Frequent users face an increased likelihood of meth addiction and subsequent meth withdrawal. In high doses, meth can create potentially lethal effects, ranging from dangerously high body temperatures to cardiovascular collapse. Prolonged use can also cause unhealthy weight loss, dental decay, and make existing mental health problems worse.
Recognizing Meth Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms can have a variety of effects, much of which depends on how long a person has used meth, and in what doses. While not life-threatening, they are unpleasant in the acute phase and can include:
- Extreme fatigue
- Sudden weight gain
- Sleep disturbances
- Depression and anxiety
- Loss of pleasure
- Mood swings
There are also more protracted withdrawal symptoms that can affect you over a longer period of time which are known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). This is why it’s advised you undergo a medical detox that is followed by addiction treatment. This helps you relieve the meth cravings you may experience and supports you in the critical early stages of recovery.
Meth Withdrawal Timeline
Meth withdrawal can be uncomfortable and the initial withdrawal process is the most intense part. Keep in mind during this difficult period that the crash phase (when you first start to experience meth withdrawal symptoms) is the first step towards recovery and a brighter future. The withdrawal timeline usually happens as follows:
Phase 1: The First 24 hours
Withdrawal from meth can start as early as a few hours after your last dose. Acute symptoms will be visible from this point onwards. This can vary depending on how much meth you have been consuming and over how much time. This will be the most intense period of your withdrawal, but it is a sign your body is starting to recover. In this phase, you may experience symptoms such as lowered energy, nausea, and stomach pain. Your mental acuity and cognitive function could also be affected.
PHASE 2: Days Three to FIVE
These symptoms will gradually become more severe over a period of three to five days before you start to see any improvement in your condition. It is at this point you will be experiencing additional acute symptoms such as extreme fatigue, sleep problems, anxiety, and depression. You may also experience physical symptoms of meth withdrawal such as muscle pain and uncontrollable shaking. This is the result of your body slowly adapting to functioning without meth again. The good news is that once this period is over you will start to feel much better.
Phase 3: TwO weeks OnWARDS
At this point, the acute withdrawal symptoms we have described should have started subsiding. You may still possibly experience some degree of fatigue. However, there is also the added risk that once you deal with the acute phase you may start to develop post-acute symptoms (PAWS)which can include:
- Memory problems
- Difficulties concentrating
- Cognitive problems
- Suicidal ideation
These symptoms can last long after your withdrawal phase is finished. It is the final challenge of your detox process. You may still experience drug cravings once the acute phase is finished, with these lasting an average of five weeks. For this reason, it is advisable that you seek out effective treatment that provides you with a long-term strategy to deal with your meth addiction and the emergence of any post-acute syndrome.
The Difference a Medical Meth Detox Makes
Addiction can lead to a number of physical health, mental health, and interpersonal issues. It comes at a huge cost, both financially and socially. However, quitting isn’t as simple as “just stopping.” Addiction is a complex medical issue that is often a coping mechanism for more deep-rooted problems. In order to start to address these, you need to first rid your system of methamphetamine.
The first step on the road to recovery is detox. If you have tried an at-home detox, your experience of meth withdrawal might be negative. However, starting the journey in a supervised detox facility with the help of counselors and medical professionals can make a world of difference. Here, you’re helped 24/7 by trained staff and peers who understand exactly what you’re going through.
You’ll be given high-quality meals, psychologically supported, and kept safe in a drug-free environment. Sometimes, medication can be used to help with symptoms like insomnia or anxiety. With the right help, you don’t need to fear meth withdrawal, and you can feel confident taking your first steps into recovery.
How Does Meth Addiction Treatment Work?
The fact that meth withdrawal symptoms are not usually life-threatening means that it is not a medical necessity to detox under supervision. However, it will make the process much easier and will help you build a solid foundation for your long-term recovery.
At our treatment facility, we can ensure all your needs are taken care of. You will be supervised by a team of medical professionals that will ensure your meth withdrawal symptoms are managed safely. We’ll develop a structure that will help you heal psychologically and medical supervision to ensure that you are physically healthy, making the detox process as straightforward as possible.
You will also be able to take advantage of support groups that can help you balance yourself by coming to terms with your drug abuse and learning healthy coping mechanisms. The benefits of being in a new environment free of temptation are clear; you can start your recovery under the Florida sun, surrounded by peers on the same journey as you.
To ensure a healthy, long-term recovery it’s advised you choose to recover in a professional environment. Undergoing detox can seem challenging, but it can be what makes all the difference. Rather than just treat the symptoms of methamphetamine withdrawal we help you address the root cause of your addiction, empowering you to heal from the ground up.
Medically Supervised Meth Detox at NP Addiction
Methamphetamine withdrawal can seem incredibly daunting. However, at NP Addiction, treatment is accessible and effective. The withdrawal process might seem difficult, and long-term recovery takes hard work. However, we promise that if you choose to detox from meth or other drugs, we are your best route to recovery.
At NP Addiction, we ensure that you can recover in a new, safe environment that does not compromise on comfort. After all, meth detox symptoms are the result of upsetting your brain chemistry with prolonged drug use. With our medically assisted detox, we will help you unlock your natural healing potential, find your former self, and help you cope with cravings. Meth addiction is a medical condition, and it is treatable.
So do not wait, reach out now to NP Addiction and let us help you overcome substance abuse. Our treatment facility in Port Saint Lucie is waiting to serve all your needs. Contact us to start your new life today.