Concerns about what they may have to endure during withdrawal can stop people from trying to quit using meth. When people know the answers to questions such as how long does meth withdrawal last and what happens during this process, this can eliminate their fear of the unknown.
What Happens During Meth Withdrawal?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), about 2.5 million people in the United States used methamphetamine in the previous 12 months, and about 1.6 million people were addicted to the drug.
For many of those who have become addicted to meth, the distress of withdrawal (or the fear of having to endure this distress) prevents them from ending their abuse of this extremely dangerous drug. But is meth withdrawal really as bad as it seems? Before we answer how long does meth withdrawal last, let’s take a moment to discuss what this experience actually involves.
When a person abuses meth on a regular basis, their body changes due to the continuous presence of this substance. When this person then abruptly ceases or significantly reduces their meth use, their body may respond with a variety of unpleasant physical and psychological symptoms.
Potential meth withdrawal symptoms include:
- Strong cravings for meth
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- Diminished energy and persistent fatigue
- Lack of motivation
- Sexual dysfunction
- Increased appetite and resultant weight gain
- Problems with focus and concentration
- Intense nightmares
- Confusion and disorientation
- Anxiety and irritability
- Suicidal ideation
Meth withdrawal isn’t the same for everyone. Factors such as how long a person has been using meth, how much they have been using, and if they have any co-occurring mental health concerns can influence both the type and severity of their symptoms.
How Long Does Meth Withdrawal Last?
The meth withdrawal timeline can vary from person to person. So there’s no single, universally appropriate answer to the question, “How long does meth withdrawal last?” However, in general, here’s what someone who is trying to end their meth abuse after becoming addicted to the drug can expect:
- People usually begin to develop their first withdrawal symptoms within 24 hours after their last dose of meth.
- The early stages of meth withdrawal are typically the most intense. During the first few days, a person is likely to experience the strongest and most distressing symptoms.
- Though symptoms often begin to taper within 24-48 hours, it usually takes 10-14 days before they have fully subsided.
- Some people experience what experts refer to as post-acute withdrawal syndrome, or PAWS. This can involve extended symptoms that, while less severe than what the person went through during the acute phase, can last for several weeks or months.
To summarize: There isn’t only one answer to the question, “How long does meth withdrawal last?” For most people, this process will be over in about two weeks – but for others, certain residual symptoms can persist for months.
Benefits of Detox for Meth Withdrawal
Detox, which is short for detoxification, is a short-term program that helps people get through withdrawal as safely and comfortably as possible.
Meth withdrawal does not usually pose a significant health threat (as alcohol withdrawal can), nor is it typically as painful as opioid withdrawal. But that doesn’t mean that meth withdrawal is easy to get through on your own.
Here are a few of the many benefits of completing meth withdrawal in a detox program:
- Our team who provide your care will be familiar with all aspects of withdrawal and prepared for any contingencies that may occur.
- You will be in a closely monitored environment where you won’t have access to meth or other addictive substances.
- Your treatment team may be able to prescribe prescription medications to alleviate some of your meth withdrawal symptoms.
- While you are in detox, you may be able to participate in therapy. These sessions can help you learn to manage symptoms that aren’t eased by medication. Therapy can also help you begin to establish the foundation for your long-term recovery efforts.
- Once you have completed detox, you can transition directly into a follow-on program. This will reduce your risk of immediate relapse and allow you to build on the progress you made in detox.
What Happens After Meth Withdrawal?
Detox can be an essential step on your path toward improved health and successful recovery. But what happens after detox can make a world of difference for your long-term success.
If you get through withdrawal, but then don’t enroll in further treatment, you may be setting yourself up for failure. Recovery from meth addiction isn’t simply a matter of enduring a few temporary symptoms.
To achieve lifelong abstinence from meth, you need to address the behavioral, psychological, and social aspects of your struggles with addiction. Depending on the full scope of your needs, this may be best accomplished in a partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, or traditional outpatient program.
During our outpatient rehab in Atlanta, you can gain insights into the issues that may have pushed you into meth abuse in the first place. You can also work on vital relapse-prevention skills such as healthy communication, problem solving, and conflict resolution.
Therapy can also help you develop an effective personal support network and rebuild relationships that were damaged or destroyed due to your meth abuse.
Begin Treatment for Meth Addiction in Atlanta
Peachtree Recovery Solutions offers a full continuum of meth addiction treatment for adults in the Atlanta, Georgia, area whose lives have been disrupted by meth addiction. Our services also include gender-specific treatment options for men and women as well as detailed discharge planning to help you maintain your progress after you have transitioned out of our care. Our team of skilled professionals understands the devastating impact that meth addiction can have, and we are committed to providing the customized treatment that will yield lifelong benefits.
To learn more or to schedule a free assessment, please visit our Contact Us page or call our center today.