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Methamphetamine is one of the most addictive drugs available. After as few as one or two uses, a person’s body can become dependent on it in order to function properly. Once the body is dependent on the drug, it will go through withdrawal if the person stops taking it.

The withdrawal symptoms will last for the entire time the methamphetamine is detoxified from the body. Meth withdrawal is a long, uncomfortable process and many find it difficult to do alone. However, under the proper care and supervision of a doctor, it can be accomplished and the rehabilitation process can begin so that an individual is able to overcome the addiction and function normally again.

What are the symptoms of meth withdrawal?

Meth withdrawal symptoms are both physical and mental. They usually begin about 24 hours after the last dose, and can be very intense.

Physical symptoms include:

Psychological and mental symptoms include:

What are the effects of meth withdrawal

Meth works by repeatedly increasing the amount of dopamine in the brain. When the brain doesn’t get the drug, the dopamine isn’t released, resulting in a loss of pleasure. During the withdrawal process, individuals tend to feel somewhere between sad and feeling nothing at all. An individual may actually be completely unable to experience pleasure, a condition that is known as anhedonia. This often results in a severe depression. Anhedonia can last for up to two years after the withdrawal process is over.

Methamphetamine abuse results in physical damage to the brain. After a complete withdrawal, the brain will begin to repair itself so that chemical levels will be able to self-regulate better and the chemical receptors are able to once again function properly. The healing process begins immediately after the user stops taking the drug.

How long does the withdrawal process last?

The meth withdrawal process can last for a period of days to weeks, depending on the length and severity of the addiction. Those who injected meth will experience a longer and more intense withdrawal period versus those who smoked it. The complete withdrawal process, until a person is symptom free, can last up to several months, but it is important to remember that every case is unique.

The withdrawal process takes place in three phases: the cash, the cravings, and the recovery.

The method of withdrawal and the environment in which the detox takes place are also significant factors in how long the meth withdrawal process lasts. It is extremely difficult to quit meth all at once. Though it may take longer, it is usually recommended to lower the dosage little by little under medical supervision. When withdrawal is done this way, patients tend to experience less intense withdrawal symptoms. However, some users may decide that having a small dose of the drug will be too tempting and so will opt to stop taking the drug cold turkey. This carries a few more risks, and will likely be a more painful and severe withdrawal process. However an individual chooses to withdraw from meth, it is preferable to go through the process while at an inpatient care center or an outpatient facility.

Having medical and mental support will make the transition period easier and will allow the individual a better shot at a successful detox and full rehabilitation.

Related: Detoxing from Alcohol


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