What does quitting meth cold turkey mean? It’s stopping use of meth abruptly without any medical guidance or formal treatment plan. Is quitting meth cold turkey safe? What are the signs of meth withdrawal?
Cold Turkey Meth Withdrawal
Quitting meth cold turkey, that is, totally and all at once is the most difficult way to for an individual to quit the drug, and it is likely that they will suffer extreme withdrawal symptoms. An individual withdrawing from meth may have difficulty acting normally and rationally. They may also develop depression and psychotic symptoms, however these will generally resolve themselves within a week. Cravings for meth tend to last longer, for at least 4 to 5 weeks.
Withdrawing from meth is very different than withdrawing from other kinds of drugs. Meth withdrawal brings with it psychological issues, more than physical ones. Severe depression is one symptom, as chronic meth use alters the brain chemistry, affecting the neurotransmitters which control enjoyment. Individuals who stop taking meth often can’t experience pleasure in life. This is a state called ‘anhedonia’. It is not a permanent state, but it is a big reason why medical supervision is required during withdrawal. This is also why there is a significant risk of relapse during meth withdrawal, because the individual can’t stand the way they feel.
Risks of Stopping Meth Cold Turkey
As mentioned previously, meth is only minimally physically addictive. It does not cause many symptoms of physical dependence. However, psychological symptoms can be present and they can be severe. Depression is all too common and the individual coming off meth can tend to feel extremely depressed for a while, and also experience cravings. They will also tend to sleep a lot, either because they weren’t getting enough sleep while on met, or due to the depression. Eating a lot is also quite usual, since the individual probably wasn’t eating enough, and now are using food as a replacement drug.
Some of the main risks of stopping meth cold turkey can be:
- Suicidal tendencies
- High likelihood of relapse
- Psychotic symptoms
- Feeling hopeless
Alternative Ways of Quitting Meth
So what’s another way of quitting meth if cold turkey is too difficult? Tapering is a well known and highly recommended method of quitting drugs. In tapering, the individual slow reduces their dosage, instead of stopping all at once. This can minimize the severity of the withdrawal symptoms. Addiction experts have different tapering techniques. An individual could cut back their meth use to a couple times a week rather than everyday. Or they could reduce their daily doses.
It’s clear that quitting meth cold turkey is difficult to do, and unlikely to be successful for the individual if done without any medical and emotional support.
Quitting meth is not easy to do, but you don’t have to do it alone. If you’re interested in learning more about meth addiction and quitting techniques, call The Villa for help.