Methamphetamine withdrawal is rarely dangerous but can make a person feel quite uncomfortable. Taking the first step to seek help for an addiction to meth rather than do it alone may make a person feel more at ease. Seeking help is an important step in recovery from meth addiction.
Withdrawal from any substance can present some danger but withdrawal from meth does not always present danger for the individual experiencing withdrawal. A person may experience dangerous side effects if the following occur:
- Strong psychosis and become a danger to self or others
- Depressed with suicidal thoughts
- Underlying psychological or health issues which arise and complicate withdrawal
Discontinuing a substance cold turkey can be difficult but not impossible to do. Meth can produce symptoms such as extreme fatigue, mental depression, apathy, long periods of sleep, irritability and disorientation when quit abruptly. Other noted symptoms include cravings or dysphoria which can resolve within a few weeks of last use. Some symptoms of mood and sleep disorders may continue for weeks or even months following discontinuation of meth. Post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) which last for weeks or months should be addressed after initial detox.
The most common signs of meth withdrawal may include:
- Drug craving
- Depressed mood
- Increased appetite
- Vivid and unpleasant dreams
An individual can utilize many ways of seeking help for meth withdrawal. While no medications currently exist to help a person in withdrawal from meth, the most effective forms of treatment are therapies including cognitive-behavioral and contingency-management interventions. Family education, individual counseling and 12-step support are also effective methods.
A person who wants to use natural methods of withdrawal may work to deal with triggers to reduce cravings. Some turn to alternative therapies such as acupuncture, nutritional supplements and other herbal remedies to balance mood and regulate sleep. Finding a doctor and community clinic to guide an individual through the process may be helpful to avoid harmful reactions within the body. Exercise can produce endorphins and stimulate the immune system. Yoga and walking are also positive, natural methods of relaxation which can mitigate withdrawal symptoms.
To ease symptoms of withdrawal, a person may wish to seek inpatient treatment for several months to years in a halfway house. Part of treatment is teaching the individual how to feel good without the use of drugs or alcohol. Ongoing psychiatric care with antidepressant therapy is effective in early recovery. Meth problems are not so different from other drugs. Time is what really helps a person heal from withdrawal as it can stay in the body 6-12 months. Some people who can be helpful during meth withdrawal may include an addiction counselor, an addictions specialist (MD), addiction treatment center, drug detox clinic, family doctor or psychiatrist.
If you or a loved one need help quitting meth, The Villa has trained staff ready to assist. Contact us for more information about our programs and how we can bring you hope for recovery.