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Crystal Meth Withdrawal: Signs, Symptoms and Support

What exactly are the recovery tools you’ll learn in rehab?

Crystal Meth Detox & Withdrawal Symptoms

Crystal meth is a highly addictive street drug that comes with soaring highs and crashing lows.

You may find that what started as a fun way to enhance a night out, or add spice to your sex life, is now destroying your health, life and relationships and you can see no way of getting off it. The good news is with the right support and treatment it is possible to free yourself from its grip. Here we show you what to expect from withdrawal, how to manage symptoms, cope with long-term side effects and prevent yourself from relapsing. 

Summary

  • You may have started taking crystal meth – or methamphetamine – as a clubber as it gives you a buzz that lets you dance for hours, or to enhance your libido during ‘chemsex’. 
  • Symptoms of withdrawal happen within hours of your last hit and they can be severe,  which makes it so difficult to come off meth. 
  • It can be dangerous to stop taking crystal meth on your own. It is much safer, and you have a much greater chance of success if you detox under medical supervision.
  • In some cases, symptoms of withdrawal can last for months or years, which is why help and support is needed for much longer than the detox period. 

For non-judgemental help and advice call 01721 728118.

How Can You Expect to Feel When You Stop Taking Crystal Meth?

Regardless of how long you’ve been taking crystal meth, you’ll know that as soon as you stop, the comedown is extremely unpleasant and the only way you can feel better is by continuing to use. It is common in these periods to feel very depressed, even suicidal, and this might scare you into thinking you will never rid yourself of your addiction. It isn’t easy, but with expert help, you can manage these nasty feelings and get off crystal meth for good.

Physical Symptoms of Crystal Meth Withdrawal

When you stop taking crystal meth, you can expect to experience some or all of the following:

  • Extreme tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Shaking and shivering
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Muscle ache and bone pain
  • Stomach cramps
  • Headache
  • Red itchy eyes

Psychological Symptoms of Crystal Meth Withdrawal 

  • Severe depression 
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Anxiety and feeling on edge
  • Confusion
  • Excessive hunger
  • Feeling disinterested and unmotivated
  • Nightmares
  • Intense cravings for more meth

Any and all of the above are completely normal as your brain and body respond to the drug leaving.

Medical Detox Nursing Team
Medical Detox Nursing Team

What does Acute Withdrawal from Crystal Meth Feel Like?

In the first three days after you’ve last had a crystal meth hit, the come down is also referred to as a crash. At this point you’ll feel depressed and anxious, sleepy and hungry and will be desperate to get your hands on more meth. 

The chances of relapsing at this stage is very high and without the right support, almost inevitable. The good thing is the acute stage of crystal meth withdrawal is short-lived and symptoms will subside within a few days.

How Long Will Symptoms of Crystal Meth Withdrawal Last?

First 24 hours: Symptoms kick in just hours after your last hit and you can feel very low and anxious. Stomach ache and nausea may kick in. You will crave more meth.

Days two to three: This is the crash. You will feel depressed, irritable, very hungry and tired, but may be unable to sleep. You may have nightmares and the cravings will be intense and difficult to ignore.

Days four to seven: A challenging period as other symptoms may appear, such as paranoia and inability to feel any pleasure. The cravings continue, as does the depression.

Weeks two to three: By the end of the second week, symptoms should subside but you will still feel tired, low, have mood swings, and cravings.

Week three onwards: You will be feeling much better but some symptoms such as depression may last for much longer and it is important you get ongoing support for this. You can still experience cravings for at least five weeks.

Where is the Best Place to Detox from Crystal Meth? 

Due to the severity of withdrawal symptoms and the length of time they take to subside, it is very difficult to detox successfully and safely without medical supervision. 

Not only will you need to manage any withdrawal symptoms and ignore persistent cravings, you also need to understand why you started taking meth and became addicted in the first place. Expert help from medics and therapists can help you with this.

Detoxing from Crystal Meth at Home

This is very difficult. The psychological effects of crystal meth withdrawal symptoms can make you feel depressed, even suicidal, paranoid and anxious, and can make you a danger to yourself and others. Combined with intense cravings, these symptoms mean you are more likely to relapse if this stage isn’t properly managed. 

If you have no alternative but to detox at home, speak to your GP to let them know what you are doing. If you can, try to inform trusted loved ones so they can check up on you and you can contact them if you need help or feel that you are in danger. 

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 01721 728118.

Detoxing from Crystal Meth with Medical Supervision

This is by far the safest and most successful way to detox from crystal meth. In rare cases, during the detox phase, complications such as seizures can happen, and these can be fatal if you are not monitored by medical staff. 

The cravings, which can stay for more than a month, are so intense that you will benefit from therapy to help deal with these.

Are there any Medicines that can Help You Get Off Crystal Meth?

Although some medicines can help with specific withdrawal symptoms, such as Prozac, which may help with feelings of depression, there is no medical substitute for meth. The recommended treatment is complete cessation, but with support and help for the withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

How to Get Help for Crystal Meth Addiction

The hardest step towards your recovery is asking for help. Only when you do this can you start your journey towards being free of crystal meth addiction.

In the first instance, contact your GP who may be able to signpost you to local organisations and drug treatment services. It is important you get as much professional help as possible.

Crystal meth might be having a damaging effect on your family, work and relationships. If you have particular needs, such as stable housing, help with mental health issues or alcohol dependency, there are organisations that may be able to help you. You can find a list here

Support Groups for Crystal Meth Addiction

Crystal meth addiction can feel lonely. Meeting like-minded people who are also trying to get clean can help you feel less isolated and more determined to quit for good. Being able to talk to people who understand what you’re going through, why you turned to crystal meth in the first place, and the difficulties with withdrawal symptoms and cravings can be helpful. 

Confidential support groups take place in a safe environment with an expert practitioner who can give you strategies to cope with the detox and ongoing struggle. It can be useful to join these groups before you start the detox to give you the strength and support you need to keep going.

Counselling and Therapy for Crystal Meth Addiction

A number of therapies have been shown to work well with crystal meth detox. These help you by dealing with the reasons behind your drug use and addiction. Once these are established you can be given strategies to help you manage triggers and prevent you from relapsing. 

Therapy deals with many aspects of addiction and withdrawal at once. One example of a successful therapy for crystal meth addiction is the Matrix Model, which can include relapse-prevention analysis, family therapy and a 12-step programme from addiction to recovery.

Outpatient Rehab for Crystal Meth Addiction 

Attending rehab as an outpatient, which means you come in at arranged times for treatment and therapy, may suit people who have work or caring responsibilities. 

However, while you can be given tools to help you cope with withdrawal symptoms and manage any triggers, once outside the rehab centre you may feel unable to cope alone and you may relapse. 

If you are undergoing outpatient rehab, it’s important that you have a strong support network at home and a safe environment in which to detox. 

Inpatient Rehab for Crystal Meth Addiction 

The most comfortable, safest and successful way to detox from crystal meth is by moving into a rehab centre and living there. It is like a hotel but with medical experts on hand 24/7, and a bespoke treatment programme to enable you to deal with all aspects of your addiction. 

You will be monitored throughout the challenging withdrawal period to ensure you remain safe while experiencing physical and psychological symptoms.

As an inpatient, you won’t have the distractions you would have if you were doing this on your own. You will also be away from any friends who may share your addiction and entice you back into taking drugs.

Castle Craig provides treatment for substance abuse including crystal meth addiction. Our programme consists of a medically supervised detox followed by evidence-based therapies designed to address the underlying causes of addiction.

Because addiction recovery is a lifelong process, your relationship with Castle Craig doesn’t end when you complete residential treatment. Before you leave, you’ll receive a customised, two-year continuing care plan so you can successfully continue into a meaningful and inspired life in sobriety.

If you think you may be addicted to crystal meth recovery is within your reach. A fulfilling and rewarding life is possible no matter how hard you may be struggling with heroin right now—contact us today to learn how we can help.

Frequently Asked Questions About Detoxing From Crystal Meth

I’ve tried to come off crystal meth before and it hasn’t worked. Will it work this time? 

Yes. With the right help and support, you can beat your crystal meth addiction.

Will coming off crystal meth kill me?

Not if it is done safely and with medical supervision. Staying on crystal meth is more likely to kill you.

How long will it take me to get off crystal meth?

The detox process starts within hours and it can last for a few weeks. But you will get there.

How can I avoid the withdrawal symptoms from crystal meth?

You can reduce the effects of the withdrawal symptoms by detoxing under medical supervision.

What are the chances of me relapsing after detoxing from crystal meth?

With ongoing treatment and support you can prevent yourself from relapsing.

How can I help someone who is addicted to crystal meth?

Talk to them but don’t get angry. Explain that help is out there and offer to support them in finding it.

    Asking for help is easier than you think

    Please contact me with more information about drug rehab.

    References

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