Meth Detox Symptoms, Timeline, Medications and Treatment
- Is Detox from Meth Necessary?
- Medically-Assisted Detox and Withdrawal
- What to Expect During Meth Detox
- Meth Detox Treatment
- Choosing the Best Meth Detox Center
Meth DetoxDetoxification—detox for short—is a treatment process designed to eliminate toxins from the body safely.
Completion of the detox process is a necessary start to an individual's recovery journey.
Withdrawal symptoms from stimulants such as meth tend to be less severe—and certainly less dangerous—than from other drugs such as sedatives, opiates and, even, alcohol. As such, many struggling with methamphetamine dependence make attempts to detox on their own. However, since abstinence is easier if you remove yourself from the environment where you are using or the people you are using with, it may be helpful to seek a detox facility to guide you through the withdrawal process.
Is Detox from Meth Necessary?
One potential downside to attempting to detox on your own is that it may be tough to resist the temptation to return to using meth in order to stave off the arrival of unpleasant withdrawal effects. A regimented detox program can be beneficial in that it can help you get a clear mind to focus on learning the skills necessary to maintain sobriety.
The most common withdrawal symptoms from meth include
Many meth users report experiencing a “crash” in which eventually they become so physically and mentally exhausted, they sleep for hours and sometimes days during the detox process.
Why Detoxing at Home can be Harmful
detoxing away from home is necessary in order to remove you from the environment in which you were using meth.The withdrawal symptoms from meth can be uncomfortable and lead you to resume use of meth to relieve them.
Even though the withdrawal symptoms may not be life threatening, detoxing away from home is necessary in order to remove you from the environment in which you were using meth, to avoid craving inducing triggers.
Detoxing at home can also be dangerous if you experience depression and anxiety so severe that it leads to harming yourself or others or precipitates the onset of suicidal ideation.
You do not have to detox alone and there is support from people who understand and care about what you are going through.
Medically-Assisted Detox and Withdrawal
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), there are advances in current research into medications, known as monoclonal antibody-based medications, which provide a rapid reversal of the effects of meth.
Until this becomes a widespread medication available for use in detox centers, supportive care and a combination of comfort medications and behavioral therapy should be utilized.
What to Expect During Meth Detox
During detoxification from meth, you may:
- Receive muscle relaxants or benzodiazepines to help your with tension and/or anxiety.
- Receive intravenous (IV) fluids / electrolyte repletion.
- The stimulant properties of meth can lead to dehydration and muscle spasms.
- Be prescribed medication to treat insomnia.
- You may experience restlessness and sleep disturbances for up to several weeks.
You can expect to feel fatigued as your body becomes used to the absence of meth, so get plenty of rest during detox.
Your appetite should start to return after the acute phase of withdrawal.
How Long does Detox Last?
Although individual detox profiles differ, according to severity and etiology of use, typically:
- Initial detox can last up to 3 days for light to moderate users.
- For long-term heavy users, detox may last up to a week.
- Post-acute withdrawal symptoms, if left untreated, can last up to a few weeks.
- Some long-term heavy users experience hallucinations and paranoia, known as meth psychosis, and will need long-term treatment to effectively recover.
Meth Detox Treatment
According to a 2013 study published in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, Remeron, a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat depression, has been shown to reduce methamphetamine use and cravings.
Choosing the Best Meth Detox Center
It is important to consider what level of care is appropriate for your situation.
If your risk of withdrawal symptoms is low, you may benefit from entering into an outpatient detox center where you can:
- Participate in-group and individual therapy.
- Receive prescription medications to treat symptoms of withdrawal.
This is also beneficial for people who have to continue working or going to school.
If you are able to commit to a residential detox center, it may be important to ask what their detox process is for meth users.
Most insurance companies require an assessment of medical necessity when determining whether or not they will cover the cost of treatment at the residential level, so call your insurance company to see if they cover detox from meth.
We may be able to help you or your loved one find the appropriate meth detox treatment option to support you on your journey to recovery.