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Stopping chronic meth use can lead to the user experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. Long-term use causes physical and psychological damage that needs be to undone with proper treatment. Most meth users look for the euphoria the drug provides, and try to avoid the depression stopping use creates.
The psychological impact of meth use is extreme. People who go through meth withdrawal must be carefully observed during withdrawal for their safety.
People who stop using meth after becoming dependent on the drug will suffer a wide range of withdrawal symptoms. Paranoia, nervousness, and violent behavior are some common withdrawal symptoms.
When Does Meth Withdrawal Begin?
Signs of meth withdrawal usually appear within hours of the last use. There are two phases to meth withdrawal. The Acute Phase, that lasting up to 10 days, and the Protracted Phase, lasting several months. Unexpected withdrawal symptoms may occur long after the last use, and with some issues lasting permanently.
What Are Common Meth Withdrawal Symptoms?
Here are the most common meth withdrawal symptoms experienced by people who use meth:
Withdrawal from high doses of meth generally leads to severe depression. This withdrawal can be extremely dangerous for some patients — especially for those who are not in a 24-hour care facility. This symptom of meth withdrawal can linger for weeks or years, and can sometimes lead to suicidal thoughts and actions.
If you are withdrawing from meth, it is important not to be alone for very long. If you have previously battled depression, ensure you have the help of a strong support system during withdrawal. Reach out to others so that you will not be alone with these feelings.
2. Anxiety, Agitation, and Psychosis
Withdrawing from meth can lead to severe anxiety, agitation, and psychosis. Panic attacks and rapid heart rate is common in people who are detoxing from meth.
People recovering from meth may be upset or may feel very uncomfortable or irritable all the time. Common symptoms of psychosis are:
▪ Violent behavior
Meth-induced psychosis can make meth withdrawal extremely dangerous. Getting help from medical staff provides the equipment and training necessary to treat these symptoms.
3. Increased appetite
Stimulants like meth suppress appetite so people can go hours or days at a time without adequate amounts of food. People who suddenly stop using meth will experience an increase in appetite. This is due to their central nervous systems slowing down. This withdrawal symptom can be highly beneficial to those who need to strengthen their immune systems while recovering from meth addiction.
4. Mood swings and Anhedonia
A person detoxing from meth will likely feel highly agitated and have rapid mood swings. This will be worse for long-term users who may have altered their brain’s chemistry.
Anhedonia is the inability to feel pleasure. This particular withdrawal symptom is the main reason for meth relapse and can last for several months or years. Those who abruptly stop using meth will experience mood swings and anhedonia as brain chemicals start to regulate.
5. Fatigue and Apathy
Many people experience fatigue and apathy while they are recovering from meth addiction. This loss of mental and physical energy can last days to weeks, making recovery more challenging. Withdrawal can be extremely difficult for those who work every day, have families, or demanding responsibilities.
Meth users will benefit from inpatient treatment as it will give them a break from problems at home or work. While in recovery, patients will likely be too exhausted or apathetic to address home or work life.
6. Meth cravings
Withdrawal from stimulants can cause cravings that are typically stronger than those caused by other substances. For example, meth cravings can sometimes be so intense that individuals addicted to this drug will continue to abuse it due to tolerance — even if the drug no longer gives them the high they want.
Meth cravings are often more intense than cravings produced by other drugs. Cravings can last up to several months or longer after stopping meth. Individuals who withdraw from meth should receive therapy to learn how to cope with their cravings. Therapy can also help in building strategies to avoid relapse.
If you or a loved one are planning on getting sober from meth, it is best to get professional help. A detox center or inpatient treatment program will offer 24/7 medical oversite and long-term treatment options.