Detoxing from methamphetamine can be a frustrating, challenging experience. But doing so is a necessary step toward addiction recovery and long-term sobriety. Our meth detoxification program can help safely wean you off the drug, relieve symptoms of withdrawal, help your brain relearn how to function without meth, and prepare you for addiction treatment. Our medical and clinical team can also identify and treat any co-occurring mental health disorders you may have.
Breaking free of methamphetamine won’t be easy, but remaining addicted to the drug can negatively affect every aspect of your life. Being addicted to meth can increase your risk for:
- Brain damage
- Heart attack
- Financial ruin
- Tooth decay
- Violent behavior
- Liver, kidney, and lung damage
- Respiratory problems
- Severed relationships with friends and family
Undergoing detox from methamphetamine is one of the first steps you can take to turn your life around, restore your health, and find inner peace.
What Is Meth?
Methamphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant drug. Developed in the early 20th century from amphetamine, methamphetamine increases activity in the central nervous system and produces temporary pleasurable feelings. The drug, which can take the form of a pill, white powder, or crystal rock, is usually swallowed, inhaled, smoked, or injected into the bloodstream. Regardless of the method of use, methamphetamine, which is also referred to as “Speed,” “Crank,” “Chalk,” “Ice,” “Glass,” and “Uppers,” is illegal and extremely dangerous.
When you use methamphetamine, the drug travels through your system and temporarily stimulates your body. This can make you feel energetic, talkative, empowered, and extremely confident. The meth high can also make you feel like you don’t need food or sleep. Even though methamphetamine can make you feel temporarily energized, the drug actually damages the brain and body.
Why Is Detox Necessary For Meth?
Detox is necessary for meth because the drug has a high potential for abuse that can easily lead to addiction, overdose, and death. Repeatedly using methamphetamine can lead to increased tolerance and dependence. When your body becomes accustomed to a certain level of methamphetamine, that dosage stops producing the desired effect. Doctors and addiction specialists call this tolerance.
When your body has become tolerant of the drug, smoking, snorting, inhaling, or injecting meth doesn’t seem to work the way it used to. To combat this, many people increase the amount of methamphetamine they consume. If you do, your brain and body start to become dependent on the drug. If that happens, the moment you try to quit meth or decrease the amount you consume, you’ll experience withdrawal symptoms.
Symptoms of meth withdrawal can be so severe and overwhelming that they compel you to continue using the drug. These withdrawal symptoms can differ from person to person, but some of the most common include:
- Fatigue and sleepiness
- Increased appetite
- Confused thoughts
- Uncontrollable body movements and twitches
- Unpleasant dreams
- Body aches and pains
- Emotional outbursts
- Mood swings
- An inability to experience pleasure (anhedonia)
Without detox, this cycle of abuse will most likely continue. Even if you try to stop using the drug, quitting meth at home can be difficult if you’re still living in an environment filled with addictive triggers. Remaining in that kind of environment can trigger meth cravings which can be hard to overcome. Additionally, undergoing detox at home can be dangerous if you experience severe anxiety and depression or medical complications.
Choosing to undergo detox from meth in a professional detox program can help ease these withdrawal symptoms and provide you with medical care in case of health complications.
Meth Detox Process and Timeline
Detoxification works by allowing the body to remove methamphetamine from your system. Here’s how the process typically works.
- You quit methamphetamine. You can’t detox from meth without quitting the substance entirely. Depending on the severity of your addiction, medical professionals may choose to wean you off meth instead of having you quit the substance entirely at first. Either way, quitting methamphetamine is the first step.
- You experience and overcome withdrawal symptoms. Not long after you quit methamphetamine, you’ll start to experience symptoms of withdrawal. Generally, symptoms begin around 24 hours after the last dose and can take anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks to dissipate.
- During the first 24 to 72 hours, you may experience fatigue, anxiety, panic, paranoia, and hallucinations.
- During the first week, cravings may start to appear alongside feelings of hopelessness as well as aches and pains.
- Around the second week, you may feel depressed and experience severe mood swings.
- Three to four weeks after you begin meth detox, you should start to feel better. Your mood and sleeping should improve and your energy levels should increase.
- You work with additional specialists to stabilize the brain. Using methamphetamine harms the brain. At first, the presence of meth in the body increases the amount of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. Over time, the brain becomes accustomed to meth and stops producing dopamine altogether. Because of this, dopamine levels can drop considerably, triggering a loss of interest and an inability to experience pleasure. This change in brain chemistry is often responsible for triggering some symptoms of withdrawal. Fortunately, FDA-approved medications can help stabilize the brain. These medications can also help prevent cravings, relieve anxiety, treat depression, and ease symptoms of withdrawal. As the brain stabilizes, withdrawal symptoms should start to dissipate. Gradually, you’ll begin to feel better and will be able to function well without methamphetamine.
During the meth detoxification process, you can expect to:
- Complete a medical assessment to determine your current health and detox needs
- Have your vitals monitored and checked frequently
- Receive different types of medication as needed
- Be encouraged to enroll in an addiction treatment program
Do You Need An Addiction Treatment Program After Completing Meth Detox?
Once you complete detox, you may feel like you’ve overcome your addiction to methamphetamine, but the truth is, you’ve just begun the recovery process. As wonderful and necessary as detox is, it doesn’t actually help treat addiction. Rather, detox clears out your system and prepares you for treatment instead.
Although your brain is now free of methamphetamine, you’ll need to address the issues that led you to use the drug in the first place. Over time, you’ll also need to establish new habits, find new ways to cope with difficulties, and give your brain a chance to fully heal. This is what addiction treatment does. That’s why the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) recommends at least 90 days of addiction treatment after detox. Not seeking addiction treatment after detox can cause you to relapse which can, unfortunately, restart the cycle of abuse.
At Into Action Recovery Centers, we are sensitive to the difficult recovery path for those struggling with methamphetamine addiction. Our compassionate, experienced staff works with each addict to prepare them for the challenges they will face during recovery and develop a customized treatment and support program to provide them with the best opportunity for success.
From long-term residential and inpatient treatment to outpatient and support programs; our treatment center offers a range of drug rehab programs in the Houston area designed to help you overcome meth abuse.
Contact Into Action Recovery today to learn more about how we can help you overcome methamphetamine addiction and regain control of your life. Let us help you quit methamphetamine for good.
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