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How Long Does Meth Withdrawal Last?

A meth addiction treatment center in Hanover, PA can help you or a loved one get over methamphetamine, a powerful and addictive stimulant. Before entering treatment, people usually want to know how long does meth withdrawal last and the range of withdrawal symptoms they may experience. Knowing the meth withdrawal timeline and what to expect can help clients prepare for the recovery journey ahead.

What is Meth?

5.4 percent of the population ages 12 and older used methamphetamine, also called crystal meth, at least once in their life. Many people began abusing the drug as an experiment or to cope with life problems. Meth is chemically similar to amphetamine, a drug prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and narcolepsy. It appears as a white powder, glass-like fragments, or shiny, bluish-white rocks. Meth nicknames include ice, speed, and blue. The drug is smoked, snorted, swallowed, or injected and is capable of causing addiction after a one-time dose, repeated use, or a “binge-and-crash” pattern.

Meth Effects on the Brain

The powerful stimulant boosts energy and helps users to stay awake and active for a long time. But it also reinforces drug-taking behavior by increasing the chemical dopamine in the brain. As such, people who use meth for a long time may no longer feel pleasure (anhedonia). Other effects are risky or violent behaviors, anxiety, paranoia, trouble sleeping, and poor decision-making due to changes in brain structure.

How Long Does Meth Withdrawal Last?

Meth detox and withdrawal are unpleasant experiences. So it’s not surprising that you want to know how long does meth withdrawal last. Factors that influence the withdrawal timeline include:

  • How long you were taking the drug
  • Dose level and potency
  • Frequency and method of use
  • Other drugs or substances involved

Withdrawing from meth on your own can be dangerous and life-threatening. The risk of relapse looms because of severe and discomforting effects. This is why the withdrawal success rate is higher with treatment from a medical drug detox program. People needing medication-assisted detox can benefit from the care of certified doctors and mental health professionals.

Meth Withdrawal Timeline

Patients usually go through the following withdrawal stages. Physical, psychological, and behavioral withdrawal symptoms are likely to occur during this time. Symptoms may begin around 24 hours after your last dose and can last for weeks. Two to three weeks seems to be the average timeline:

  • Days 1 to 10: This period is called the “crash” or “come down” and is marked by cravings, fatigue, reduced energy, long periods of sleep, and increased appetite. The symptoms usually increase in intensity by day three of abstinence and peak by day 7. Some individuals have suicidal thoughts or are unable to feel pleasure as withdrawal progresses to day 10.
  • Days 10 to 14: Intense drug cravings, anxiety, depression, insomnia, loss of appetite, and paranoia are common during this phase. Cravings and depression can persist for several weeks to months after this stage.
  • Week 3 and onward: Drug cravings and other symptoms begin to fade as the client is stabilized. At this time, the client is usually ready to move to therapy. Behavioral addiction therapy helps recovering individuals see the link between thoughts, life stresses, mental health disorders, and substance abuse.

Begin Meth Treatment Today at The Ranch PA

Asking how long does meth withdrawal last may indicate a commitment to stop drug abuse. The Ranch PA is a trusted addiction treatment center in Hanover, PA, where you or your loved one can recover in a compassionate environment. Our residential and outpatient programs include medical detox, individual and family therapy, and other recovery services. Clients receive individualized care from a team of qualified and compassionate staff. Call 717.969.9126 to begin your journey to sobriety.

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