How Long Does it Take to Detox From Crystal Meth?

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Methamphetamine is also referred to as ice, meth, tina, crystal, or crystal meth. It is a highly potent stimulant drug that can lead to addiction rather quickly. While it is available for prescription to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), most people abuse a street version of the drug.[1]

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 2.5 million people in the United States abused meth in 2021.[2]

If you are addicted to crystal meth, that means your brain and body are dependent on it. If you suddenly stop using it, you will experience methamphetamine withdrawal. While meth withdrawal is not usually life-threatening, the symptoms can be incredibly difficult to cope with.

Symptoms of withdrawal might include intense cravings, anxiety, vomiting, fatigue, insomnia, and more. You will begin experiencing symptoms within 24 hours and they can last for 2 to 4 weeks.

In this article, you will learn:

  • What the symptoms of meth withdrawal are
  • How long it takes to detox from crystal meth
  • What to expect during each stage of withdrawal
  • How medical detox programs treat withdrawal

What are the Symptoms of Crystal Meth Withdrawal?

Meth is sometimes referred to as crystal meth because it is a clear crystalline substance. It may be smoked, snorted, or injected. Any form of meth abuse is considered extremely dangerous because of the health risks associated with it.

Suddenly stopping the use of meth will result in withdrawal symptoms, including:[3]

  • Irritability and anxiety
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Paranoia or agitation
  • Excessive sweating and chills
  • Increased appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue and low mood
  • Insomnia
  • Severe depression and suicidal thoughts
  • Symptoms of psychosis, including hallucinations

While meth withdrawal does lead to physical symptoms, the mental health symptoms are often the most severe.

Meth detox programs may prescribe medications to prevent suicidal thoughts, psychosis, and anxiety. They also provide constant access to psychological support from a medical professional.

How Long Does Meth Withdrawal Last?

The meth withdrawal process can vary from person to person, however, most people follow a general timeline.

24 to 48 Hours

The first symptoms of meth withdrawal arise 24 to 48 hours after your last dose. This initial stage of meth withdrawal is referred to as “the crash.” It is common to experience symptoms like fatigue, irritability, mood swings, significantly lowered energy levels, and intense cravings to use meth.

While your symptoms may not be life-threatening, it is vital to have support from a medical detox center.

3 to 10 Days

Between 3 to 10 days of withdrawal, symptoms will peak. This means they will be at their most severe. You might experience intense anxiety, depressive symptoms like suicidal thoughts, and even paranoia.

It is also common to experience strong cravings to abuse meth. Without the support of a detox program, you might relapse during this period. Detox programs ensure a comfortable detox, therefore reducing the risk of relapse. As a result, detox is fundamental to long-term sobriety from crystal meth addiction.

2 to 4 Weeks

After 2 weeks of withdrawal, your symptoms will begin subsiding. They might slowly taper off until it has been a month since your last dose of crystal meth. Most of the physical symptoms will subside within 2 weeks, while mental health effects can last much longer.

If you are dealing with severe anxiety or depression, your detox program will prescribe non-habit-forming medications to help you cope.

How is Crystal Meth Withdrawal Treated?

Crystal meth withdrawal should always be treated within the safety and comfort of a medical detox center. These programs offer 24/7 health monitoring, mental health support, and medications to combat symptoms.

While substances like opioids and alcohol have FDA-approved medications to treat withdrawal, meth does not. Instead of using one medication, you may be prescribed a variety of medicines that target specific symptoms you are experiencing.

Once your symptoms subside and you are considered medically stable, you will transfer into an addiction treatment program. You have a variety of treatment options, including inpatient or outpatient rehab. The type of program you attend will depend solely on your needs.

Find Help for Crystal Meth Addiction

If you suffer from crystal meth addiction, you must attend professional treatment. New Jersey Interventions is here to connect you with a top-rated medical detox and rehab center. To learn more about your meth rehab options or get started with a confidential, risk-free assessment, please contact us today.

References:

  1. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA): Methamphetamine
  2. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): What is the scope of methamphetamine use in the United States
  3. Onlinelibrary.wiley.com: Withdrawal symptoms in abstinent methamphetamine-dependent subjects

Medically Reviewed: June 20, 2024

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor

About

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

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