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Meth Detox

What is Meth?

Meth or crystal meth are just a few of the drug slang (street names) of Methamphetamine. It is a powerful, highly addictive, illegal stimulant that affects the central nervous system. It takes the form of a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol.

Meth has been classified by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) [1] as a Schedule II controlled substance, making it legally available only through prescription.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) [2], in 2020,  an estimated 0.6% (or about 1.5 million people) had a meth addiction in the past 12 months, and in 2019, approximately 16,167 people died from an overdose involving psychoactive drugs with abuse potential other than cocaine (primarily methamphetamine). 

The first step in confronting meth addiction is through medically-assisted detox, which is the process of ridding the body of an addictive substance.

Meth detox might not be easy, but the benefits of overcoming meth addiction far outweigh the adverse side effects of detox. Generally, any drug addiction comes with the obstacle of withdrawal. If you are detoxing from meth, you very well might experience some severe withdrawal symptoms.

This is why it is not safe and effective to meth detox on your own.

Meth Detox
Meth Detox

Meth Abuse Pattern

Meth abuse often follows a pattern.  At the start, people do not recognize how dependent they are on the drug.  They use meth to feel a short burst of happiness, but it is fleeting, meaning that it goes away quickly and leaves users wanting more.

If you use this drug in smoking, injecting, snorting, or speedballing, you might wonder how to get meth out of your system for many different reasons.  Possibly you have a drug test at work that you need to pass, or maybe you want to begin the process of recovering from this addiction.  Maybe you are wondering, how long does meth stay In your system? Interestingly, while you might think that meth can withdraw your system as soon as 10 hours after you take it, it can be detected in your urine and hair follicles for days or months after.  [3]

What Happens When You Use Meth

When consumed, both meth and crystal meth produces an energizing high similar to other stimulants.  It does this by triggering the release of a tremendous amount of dopamine.  Unfortunately, the energy and euphoria encountered are artificially induced and wear off just as quickly as the body processes the drug.  Therefore, a craving to achieve the same effects time and again can lead to a meth addiction or dependence.

It only takes a few months of heavy meth use for the severe effects to become visible to the naked eye.  Meth users are often identified via “meth mouth,” which is severe damage caused to the teeth and gums from smoking methamphetamine.  When looking at before and after photos of a meth user that may have only been taken months apart, they almost become unrecognizable.

Faces of meth refer to decline & negative health consequences & facial appearances such as induced skin issues leading to facial fat and muscle loss. Probably the most common drug that causes skin picking disorder is meth.

Meth Addiction Signs & Symptoms

Short Term

  • Increased Energy and Alertness
  • Reduced Appetite
  • Faster Breathing
  • Rapid and Irregular Heartbeat
  • Increased Blood Pressure
  • Increased Body Temperature

Long-Term

  • Significant Weight Loss
  • Severe Dental Problems (“Meth Mouth”)
  • Persistent Itching
  • Anxiety
  • Changes in Brain Structure and Function
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Memory Loss
  • Insomnia
  • Violent Behavior
  • Paranoia

How to Detox from Meth

Detoxification—detox for short—is a treatment process designed to safely eliminate toxins from the body [4] . Completion of the detox process is a necessary start to an individual’s recovery journey. For many people who attempt an unsupervised detox from meth, the symptoms are so distressing that they end up needing medical attention, or they go back to using the drug to find relief. The detox process can take a week or more, depending on how often they used meth.. This happens because your body and mind become conditioned on the chemicals in meth, which makes it extremely difficult to function without the proper interventions. Given that, here are some withdrawal signs to look out for:

  • Body Aches and Shaking
  • Extreme Fatigue
  • Inability to Eat
  • Depression
  • Fatigue and Slipiness
  •  Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Psychosis
  • Anxiety
  • Meth Cravings

As these symptoms show, meth detox is not something you should ever attempt on your own. Instead, look for treatment facilities that offer supervised detoxification. In these programs, you will learn how to safely get meth out of your system and under medical supervision.

Take note that this advice on how to get meth out of your system is just the first step in the long road toward full recovery. Knowing how to get meth out of your system is more than just a physical task—it involves learning essential skills that you can use to stay away from drug use in the future. Thus, after you safely detox from the harmful effects of meth, it will be time to work on addiction’s mental and emotional aspects.

While no known drugs have been proven effective in removing meth from the body, medications targeting withdrawal symptoms could help get through meth detox and maintain long-term sobriety.

According to the National Institutes of Health, treating meth withdrawal symptoms might include prescription drugs like Modafinil, a narcolepsy drug that helps regulate sleep. Modafinil’s moderate stimulant effects may aid with the erratic sleep cycles and cravings associated with meth withdrawal.

meth detox
We Level Up NJ offers inpatient addiction detox & rehab.

Modafinil has also shown promise in relieving the cognitive effects of meth use, such as difficulty processing ideas and memory loss. A study from The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse found the drug could help with meth addiction treatment when combined with therapy.

Bupropion, commonly referred to by the brand name Wellbutrin, is an antidepressant that has also helped people quit smoking. Long-term meth use can cause a dopamine deficiency. Bupropion could help with meth withdrawal by regulating dopamine, the brain chemical messenger that stimulates focus and pleasure. 

Fluoxetine, most commonly known as Prozac, is an antidepressant that is also prescribed for anxiety. The medication has shown promise with meth withdrawal in clinical trials. Fluoxetine can benefit people suffering by helping them resolve heart problems and relieve all other depressive symptoms.

Is Meth Detox Necessary?

One possible downside to attempting to detox on your own is that it may be tough to resist the temptation to return to using meth to stave off the arrival of unpleasant withdrawal effects. However, a controlled 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:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Aggressiveness
  • Fatigue

Many meth users report experiencing a “crash” in which they eventually become so mentally and physically exhausted that they sleep for hours and sometimes days during the meth detox process.

Meth Detox Treatment

Outpatient Meth Detox Treatment

Outpatient rehab allows you to maintain your normal daily life and activities to a large extent and trains you to function in your “real” life without the presence of meth.

As an outpatient, you can still work, attend school, and care for your children while receiving treatment. This treatment will likely include alleviation of physical symptoms associated with meth detox and withdrawal as well as cognitive behavioral therapy to address the role methamphetamine plays in your life.

From a practical perspective, outpatient care is less expensive than inpatient residential care in a facility. In addition to the cost of the care itself, consider that you will not be able to earn wages and may have to pay for child-care while you are in residential care.

It is important to remember that many insurance plans will cover either all or a portion of the financial expenses related to inpatient and outpatient care.

Residential Meth Detox Treatment

People choose residential rehab over outpatient care for a variety of reasons. Inpatient rehab removes you from your usual triggers and really allows you to focus on getting better. The round-the-clock care patients receive at inpatient methamphetamine treatment, for many, is well worth the added expense.

On the other hand, sometimes, people are admitted into inpatient meth rehab in an emergency situation, including an intervention. Similarly, severe physical dependency may make an initial hospital stay necessary during detox as you begin your recovery. Again, this supervised medical step may be needed to manage the physical symptoms of meth detox and withdrawal.

Inpatient care may be best when health care professionals determine that you are endangering yourself or others through your use of meth, especially if you are experiencing seizures, blackouts, or dangerous behaviors, including driving under the influence.

Depending upon your needs, you may then be able to continue your recovery on an outpatient basis, following a medical detox stay in a facility.

Meth Withdrawal

When you stop consuming methamphetamine — whether that’s after using it for the first time or smoking it every day for a decade — you may experience uncomfortable and sometimes nearly unbearable feelings in your body and mind. These feelings, called withdrawal, can last from several days to a few weeks. But you’re not alone in experiencing withdrawal. And there are many strategies to cope with or treat it.

meth detox
Substance abuse and addiction can get out of hand quickly, so it is best to get professional help as soon as possible.

Meth Withdrawal Symptoms

Meth withdrawal symptoms are primarily psychological and emotional. Also, it may include several associated physical symptoms. Usually, when a person stops using crystal meth they will experience a “crash” which typically lasts 1 to 2 days, and then a longer period of withdrawal that may persist between 5 days and 3 weeks.

The most common withdrawal symptoms for meth addiction can be extremely intense. It’s recommended that people going through withdrawal do so under professional supervision at a trusted meth addiction treatment center.

Someone withdrawing from crystal meth may present with the following signs and symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue and Sleepiness
  • Depression
  • Psychosis
  • Meth Cravings
  • Increased Appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Muscle spasms
  • Low energy level
  • Not feeling motivated

Meth Withdrawal Timeline

The specific time period for withdrawal varies between individuals, but the acute phase of withdrawal typically peaks around day 2 or 3 after last use and generally begins to ease after a week. However, psychological symptoms including mood swings, agitation, drug cravings, and sleep disturbances can persist for multiple weeks and depression can last for even months to a year in some.

First 48 Hours

This phase is known as the “crash” and occurs within the first day of stopping the use of the drug. During the first 24-48 hours, former users will begin to experience a sharp decline in energy and cognitive function, as well as nausea, abdominal cramping, and sweating.

Days 3-10

Withdrawal symptoms typically peak during this time. As the body attempts to adjust without Meth, recovering users will experience severe depression, anxiety, and extreme fatigue. Some people will also experience shaking and lingering muscle aches, as well as intense drug cravings.

Days 14-20

Symptoms of Meth withdrawal typically last around 2-3 weeks. Towards the end of the second week, most physical symptoms begin to subside, but intense drug cravings can persist. Additionally, continuing fatigue and depression are common during this period.

1 Month+

The worst of withdrawal symptoms are typically over at this point. Any remaining symptoms will continue to fade over time. However, for some, the psychological symptoms such as depression and anxiety may continue for several months before they subside.

Crystal Meth Detox Centers 

Clients will typically undergo a comprehensive review of their current health, so doctors know how to proceed with treatment. Next, clients will begin with their personalized detox plan. After the initial withdrawal process, doctors may sit down with the client to discuss their next steps. The detox process for meth can be broken down into the three following stages:

Evaluation

Upon admission, a medical team will evaluate the client’s health and well-being. In addition, doctors and nurses typically use urine drug screens to determine the amount of meth that a client has used recently. From there, the treatment team can begin a detox plan that fits their specific needs. Also, keep in mind that the doctor may ask a client questions about their present and past drug addiction. This is important for setting up a client’s long-term recovery plan. It’s also helpful for doctors to know if the client suffers from any co-occurring disorders, as these can affect the types of detox treatments the client will receive.

Stabilization

Many clients who arrive at the detox center are experiencing the peak of their withdrawal symptoms. Treatments begin as soon as possible after the evaluation stage to help make the client more comfortable. Moreover, as symptoms progress, doctors will adjust treatments accordingly. Medical staff will also keep the client’s loved ones informed and updated on their progress.

Transition Into Further Treatment

When the detox process is almost complete, doctors will start to discuss the next steps with their clients. Detox is only the first step in meth addiction treatment, and physicians advise that clients continue their recovery in a rehab facility. Also, if the detox is already taking place in a treatment facility, medical staff will help clients transition into the next stage and stay on track toward sobriety.

Why detoxing at home can be harmful

Detoxing away from home is necessary to remove you from the environment in which you were using meth. In addition, the withdrawal symptoms from meth can be painful and lead you to relapse to relieve them.

Even though the withdrawal symptoms may not be life-threatening, detoxing away from home is necessary 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 anxiety and depression so severe that it leads to self-harm or precipitates the onset of suicidal thoughts.

Recovery Options for Meth Addiction in We Level Up New Jersey

We Level Up New Jersey is an addiction treatment facility with a dedication to our client’s physical, emotional, and mental recovery processes.  In addition to a safe meth detox program that paces out the process over three to 10 days, we offer long-term solutions on how to get meth out of your system with skill-building activities such as:

  • Life Skills Groups
  • Music Therapy
  • Recreational Therapy

Furthermore, you will have access to the 12-step programs to get you through your addiction day by day, dual diagnosis treatment for those who struggle with addiction and co-occurring mental health conditions, and relapse prevention resources to keep meth out of your system for good.

Some of the many modalities applied and practiced within our residential treatment facility are:

If you would like to know more about how to get meth out of your system safely, effectively, and in the long run, give us a call.  You also have the option to submit a confidential contact form if you are not quite ready to talk.  Wherever you are in your recovery journey, we’re here to help you get to the next level.

New Jersey Methamphetamine Detox Program

Once you completed the detox, the following steps may include a long-term residential rehab program or an outpatient treatment option.  Partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient treatment programs provide varying levels of flexibility while individuals in recovery develop tools and skills for relapse prevention.  We Level Up NJ Treatment Center strive to help our clients realize their potential while attending programming at our facilities.

In addition, once detox is complete, a new doorway in treatment opens up, referred to as a residential level of care.  Our inpatient rehab program slowly and effectively advances the individual into an atmosphere of therapeutic growth, marked by master’s level therapists, clinicians, group counselors, psychiatrists, and a community of like-minded individuals with the same aim:  to attain sobriety and live a great life.

Clearing meth from the body and surviving from withdrawal symptoms is the goal of meth detox, which is the first step of treatment for meth addiction.  At We Level Up NJ, a comprehensive team prescribing medications can relieve your withdrawal pains while monitoring your health 24 hours during the detox.  Above all, we prioritize your safety and comfort because this is a fragile and challenging time for you.

Meth Detox
Reaching out for help may be one of the most difficult things you’ve ever done, but it is worth it.

Sources:

[1] DEA – https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/Methamphetamine-2020_0.pdf

[2] NIDA – https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/methamphetamine/what-scope-methamphetamine-misuse-in-united-states

[3] NIDA – https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/methamphetamine

[4] SAMHSA – https://store.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/d7/priv/sma15-4131.pdf