Meth Withdrawal Symptoms: What You Need To Know About Methamphetamine Withdrawal

Meth Withdrawal Symptoms: What You Need To Know About Methamphetamine WithdrawalShape

Meth withdrawal can be unpleasant, dangerous, and challenging. But with the right help, it's much easier. Here's what to expect from meth withdrawal.

Meth, or methamphetamine, is a stimulant drug that keeps a person awake and active for a long time. It also creates an intense, long-lasting high. This is why individuals keep using meth.

Another reason that keeps people using meth is the threat of withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal phase begins after a person abruptly ceases meth intake, making them feel agitated and uncomfortable.

Nobody is ever going to say that withdrawing from meth is easy – it isn’t! But, with the right help, meth withdrawal isn’t nearly the obstacle to recovery it often seems to be.

Stats About Meth:

Drug overdose fatalities in the US involving stimulants have spread rapidly in recent years. The leading source of these deaths is meth and its derivatives. As per the National Survey on Drug Use and Health held from 2015 to 2019, meth use disorders or MUDs have increased fourfold among people aged 18 to 23 years, greatly surpassing senior age groups. 

What Is Meth?

Meth is an extremely potent stimulant that’s highly addictive. Originally used as a treatment for obesity, sleep disorders, and other medical issues, methamphetamine fell out of favor rapidly due to its addictive qualities. Desoxyn, an ADHD medication, is the only drug on the market that uses methamphetamine.

Nowadays, most meth consumed in the US is made in massive “superlabs” outside of the US. This meth is very pure and is smuggled into the country. However, some individuals still "cook" methamphetamine in dingy laboratories with over-the-counter medicines and hazardous ingredients.

The most common way includes using pseudoephedrine or ephedrine, common ingredients in flu medications. The poisonous fumes created by the ingredients used make meth production very dangerous. They have the potential to cause mishaps and fires. The result is a white powder with no odor.

Crystal methamphetamine resembles little glass fragments or blue-white boulders. Crystal meth is a smokable form of meth that’s also widely abused.

What Are Meth Withdrawal Symptoms?

Meth withdrawal happens when a person stops using meth. Like other drugs, the body quickly gets used to meth being in its system. When a person stops using meth, their body is suddenly thrown out of balance, which is also known as homeostasis. This imbalance creates symptoms known as withdrawal.

However, certain specific factors affect the intensity of these symptoms:

  • Brain chemistry

  • Age and gender

  • Any underlying health conditions

  • Method of administration (snorting, swallowing, or injecting)

  • Quantity of dosage

  • Frequency of consumption

  • Drug potency

  • Prior encounter with withdrawal

  • Background of drug misuse

  • Period of consumption

Meth Withdrawal Symptoms

Some of the severe withdrawal symptoms of meth involve the following:

  • Lethargy

  • Nervousness

  • Panic attacks

  • Agitation

  • Loss of strength

  • Sudden chills or goosebumps

  • Indigestion

  • Lack of concentration

  • Delayed thinking

  • Increase in body weight

  • Drug cravings

  • Dehydration

  • Irregular sleep patterns

  • Suicidal tendencies

  • Depression

  • Low self-worth

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Symptoms of Long-Term Meth Use

Long-term and post-acute symptoms of meth withdrawal involve the following:

  • Clinical depression

  • Increase in hunger

  • Paranoia

  • Changes in mood

  • Psychotic behavior

  • Sudden urges for drugs

  • Incapacity to feel happy and content

  • Increase in sleep

  • Tiredness

  • Suicidal behavior

Drug cravings for meth can be overwhelming and challenging to manage while in the meth withdrawal stage. These urges often result in the readmission of a person to drug misuse conducts. Withdrawal from methamphetamine can be excruciating and unbearable; however, they aren't potentially fatal. 

What Are the Dangers of Meth Withdrawal?

Detoxing at home, using a so-called “detox kit,” or taking the “cold turkey” approach are all terrible ideas for detoxing from any drug. At best, it’s likely to be unsuccessful – as we’ve said, withdrawal symptoms are unpleasant. At worst, meth withdrawal can be dangerous, with potential medical complications like dehydration and suicidal ideation.

If you or a close one is under the influence of meth and wishes to cease their consumption, it’s always best to talk to an addiction center. They can guide you on the best path of treatment, help you find meth detox, and more.

How Long Does Meth Withdrawal Last?

The timeline for meth withdrawal is affected by similar elements that impact the intensity of symptoms. Likewise, it can be affected by substance abuse patterns.

For example, whether the person is on a meth binge or uses meth routinely can affect how difficult meth withdrawal can be.

Meth withdrawal frequently starts between a single day following the previous usage and can persist anywhere from a few days to several weeks.

Withdrawal symptoms that are severe and imperative, like anxiety, irritation, and dysphoria, generally start and rise soon after a person's last dose. Acute symptoms of meth removal slowly reduce with time. According to studies, severe withdrawal signs can linger for two weeks shortly after a person has stopped using drugs, with desires representing the most prevalent sign and lasting from seven to ten days on average.

Post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) is a lasting effect of withdrawal that is the same as severe symptoms but is typically more temperate and steadier. These long-lasting signs generally remain for two to three weeks following the several withdrawal stages.  

Medical drug detox will make withdrawal easy to take. It’s safer, more comfortable, and much more likely to be successful. During medical drug detox, a person’s needs are met 24/7, with any potential complications addressed quickly.

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Why Do People Go Through Meth Withdrawal?

Meth addiction develops rapidly, especially if a person regularly uses meth. Many meth users develop a tolerance to meth, which means they have to take larger and larger amounts of meth to feel the same effects. This is why many people start using meth habitually.

Physical reliance arises when a person consumes methamphetamine to the point where the body believes it requires the drug to keep working efficiently. As an outcome, if a methamphetamine addict abruptly discontinues or reduces their substance consumption, they may experience meth symptoms of withdrawal.

Once this occurs, it drives the meth abuse cycle. To avoid withdrawal symptoms, an individual feels the need to continue their consumption.

Meth withdrawal happens due to sudden brain modifications arising from constant meth intake, mainly in the brain's reward circuit. When a person consumes meth, their mind generates excessive quantities of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in pleasurable reward and motivation. 

When an individual takes meth routinely and adapts to the dopamine release meth use causes, their pleasure centers are compromised. This causes issues in achieving satisfaction from regular life, such as pursuing a hobby, eating good food, sexual activities, and working out. This reduced happiness effect could increase their need to continue using the medication.

Methamphetamine users are frequently unable to find satisfaction in anything besides their daily dose of meth.

What Is The Difference Between Meth Addiction and Dependence?

Meth reliance is a physiological response of the human system in which the body grows so accustomed to methamphetamine that discontinuation signs appear when a person reduces or quits consumption. In simple terms, the body believes it requires methamphetamine to operate physiologically. Without meth, dependency may result in high impulses and obsessive intake to prevent withdrawal symptoms.

Substance use disorder (SUD), or addiction, is the obsessive, unrestrained consumption of meth/ Addiction includes bodily changes (like dependency) and detrimental habits that affect all aspects of a person's life. In addition, addiction causes brain alterations that affect a person's desire, inspiration, mental process, and actions to such an extent that meth usage gets preferred above everything else.

Treatment for Meth Withdrawal Symptoms

Treating methamphetamine withdrawal requires removing the substance from a person’s system. This is best accomplished with an expert team of healthcare practitioners equipped to manage the acute effects. Medical drug detox is the initial stage in addressing a drug use condition. 

Following meth detox, many individuals will gain from continued treatment that includes residential or ambulatory care settings. In addition, individuals who participate in clinically managed detox facilities will acquire support and assistance in searching for the appropriate program to foresee their addiction's emotional and behavioral factors.

The benefits of medically managed detox for meth withdrawal can involve:

  • Supervising for clinical or psychological dangers: Because meth discontinuation can cause severe depressive symptoms or suicidal ideation, medical intervention may assist a person in remaining healthy.

  • Offering dietary guidelines if required: Use of methamphetamine is linked to body mass reduction and poor nourishment; someone battling with meth dependency may require assistance such as bigger or higher-calorie meals, nutritional supplements, or contact with a food specialist.

  • Offering structure and assistance: This might assist a person in focusing on healing and preparing for additional medical care.

  • Removing a person from environments with meth: This might assist in lessening the cravings caused by external triggers, which can also result in relapsing. 

After detox, individuals might undergo inpatient drug rehab (or residential drug rehab).

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Our admissions coordinators are standing by 24/7 to answer your questions, provide guidance, and schedule an initial assessment. Let us help you determine if our programs are the right fit to meet your needs.


Can Medication Help with Meth Withdrawal?

Currently, there are no FDA-approved drugs for treating meth withdrawal. However, some meth withdrawal symptoms can be treated with medications. Prescription medications can help a person deal with the psychological issues meth withdrawal causes – as well as treat any underlying co-occurring disorders that may be driving meth addiction. This combination is known as a dual diagnosis.

That said, there are some common prescription medications used during meth withdrawal:


This prescription medication helps people treat their anxiety and avoid panic attacks brought on by meth withdrawal.


This is an antidepressant used to help people quit smoking. The good news is it also helps people stop using meth.


This is a stimulant drug that is used to treat ADHD – but it can also act as a bridge between meth addiction and sobriety.

Drug Rehab: The Next Step After Meth Withdrawal

Expert intervention in the form of various cognitive therapies can bring multiple advantages, including:

  • Assisting patients in learning how to avoid relapse.

  • Educating a patient on greater resilience and strategies for managing stress.

  • Assisting patients in identifying and dealing with the underlying causes of their addiction.

Residential drug rehab/inpatient drug rehab provides the extra advantage of continuous surveillance and assistance to help people stay secure while they handle any overlapping issues which might emerge. This additional help is particularly significant if the person has potentially hazardous medical conditions or recurring psychological disorders.

How Is Meth Addiction Treated?

Several psychological treatments utilized to assist a person in conquering their methamphetamine addiction include:

Motivational Interviewing (MI)

MI is a therapy strategy that is especially effective in coping with the uncertainty that leads to risky conduct. This scientifically proven strategy boosts a person's conviction in their ability to change their behavior effectively. It aids people with SUD in examining their inner desire to change and begin to make a difference.

MI is designed to be a rapid procedure and may thus be effective in distant primary care areas where access to professionals may be limited.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT was originally prescribed to treat depression, but it is now used to treat a broad spectrum of substance use disorders, especially in treating stimulant addiction. CBT teaches clients how and when to notice problematic behaviors and signs of drug addiction and how to develop impulse control. The effects of CBT have been shown to endure long after the counseling sessions.

Various medical authorities recognize CBT as a scientifically proven treatment for various substance and alcohol addiction disorders. 

12-Step Groups

A 12-step program is a short, systematic process that includes psychological, emotional, and cognitive components. Alcoholics Anonymous developed and popularized the 12-step method, a 12-step strategy for overcoming addiction. The primary idea behind this method is that while people can help each other achieve and sustain sobriety from substance misuse, recovery cannot occur until people with dependencies submit to a higher authority.

Ensuring a patient gets enough nourishment and physical activity during detoxification and all phases of treatment is crucial for keeping them healthy as they recover.

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Medicine Administration in Meth Withdrawal

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not authorized pharmaceuticals to address meth addiction or withdrawal. However, if a person undergoes medically supervised detox, they could be given additional drugs to treat side effects like migraines or sleeplessness that might occur during withdrawal.

Risks and Outcomes of Meth Withdrawal

The most serious hazards of meth removal include possibly severe despair and suicidal ideation, which may contribute to acts of suicide and self-harm. Practical evaluation, assistance, and supervision are required to assist people in efficiently navigating these hazards and remaining safe.

In addition, variables including medical concerns, psychological disorders, and multiple substance use, can exacerbate methamphetamine abstinence.

Individuals can effectively detox from methamphetamine and return from an addiction or meth habit with the right treatment. Following detox, it is frequently necessary to continue participating in an aftercare program to assist people in acquiring innovative abilities, avoiding relapse, and strengthening their recovery. 

Meth Withdrawal Is Very Difficult Alone. Let The Forge Recovery Center Help You

Individuals suffering from meth addiction or experiencing meth withdrawal should seek treatment at a reputable addiction center to begin recovery.

The Forge Recovery Center uses evidence-based, effective methods to help our clients through meth withdrawal and leave meth behind for good. We’ll help you find a trustworthy, proven meth detox center where you can get through meth withdrawal comfortably and successfully.

At our addiction center, we’ll help you develop the coping mechanisms you need to leave meth addiction behind for good. If you want to learn more about our meth addiction treatment program and how it can help you or a loved one get through meth withdrawal, reach out to The Forge Recovery Center today.

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Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

June 15, 2023