Crystal meth is an extremely powerful drug that alters the brain’s natural chemistry. Meth users experience a euphoric high that covers up feelings of anxiety, depression, inadequacy or fear. Once this high wears off, addicts immediately begin to crave more meth. The need to return to this same state of euphoria is so intense that many meth users become addicted after just their first use.
Length of Withdrawal
Physical traces of crystal meth typically leave the body within 24 to 48 hours after use. Meth addicts do not experience physical withdrawal symptoms, such as vomiting or sweating. The psychological withdrawal symptoms, however, can be incredibly intense and long lasting. Depending on the length of addiction, meth withdrawal symptoms may last days or even weeks. Occasional or short-term users may experience symptoms for several days, while long-term abusers can struggle with psychological withdrawal symptoms for several weeks.
Symptoms of meth withdrawal include:
- Inability to feel pleasure
To better understand withdrawal symptoms, it is important to understand how crystal meth affects the brain. Meth changes a brain’s chemical balance. Repeated abuse causes the brain to build a higher tolerance for the drug. This means greater quantities of meth are required to achieve the same euphoric high. Meth also alters the brain’s chemistry, specifically the brain’s ability to experience pleasure. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter responsible for feeling pleasure. Long-term meth use reduces the level of natural dopamine in the brain. Meth abuse also reduces the number of dopamine receptors. Consequently, the withdrawal process is characterized by the inability to feel pleasure. During withdrawal, meth addicts are unable to experience natural happiness. Simple pleasures that would cause normal people to smile or experience joy have no effect on a meth addict going through withdrawal.
Side Effects of Withdrawal
During the withdrawal process, addicts will experience anxiety, agitation and restlessness. Since habitual meth abuse causes an intense psychological craving, chronic abusers may also become violent and self-destructive during the withdrawal process. Long-term meth abuse causes sleep deprivation and appetite suppression. During the first week of the withdrawal process, many meth addicts will do nothing more than eat or sleep. Previous food deprivation will have caused a meth addict’s metabolism to slow down. Consequently, during the withdrawal process, many meth addicts gain weight as their caloric intake increases.
At Blue Water Detox, our team of experienced drug addiction counselors and treatment specialists work closely to help addicts through the difficult withdrawal process. Since addicts struggle with an intense psychological craving for meth, managing withdrawal symptoms alone can be an extremely challenging. Unfortunately, many addicts who try to manage withdrawal symptoms without supervised support suffer a relapse.
Warning Signs of Withdrawal
Without proper care, crystal meth addicts going through withdrawal can become violent and self-destructive. Because the psychological desire to use meth is so intense, an addict may become violent with anyone who prevents them from accessing the drug. Addicts may also cut or otherwise harm themselves out of frustrating and anger. Warning signs of withdrawal include anger management problems, violence and self-destructive behavior.
Contact Blue Water Detox
Blue Water Detox counselors provide a lifeline during an addict’s most challenging and darkest moments. Our team is here to help addicts successfully overcome psychological dependency on crystal meth. After enjoying euphoric highs, the inability to experience pleasure can cause depression and anxiety. Watching others smile or laugh at a joke, and feeling nothing, can cause addicts to feel isolated and alone. Blue Water Detox counselors help addicts through the psychological challenges of meth withdrawal.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a crystal meth addiction, Blue Water Detox can help. You are not alone. There is hope for overcoming meth addiction. Please contact Blue Water Detox Center today to learn more about how we can help a meth addict get back in control.