Methamphetamine is a very powerful stimulant drug. When used the drug releases dopamine into the brain. The rush of dopamine causes a person to experience a rush of pleasure that can last anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes which is followed by a feeling of euphoria which can last up to 12 hours. During this period of time, the person abusing meth might experience positive outcomes like increased confidence, assertiveness, productivity, energy, attentiveness, curiosity. However, the person abusing meth might experience negative outcomes like increased aggression, anxiety, and insomnia. When the euphoric feelings fade, dopamine levels drop below normal and this is known as the crash or comedown.
Meth Comedown Symptoms
Meth has a much longer withdrawal period than other drugs. Once a person finishes using meth they will typically experience a comedown. The comedown period can last anywhere from 1 to 3 days. During this period some meth comedown symptoms that an individual may experience include anxiety, depression, fatigue, and lethargy that might feel similar to a hangover.
It can be extremely challenging to quit cold turkey using meth. This is because the brain has altered its chemical balance to become dependent on the substance for dopamine. The crash withdrawal phase for meth lasts for only 1 to 3 days but the acute withdrawal phase lasts about 7 to 10 days. Common symptoms associated with the comedown from meth are intense cravings for meth, changes in appetite, aches, pains, exhaustion, fatigue, confusion, irritability, mood swings, insomnia, nightmares, anxiety, depression, and paranoia.
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Meth Binge and Crash
A meth binge happens after the initial high fades and a person continues to use meth every couple of hours to maintain the initial feelings of euphoria. Someone who is a chronic user of meth might use 1 to 6 times a day. This drug becomes so addicting because with each use there becomes less and less of a rush until eventually there will be no rush at all. A lot of people who use meth do not eat or sleep during the binge period, which can last up to 15 days.
The crash is the last stage of meth use before a person goes through the withdrawal stages. This period is when the user becomes extremely tired and can sleep for up to 3 days.
Managing a Meth Comedown
A meth comedown can be managed in comfort in one’s own home. If you are wondering how to come down from meth, there are a few things people can do to help ease the pain associated with a meth comedown. First, a meth binge can cause people who use the substance to stay up for days at a time. Due to this, they may become dehydrated and have electrolyte imbalances during these episodes. A person detoxing from meth needs to increase their fluid intake, especially water, in order to stay well hydrated and prevent dehydration. Drinking beverages that contain electrolytes can help restore the imbalance. Other things people crashing from meth can do to relieve some of their symptoms is to talk with a doctor, get exercise, eat a balanced diet, get plenty of sleep, keep busy, and relax by avoiding a high-stress environment and to learn some basic stress management techniques.
If managing a meth comedown at home is not an option maybe being admitted to an inpatient hospitalization can help. Inpatient clinics are used for serious cases of long-term meth addiction. People who are admitted into inpatient clinics will receive around the clock support from medical and mental health professionals. Another option for someone trying to manage their meth comedown phase is outpatient clinics. Outpatient clinics do not provide around the clock supervision but rather use behavioral therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy, contingency management, and the matrix model to structure their programs.
Withdrawal from Crystal Meth
Shortly after a person stops using meth the first stage of withdrawal hits. According to a study published in the International Journal of High-Risk Behaviors and Addiction, in the first 24 hours experienced severe cases of anxiety, abuse cravings, and fatigue. These symptoms began to lessen in severity within 7 to 10 days after onset. Depression symptoms typically started to decline after the third week of withdrawal.
After the first 3 weeks of withdrawal, some people might think the worst is over and they are on their way to a drug-free life. However, 50 percent of people who stopped meth experienced relapse. This relapse happened in 36 percent of people during the first 6 months after withdrawal. Other studies mentioned in the article discussed how physiological dependence and abuse cravings are two important factors that impact relapse rates. This indicates that meth lasts longer than just 3 weeks in the body. Therefore, it is important to seek help even after the detox process to ensure lifelong abstinence. Talk to a Intake Coordinator
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Medications to Assist in the Withdrawal Process
Unfortunately, there are no medications that have been proven by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be effective in treating this disease. However, a recent study published in Addiction mentioned two pharmacotherapeutic approaches that look promising in aiding in the meth withdrawal process. The first mentioned was immunotherapy. Immunotherapy works by reducing the amount of methamphetamine entering a person’s brain. The other approach mentioned was aptamer therapy. This approach works by also limiting brain exposure to abused meth. The study also mentioned that the antidepressant drug bupropion might be useful in helping alleviate some of the meth’s withdrawal symptoms.
Finding a Treatment Center
Meth addiction is a devastating disease that impacts more than just the person afflicted with the addiction. Coming down from meth can be extremely painful. Those who are suffering from meth addiction deserve to receive the best care available. Finding a superior rehabilitation clinic can provide a person with the tools to overcome the excruciating drug addiction that is haunting them.
- Addiction Treatment Options. Sunshine Behavioral Health.
- Approaches to the development of medications for the treatment of methamphetamine dependence. Addiction.
- Investigating the tend and severity of withdrawal symptoms in methamphetamine users amongst homeless addicts International Journal of High-Risk Behaviors and Addiction.
- Men’s rea and methamphetamine: High time for modern doctrine acknowledging the neuroscience of addiction. Fordham Law Review.
- Substance use recovery and diet. Medline Plus.
- What does methamphetamine do to your body? Latino Health Issues Collection.
- Withdrawal from crystalline methamphetamine (ice). Breaking the Ice in Our Community.
Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.
Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.
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