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So you’re ready to detox from meth.
This is a hard choice.
It’s a choice that many users will not make. They will keep using and there’s a good chance they will die or go crazy because of it.
But this is not your path.
It’s time to get your life back.
Clearly, you have a desire to put the past behind you and regain your life. Let’s make it stronger.
Because if you’ve been a serious meth user you’ll have to be prepared for some serious withdrawal symptoms.
In this post, we won’t sugar coat anything. Yes, these withdrawals will be hard. Your mind will be filled with all kinds of thoughts and plans that will do their best to convince you to give in to cravings.
It’s not easy. No one is superhuman and no methamphetamine user who’s quit has done it easily. Methamphetamine has twisted your brain’s reward response system and your brain’s receptors need to rebalance themselves.
But there are ways for you to make detoxing and quitting less challenging.
In this post, we will help you discover some of the best ways to help you quit and allow your brain to heal.
1.) Get to Know The Phases of Meth Withdrawal and Detox
There are two recognized phases of meth withdrawal/detox:
Phase #1: Acute Withdrawal
- This is the first 10 days – two week period after you’ve stopped using. This is when you will have the most severe, uncomfortable and disorienting symptoms of detox.
- Expect to feel very irritable and experience waves of intense cravings for drugs, depression, insomnia / abnormal sleep patterns, fear, anxiety, chronic tiredness, become easily distracted, physically achy and there’s also a?likelihood of slight to severe hallucinations.
- You may also feel physically revolting. You may experience nausea, vomiting, and cold or flu-like symptoms. These typically will last for the first few days of detox.
- This detox period is especially challenging and it is recommended that you are supervised by a trained medical practitioner at a?detox center. A center for drug detoxification may give you medications and therapy to help you deal with the pain associated with detoxing. They’ll make sure that you feel some relief while you are going through such a tough period of time.
- Detox specialists also commonly administer nutrients and vitamins at this time to make sure you are taken care of nutritionally.
Phase #2: Protracted Phase Withdrawal
- This period, which starts after the acute phase, can last from a few weeks to many months. It is typically less intense but can at times be equally uncomfortable and risky as?the acute phase.
- While you have passed the detox phase you are likely to still experience some strong symptoms of recovery. You will still feel drug cravings at times. They might be more subtle, but be careful. Even when subtle they can convince you to relapse if you’ve left your guard down.
- There will still likely be disturbances in your sleeping behavior. Your memory and thinking might still be lagging behind and hard to control at times. You may also experience periods of subtle to severe depression. This is to be expected, as your brain is still balancing itself.
- Physical health problems, if they haven’t already manifested, can start to show up. Dental problems and emaciation/weight loss are common problems associated with methamphetamine use. Headaches and anxiety are likely to come and go.
- A mental disorder called Amphetamine Psychosis is known to persist through detox for some time. It is very hard to treat and in most cases, one must just wait it out. Symptoms can be auditory and visual hallucinations and schizophrenia-like symptoms.
- Due to this long withdrawal period, your detox from meth might take a long time. Consider being monitored by a professional for a sufficient amount of time until you feel ready to move on on your own. Medical professionals might recommend you take mood stabilizing drugs to help you through your detox. This is up to you.
2.) How Dangerous is Meth Detox? Should I be Worried about my Physical and Mental Safety?
Some drugs are too dangerous to give up cold turkey.
For example, benzodiazepines (benzos) and alcohol. Those who are heavy users need to be cautious when quitting. If they don’t taper off the drug properly there are some serious health risks.
Although meth withdrawal by itself is not life-threatening, there are still potential dangers around hurting yourself or hurting those around you when you decide to quit and detox.
You can feel so out of sorts when you quit that you lose perspective. You can feel like your losing the will to live. You can feel aggression towards the rest of the world and want to hurt other people.
- If you are feeling so low that suicidal thoughts are taking over your mind, it’s a good idea to get psychological help from a professional.
- If you are feeling like you are experiencing psychosis and are worried yourself becoming a threat to those around you, it’s a good idea to get psychological help from a professional.
- If you are feeling like your pain is too much and you are leaning towards going back to using again, don’t. Get help.
3.) Can I Detox on my Own? Or Do I Need to Go to a Center?
Overall, it’s a bad idea to try to detox on your own.
Sadly, most people who try to get clean from meth don’t find success while they do it on their own. The withdrawal symptoms are just so bad and enough to warrant getting help.
Yes, it will cost money.
But if you fail on your own and end up continuing to use, well, that’s your life your sacrificing.
You are worth more than that.
The best way to go about this is to go to get help. Professional help from a licensed detox facility that will provide constant medical supervision from specialists who are trained to help those who are addicted to meth.
You may be thinking that if you fail this time you can go to a detox center on your next attempt.
But see, the thing is, methamphetamine is so damaging and addictive that there may not be the next time. This drug has swallowed so many lives. It changes your behavior so much when abused.
Who knows what could happen if you keep using.
4.) What are the Detox Options that I Should Look Into?
There a few ways to go about this.
First of all, as we’ve just discussed, you could try to detox on your own. Obviously, we don’t recommend this.
If you do decide to try self-treatment then make sure you’ve removed yourself from as many triggers and temptations as possible. Don’t keep your pipe around. Don’t keep lighters around. And of course, don’t keep meth around!
It’s easy to rationalize keeping risky stuff around. Your brain likes to trick you into that. Just don’t though.
Secondly, keep social. Contact friends and family members who are clean and will support you. Don’t hide out completely. When left alone your mind will preoccupy itself with using. Try to fill your awake hours with social support. You shouldn’t need to find social settings for too much of the day since you will likely be sleeping over 12 hours a day for the first week or so.
The next option is one that we do recommend. It’s a treatment option that’s as close to doing it on your own as possible. But you’ll still be supported by professionals.
Finding an outpatient detox program.
An outpatient program will provide you with support and assistance while you are going through those difficult and uncomfortable detox phases. Even though you won’t be living in a center 24/7, the support you are provided will give you a far better chance at successfully quitting methamphetamine.
An addiction treatment provider should be able to assess what your level of need is when it comes to withdrawal support.
Depending on your individual case, they might recommend that you do an outpatient protocol.
You’ll be most likely to find success with an in home-outpatient detox if:
- Your doctor doesn’t anticipate severe withdrawals.
- You don’t have severe medical conditions.
- You don’t have psychiatric problems, either methamphetamine-related or not.
- You are not prone to severe bouts of depression.
- You have sober friends and social support that are willing and able to support you.
- Your home or place of recovery is secure and drug-free.
- You don’t have a history of failing at-home detox attempts.
- You are clearly motivated enough to succeed in quitting meth.
If you or your doctor decide that you need more support than this, then finding an inpatient option would best for you. Below are some criteria that will determine whether the inpatient treatment option is the best for you. Both you and your doctor should consider the following before making a decision.
You’ll be most likely to find success at an inpatient residential detox center if:
- You have additional drug dependencies like marijuana or alcohol
- You don’t have a home environment that would help you to stay clean.
- Your mental state isn’t balanced enough and you are experiencing significant psychological?conditions.
- You currently have or maintain a history of depression and/or psychosis.
- You have additional conditions that require monitoring during the potentially tumultuous period of your detox.
- Your dependence on methamphetamine is so strong that you are expected to experience very intense or extreme withdrawal symptoms.
- In the past, you have tried failed to detox on your own or with the support of an outpatient program.
An inpatient program is especially suited to help you to avoid relapse during the initial detox period and during the long, protracted withdrawal.
Your thinking will get clearer as the week’s progress, but the cravings will still come on strong now and then. Even the cravings will diminish over time but there will likely always be that thought in the back of your mind that wants to compel you to get some pleasure from indulging.
Your inpatient program will help you recognize your mental patterns. When you combine fuzzy headedness with cravings and reduced concentration/impulse control you are at risk for relapse. The more you can see this and work with it the better off you will be when it comes time to be completely on your own.
You’ve done tremendously well when you’ve made it through the first weeks and months of detox and recovery.
But the truth is it’s a long fought war with addiction that you have to deal with.
A treatment center will help you to:
- Find ways to limit and work with your cravings
- Find ways to keep your willpower strong and in control
- Find ways to manage emotions like anger, frustration, and sadness without drugs
- Involve your friends and family with family therapy and educate and inform them on recovery
5.) What Medications and Nutritional Supplements can help ease Detox and Recovery from Methamphetamine?
Officially there are no FDA approved drugs available for meth addiction recovery.
But in many cases, treatment centers are able to utilize medication to help relieve uncomfortable symptoms during meth detox.
Below are some commonly administered meds for those in treatment and recovery:
- Valium – used to calm down severe anxiety, mostly used during the first phase of withdrawal.
- Antipsychotics like Risperidone or Quetiapine ?- used to treat episodes of psychosis.
- Antidepressants like Cymbalta or Pristiq – used to help ease depressive episodes which are common in early periods of detox and recovery
- Pain meds like acetaminophen – used to relieve achy pains. Only over the counter brands are used.
In addition to pharmaceuticals and prescription medications, there are many herbs, vitamins and nutritional supplements that can help a recovering meth addict.
The body of an addict is often deficient in helpful substances like vitamins and minerals. Getting proper nutrition to the body and the brain can help ease the body back into neurochemical balance much faster than having?no?nutritional support.
Prolonged meth use will damage the brain and it’s signaling systems. Supplementing brain-boosting herbs and amino acids will speed up healing and rebalance brain chemistry.
Below is a short list of neurotransmitters which are quickly damaged by meth use:
Supplementation of certain amino acids can help normalize and restore these important chemicals. When they’re levels are returned to healthy amounts then cravings will diminish and your mental capacities will return. Your frequency of depression will diminish and you’ll develop more energy to bring with you throughout the day.
Below are some of the most recommended amino acids for recovering meth addicts:
Additional supplements that benefit recovery include: