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Methamphetamine Detox, 3 Phases of Withdrawal & Treatment

Methamphetamine Detox might not be easy, but the benefits of overcoming meth addiction far outweigh the temporary negative side effects of detoxing. The first step in confronting meth addiction is detox, which is ridding the body of an addictive substance.  Detoxing from meth can mean experiencing some pretty severe withdrawal symptoms. [1] 

What is Methamphetamine?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, methamphetamine is a powerful, highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system. It was developed early in the 20th century from its parent drug, amphetamine, and was used originally in nasal decongestants and bronchial inhalers.

Like amphetamine, methamphetamine causes increased activity and talkativeness, decreased appetite, and a pleasurable sense of well-being or euphoria. However, methamphetamine differs from amphetamine in that, at comparable doses, much greater amounts of the drug get into the brain, making it a more potent stimulant, also mixing meth and alcohol could increase heart rate even further than meth used alone. It also has longer-lasting and more harmful effects on the central nervous system. These characteristics make it a drug with a high potential for widespread misuse. [2] that’s the reason why Methamphetamine Detox is so important at right time.

Methamphetamine Detox
Methamphetamine is most commonly consumed via smoking, snorting, or injection.

The majority of people that are addicted to methamphetamine use the drug in its illicit forms: meth and crystal meth. Meth is a crystalline powder that is most commonly white, though it can be yellow, pink, or brown. It is odorless, bitter, and can be dissolved in liquid. It’s most commonly consumed via smoking, snorting, or injection. In some cases, it’s compressed into a pill and can be taken orally. Crystal meth is clear or blue and takes the shape of coarse crystals that are typically smoked.

Withdrawal Symptoms 

Methamphetamine withdrawal is usually an unpleasant experience.  Symptoms begin around 24 hours after the last dose. Fatigue may set in at first, followed by overwhelming feelings of depression. Many people also experience paranoia, hallucinations, anxiety, and insomnia. Meth works by increasing dopamine, the neurotransmitter that controls feelings of pleasure in the brain. When the drug is removed, methamphetamine detox process, dopamine drops below natural levels, and the resulting loss of enjoyment is distressing.

Common Signs of Methamphetamine Withdrawal may include:

  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Extreme Hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Hallucinations
  • Headaches
  • Loss of Pleasure
  • Trouble Sleeping

Long-term meth use may decrease dopamine receptors in brain cells, making it difficult for the individual to experience pleasure, even if normal dopamine levels return.  As a result, many people who quit using meth experience this condition called anhedonia.  Anhedonia can continue for up to two years after a person stops the drug.

For many, it is physiological symptoms — anhedonia and the resultant depression — that cause relapse as they seek relief from the emotional distress. In addition, the psychological dependence resulting from prolonged meth use is powerful, so the person in withdrawal will often experience an intense craving for the drug.

The primary physical symptoms of meth withdrawal are fatigue and lethargy, along with painful headaches. Meth suppresses both appetite and sleep.  During the initial retreat, people may spend most of their time catching up on food and sleep.  As a result, people may gain a significant amount of weight at this time.  Appetite and sleep patterns usually return to normal after a few months without meth.

Withdrawal Timeline of Methampetamine Detox

The three central stages of withdrawal are the crash, cravings, and recovery.  Methamphetamine withdrawal is a slow, complex, but enormously valuable process. It may last up to 40 weeks. The most common crystal meth withdrawal symptoms are:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Increased Appetite
  • Increased need for sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Itching
  • Dry Mouth
  • Mood Swings
  • High Body Temperature
  • Mild Paranoia

The Three Phases of Methamphetamine Detox Withdrawal

Phase 1: 

The first 3-10 days of withdrawal is the “cash’ period.  The period includes a sharp decline in energy and cognitive function.  Depression is common during this phase. In some cases, people will experience hallucinations, paranoia, and anxiety.  Cravings are typically low at this time because a person usually spends a lot of time sleeping during the crash phase.

Phase 2: 

The second phase begins with intense cravings.  Having gotten through the initial crash, many people in the early stages of recovery start to desire the fierce high that meth provides.  Due to the euphoria that the drug offers, consumption is a continuous temptation. Many people feel powerless after stopping using the medication and seeking to use it again to regain the feeling.  This phase can last up to 10 weeks and often includes depression and insomnia.

Phase 3: 

The third stage of meth withdrawal is when meth cravings begin to fade, becoming less frequent and less potent, forming an ideal opportunity to begin recovery.  It is best to maintain an environment where you are safe and have others around to help hold you accountable.  This phase can last for 30 weeks and, in some cases, much longer.  As a general rule, the longer it has been since you have used meth, the easier it will be for you to stay sober.

Methamphetamine Detox: Withdrawal Experience

Many factors affect the Methamphetamine Detox process and the withdrawal experience. For example, those who have taken meth for more extended periods will usually withdraw for longer, and higher regular doses of meth affect the length of withdrawal in the same way.

Personal physiology and environment are also essential factors for meth withdrawal.  For example, people with substance use disorder (or family history) are likely to experience more challenges in withdrawing from methamphetamine.  In addition, attempting to quit alone or within an environment with addictive triggers can also make the process more challenging.

Methamphetamine Detox
During Methamphetamine Detox, those who have taken meth for more extended periods will usually withdraw for longer.

It is also challenging to quit meth all at once. This method of withdrawal is referred to as cold turkey.  However, many people choose to taper instead of going cold turkey, which can be safer and more comfortable. Tapering is the process of lowering the dosage slowly over time.

Withdrawal symptoms are usually not fatal. Methamphetamine withdrawal can be a complicated process for some, but this is primarily due to dehydration.  As long as the person stays hydrated and eats a balanced diet, they can combat this, especially with medical help. Medical detox is helpful for nutritional and hydration support.  With trained eyes on your progress around the clock, you will be able to avoid any dangerous complications.

Methamphetamine Detox at We Level Up Treatment Center

Detox centers and rehabilitation facilities provide around-the-clock medical supervision to those undergoing detoxification. Nurses and doctors on staff will ensure you are adequately hydrated and have the proper nutrients, allowing you to detox healthily and safely.

The first stage of rehabilitation is an evaluation by trained clinical staff. Then, if the client is still acutely intoxicated, they will undergo detoxification. This process may serve as a personal milestone for those who complete the experience. After some time, a client’s body will stabilize, and they can move on to the next stage of rehabilitation.

Methamphetamine Detox
Each facility of We Level Up is staffed with a team of experienced professionals who understand the risks associated with meth withdrawal in the Methamphetamine Detox process.

After the initial withdrawal process is complete, creating a plan for further treatment is vital.  Detoxification is one major step toward rehabilitation, but the journey to health and wellness continues long after this phase.  Many addiction professionals believe recovery is never truly finished. Instead, it is a continuous, lifelong process.  We Level Up helps clients develop a personalized plan to address individual symptoms, underlying issues, and life circumstances for long-term recovery.

Each facility of We Level Up is staffed with a team of experienced professionals who understand the risks associated with meth withdrawal.  Although not everyone experiences the same symptoms, in the same way, there is typically some discomfort associated with the detox process.  The good news is, our team offers treatment options to provide relief from the meth withdrawal symptoms.

Meth Detox Program California

Medications that treat methamphetamine dependence should accomplish at least one of the following:

  • Repair damage caused by meth use
  • Reduce rush of meth pleasure
  • Reduce cravings that follow abstinence from meth

Unfortunately, while medications like this exist for other drugs (opioid pain medications), there are no FDA-approved prescriptions for stimulants like methamphetamine.  Since there are no approved medications for meth dependence, treatment during medical detox is supportive.  Addiction specialists may instead use medication to provide relief of withdrawal symptoms from meth.  In addition, Methamphetamine Detox treatment may ease the mood symptoms and prevent short-term physical symptoms like tremors, nausea, or vomiting.

Reclaim Your life from Methamphetamine Addiction at We Level Up California

Methamphetamine Addiction is a chronic disease that can cause major health, social, and economic problems that should not be taken lightly. We Level Up California Treatment Center can provide you, or someone you love, the tools to recover from this condition with a professional and safe Methamphetamine Detox. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can inform you about this condition by giving you relevant information. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please know that each call is private and confidential.


[1]  We Level Up Treatment Center‘Methamphetamine Detox’

[2] ‘Methamphetamine Research Report. What is methamphetamine?’ – National Institute on Drug Abuse (

[3] ‘What are the Long-term Effects of Methamphetamine Abuse?’ – National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).