A Foundation to Overcome Meth Withdrawal Symptoms
Methamphetamine addiction is a severe health and social issue plaguing the country today. For many people struggling with abusing meth, the first step in leaving this lifestyle behind will be to participate in a medically-supervised meth detox program.
The crystal meth addiction treatment process can be a long and difficult process, but one that will be necessary for individuals to have a successful recovery journey.
Keep reading to learn about how the South Shores Recovery treatment center can help you stop using meth and obtain long-term sobriety.
What Is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine is a powerful, highly addictive substance that impacts the body’s central nervous system (the brain and the spine). Originally, meth was developed as a stimulant that helped people to focus. It was sold in nasal decongestants and even marketed as an appetite suppressant. It is derived from an older drug known as amphetamine, but it differs significantly in potency.
Methamphetamine has a far higher concentration of dopamine production than its predecessor and has more long-lasting and harmful effects on the body. The US Drug Enforcement Agency has classified the drug as a Schedule II controlled substance. In non-specialist terms, this means that it’s only available through a prescription that is not refillable, due to its high risk for substance abuse.
Unfortunately, the drug has become quite widespread because of how easy it is to obtain illegal variants of the substance. Many people engage in this form of drug abuse due to the intense euphoric high it can produce.
However, in most cases, those who abuse meth experience unpleasant and often dangerous side effects as well. It is for this reason that those struggling with meth addiction seek professional help as soon as possible.
Understanding Meth Addiction
Meth addiction starts with dependence. When a person starts taking the drug, their brain rewires itself to deal with the drug’s presence. When someone takes meth, their body releases copious amounts of dopamine, driving a spike in their euphoria.
The user’s brain has to change to deal with this massive influx of dopamine, making it more challenging to feel the same way in the future. However, this rewiring leads to the brain needing the drug, a situation known as dependence.
Addiction occurs when the dependent person starts taking risks and making illogical choices to obtain the drug. This situation occurs because the brain can’t function normally without the drug anymore. Methamphetamine detox is a crucial part of breaking the dependence and addiction to the drug, as we’ll see here.
What are the Warnings Signs of Meth Addiction?
How can you tell if someone’s suffering from meth dependence? Usually, people keep their meth use private, but some signs are evident for those who pay attention. The first thing that happens is losing interest in hobbies or activities the person once enjoyed.
Their behavior and the hours they leave and return home become more questionable. Career or schoolwork suffers because more time is spent obtaining and using meth than going into other pursuits. Relationships also take a back seat to the drug.
Many of these individuals change their friend circles, replacing healthy friendships with those predicated on using the drug. Meth tends to alter how a person thinks and feels. Their personality may change drastically for the worse. They may experience mood disturbances and instability with continuous crystal meth use.
Of course, one of the biggest signs of drug addiction is if the individual is unable to stop using on their own. They may experience intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms, leading to repeated failed attempts to get clean without support.
Overall, there are many signs of a meth addiction that can be looked out for when attempting to determine whether you or someone else is struggling with this disease. If you recognize any of these signs, whether in yourself or a loved one, the South Shores Recovery team is here to help.
The Side Effects of Short-Term Meth Abuse
There are various physical and psychotic features of short-term meth abuse that can severely impact an individual’s physical and emotional well-being. Some of the physical symptoms include increased blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature. Meth users may also experience psychological symptoms including anxiety, paranoia, and cognitive dysfunction, which can disrupt the person’s normal functioning.
The Side Effects of Long-Term Meth Abuse
With regular meth use, individuals will eventually begin to develop and experience more negative symptoms, such as:
- Twitching and hyperactivity
- Reduced appetite and weight loss
- Tooth decay (“Meth Mouth”)
- Noticeable and sudden extreme weight loss
- Skin sores from injecting meth
- Rapid eye movement
- Brain damage
Long-term abuse of meth will also increase one’s addiction, making it more difficult for them to begin their healing process and maintain recovery due to intense drug cravings and uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal.
They may also be more likely to begin abusing other harmful substances, as well. It is for this reason that individuals struggling with a methamphetamine use disorder seek out professional help in order to achieve and maintain sustained recovery from their addiction.
Can You Overdose From Meth?
When taking higher doses of meth or using this drug too often, individuals can experience a potentially life-threatening overdose. The symptoms of a meth overdose include:
- Erratic or aggressive behavior
- Loss of consciousness
- Changes in personality or alertness
- Intense stomach cramps
- Kidney failure, typically represented by dark or bloody urine
- High body temperature
- Blood pressure issues (too high or too low)
- Signs of a heart attack, including chest pain or confusion
- Difficulty in breathing
If a person is suffering from a meth overdose, it’s recommended that they get emergency treatment as soon as possible, as this can be life-threatening. Unfortunately, because many people who use meth do so in isolation, it’s usually too late to get them help once they’re discovered.
South Shores Recovery: Crystal Meth Detox
Detoxing is the first step in overcoming addiction to meth or any substance of abuse. The medical detox process allows a person to break their physical dependence on the drug. It’s the basis for long-term recovery and sets the stage for further treatment.
Supervised detox services allow individuals to push past the physical element of addiction. In essence, detox is a controlled withdrawal methodology. The body slowly starts to give up its dependence on the drug because it can no longer get it.
However, because the drug has become necessary for it to function, the brain makes the body demand the drug and develop symptoms as a means of forcing the individual to keep taking it. Methamphetamine withdrawal symptoms may differ in intensity, depending on how long the person has been using the drug and when the last time they took it was.
Why Medical Detox is Necessary
Detox, especially in our drug rehab centers, is more likely to succeed than trying to do it in isolation. Not only is independent detox less likely to succeed, but it can be hazardous. Rehab centers offering detox facilities usually have a staff of trained medical personnel to help with symptoms if the patient needs it.
Professional treatment programs may also use FDA-approved medications to prevent many of the most damaging factors of meth and other drug withdrawals, which can significantly help reduce recovering individuals’ risk of relapse.
Highly trained clinical teams employed at these centers are also able to deal with any emergencies that may arise. The detox process can take place in an inpatient rehab facility, residential treatment center, or outpatient treatment center, and will include constant medical supervision.
Those struggling with co-occurring medical or mental health conditions would benefit from more intensive treatment modalities. No matter what type of treatment a person needs, the South Shores Recovery detox centers can provide the physical and emotional support needed for a successful recovery.
Crystal Meth Withdrawal Symptoms and What To Expect From Meth Detox
Meth detox can be a physically and emotionally draining experience. A person going through meth withdrawal may face one or more of the following symptoms:
- Memory Loss
- Dry Mouth
Severe depression is another common withdrawal symptom. Unfortunately for someone who is recovering from meth addiction, his or her depressive symptoms can lead to low feelings of self-worth and even suicidal ideations and behaviors, putting their recovery at serious risk.
This is why meth detox is best done in a medically supervised setting to ensure that the recovering person benefits from a staff that can help them overcome the negative fallout from their condition.
A Typical Meth Withdrawal Timeline
While it might be tempting to think that meth withdrawal is a single, short episode, the process has a well-defined timeline. Within the first two days (48 hours) of taking the last dose, the individual experiences a “crash,” also known as the acute withdrawal phase. This crash is signaled by a sharp decline in energy and cognitive function.
There’s also a significant volume of abdominal cramping and sweating happening at this time. The symptoms peak between the third and tenth day and begin to wane. The actual time for this varies, depending on how long the person has been using meth. Meth withdrawal tends to peter out around the fourteenth to the twentieth day after starting the process.
It might seem like meth withdrawal and comedown is a drawn-out process, but overcoming a substance so ingrained into the brain’s processes takes time. No two people go through withdrawal precisely the same. Each withdrawal is different, and it’s not fair to compare one person’s process with another.
What are the Risks Of At Home Meth Detox?
It’s not recommended that a person detox from meth at home for the simple reason that doing so can be dangerous. Furthermore, trying to detox at home is less likely to succeed. Withdrawal symptoms, as previously stated, have differing levels of intensity.
Those withdrawal symptoms can create life-threatening situations that require direct medical intervention in the most extreme cases. While this is the exception, it still occurs often enough that medical professionals warn against detoxing at home.
Within a medically supervised location, doctors and nurses remain on-call to ensure that the person within medically supervised detox for meth is taken care of throughout the entire process. Another less-discussed reason for opting for medically supervised detox is the facility’s amenities. Rehab facilities usually treat detox patients based on their level of addiction. Some patients have been using the drug longer and in larger quantities than others.
To mitigate the effect of withdrawal symptoms, Some rehab facilities allow for a controlled reduction in dosing. After a few days, the individual goes through detox, but their symptoms are far less pronounced than if they had done so cold turkey on their own. If there is an option for medically supervised detox, it’s always the better option than trying to do it on one’s own.
What Happens After Meth Detox?
As stated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), there are various levels of care and principles that go into the recovery process. With that being said, meth detox isn’t the end of recovery but rather a stepping stone to more long-term care.
Detox breaks a person’s physical dependence on the drug. Once this reliance is broken, it sets the stage for dealing with psychological symptoms that might manifest and lead a person back into using the drug. Long-term care can happen in either an inpatient setting or an outpatient setting.
Regardless of the person’s choice, these long-term care options are helpful in helping a person cope with the psychological hold meth may still have on them. Behavioral therapies have shown good promise in assisting individuals to deal with the long-term psychological effects of meth.
Cognitive behavioral therapy, for example, helps a person spot the negative thoughts that lead to negative actions. Once a person can pinpoint those thoughts, they can avoid their impact on their lives.
These therapy sessions give recovering individuals the tools to deal with their long-term recovery. However, the tools may not be enough on their own. Community is a crucial part of overcoming addiction, and group therapy can be priceless in helping a person come to terms with their condition.
It also offers them a way to help others who may be dealing with a similar situation. Having others who have been through similar stories can give a person moral support. Support groups also offer a method for a person to have accountability, keeping them on the path of recovery through the long term.
No matter what type of care you need, the South Shores Recovery facility can help you get the treatment you deserve. Long-term recovery is possible. Call now and get started on your path to sobriety today!
Long Term Recovery From Methamphetamine
Recovering from meth doesn’t happen overnight. However, with the proper support and dedicated staff to help, it’s not impossible to overcome the hold that this substance may have on your life. South Shores Recovery provides facilities for meth detox and caring and trained staff to guide you toward leaving your dependence on meth behind.
If you think the time is right for you to quit and you’re looking for a facility to help you on your road to recovery, give us a call today. We’d be glad to walk right beside you, and are waiting for your call now!