What Happens When You Come Off Meth

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Methamphetamine is an extremely powerful and addictive drug. Many users become hooked after their first use. For those who want to come off meth, they may be extremely hesitant to do so. The withdrawal symptoms associated with meth can be extremely painful and uncomfortable to ensure. If you are looking to quit meth for good, you must understand the withdrawal process. Armed with knowledge and professional help, you can overcome the pain and discomfort of withdrawal. If you need help in breaking the cycle of meth addiction, call Pinnacle Recovery toll-free today.

How Long Does It Take to Get off of Meth?

The first and most obvious question that you have when quitting meth is how long it will take for withdrawal symptoms to subside. It is important to understand there is no set timeline regarding your recovery. There are many factors that will determine how long you will experience withdrawal symptoms. These factors include your age, your overall health, the length of time you used meth and how much of the drug you have used in that time. Additionally, your recovery time can take longer if you have used other drugs.

To understand what your body and mind will go through, it is helpful to look at your recovery in stages. Each stage is connected with the physical and psychological changes you experience as you recover from chronic meth use. While these stages are helpful in understanding what happens when you come off meth, there is no clear-cut path between each stage. You may recover quickly, but you can also cycle through stages depending on your recovery.

The Stages of Recovery

Stage 1: The Withdrawal Stage

Methamphetamine significantly alters brain chemistry and functioning. When you come off meth, you can start feeling withdrawal symptoms within a couple of hours. Within the first three days, you will experience symptoms such as depression, fatigue, insomnia and could experience suicidal thoughts. Around the fourth day, the urges and cravings to use meth start to surface. You can also experience wide swings in your mood, agitation, and experience substantial irritability.

This initial stage generally lasts for a couple of weeks. This timeline is not set in stone and will depend on how you are responding to treatment. If you are experiencing difficulty during the initial withdrawal stage, don’t get discouraged. Trust the recovery process and take things one day at a time.

Stage 2: The “Honeymoon” Phase

Once you get past the initial withdrawal stage, your mind and body start to feel better. As you get healthier your mood improves, and you feel more confident. For the first time in years, you feel rejuvenated and empowered. While this upswing in encouraging, you may become a little too confident in your recovery. Overconfidence can play tricks on your mind and you can start minimizing your meth addiction.

While it is important to celebrate the victories when you get off of meth, you may not be out of the woods. It’s best to keep focused and stay in the present, because the worst may be yet to come.

Stage 3: Hitting the Wall

About two months after getting off methamphetamine, you can hit a wall in your recovery. The second wave of withdrawal symptoms emerge, and you can feel worse than you did when you first quit meth. This phenomenon is known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), and the effects can last for weeks and even months. The withdrawal symptoms experienced with PAWS are mainly psychological in nature.

The symptoms that you can experience at this stage can include the following:

  • Aggression or hostility
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating or thinking
  • Extra sensitive to daily stress
  • Inability to feel pleasure (also known as anhedonia)
  • Memory issues

This period can be extremely frustrating as you get off of methamphetamine. The psychological symptoms have the potential to cycle for months—and even years. Dealing with your feelings in a healthy manner during this period is key to minimize the risk of relapse.


Stage 4: Adjustment

Once the psychological symptoms associated with PAWS have been minimized and you are stable, you begin a period of adjustment. You are adjusting to a life without meth, and you must take wholesale changes. In order to get off of meth for good, you must change your social life as well as make changes to better your physical and mental health.

You will no doubt experience the cravings and urges to use during this adjustment period, but you are prepared. By utilizing the living and coping skills you learned in treatment, you can manage those feelings in a healthy and productive manner. Additionally, you have a support system of family, friends and recovering peers who can provide the support you need to stay clean

Stage 5: Ongoing Recovery

About a year after getting off of meth, you feel more and more comfortable in your recovery as you live your daily life. You may still have thoughts about using meth, but you are confident in the resources you have to combat those feelings. You continue to work a program of recovery and are growing stronger every day. In ongoing recovery, you celebrate your successes and feel gratitude that you are off of meth and healthy.

Recovery Is a Phone Call Away

Are you or a loved one hopelessly addicted to methamphetamine? Have you tried treatment in the past only to relapse? While recovery can seem frustrating and frightening, the treatment professionals at Pinnacle Recovery can help. From detoxification and therapy to outpatient and sober living programs, our experienced treatment staff will give you the tools you need to recover. No matter the severity of your addiction, our treatment programs are tailored to meet your individual needs.

Recovery isn’t out of reach; it starts with a phone call to Pinnacle Recovery. Call us toll-free today and speak to a compassionate treatment professional. Break free from meth addiction once and for all and take back your life. 

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