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Meth Detox Process And Protocols

When someone is addicted to meth, it is difficult to want to stop doing the drug. Meth withdrawal is unpleasant to deal with. Because of the severity of withdrawals, many chemically dependent folks would rather avoid it. 

The first important thing to know about meth withdrawal is that it’s not life-threatening- detoxing from meth won’t directly result in death. What causes most of the danger during meth withdrawal is coming off of other drugs that are often used in conjunction with meth.

This includes alcohol, benzos, opiates, and stimulants. 

Coming off of these substances without professional help has the potential to result in complications like seizures, convulsions, or even death. The second important thing to remember is that the process will take longer than withdrawing from other substances like alcohol or cocaine.

The withdrawal process itself, however, is no more intense than normal meth withdrawal symptoms alone. If you’ve decided to go through with quitting meth, make sure you have a doctor’s supervision for the entire process. They can monitor your process and provide treatment to alleviate symptoms. 

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What to Expect During Meth Detox

There are a few different things to be aware of when you have decided to undertake meth detoxing. First and foremost, know that the withdrawal process itself is no more intense than withdrawing from other drugs on your own. 

However, many people opt for professional supervision if complications arise from coming off of their stimulant or other addictions concurrently with coming off of meth.

Second, methamphetamine detoxing will take longer than most others. By remembering that, you can go at your own pace and find the willpower to make it through.

Lastly, suicide sometimes occurs in people who undergo meth detox. This alone is why medical detox should be utilized. Having a team right there to monitor the patient can save their lives.

Meth Detox Treatment Timeline

The detox treatment process can include many different phases.

Physical detoxification phase

Here, you are monitored by medical professionals in case any complications arise. This may include gradually decreasing the meth dosage over time while closely monitoring your body’s reactions to variations in your usual dose. 

Psychological Stabilization

This phase involves psychological stabilization and rehabilitation after initial detoxification. Physical withdrawal symptoms can last up to several months, depending on severity of dependence. Psychological stabilization comes into play after the initial difficult detox stage. 

Meth rehab centers can help people through different types of therapies like:

  • cognitive behavioral therapy
  • family counseling
  • addiction intervention counseling
  • relapse prevention training

Some go through support therapies such as 12 Step programs or Smart Recovery. This allows the individual to build healthy relationships with people who have similar struggles. Having that support, and providing it to others, has a great impact on successful recovery.

These programs offer personalized treatment plans that can be modified to each person’s needs and provide general guidelines for staying sober once you’ve left rehab. They also help people understand:

  • the role meth played in their life
  • recognize their triggers
  • learn how to avoid temptations
  • create healthy coping skills  

Processing Methamphetamine Detoxification Withdrawal Symptoms

Avoiding relapse after a period of abstinence is the goal of any methamphetamine detox program. When recovering folks leave treatment, they face all kinds of triggers to use meth again. 

These triggers include people, places, and things that remind them of their addiction. Triggers are often subtle and not easily identified on one’s own; therefore, many patients require guidance through this process. Relapse does not have to be inevitable during recovery from methamphetamine abuse or dependence.

Methamphetamine users must be warned about the dangers associated with using methamphetamines even after they enter a period of abstinence. 

The neurotoxic effects caused by long-term meth abusers’ high intake of meth can lead to problems with movement, behavior, and cognitive abilities.  

Find Help For Meth Addiction

Find help for yourself or a loved one with methamphetamine addiction by looking up a detox program. Having the right support around a victim of meth is crucial for both short-term and long-term results from a detox.

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Li, K. X., & Loshak, H. (2019). Treatment for methamphetamine addiction: A review of guidelines.

Li, J., Li, Y., Gong, Z., Zhang, J., Zhou, Z., Tan, X., & Li, L. (2021). Major and trace elements changes of female methamphetamine addicts during six months’ compulsory treatment: Biomarkers discovery. Forensic Science International, 325, 110892.

İvecen, B., & GOKDEMIR, O. (2022). Methamphetamine Addiction. DAHUDER Medical Journal, 2(4), 98-101.

Medical Advice Disclaimer

Magnified Health Systems aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.

Picture of This content is verified and moderated by Dr. Brendan Bickley

This content is verified and moderated by Dr. Brendan Bickley

Dr. Bickley graduated from U.C. Irvine with honors: Phi Beta Kappa, Golden Key International Honor Society, Cum Laude. He has been featured on national radio and print media. He is also a frequent lecturer at National Conferences. He holds an A.S. degree in Drug & Alcohol Studies, and two B.A. degrees in Criminology & Psychology, and masters and doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. He is a licensed California Drug & Alcohol Counselor Level II, a licensed Clinical Supervisor and is certified in treating Eating Disorders.

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