Updated: Mar 1
WHAT IS METH?
More commonly referred to as "meth," methamphetamine is a highly powerful, highly addictive stimulant that primarily affects the central nervous system. It is also known, among many other words, as blue, ice, or crystal. Although it can come in a variety of different types, it typically takes the form of a white , odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that is soluble in water or alcohol.
Methamphetamine can be used in a range of ways, such as smoking, snorting, injection, or oral ingestion.
WHAT ARE THE DANGERS OF METH?
One of the most obvious dangers of having meth in your system is an overdose. A drug overdose is incredibly life-threatening and the most efficient way of treating it is by preventing it. In order to do so, it helps to know the types of meth overdoses and what to look out for in people you suspect may have meth in their system.
There are two types of meth overdoses, an acute meth overdose, and a chronic meth overdose.
The symptoms that can be used to diagnose an acute meth overdose are as follows:
Altered mental status;
High blood pressure;
High body temperature;
Stomach pain; and
Another way to overdose meth is what you call chronic overdose. This applies to the long-term cumulative health effects of the use of methamphetamine. Chronic meth abuse can lead to the following:
Severe sleep disturbances; and
Extreme mood changes (e.g. anxiety and violent outbursts)
In the event of an overdose of meth, you can experience an altered mental state that may include psychotic episodes, irritability, or suicidal tendencies. In rare cases , a person can have seizures or end up in a coma.
WHAT IS METH WITHDRAWAL?
Withdrawal is also known as detoxification. It's when you cut off or cut back on the use of alcohol or other substances. In this case, a meth withdrawal is when you stop using methamphetamine after being physically or mentally addicted to it or both. Symptoms encountered during withdrawal can be mild or severe depending on:
Type of substance;
How long you’ve been using the substance;
Method of withdrawal;
Physical health; and
Basically, withdrawal feels like the opposite of the sensations the substance you were using was giving you. For example, when you withdraw from a depressant like alcohol, you may feel nervous and anxious, or you may have tremors.
Withdrawal can usually last from a few days to a few weeks, although certain symptoms such as cravings can persist much longer.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF METH WITHDRAWAL?
Numerous studies have been done in order to understand exactly the nuances behind meth withdrawal.
According to a report by Zorick, et.al. (2011), subjects who abused meth had a wide variety of depressive symptoms, with an overall score of mild to moderate severity. Signs of madness were also popular. While depressive and psychotic symptoms were mostly resolved within a week of abstinence, the urge did not decrease significantly from the start of abstinence to the second week of abstinence, and only decreased to the fifth week of abstinence.
A few of the physical signs of meth withdrawal are as follows:
Muscle or joint pain; and
Some emotional symptoms you may experience are:
Loss of interest or pleasure; and
Some functional symptoms:
The intensity of the withdrawal symptoms you may experience depends on the duration since you last took the substance. The following are the possible symptoms you may experience corresponding with the amount of time since your last ingestion.
If it has been 1-3 days since last use, you may experience:
Crash (i.e. exhaustion, many hours asleep, depression)
If it has been 2-10 days since last use, you may go through:
Strong urges to use a.k.a cravings;
Mental health issues (i.e. mood swings, paranoia, hallucinations);
Aches, pains and headaches; and
If it has been between 7-28 days since last use:
Mental health issues;
Sleep problems; and
If 1-3 months onwards have elapsed since last use:
Improved sleep patterns;
Improved energy levels; and
WHAT ARE THE FACTORS AFFECTING THE INTENSITY OR DURATION OF YOUR WITHDRAWAL?
The intensity and duration of your withdrawal depends on the following:
Your overall health;
Presence of mental health issues;
How long you have been using the substance;
How much of the substance you have been using; and
How often you have been using the substance
WHAT ARE SOME THINGS YOU CAN DO AT HOME TO TREAT METH WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS?
The effects of withdrawal can be tough for any individual to cope with and overcome. Luckily, there are some things you can do in the comfort of your own home to ease the discomfort.
Below is a list of a few things you can do to help yourself go through a withdrawal episode:
Listen to music, listen to and enjoy a calming workout, watch a DVD, play a jigsaw, workout or do whatever works for you. Your ability to focus and do complex tasks can be affected by withdrawal, so do not expect to be able to do something that is too difficult.
Get to know your cravings and take note of them so you’ll be aware. Do not try to avoid them, hoping they're going to leave.
After the initial crash, you may find it hard to get to sleep, and while you're asleep, you may have broken nights of upsetting dreams or nightmares. This happens when the brain and body adapt to function without methamphetamine. It can take weeks to get back to normal sleep habits, particularly if you've been using heaps of meth for a long time. It is important to remember during this time that sleep problems are normal in withdrawals and that they are going to pass.
Since getting enough sleep can be one of the most challenging parts of getting through meth withdrawal, here are a few tips to help yourself sleep better:
Go to bed ONLY when sleepy.
Get up at the same time every morning, no matter how long you've been sleeping, to teach your body to use sleep time in bed.
Do not nap during the day.
Get some exercise during the day and tire yourself out.
Instead of stressing and worrying in bed, take time during the day to write down what is on your mind.
Avoid coffee, caffeine drinks , energy drinks and cigarettes, particularly at night, as they are all stimulants and make it harder to get to sleep.
Hot drinks such as chamomile tea, hot milk and some soothing teas will help you sleep at night.
During withdrawal, you may experience aches, pains and headaches which are caused by increased muscle tension. They usually only last for a week or two. They can be eased by:
Light exercise (e.g. walking, swimming or stretches);
Warm baths, spas or saunas; and
Medication, such as aspirin and paracetamol, can help but overuse can be dangerous
RECEIVE THE HELP YOU DESERVE
Coping with the symptoms of meth withdrawal can be daunting. There are a lot of things to look out for and many ways to mess your recovery up. Thankfully, Recovery Blvd can help you not only cope with the signs of meth withdrawal but to beat meth completely.
Here at Recovery Blvd, meth abuse will be a thing of your past and something you will never have to face again. We can provide you rehabilitation and treatment that is catered personally to your situation and will allow you to break free from the chains of substance abuse and enjoy the fullness of life.
If you wish to know more about Recovery Blvd, you may call us at (866) 231-3007 or visit our website at www.recoveryblvd.com