For Users


The amount of time a person needs to detox from methamphetamine can vary with each individual, along with other factors. For some, usually, those who have not been using for long, detox may last only a few days or weeks. Detox can last longer for people who have used meth for many years. During the first 2 to 4 days of detox, people can expect to feel exhausted and will end up sleeping most of the time. The body is working hard to remove any harmful and toxic substances, so it is normal to be tired during that time. Those who have used meth for a long time can have their sleep patterns disturbed. Although, sleep will start to normalize after a few weeks. 

Detox can come with many difficulties that can include both physical and emotional symptoms. Emotional symptoms can last longer than physical ones- anywhere from a few weeks to multiple months. However, knowing what to expect should not stop you from quitting meth. You can use the information to prepare and embrace the detox, which is essential for your recovery. For more information, you can visit our detox page. 

Additional Physical Withdrawal Symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Muscle spasms
  • Lack of appetite 
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia 
  • Hallucinations 

Emotional Withdrawal Symptoms:

  • Feeling depressed
  • Anxious
  • Paranoid
  • Low energy
  • Unmotivated
  • Intensive cravings for meth


After deciding to quit meth, detoxing from it might be the hardest step in the recovery process. Each person may have a different experience with it. Those with mild addiction or short-term use of meth may only have symptoms for a few days to weeks. Although, those with long-term use and more severe addiction may have a longer detox period. It can be especially difficult if you try to get through it alone. Through a treatment facility, you can start with a social detox, and depending on whether the symptoms are manageable or not, you can switch to medical detox. 

At the beginning of the treatment, patients will be monitored and provided with social support during the detox without medicine. Some people may get through the process this way, but others may need medicine if the symptoms start to become dangerous. Social detox may also be a better fit for people who have issues with certain medicine or choose to detox without medication. If the symptoms do not improve during social detox, then the medical specialist can switch them to medical detox.

During medical detox, patients may receive muscle relaxants, benzodiazepines, or other medication to ease their withdrawal symptoms. The medication can also help with tension and anxiety during the process. The patient will also receive intravenous, also known as IV, fluids and electrolyte repletion. This will help with dehydration and muscle spasms. In addition to the other medication, patients who have insomnia or trouble sleeping can be prescribed medication to help with those issues. 

Once the patient completes their detox, they will slowly start to get their appetite back but may continue to have disturbances to their sleep for several weeks after. Patients are encouraged to get as much rest as possible not only during detox but also after. After detox, patients can participate in other treatment services to further assist their recovery, such as rehab therapy.


The best way to prevent the physical side effects of meth is to quit and not use the drug at all. However, quitting may not be an easy thing for everyone to do. Meth is extremely addictive, which makes it even more difficult for people to quit. If you decide to quit, an addiction treatment program can help you start your recovery. You can learn what leads you to use meth and what to do to avoid going back to it after treatment. If you continue to use meth, there is not a way to prevent the side effects, so quitting may be your solution. 

For a person who has used meth for a long time, they can experience long-lasting side effects. They may even lead to overdoses and death. Long-term use can also affect and change the way the brain functions, which may require treatment to restore it to normal after quitting. For this reason, an inpatient treatment program is recommended for meth users. 

Inpatient programs allow the patient to stay at the facility where they get treatment. This gives them the opportunity to have assistance from a recovery specialist whenever they need it. In an inpatient facility, patients can work on their addiction in a sober environment without outside distractions. The basic structure for the program includes an assessment, detox, rehab therapy, and the aftercare plan. Although you may feel like quitting is impossible, recovery is attainable and you can make your way towards it as soon as you are ready. 


Using various drugs on top of methamphetamine can cause many complications not only to your treatment and recovery but also to your health. When a person uses multiple drugs, it is considered polydrug use. People may start using more substances than just methamphetamine for various reasons. Some do this to increase or decrease the different drug effects. Others use different drugs to try creating a cheaper substitute for another drug. Whatever the reason is, mixing drugs can be extremely dangerous and can even lead to death. 

Impact of polydrug use:

  • Meth users who use over-the-counter or prescription drugs to come down from the methamphetamine high can feel sleepy and nervous. Other effects might be unpredictable, which can be dangerous. 
  • Using ecstasy or speed with meth can strain your heart and other parts of your body. This can lead to a stroke.
  • Mixing meth with alcohol, cannabis, or benzodiazepines can also strain your body and increases the chance of an overdose. 


Meth is considered a controlled substance, which means the person will be arrested if they are caught possessing, selling, or manufacturing it. Doing any of these acts is illegal in most jurisdictions and can result in the person being convicted. Depending on where the acts were committed, the punishment for them can vary. Meth possession, under federal law, can result in a term of incarceration for no more than one year in prison. Although, when the person possesses 5 grams, it can turn into 5 years, then 10 years for possession and distribution of 50 grams. Penalties for methamphetamine possession, sale, and manufacture can be extremely high and may not be worth the consequences. 

For A Loved One


Some people may not be fully aware of how much meth addiction can affect not only the user but their loved ones. Meth can affect you in many ways. It can not be easy to watch a loved one change before your eyes and hurt themselves with drugs. Substance abuse can distance the user from their loved ones and cause them to lose many relationships. However, many similar effects meth has on the user can also be true to loved ones. 

When a loved one uses meth, it can cause damage to your mental health and can cause lead you to have a negative mindset. You can lose your valuable relationships with others, as well as that of the meth user. If you are placed in the role of caretaker for the meth user, it can leave you feeling resentful and with negative self-worth. You may start to blame yourself for the person’s addiction, and caring for the person can put you in a toxic situation. Understandably, you may worry and care for the meth user, but you should also take care of yourself along the way. 

More ways a loved one’s meth use affects you:

  • It can take a toll on you, causing you to have anxiety or depression. 
  • You can be put in a negative role as an enabler. 
  • A loved one’s meth use can affect you financially. 
  • It can destroy your trust in that person if they steal from you or do other bad things. 
  • Drugs may make the person abusive, leaving you in a harmful situation. 
  • In marriages, addiction can lead to divorces if the addict refuses to get help and quit substance abuse. 
  • Meth and heroin can expose users to diseases like HIV, which can be transmitted to other people in various ways. 


If you know someone who is using meth, there are many things you can do to help. First, you can learn more about addiction and meth to better understand what the person is going through. The information you learn can help encourage the person to stop using and get help. You can also find information on treatment programs that can help them. When you think you are ready to have a conversation with the meth user, try your best to stay calm and be non-judgmental. The person may need someone who can be supportive and caring so they can realize they have an issue. During the process, you can provide help and support in any way you can. 


No, meth users cannot quit using meth on their own, even if they want to. When people use meth long-term, it changes their brain, which makes it harder to quit using and depending on the drug. Meth affects the user both physiologically and psychologically. A user may find it beneficial to participate in addiction treatment. It will be a long journey to recovery and may take a long time to restore your brain, but it can be worth it. 


Your role as part of the meth user’s support system might be one of the most important in the process of their recovery. With you being there and caring for the person, as well as encouraging them to seek help, can make a big difference. You can help them see the importance of rehab treatment and getting their life back. By educating yourself on addiction and treatments, you can give your loved one the information to commit to quitting meth. Any way you can help support your loved one can be significant. 

Many addiction treatment options exist to fit the needs of each individual. Behavioral therapy is considered to be an effective treatment. It consists of cognitive-behavioral and contingency management intervention. Cognitive-behavioral is used to help meth addicts learn the behavioral patterns and feelings leading them to substance use. After they learn this, they can use the patterns to overcome their addiction. In contingency management, patients receive incentives or rewards when they reach certain goals in their treatment. While both approaches can be effective on their own, they can also work well together. 


Yes, it is possible for people to recover from meth addiction. It will not be an easy or fast journey, but as long as the person commits to their recovery, they can reach their goal. Meth addiction is especially difficult to overcome because the drug changes the parts and functions of the brain. Meth can cause issues with motor and verbal skills, along with psychological tasks. These changes to the brain can in turn make it harder to quit meth without professional help and treatment. Once the person quits using meth and gets treatment, they will need up to 17 months to restore their brain to what it was before they started meth use. Recovering from meth can be a long journey but once the person recovers and starts their new life, it can all be worth it. 

Oklahoma has suffered from high numbers of methamphetamine abuse and drug-related overdose deaths. Seeking help before it is too late can make a huge difference in your life or a loved one’s. To learn more about addiction or anything else related to it, you can call us at 405-583-4390. We are here for you.


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