When we think of drugs withdrawal, we tend to think of the worst flu ever experienced that can be cured by simply taking another hit of a drug. However, this is only the case with opiates. When you withdraw from these, you will experience fever, sweats, diarrhea, shakes, vomiting and excruciating pain. However, meth withdrawal is completely different. Meth focuses on the brain’s dopamine receptors instead of opioid receptors. However, dopamine is a neurotransmitter as well, which means that withdrawal will also be uncomfortable.
Dopamine works on our reward system. When it spikes in the NAc area of the brain, everything suddenly feels fantastic. When dopamine rises, our brain tells us that good things are taking place. Unfortunately, however, what comes up must come down, which is known as the crash. The added difficulty is that dopamine receptors become damaged in meth addicts, which means the crash is even worse. This is known as “anhedonia”, which means that you are no longer able to feel pleasure. Although dopamine receptors in a meth addict will eventually return to almost normal levels, this can take as long as two years. It is because of anhedonia that so many people relapse on crystal meth. They are incapable of living a life that is so depressed, particularly when they know a single hit of the drug can help them return to that sense of normality.
Physical Withdrawal Symptoms
The physical withdrawal symptoms of meth are not overly difficult to cope with. This is because it is likely that you will do nothing but sleep for the first two weeks. Your metabolic rate will also slow down and you will probably feel starving, leading you to eat more and to put weight on. However, this passes too and your metabolic rate will return to normal. However, research suggests that partaking in exercise is an important part of both physical and psychological recovery.
As with most drugs, meth withdrawal must start with a period of detoxification. Interestingly, this is a new concept when it comes to meth addiction, because the symptoms of withdrawal on a physical level were seen as being light. At Creative Care, however, we understand that no treatment can truly commence until the body is free of the toxins of the drug.
What to Expect from Meth Dependency and Withdrawal
The symptoms of dependency and withdrawal vary. No two people are the same in terms of their physiology, the length of time they were taking the drug and how high their dosages were. Additionally, no two withdrawal experiences are the same. Three factors are always seen in methamphetamine withdrawal, however, being:
- Depression, which is a psychological withdrawal symptom that can last for a very long time. It is incredibly important that a recovering addict is supported throughout this period to avoid the chance of relapse.
- Fatigue, which is an immediate physical symptom. Tiredness is extreme, because meth has been used as an artificial energy source. People who use meth can often be awake for days at a time before eventually crashing. At this point, they feel devoid of all energy, which can be highly uncomfortable.
- Changes in the rhythm of the heart. This is due to the fact that the drug is a stimulant, which can cause the heart to beat irregularly. When the drug is no longer taken, the heart will try to find back its natural rhythm.
Meth Addiction Recovery
It is important to understand that treating a meth addiction is a long and difficult process. Most users are psychologically dependent on the drug and will need a great deal of support dealing with any psychological disorders caused from meth. This must be done with the help of professionals who understand the different stages of withdrawal and what to expect. At Creative Care, we have a particularly emphasis on dual diagnosis, which means people have both a substance addiction and an underlying mental health condition. With crystal meth, it is common to experience severe depression on top of any other mental health issues, and we are able to support you in this.
If you are currently struggling with a crystal meth habit, please contact us at Creative Care today. We will create a holistic care package based on your personal needs, which includes the use of alternative therapies. You can regain control of your life.