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Medically Reviewed

What to Expect During Meth Detox in North Carolina

- 9 sections

Medically Reviewed: July 8, 2022

Medical Reviewer

Sahil Talwar, PA-C, MBA


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Methamphetamine is an extremely powerful synthetic stimulant drug. This substance affects the central nervous system and causes an array of dangerous side effects. People abuse meth for the rush of euphoria and intense energy it provides.

Meth has been classified as a Schedule II stimulant, which means that it is only legal through a prescription. However, it is very rarely prescribed and is only given to people with ADHD or obesity. The highly addictive nature of this drug prevents doctors from prescribing it to people.

Because meth is highly addictive, many people who try this drug become dependent on it after only one or two uses. When someone becomes addicted to meth, they will experience symptoms of withdrawal upon quitting or cutting back on the use of this drug. While withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable, a meth detox center in North Carolina can help.

When someone chooses to go to a drug detox program for methamphetamine withdrawal, they will be treated for the symptoms they experience. Detox centers prevent patients from experiencing severe side effects or giving into the temptation of relapse.

What are the Symptoms of Meth Withdrawal?

Methamphetamine withdrawal is an extremely unpleasant experience without medical treatment. Symptoms usually begin 24 hours after a person’s last use of the drug.

The first symptoms to appear are typically extreme fatigue and feelings of depression. This may be followed by paranoia, hallucinations, anxiety, and insomnia. This occurs because the amount of dopamine provided by meth causes an extreme drop in the chemical when someone decides to stop using the substance.

The symptoms of meth withdrawal may include:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Extreme hunger
  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Inability to experience pleasure
  • Needing excessive amounts of sleep

Long-term meth use is known to decrease the amount of dp[amine that is created in the brain. This can cause anhedonia – an inability to experience any pleasure. Anhedonia can continue for years after quitting the drug, causing many people to need medication for depression.

How Long Does Meth Withdrawal Last?

Generally, the longer someone uses meth, the longer their withdrawal symptoms will last. In other words, how long meth withdrawal lasts varies from person to person. This same rule applies to age, as older people usually experience worse symptoms than younger people.

Other factors that determine how long withdrawal will last include:

  • The person’s mental and physical health
  • The quality of meth an individual was using
  • History of other drug use, including alcohol or marijuana
  • Whether they develop post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS)

Post-acute withdrawal syndrome is a condition that causes someone’s withdrawal symptoms to persist for months after the normal meth withdrawal timeline. This is what causes many former meth addicts to relapse, as a means of self-medication for the lasting symptoms they experience.

Meth detox centers treat acute symptoms of withdrawal using medications and supportive care. Post-acute symptoms, however, can be managed at a North Carolina rehab center through lifestyle changes and behavioral therapy.

What is the Meth Detox Timeline?

When it comes to meth detox, there is a general timeline that most people’s symptoms align with. While methamphetamine detox can be a slow process, the benefits of undergoing withdrawal outweigh the uncomfortable symptoms.

24 to 48 Hours

The first one or two days of withdrawal is referred to as the “crash” period. The initial symptoms usually include a sharp decline in energy and impaired cognitive functioning. Additionally, depression, paranoia, hallucinations, and anxiety are common in the first 24 to 48 hours of meth withdrawal.

While cravings for meth may be extremely high, they are usually suppressed by the individual’s need for sleep. This is because the crash period causes extreme fatigue, causing the person to sleep for long hours throughout the day.

3 to 5 Days

While the physical withdrawal symptoms begin to subside after 3 to 5 days, the cravings begin to intensify. Because of this, the risk of relapse becomes extremely high, reinforcing the need for a professional detox program.

2 to 4 Weeks

The cravings begin to lessen after 2 to 4 weeks. However, the psychological symptoms of meth withdrawal may continue to persist. This can include depression, anxiety, insomnia, hallucinations, paranoia, and even psychosis.

Because the psychiatric symptoms can be intense, some individuals may require medications to soothe symptoms of depression, anxiety, or psychosis.

1 to 2 Months

In the months following meth withdrawal, post-acute withdrawal syndrome can begin to develop. As previously stated, PAWS is a condition that causes individuals to experience symptoms for several weeks or months after acute withdrawal. Symptoms may include anxiety, mood swings, lethargy, sleep problems, and cravings for meth.

What to Expect at a Meth Detox Center in North Carolina

When someone attends a detox center for methamphetamine withdrawal, their body will be completely cleared of the substance. The benefit of supervised detox is that a team of medical professionals will provide patients with medications to help soothe their symptoms of withdrawal.

The process begins with a comprehensive physical and psychiatric assessment. Patients are evaluated so the clinical team can develop a custom-tailored treatment plan that meets their needs.

While there aren’t tapering medications used to treat methamphetamine withdrawal, there are medications that can help ease some of the uncomfortable side effects. Bupropion, an antidepressant, has been found helpful in treating the cravings associated with meth detox. Additionally, some sleeping medications may be used to help patients overcome the symptoms of insomnia.

In addition to medication, patients will be monitored on a 24/7 basis to ensure that their vital signs are in the normal range. This prevents individuals from experiencing dangerous side effects like high blood pressure, respiration rates, abnormal body temperatures, and high pulse rates.

Once a patient completes medical detox and is found medically stable, they can move on to the behavioral and emotional aspects of addiction treatment in a residential rehab program.

Get Connected With a Top-Rated North Carolina Meth Detox Program

Methamphetamine is a dangerous stimulant drug that can cause an array of psychological issues, including lasting depression that causes an individual to be unable to experience any form of pleasure. Additionally, the symptoms of meth withdrawal can become so severe that an individual considers relapsing to soothe their pain. This is why attending a meth detox in North Carolina is so important.

If you or a loved one suffer from methamphetamine addiction, professional help is available. Contact Charlotte Detox Center for more information about our meth detox and treatment program.