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Doctors may prescribe methamphetamine to help individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or obesity. However, most of the illegal drug manufacturing occurs in illegal home-based labs, with everyone using a different recipe. The drug is available as a powder that can be swallowed, snorted, injected, or smoked. People usually smoke the crystal version. This article discusses the effects of meth and what happens when addicts decide they want to get off the drug and detox.

Why Do People Take Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine removes inhibitions and leads to feelings of euphoria, arousal, alertness, loss of appetite and increased confidence. Its effects can last as long as 12 hours. While those changes might sound appealing, the possible side effects are less attractive and may include the following symptoms:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia and aggression
  • Strokes or heart attacks
  • Death

No one gets addicted to a drug after one use, but repeated dosing can lead to physical and mental damage.

Is Meth Addictive?

Meth is addictive for some people, but you may not want to face that reality. As a test, ask yourself these six questions:

  1. Are you feeling less of an effect than you used to?
  2. Do you feel irritable, depressed or tired when you don’t take it?
  3. Is getting the drug your main focus in life?
  4. Are you neglecting the people around you or not completing necessary tasks?
  5. Do you think about meth all the time?
  6. Are you unable to stop taking it?

If you answered yes to these questions, chances are fairly high that you’re an addict and the drug is controlling your life.

How Does Long-term Use Affect Your Body?

Long-term use can have a devasting effect on your cognitive abilities and physical condition. Some of the possible changes include the following:

  • Memory loss, brain fog, depression
  • Seeing and hearing imaginary things
  • Feeling like your body is infested with bugs
  • Paranoia
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Damage to teeth and gums

Some of these symptoms can continue for months or years after you stop taking the drug.

Do You Need a Medically Supervised Detox?

Detox facilities provide 24/7 monitoring for patients in a safe and comfortable environment. You are free to move around and visit the common areas if you feel well enough. Some of the side effects may involve physical pain while others manifest as varying degrees of mental distress. The trained staff can help you through it.

How Long Does It Take to Detox?

The timeline for detox depends on a number of factors, including the following:

  • Length of time you’ve been using
  • How much of the drug do you use
  • Whether or not you’re using other drugs
  • Your physical health

It won’t be a pleasant experience, but there are people available to help you make it to the other side.

What Happens During Detoxification?

Every patient’s experience is unique, but here’s a list of some common withdrawal symptoms:

  • Meth cravings
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Tremors
  • Fatigue
  • Hunger

You usually feel worse during the first 24 hours after your last drug use. Gradually, you’ll begin to feel better, and after 10 days, the symptoms should abate. You can generally leave the facility three to seven days after admittance.

Once this acute phase is over, the brain starts to adjust to the meth-free environment. This process can take another two weeks or longer and may result in various temporary changes, including:

  • Mood swings
  • Loss of control
  • Memory, difficulty concentrating
  • Psychosis
  • Lack of motivation

Are There Any Medicines That Help Ease the Detox?

There are several drugs that doctors can try to help you cope with the symptoms. Here’s a partial list.


The staff may give you Tylenol or Advil for typical body pains. Doctors may prescribe more potent pills for severe pain.

Promotes Sleeping

Modafinil helps to regulate sleep and may help to control meth cravings, memory loss and processing deficits.


Bupropion (Wellbutrin) regulates dopamine, which may cause feelings of pleasure and an increased ability to focus. Mirtazapine (Remeron) balances serotonin and norepinephrine levels to help control depression and cravings.


Fluoxetine (Prozac) helps combat depression and anxiety. Other serotonin-uptake inhibitors include Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil and Zoloft. Benzodiazepines (lorazepam, diazepam) may reduce anxiety and irritation.


Psychosis is one of the more disturbing symptoms that may occur during extreme withdrawal. Risperidone and olanzapine are two drugs the doctors may try.

What’s the Next Step After Detox?

If you want to recover and stay drug-free, you’ll need to participate in a treatment program that helps you get mentally and physically stronger. To prevent a relapse, it’s wise to discover the reasons why you turned to drugs in the first place. Once you’ve identified them, you can work on healing the trauma, pain, grief or insecurities that might have triggered the drug use. When you enter a long-term treatment plan, you’ll have a support team to help you through the most challenging times.

What Type of Therapy Is Available to Help After Detox?

Meth treatment programs consist of counseling and perhaps medications to help with psychological disorders. Individual, group and family therapy sessions are customized to meet your needs. Some of the different types of individual therapies include the following:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: CBT focuses on identifying the triggers that lead to drug cravings and developing ways to cope and control the impulse.
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy: DBT helps you accept reality and focus on healthy behaviors to keep you from relapsing.
  • Hypnotherapy and Meditation: Identify your triggers and develop deep relaxation methods to help you cope.
  • Holistic Therapies: Develop new ways for expressing your emotions through yoga, equine or music therapy sessions.

Therapists design sessions to help you gain insights into your drug use motivations and improve impulse control. Some facilities provide long-term inpatient living quarters if you need a safe place to stay where you’ll receive constant encouragement.

Remaining Sober After Detox

Your journey doesn’t end when the drug leaves your body. Here are some things you can do to supplement your ongoing therapy sessions:

  • Relocate to a new city so that you aren’t continually exposed to your triggers.
  • Develop a new circle of friends.
  • Join a support group.
  • Be patient. Complete recovery may take a year or more.

Does Insurance Cover Any of the Detox Costs?

The major insurance plans should cover the costs the same way that they provide for medical expenses. Detox and rehab are probably both covered, although there may be differences between inpatient and outpatient coverage. You might have to meet a deductible or make co-pays.

Allure Detox in West Palm Beach is an alcohol and drug detox center that provides inpatient care and a medically assisted detox process. The center offers a wide range of holistic and alternative therapies to help you cope with withdrawal and recovery. Contact Allure Detox today for more information.


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