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Meth Withdrawal Symptoms

Addiction to substances like meth can cause intense cravings and, worst of all, withdrawal symptoms. These can range from mild to severe, posing a real challenge to addicts who want to be free of drug abuse. By understanding these withdrawal symptoms and finding the correct treatment, meth users can safely endure side effects and find their way to long-term recovery.

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What Is Meth Withdrawal?

Crystal meth is a highly addictive illegal substance that dramatically affects the central nervous system. Because meth affects dopamine production in the brain, the drug can easily cause physical and mental dependence in meth users.

When someone with substance use disorder becomes addicted to meth and stops taking it, withdrawal symptoms can occur. These withdrawal symptoms can make it difficult for meth addicts to quit their substance abuse.

What Causes Meth Withdrawal?

When crystal meth enters the body, the drug floods the brain with dopamine, which causes feelings of pleasure and reward. Your brain can quickly get used to this high and even begin to rely on it.

Once an addict stops their substance abuse, withdrawal begins as the brain must cope without the aid of meth abuse. Symptoms can range from mild to severe depending on how long meth use has occurred and the dosage.

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Common Meth Withdrawal Symptoms

Symptoms of meth withdrawal can vary in severity from person to person. However, in some cases of acute withdrawal, physical symptoms can become life-threatening if not addressed by a medical professional.

Common symptoms of crystal meth withdrawal include:

  • Intense cravings
  • Red and itchy eyes
  • Fever
  • Anxiety
  • Tremor
  • Nausea
  • Mood swings
  • Agitation
  • Excessive sweating
  • Increased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Anhedonia (inability to feel pleasure)
  • Severe depression
  • Mild paranoia
  • Psychosis
  • Hallucinations
  • Hypersomnia (excessive daytime sleepiness or sleeping longer than usual at night)
  • Suicidal thoughts or ideation

Meth Withdrawal Timeline

The timeline of meth withdrawal depends on several factors, like dosage, frequency, and preexisting health conditions. Intense drug cravings during this time are a common part of the withdrawal process.

Generally, however, acute meth withdrawal symptoms may begin within 24 hours of last use and last 7–10 days. Protracted withdrawal symptoms can last an additional 2–3 weeks, but side effects are much milder by comparison.

How to Safely Withdraw From Meth

Safely withdrawing from meth is best conducted under the care of medical professionals in a treatment center.

The first step of treatment is medical detoxification, which allows you to weather withdrawal under medical care safely.

Medical Detox

Meth detox is typically provided by healthcare staff in a treatment facility.

During medical detox, doctors will ensure you stay hydrated and manage your pain as you weather the withdrawal process. Should your acute withdrawal symptoms become life-threatening, medical staff can intervene and make sure you’re safe.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

There are currently no FDA-approved medications for meth withdrawal. However, certain drugs have shown promise in helping with withdrawal symptom management.

Medications that may help with meth withdrawal include:

  • Anti-depressants: Wellbutrin (bupropion), Prozac, Paxil, Mirtazapine, and Remeron
  • Stimulants: Methylphenidate, Modafinil, and Dextroamphetamine
  • Anti-anxiety medications: Fluoxetine
  • Antiemetic (anti-nausea): Ondansetron
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Follow-Up Treatment Options for Methamphetamine Addiction

Meth addiction treatment, whether inpatient or outpatient, usually includes cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, and support groups.

The main goal of treatment programs is to address your behavioral health. A healthcare professional will help you identify why drug use began and how to avoid substance abuse in the future.

Get Help for Meth Withdrawal Symptoms

If you or a loved one is currently struggling to stop abusing crystal meth due to fear of withdrawal symptoms, you are not alone.

Treatment centers specializing in recovery from meth addiction are ready to help you detox and find long-term recovery in a safe, caring environment.

Check out SAMHSA’s online treatment locator or call 1-877-726-4727 to find a local treatment center that fits your needs.

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Meth Withdrawal FAQs

What does meth withdrawal feel like?

Meth withdrawal is not a pleasant experience, especially for people who have been abusing meth for a long time. Symptoms can range from flu-like symptoms to paranoia, psychosis, and hallucinations.

Because symptoms can be severe, many addicts struggle to withstand withdrawal and avoid relapse.

Does meth withdrawal cause seizures?

Not usually. While seizures are not a tremendous risk during meth withdrawal, they are a serious risk of long-term methamphetamine use.

What are some common symptoms of meth withdrawal?

Common symptoms of methamphetamine withdrawal include fever, tremors, agitation, nausea, paranoia, increased appetite, and psychosis.

How long does meth withdrawal last?

Meth withdrawal typically begins within 24 hours of the last dose and can last 7–10 days. In extreme cases, milder withdrawal symptoms can last an additional 2–3 weeks.

Are meth withdrawals dangerous?

Meth withdrawal can be dangerous, so medical detox in a treatment facility is always preferred. While in treatment, medical providers can help you stay safe during the withdrawal process and provide medications that minimize severe withdrawal symptoms.

Kent S. Hoffman, D.O. is a founder of Addiction HelpReviewed by:Kent S. Hoffman, D.O.

Chief Medical Officer & Co-Founder

  • Fact-Checked
  • Editor

Kent S. Hoffman, D.O. has been an expert in addiction medicine for more than 15 years. In addition to managing a successful family medical practice, Dr. Hoffman is board certified in addiction medicine by the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine (AOAAM). Dr. Hoffman has successfully treated hundreds of patients battling addiction. Dr. Hoffman is the Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of and ensures the website’s medical content and messaging quality.

Jessica Miller is the Content Manager of Addiction HelpWritten by:

Editorial Director

Jessica Miller is the Editorial Director of Addiction Help. Jessica graduated from the University of South Florida (USF) with an English degree and combines her writing expertise and passion for helping others to deliver reliable information to those impacted by addiction. Informed by her personal journey to recovery and support of loved ones in sobriety, Jessica's empathetic and authentic approach resonates deeply with the Addiction Help community.

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  2. Lee, W. (2022, April 19). Crystal meth: Physical & Mental Effects, Signs of Abuse. WebMD. Retrieved March 20, 2023, from
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  4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2023, March 3). Methamphetamine DrugFacts. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Retrieved March 20, 2023, from
  5. United States Department of Justice. (n.d.). Crystal Methamphetamine Fast Facts. National Drug Intelligence Center. Retrieved March 20, 2023, from
  6. Zorick, T., Nestor, L., Miotto, K., Sugar, C., Hellemann, G., Scanlon, G., Rawson, R., & London, E. D. (2010, October). Withdrawal Symptoms in Abstinent Methamphetamine-Dependent Subjects. Addiction (Abingdon, England). Retrieved March 20, 2023, from

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