Updated on April 15, 2024
3 min read

What Are Meth Withdrawal Symptoms?

Methamphetamine (meth) is a powerfully addictive stimulant drug, making the decision to quit an incredibly brave one. 

Quitting meth leads to withdrawal, which can be very difficult. This process has different symptoms that depend on how long and how much meth was used, as well as the person's own body. 

Knowing what you might face can help you feel more prepared and supported as you begin this journey. Remember, your body has a remarkable ability to heal, and with time and support, you'll overcome this.

What Are the Symptoms of Meth Withdrawal?

Withdrawal can start about a day after stopping meth. Symptoms are the strongest within the first week and can last a few weeks. Some emotional symptoms can remain even longer.

Here's what people often experience:

  • Strong cravings: These may come in waves and can be triggered by stress, boredom, or exposure to meth-related cues.
  • Eating more than usual: Meth suppresses appetite, so during withdrawal, it's common to experience a period of increased hunger as your body regulates itself.
  • Feeling nervous and restless: Meth withdrawal can cause a surge in anxiety, making you feel jittery, on edge, and unable to relax.
  • Feeling sad and unhappy: Meth alters the brain's chemistry, and when you stop using it, you may experience symptoms of depression, such as sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in pleasurable activities.
  • Feeling very tired: When people stop using meth, their bodies crash, and they experience extreme fatigue and sleepiness.
  • Sleeping too much or not enough: Meth withdrawal can lead to insomnia, excessive sleepiness, or nightmares.
  • Bad dreams: Vivid and disturbing dreams are common during meth withdrawal as your sleep patterns return to normal.
  • Feeling suspicious: In severe cases, meth withdrawal can trigger psychosis. This can cause hallucinations or lead you to see/hear things that aren't there.

What Are the Stages of Meth Withdrawal?

As you go through withdrawal from meth, your body will need time to adjust and heal. While the process can be challenging, understanding the different stages of withdrawal can help you feel more prepared. 

Withdrawal happens in these general stages:5,6,7

First DaySymptoms start, including tiredness, strong cravings, and feeling uneasy
First WeekWorst symptoms appear, like feeling sad, hungry, and having sleep problems
Second WeekMost symptoms lessen, but cravings and negative feelings can continue
After Two WeeksSome people still have mood swings and cravings for weeks or months

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Getting Help with Meth Withdrawal

Meth withdrawal can be a physically and emotionally challenging experience, but you don't have to go through it alone. Treatment options are available to help you manage your symptoms and achieve lasting recovery:

Medical Detox

It's safest to have medical detox for meth withdrawal. During detox, healthcare professionals can watch over you and help manage symptoms. Medication can also help lessen insomnia (trouble sleeping) or anxiety.


Therapy like CBT (Cognitive-behavioral therapy) helps teach new ways to cope with cravings and what might trigger meth use. Working with a mental health professional can give you the skills necessary for lasting recovery. 

Support Groups

Support groups like 12-step programs give support and connection to others also in recovery. They foster a sense of belonging and shared experience that can be invaluable on the road to lasting sobriety.

Rehab Programs

After detox, joining a rehab program greatly increases the chances of lasting recovery.  They offer therapy, support, and help to prevent relapse (using meth again).

Meth withdrawal is hard, but it's the first step in quitting meth for good. Treatments and support are available for those who want to start becoming clean. Getting the right help from doctors, therapists, and support groups makes it much more likely to succeed.

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Updated on April 15, 2024
7 sources cited
Updated on April 15, 2024

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