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Crystal Meth Withdrawal and Treatment

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Crystal meth is a very powerful and addictive illegal stimulant drug.1,2 Crystal meth is a stronger form of methamphetamine, a legal drug often used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Crystal meth is also called “ice” or “glass” because of its clear crystal-like appearance. It can be smoked, snorted, or injected, and it produces a strong sense of euphoria (intense pleasure, or “high”) with a high risk of addiction.

In Nevada in 2019, 31,000 (1.32%) adults reported using meth in the past year, the majority of which were 26 and older.3 This was higher than the national average of 0.76% American adults who reported using meth in the past year.3

Like all drugs, methamphetamine, including crystal meth, use can lead to dependence. When you misuse a drug, overtime your body may become dependent which means your body becomes so used to the drug that it believes it cannot function without it and as a result when you reduce or dose or stop taking the drug, your body may have physical withdrawal symptoms. 4 Crystal meth withdrawal symptoms can be intense, but you don’t have to face them alone. This page will outline the symptoms and timeline of crystal meth withdrawal, your treatment options, and how to get help for crystal meth detox.

Crystal Meth Withdrawal Symptoms

Although crystal meth withdrawal is not likely to involve life-threatening complications the way alcohol or benzodiazepines can, crystal meth withdrawal symptoms may be very unpleasant. Common symptoms of meth withdrawal include:1,4–6

  • Feeling anxious and irritable.
  • Extreme fatigue.
  • Cravings for crystal meth.
  • Depressed mood.
  • Sleeping too much or too little.
  • Trouble with concentration and memory.
  • Intense, realistic dreams, often involving drug use.
  • Increased hunger.
  • Slowed movements and thinking.
  • Paranoia (extreme distrust of others).
  • Psychosis, a set of symptoms marked by losing touch with reality. Psychosis can include paranoia, hallucinations (seeing, feeling, or hearing things that aren’t there), odd thoughts and behaviors, losing pleasure in things, and isolating yourself.

Withdrawal is different for everyone, and there are some factors that influence the symptoms you have and how severe they are. These factors include:5,6

  • How long you’ve been taking crystal meth.
  • How much crystal meth you use.
  • How often you use crystal meth.
  • How you use crystal meth (snorting, smoking, injecting).
  • Whether or not you use other substances (polysubstance use), such as alcohol, opioids, or other stimulants.
  • Your overall physical and mental health.

Crystal Meth Withdrawal Timeline

When you stop using crystal methamphetamine, withdrawal symptoms generally start within 2 to 4 days—at which point they are most severe—and last for 2 to 4 weeks.6 In the early phase of withdrawal, symptoms include:6

  • Muscle and joint aches.
  • Headaches.
  • Increased heart rate.
  • Sweating.
  • Strong drug cravings.
  • Anxiety.
  • Depressed mood.

In the next phase of withdrawal, fatigue sets in and you may sleep for long periods of time. Many patients report feeling very hungry when they wake up and may feel less pleasure in things. Depressed mood can also become severe during this stage, including suicidal thoughts and behavior.6

That said, withdrawal is different for everyone. What symptoms you have and how severe they are depends on factors such as:5,6

  • How long you’ve been using meth.
  • How much meth you take, and how often.
  • Your overall physical and mental health.
  • Polysubstance use.

How to Treat Crystal Meth Withdrawal

Crystal methamphetamine withdrawal and addiction can be treated in different settings. These include:5–8

  • Medical detox, which can help you safely manage meth withdrawal symptoms. But note that while detox can clear substances from your body, it doesn’t help you address the underlying issues that led to substance use in the first place. To learn the skills needed for long-term recovery, additional treatment may be helpful.
  • Inpatient rehab, where you stay at a treatment center for the length of treatment and have 24/7 care and support. Inpatient rehab can be a good fit for people who have more severe substance use histories, unsafe or unsupportive living situations, and other physical or mental health problems.
  • Residential rehab, or inpatient treatment that lasts for a longer period of time. Treatment can last up to a year, while you adjust to life without substances. This type of care is often a good fit for people who don’t have a safe home environment or steady employment, have little or no support from others, or have serious physical or mental health issues.
  • Outpatient rehab, where you attend scheduled group and individual counseling sessions while living at home and can work, attend school, and go about your daily routine with little or no interruption. Outpatient treatment can be a good fit for people who have stable homes, a strong support network, and access to reliable transportation.
  • Telemedicine, or treatment through telephone calls or video chats. This type of care is helpful for people who don’t have a local treatment center, or those who can’t easily get to a treatment center on a regular basis.

No matter the setting, treatment should be tailored to meet your recovery needs and consider the following:5,8

  • Your substance use history.
  • Your living and work situation.
  • Your mental and physical health.
  • How motivated you are to change.
  • Your support networks.
  • Access to transportation.
  • Your overall physical and mental health.

How to Find Detox or Rehab for Crystal Meth

It can be hard to stop using crystal meth, but treatment can help you learn the skills needed to not only quit meth for good, but to maintain recovery over time. American Addiction Centers (AAC) offers crystal meth detox and treatment in Las Vegas and at other locations across the country. To learn more about treatment and how to find a detox center to meet your needs, call our free, 24/7 helpline at or you can text us.

Does your insurance cover treatment for crystal meth in Las Vegas? 

Check your insurance coverage or text us your questions to learn more about treatment by American Addiction Centers (AAC).