Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment
Methamphetamine was first synthesized from ephedrine in 1919. It was widely prescribed within the United States during the 1950s and 1960s as a treatment for obesity, and weight-loss aid. As the extremely addictive nature of crystal meth became apparent, governments worldwide began strictly regulating and controlling its production and distribution.
Methamphetamine is a Schedule II drug within the United States. Pharmaceutical methamphetamine is still available, and sold under the Desoxyn brand.
Crystal meth use has become a nationwide epidemic in recent years. The relatively simple synthesis and ready availability of precursors, lends itself to “bathtub chemistry” wherein poorly trained individuals, with little understanding of what they’re actually doing, follow cookbook formulas, to create methamphetamine hydrochloride of questionable purity.
Many people are under the impression that meth is simply a more powerful version of amphetamine, however, there are critical differences; perhaps the most significant being that methamphetamine is a neurotoxin in humans. In direct contrast, there is no evidence of amphetamine neurotoxicity in human subjects.
The Nature of Methamphetamine Addiction and Comedown
Because methamphetamine is such a potent stimulant in any of its forms, whether it is used as speed, crystal meth, or another form of amphetamine, methamphetamine comedown and methamphetamine withdrawal are complicated, difficult processes. For users, the drug affects the brain rapidly, triggering the release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. This in turn increases alertness, energy, and sociability. These affects can last for as long as eight hours, depending on the dose and the user. However, once the drug begins to wear off, the user starts to feel terrible as the effects of methamphetamine comedown take hold.
The methamphetamine comedown period is distinct from the methamphetamine withdrawal process, even though there are a few common threads between them. Methamphetamine comedowns resemble hangovers from alcohol somewhat. Both are influenced by a complex mix of surplus chemicals metabolized into toxins and built up in the body, exhaustion from the euphoric effects of using the drug, and imbalances in neurotransmitters in the brain.
Symptoms of methamphetamine comedown include: anxiety, decreased appetite, depression, fatigue, headache from dehydration, hopelessness, insomnia despite exhaustion, lack of motivation, malnutrition, muscle pain, especially in the jaw from clenching, muscle weakness, and plain old sadness. Methamphetamine comedown symptoms can persist for several days after abusing the drug. Mental health changes such as anxiety and depression tend to linger the longest.
It is critical to be able to recognize methamphetamine comedown symptoms, because many users take more drugs in order to banish those symptoms and feelings—and this is even more dangerous. This kind of reaction leads to methamphetamine binges and “tweaking,” which can cause overdose, psychotic effects, and more intense difficulties when getting clean later. Tweaking binges are typically characterized by periods of 3 to 15 days without sleep, filled with intense paranoia and sometimes temporary psychosis. This psychosis is the cause of the delusions and hallucinations that tweakers sometimes experience, such as feeling bugs on or beneath the skin. Other symptoms include aggression, anxiety, dehydration, excessively high energy, irritability, loss of appetite, overheating, physical pain, and twinges.
After a binge, most users will “crash,” and unfortunately the mental state that comes after this often leads to more consumption of methamphetamine. Any attempts to avoid symptoms of comedown can also lead to more use, methamphetamine dependence, and addiction.
From Methamphetamine Comedown to Methamphetamine Withdrawal
Methamphetamine withdrawal symptoms are mainly emotional and psychological with various associated physical traits. And while the physical aspects of the methamphetamine withdrawal process are not as severe as those seen in people who are withdrawing from opioid drugs or alcohol, they are still intense and off-putting for users in the throes of methamphetamine dependence.
Methamphetamine withdrawal is fairly consistent for all users. It starts within the first 24 hours of abstinence. It grows in intensity over time, peaking within 7 to 10 days of the last dose, and once the intensity of the methamphetamine detox has passed, it steadily declines. On the whole, methamphetamine withdrawal takes around 14 to 20 days. Throughout this time, without support a patient can feel increased appetite, dry mouth, excessive sleepiness (typical of withdrawal from stimulant medications), fatigue, jitteriness, and lethargy.
A large number of users report feelings of depression when they stop using. These too drop lower over time. Severe methamphetamine cravings also occur during methamphetamine withdrawal but usually these decline quickly. Some research indicates that there is a connection between cravings for methamphetamine and level of depression during withdrawal. The more frequent and intense the person going through methamphetamine withdrawal experiences, the more likely it is that they will relapse. This is why managing the methamphetamine detox process is so important.
Freedom, Healing & Empowerment
As of 2015 there are very few mainstream treatment options available for stimulant abusers. Ibogaine has proven extremely beneficial for dealing with cravings, and making it through PAWS (post-acute withdrawal syndrome).
At Clear Sky Recovery’s ibogaine treatment program in Cancun, we have an optimized protocol designed specifically for individuals who abuse stimulants. Ibogaine can provide a tremendous boost to realigning your neurochemistry by helping your brain replenish dopamine receptors that have been destroyed or desensitized by chronic crystal meth abuse.
Methamphetamine is metabolized via CYP2D6; cytochrome P450 2D6 is the same system your body uses to metabolize ibogaine. You MUST abstain from meth use for at least several days prior to your ibogaine treatment. We will test for metabolites of methamphetamine prior to administering ibogaine. Undergoing ibogaine therapy shortly after engaging in methamphetamine use, can cause significant complications.
Beating methamphetamine addiction is possible with the right support system and tools. The best way to get off methamphetamine is to make a complete break—but in a safe, medically supported setting. Clear Sky offers methamphetamine addiction help for anyone who is ready to regain control over their life. Contact us about methamphetamine rehab today for a confidential consultation.