Coming down from meth is one of the hardest experiences ever. It feels extremely uncomfortable, and in many cases, it is also very difficult on your mind, your emotions, and your perception of yourself. Here is our guide to the meth comedown effects you are most likely to experience as well as a reminder that the best way to withdraw from meth and safely transition into recovery is to do so in a professional rehab center.
How Does Meth Affect the Brain?
Methamphetamine affects the brain in a number of ways, and unfortunately, most of these effects are harmful. When someone first takes meth, it causes feelings of euphoria, strength, excitement, and invulnerability. This is because meth causes an increase of dopamine in the brain, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This is the reason why people take meth.
However, after the excitement and other good feelings wear off, meth causes a crash period that doesn’t feel as good. This is also known as the comedown period, the crash period, or, for those who have become dependent on meth, withdrawal. The feelings that occur when a person comes down from meth will make them want to get that good feeling back again, causing them to repeat their drug use. This is what eventually leads to addiction or an inability to control one’s use of a drug.
What Does the Comedown from Meth Look Like?
It may be hard to visually see when someone is coming down from meth because most of the side effects are internal. However, the person will seem tired, lethargic, and unable to move quickly. This will be a strong contrast to the way they would have acted while on the drug, which causes fast movements, excitability, and a decreased need for sleep.
In addition, the individual will likely experience sadness or even depression, anxiety, an inability to experience pleasure (also known as anhedonia), and difficulty thinking straight or remembering things. People often feel achy and nauseous. Though they might seem exhausted, they likely won’t be able to sleep well, as a result of the drug.
Also, someone who has become addicted to meth will experience extreme drug cravings when they crash. In some instances, psychosis may even occur, which can include hallucinations, violent outbursts, fear, and severe anxiety. According to a 2006 study published by the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, long-term abuse of meth can sometimes lead to long-term problems with psychosis, which can crop up even after one has fully recovered from meth withdrawal.
As stated by the Center for Substance Abuse Research, many people continue to abuse meth for long periods of time in order to avoid this crash period. It feels so uncomfortable and has such an opposite effect when compared to being on the drug that most users will do anything to avoid it.
Treatment Tips for Meth Comedown
Coming down from meth can be very scary. It can even feel like you’ll never be happy again. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Based on our guide to the meth comedown, you can follow these treatment tips to help you get through the experience safely and avoid returning to abusing the drug.
Rest, Rest, Rest
As we stated previously, sleeping while withdrawing from meth can be hard, but your body will be craving it. This means the best thing you can do is rest and try to sleep if you can. Take time off of work or school, ask friends and family members to understand that you aren’t well, and allow yourself to rest. You won’t be able to get through this easily without taking some downtime.
Drink Plenty of Water
People who abuse meth often avoid drinking water and will instead eat candy, sugary foods, and drink sugary sodas, if they eat or drink at all. This is one of the many reasons most meth users experience a tooth rot problem known as meth mouth (National Library of Medicine).
At this point, drinking water might not feel or taste good, but your body will need to flush out toxins and get healthier. Drinking water is the easiest, most natural way to help this process along.
Eat Healthy Food
You may also not want to eat, but meth causes the body to feel as if it can function without food. Once it is out of your system, you will feel the need for food again, which is why you must make sure to eat foods that truly nourish you. Try to stick to unprocessed foods, fruits, and vegetables. In addition, eating will help you get healthier, as those who have been on meth for a long period of time often become malnourished from their lack of appetite (CESAR).
Use OTC Drugs to Treat Your Pain
Avoid using alcohol and street drugs to cover up the aches and pains you will feel when you’re coming down from meth. Instead, use over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or others to treat this problem. A warm bath can also do a lot to ease feelings of soreness and pain.