Get help today 888-341-7785 or sign up for 24/7 text support.
American Addiction Centers National Rehabs Directory

Meth Withdrawal: Symptoms, Length, and Detox

Methamphetamine, also known as meth or crystal meth, is a highly addictive stimulant that can lead to physiological dependence and subsequent withdrawal symptoms when a person cuts back or stops using the drug altogether.1

Meth withdrawal can be uncomfortable, and in some instances, lead to complications that require immediate medical attention. Medical detox can help manage withdrawal symptoms and is often an entry point for stimulant use disorder treatment.2

This page will help you learn more about:

  • What happens during meth withdrawal.
  • Meth withdrawal symptoms.
  • The meth withdrawal timeline.
  • Meth detox programs.
  • How to find a meth detox program.

What Happens During Meth Withdrawal?

Symptoms of meth withdrawal occur when a person abruptly cuts back or stops using meth after a period of prolonged use.3

The pleasurable effects of meth can reinforce use.4 But with chronic use, the body can become physiologically dependent on meth. With physiological dependence, the body becomes used to the drug being present in the system. When a person abruptly cuts back or stops using meth, withdrawal symptoms can emerge.4

In some cases, a person may engage in high-dose binge patterns of use.4 Binges typically end with a “crash,” which can include acute withdrawal symptoms that include feelings of dissatisfaction or depression as well as persistent and intense drug cravings.4 A person may continue using meth to avoid these symptoms, fueling the cycle of meth addiction.4

Meth Withdrawal Symptoms

Symptoms of meth withdrawal can be distressing and unpleasant, though they are not typically life-threatening.2 However, people often develop depression and feelings of dissatisfaction with life during withdrawal, which can lead to suicidal thoughts and ideation that may require medical attention.2, 4

Methamphetamine withdrawal symptoms vary by person but are typically the opposite of the symptoms people experience from meth intoxication.3 Common symptoms may include:1, 2

  • Depression.
  • Feeling anxious and uneasy or dissatisfied.
  • Fatigue and lack of energy.
  • Drug cravings.
  • Hypersomnia with increased dreaming.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Increased appetite.

How Long Does Meth Withdrawal Last?

Withdrawal symptoms from stimulants such as methamphetamine may develop within a few hours to several days after a person’s last use.2, 4 Many symptoms disappear within several days of onset, but some symptoms may persist for weeks or even months for some individuals. Symptoms are typically the most severe in the first few days. 2, 4

Cravings and depression, as well as feelings of dissatisfaction or uneasiness, are often especially intense during the acute withdrawal phase, which resolves within 1 to 2 weeks and may wax and wane for weeks or months following acute withdrawal and during an initial period of abstinence.4 Withdrawal symptoms may lead to a return to meth use.4

  • Acute withdrawal from meth or other stimulants typically includes symptoms such as agitation, anxiety, and dysphoria (e.g., low mood). People may experience fatigue, increasing depression or mood swings, increased appetite, and an intense desire for sleep. Alcohol, marijuana, sedatives, and antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine or Benadryl) may be used to induce sleep.
  • Post-withdrawal can last 2 weeks or more after a person last uses meth or other stimulants and can last several weeks or even months. Certain symptoms can wax and wane during this period of initial abstinence, which may be characterized by hypersomnolence (e.g., intense sleepiness), fatigue, increased appetite, loss of physical and mental energy, depression mood swings, anxiety, drug cravings, and a lack of interest or feelings of uneasiness or displeasure, even in things that once normally interested them. They may also experience feelings of remorse about their drug use, which may contribute to self-harming behaviors.

Meth Detox Programs

Medical drug detox programs can help patients stay as comfortable and safe as possible during withdrawal by providing monitoring, supervision, and support.2, 4

Stimulant withdrawal is not typically associated with severe withdrawal symptoms and often does not require the more aggressive type of detox typically offered for alcohol or benzodiazepine withdrawal.2 Some patients, however, can experience new or worsening depression, which can present a risk of self-harm and suicidality.2, 4 Detox can help keep patients safe in an environment free of drugs or outside influences that may contribute to drug use during this time, and also manage potential complications, such as cardiovascular problems and seizures, and withdrawal from other substances a person may use.2

Detox for stimulant withdrawal can take place in an inpatient or outpatient setting.2 Higher levels of care include residential treatment or 24-hour inpatient in a hospital or treatment center setting.2 Less intensive levels of care can be provided on an outpatient basis, such as through a physician’s office or home health care service.2

While detox can be a helpful first step in recovery, it is not a substitute for long-term meth addiction treatment.2 Following detox, many patients benefit from ongoing treatment to address the underlying issues associated with substance misuse and addiction.5 Rehab includes treatments such as:6

Finding a Meth Detox Center

If you or a loved one are interested in finding a meth detox center, there are certain factors to consider, such as the cost, insurance coverage, location, and testimonials and reviews from previous patients.

There are several ways you can start your search for a detox center:

  • Visit your doctor for an evaluation to help determine your needs and to get referrals.
  • Use our rehab directory, which allows you to see facilities that offer detox services when you filter by ‘Type of care.’

American Addiction Centers (AAC) help you navigate recovery from meth use and stimulant use disorder. You can AAC at to speak to a caring admissions navigator about your rehab options or fill out the form below to find out if your insurance covers detox and treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions About Meth Detox

Was this page helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.

American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.

Read our full editorial policy

While we are unable to respond to your feedback directly, we'll use this information to improve our online help.