Meth detox can be a very difficult process and relapse rates are commonly higher than those of other drugs. The first phase involves the patient sleeping to let his/her body recover from days or possibly weeks without sleep. Many patients will sleep for one to three days without waking. The rest of the detox process involves trying to the physical and psychological symptoms associated with meth withdrawal.
Meth detox is not life-threatening and does not necessarily need to be performed in a professional setting. That being said, personal attempts to quit meth cold turkey are rarely successful and it is recommended that an addict seek professional treatment. Preventing relapse amongst meth addicts is more difficult than most other drugs and it is best to allow medical professionals structure the detox program. The amphetamine induced psychosis that recovering meth addicts experience makes them feel very depressed and makes it difficult for them to stay in treatment. These thoughts will eventually go away, but it does take several months. Many researchers believe that time is the number one most important factor in treatment of meth addiction. If a patient is able to withstand the severe psychological effects for many months, they will eventually be able to overcome the negative thoughts and have a significantly smaller chance of relapse.
Important factors in meth detox:
- Extended cognitive behavioral therapy to deal with dopamine depletion and amphetamine psychosis
- Administration of medications like benzodiazepines to combat anxiety and agitation related to meth detox
- Detox programs should last three months at a minimum. Success rates of one or two week treatments are extremely low
- After residential treatment, an intensive outpatient program should keep close tabs on the patient and continue to help them abstain from meth use
- Patients should be discouraged from resorting to other drugs or alcohol to deal with the depressive symptoms of meth detox