Timelines for Recovery from Meth Addiction

At the beginning of your recovery from meth addiction, you are going to want to know how long it will be until you feel better.  This is a question that all people who are detoxing are going to want to have answered.  Sadly, there is no hard and fast rule for the amount of time someone will spend detoxing.  Everyone is going to have a dramatically different experience when it comes to detoxing.  People with long term addictions may have mild symptoms.  People with short term addictions may have severe symptoms.  It is all about individual body chemistry and how meth use has effected that.  Everyone is going to be different.

Typical Timelines for Recovery from Meth Addiction

There are; however, some clinical guidelines that are typical for the detox that should happen at the beginning of your rehab journey.

1-3 days after your last dose – At 1 to 3 days after you stop taking meth, the most extreme feeling you will have is fatigue.  You are going to be very tired and need to get an increased amount of sleep.  You may also start to feel depressed.

2-10 days after your last dose – At this point, you will start to feel most of the effects of your detox.  You will experience general aches and pains, mood swings, and an inability to concentrate.  You may also experience problems sleeping, hallucinations, paranoia, strong cravings for meth, and a lack of energy.

7-28 days after your last dose – While the typical detox usually lasts roughly 10 to 14 days, there are detox periods that last longer.  During your course of rehab you may still find that you are experiencing symptoms at 7 to 28 days.  You are likely to have continued problems sleeping, cravings, trouble concentrating, and mood swings.

1 month-3 months after last dose – By this point, the most significant of symptoms will have eased and you should be well on your way to making a complete recovery.  However, the cravings for meth may continue.  In some cases, these cravings have been shown to peak around the three month mark.  As the brain continues to heal, the body will continue to heal as well.

How the Brain Heals During Recovery from Meth Addiction

The healing of the brain will take a bit longer than the healing of the body.  Meth certainly is not good for your brain, but the brain has a great capacity for healing as long as your abstinence continues.  Using meth in quantities significant enough to be called an addiction can change the way that your brain functions.  Meth can actually shrink your gray-matter volume and slow the function of the prefrontal cortex which controls your ability to make good decisions and learn new things.  And while that may sound frightening, the brain can generally heal is most ways when it is given enough time to do so.

The healing of the brain from meth addiction is usually a long term affair.

1 year after last dose – At 1 year of abstinence from meth, recovering meth addicts were a third -more likely to have stayed clean than they were in the previous months.  They also displayed improved cognitive function in the areas of long term memory, new learning, impulse control, and good decision making skills.  They also showed improvement in general thinking, emotional well-being, and motor skills.

Studies have shown that recovering meth addicts who can stay clean for a year are more likely to stay clean in the long term.  Cravings, even in people who have stayed clean in the long term, are fairly common.  Doctors have noted that cravings early in the day are the most difficult to control.  While the cravings will diminish over time, most people will benefit from some training during formal rehab in the management skills and strategies necessary to handle cravings.  This information is significant to the detox and rehab process because of the potential for relapse when recovering addicts do not use the aftercare tools they are generally given in rehab.  And recovering addicts sometimes forget that the healing process is just that, a process, and it takes time to really complete.

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