Crystal meth is a powerful stimulant that has strong adverse effects on a meth user’s physical and psychological well-being. People who try quitting ice cold turkey and who have no support group to help them overcome their meth dependence and addiction will rarely if ever succeed because of the severe mental and physical withdrawal symptoms associated with meth addiction. It is possible to quit using meth, but quitting meth cold turkey and without help from anyone else can expose a meth addict to serious risks, including permanent disabilities and death.
Effects of Crystal Meth
Crystal meth will cause a user’s brain to be flooded with dopamine, which are the neurotransmitters that give signals to a brain that something is good. Your brain’s dopamine reward system evolved over hundreds of thousands of years to allow you to distinguish helpful from harmful substances and activities, but that reward system is not configured to handle the massive amounts of dopamine that crystal meth will release. Even after a short period of regular meth usage, a person’s brain will begin to demand greater quantities of crystal meth in order to maintain the same high dopamine profile. When someone decides quitting ice cold turkey is a good idea, he stops responding to his brain’s demands. This can result in deep depression accompanied by an overwhelming feeling that nothing is good. It’s easier to manage physical withdrawal symptoms of meth (primarily excessive sleepiness and changes in appetite) than the deep psychological depression that drives meth users into repeated relapses.
Quitting Meth Cold Turkey is Dangerous
Individuals who have attempted quitting ice cold turkey have almost uniformly reported the extreme sense of psychological depression that accompanies meth withdrawal. They feel both hopeless and helpless and have suicidal tendencies. In extreme cases, these symptoms can last for up to two years after a meth addict stops using the drug. Addiction counselors will recommend a slower withdrawal from meth to allow the early aspects of these symptoms to encroach upon a meth user more slowly. A meth user will experience strong psychological urges during a slaw withdrawal period, but a medical detox program along with regular substance abuse treatment will help the addict to get past those urges.
Long-Term Meth Recovery Starts with Not Quitting Ice Cold Turkey
Successful long-term recovery from meth addiction often requires regular psychological counseling and group therapy. A meth user who gets through an initial detox and withdrawal period might feel an initial great sense of relief and joy with his ability to stop using meth, but he will inevitably hit a wall at some point several months after last using meth. At this stage, a recovering meth addict will feel that his progress toward sobriety has stalled or stopped and he will once again feel a strong urge to go back to using meth. Counseling, social support, and group therapy will get a meth addict over this wall, but it is not unusual for meth addicts to maintain an obsession with crystal meth for months or years after they have last used it. Successful recovery from substance addictions requires an addict to create a whole new lifestyle away from the substance that controlled his life. Nowhere is this truer than with meth addiction. Few meth addicts have been able to get to that new lifestyle without outside support.
The Last Resort Recovery Center near Austin, Texas, understands the physical and psychological challenges that a recovering crystal meth addict experiences. Forget about quitting meth cold turkey. Please call us at 877-892-7997 for a confidential consultation on your crystal meth problem. We can provide meth addiction treatment and help you achieve a genuine sense of sobriety.