Amphetamine Withdrawal Timeline to Detox

Amphetamine Withdrawal | Recovery In Tune

Amphetamine Withdrawal Timeline to Detox – Amphetamines are powerful stimulants that have a high potential for abuse and addiction. Prolonged use of amphetamines, illicitly or otherwise, can result in psychological and chemical dependence on the drug.

Amphetamines are often legally prescribed by doctors to treat conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy and have also been used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Other types of amphetamines – such as speed – are produced and sold illicitly

Once a dependence is established, people who attempt to quit or cut back will face withdrawal symptoms. These are a result of the body becoming accustomed to the presence of amphetamine and unable to function normally without it. Symptoms manifest in response to the brain and nervous system “recalibrating” so to speak, and struggling to regain a chemical balance.

Amphetamine misuse can also lead the development of tolerance, or the brain’s propensity to reduce the effects of certain psychoactive substances upon repeated exposure. This condition requires the person to use an increasing amount of the drug to experience the desired effect, and therefore, significantly increases the level of dependence, side effects, withdrawal symptoms, and the risk of overdose.

Some of the physical effects that users face during amphetamine withdrawal including the following:

  • Tremors
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness and blurry vision
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia and restless sleep
  • Oversleeping
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Muscle tension or aches

Unfortunately, these effects are often a primary reason for relapse. They can be extremely unpleasant and lead to emotional despair and in extreme cases suicidal ideations.

Emotional effects that may accompany amphetamine withdrawal include:

  • Depression and apathy
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Impaired concentration
  • Mood swings
  • Strong cravings
  • Vivid, often unpleasant dreams
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia

Amphetamine Withdrawal Timeline

The types of symptoms a person experiences during withdrawal and detox – as well as their severity- depends on many different factors, including the following:

  • The duration of amphetamine use
  • The average dosage of the amphetamines
  • Age
  • Height/weight
  • Gender
  • Physical health
  • Psychological health
  • Method of detoxification (e.g., tapering off, quitting cold turkey, home or medical detox)

Regardless of these differences, however, a standard timeline for withdrawal typically looks like the following:

Day 1 – 3

The first few days of detox are often the toughest physically because the brain is re-learning to function without the presence of amphetamines. During this time, it’s common for the person to experience disturbed sleep patterns, depression, anxiety, irritability, and exhaustion. Also, cravings for more amphetamine will likely manifest.

Day 4 – 7

By the fourth day or so, symptoms will probably be decreasing in intensity, although cravings and fatigue commonly persist.

Days 8 – 14

During the next second week of detox, insomnia and unpleasant dreams when sleeping are possible. Appetite may return to normal, however, after prolonged suppression by the amphetamines.

Day 15 – 28

Through the end of the first month, some symptoms from the second week may persist, such as cravings. At this point, it’s important to note that many people experience some setbacks as part of the recovery process, but this is more common when people choose to withdraw and detox at home rather than undergo medical supervision.

Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS)

When amphetamine withdrawal symptoms persist for longer than two weeks, they are considered protracted or post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS). Former chronic users may experience PAWS effects that can last several months.

Amphetamines have a profound impact on various functions of the brain. Some of the symptoms of PAWS may include:

  • Short-term memory impairment
  • Decreased ability to focus, concentrate, or maintain attention
  • Lack of self-control, impulsivity
  • Depression with or without suicidal thoughts/behaviors.
  • Inability to experience pleasure (anhedonia)
  • Drug cravings and urges to use
  • Sleep problems and chronic fatigue

At-Home vs. Medical Detox

Detoxing at home can present additional challenging that a patient would not encounter at a hospital or detox center. Moreover, ideally, patients should undergo a supervised detox by trained medical professionals to ensure the withdrawal process is safe, comfortable, and more likely to succeed.

Home detox is undesirable because the person experiencing withdrawals does not have access to medication or emotional support and other critical treatment measures that prevent complications and relapse.

Amphetamine Withdrawal and Treatment

Following detox, patients are encouraged to participate in a long-term addiction treatment program. These may include the following:

Inpatient (Residential) Rehab

During a residential stay, the patient lives onsite at our center and receives 24-hour care. The treatment team determines the length of stay. Here, people receive treatment daily, including behavioral therapy, counseling, and group therapy, in addition to other therapeutic activities such as yoga and meditation.

Outpatient Rehab

Outpatients live offsite in a personal residence or sober living home and commute to the center each week for treatment. Treatment methods are similar to those used in inpatient programs and involve individual counseling and group therapy. This option may be best suited for those who have completed a residential stay or who need more flexibility in their schedule to attend to professional, academic, or family obligations.

All programs and services are delivered by caring staff who specialize in addiction and who can provide patients with the tools they require to achieve abstinence and sustain long-lasting sobriety and wellness.

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