Meth ComedownLiam Roybal
What Is A Meth Comedown
When I first began using meth in high school, I was unaware of how it would negatively affect my future. I had experimented with many drugs in my younger years, but nothing threw me off like methamphetamine. My struggle with meth caused me and my family years of heartache. For at least five or six years, all of my attention was on getting high.
When you become addicted to meth, you go through a lot of wild stuff that you’d never be able to dream up. Your mind and body are completely put through the wringer. The side effects are brutal, and the withdrawal when you’re coming down off meth is unlike anything you’ve ever felt.
I went through my final meth comedown at Icarus Behavioral Health, and the good people there did everything they could to get me through it as easily as possible. I was uncomfortable, but I knew I was in good hands. I knew that I never wanted to go through another ‘crystal crash’ again, and they put me in a good position to meet that goal.
Keep on reading if you’ve been struggling with meth too, and find out how I escaped the vicious cycle and how you can too!
A meth comedown occurs when you are at the end of a binge, coming down from meth. Typically with a drug like crystal, you end up on a bender that can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. You don’t sleep. I’ve been up for days at a time and felt like I was losing my mind. It’s a scary thing for me to look back on and I still have flashbacks here and there.
Because meth is what is commonly referred to as an ‘upper’, it keeps you very awake and stimulated. When you are up for days on end, your brain stops functioning as it normally should. You begin to hallucinate and have conversations with people who aren’t there. You develop insane paranoia and anxiety. It’s a crippling feeling, and at the end of it, the crash is hard. Meth withdrawal symptoms are no joke, even though you might not think of them in the same way as an alcoholic who shakes and hallucinates when coming down from boozing. Though the physical symptoms of meth withdrawal are less obvious than with alcohol, they are no less intense and debilitating.
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What are the Symptoms of a Meth Comedown
Your meth comedown can vary in severity, depending on your tolerance and how long your binge has lasted. A lot of users like myself will try and make the binge go even longer to avoid the comedown and meth withdrawal, which typically makes the comedown last even longer. I’ve put myself in that position a bunch of times, trying to delay the inevitable. The severity of acute withdrawal symptoms from speed can make you feel both tired and incredibly restless at once.
Within the first twelve to twenty-four hours, you feel a tremendous lack of energy and lethargy. I remember feeling extremely irritable, but I was able to keep it somewhat under control. As you get into the first couple of days of the withdrawal process, your mood can get even worse. You feel extremely agitated by every little thing.
I would normally fluctuate between feeling intense cravings followed by periods of really bad depression. I would also get very angry. All of these feelings in combination would feed off of each other and create a perfect storm of hopelessness. I’ve never felt lower than I did during a meth comedown. There is little that I can compare it to, as it really is its own unique form of hell.
The only thing I can remotely compare that pain to is the pain of losing a loved one. I’ve lost loved ones many times, including to drug overdose. It’s a different form of pain, but the two feel pretty much identical. You just have no idea what to do with yourself. It does a number on your self-esteem as well. When you’re in this position, you don’t have a whole lot of self-worth to begin with.
How Long Does a Meth Comedown Last
The comedown will usually end within a week, but I’ve had situations where I felt off for several weeks after a particularly heavy binge. The reason it’s such a hard drug to get off of is the position that it puts you in during that comedown. You’ll do anything to not feel those mood swings during the worst of your methamphetamine withdrawal symptoms. It will almost always lead you to continue using the drug in an attempt to fight off cravings, depression, and anxiety.
Not only do you do a lot of damage to your brain when you abuse meth, but you also do a lot of damage to your body as well. Tooth grinding, scratching, hair loss, you name it. Meth sores can be another side effect, due to the fact that meth crystalizes under the skin and can cause a lot of irritation. These are known as meth mites and/or meth spiders. You literally feel like you constantly have something crawling all over you.
When you do a drug like meth long enough, your entire brain chemistry will be affected. It can take you months to get your mind back to where it needs to be. There’s nothing more freaky that being in a meth psychosis. I’ve hidden in dumpsters from monsters I thought were trying to kill me. I’ve had occasions where I can’t interact with anyone even casually without thinking they are out to get me somehow.
I’ve had situations where I thought I heard people whispering about me while I was right in front of them. At one family gathering, I could have sworn I heard my parents and cousin talking about how they were going to kill me and make my body disappear. This conversation never occurred, but at the moment, I believed it happened one hundred percent. Imagine living life like this on a daily basis. It’s beyond horrible for regular meth users, but something I began to think was normal.
Ways To Come Down From Meth Safely
The comedown from meth is going to be uncomfortable whether you like it or not, but there are certain things you can do to try and make it a little easier. The number one answer is to get professional help. Usually, with a drug like meth, you will need to enter into detox before going to a recovery center.
Going through any kind of detox or comedown on your own can be very dangerous. There are some individuals who harm or even kill themselves due to how uncomfortable and hopeless feeling it is. I’ve been in that situation before myself. You will do anything to not feel that pain that you’ve been trying to avoid. It can be a very scary situation.
It’s very important to try and give your body what it needs. Staying hydrated and eating right is key. It’s already uncomfortable enough, and your body is going to need all the nutrition it can possibly get during this difficult time. Being dope sick is like being severely ill. Fluids and vitamins can help you get through it faster.
It’s important to try and focus on creating somewhat of a regular sleep pattern as well. Staying up for days on end really throws your mind and body off balance. If you can get back into a healthy sleeping pattern, you will be able to think more clearly and not act irrationally.
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Is a Meth Comedown Dangerous?
While a meth comedown has its dangers, you will be in much better shape if you treat your mind and body right. If you do all of the above things you will be putting yourself in a much better position to get through it all. The people at Icarus Behavioral Health were blunt with me about how I would feel during this process. It’s one of the very best meth rehabs in New Mexico.
I had been through horrible comedowns before from other forms of drug abuse, so I already knew what I was in for. I knew that I had to focus on my physical and mental health during this journey, as that would be the only thing that would prevent me from slipping up and going back to my old ways.
I’ve still been in communication with some of the people I used to associate with, and I have tried to encourage them to get clean. I’m often asked, “how can I avoid a meth comedown?” I don’t sugarcoat my answer. I tell them they are going to need to sit in that pain and deal with all of those uncomfortable feelings, no matter how severe withdrawal symptoms get.
You have to accept it and feel all of those feelings so that when you come out the other side, you’ll never want to go back there. I know that there is a chance for me to relapse. I am not cured of my addiction, but I am well aware of how physically and mentally tough it is to try and quit. I simply can’t put myself in that position, so I try to remind myself of what it feels like to be in that deep of despair.
There are times when meth abuse can make you unable to feel pleasure without the drug. This is known as anhedonia and it is one of the hardest aspects of the addiction to overcome. Anhedonia and depression with meth can last even after you’ve gotten clean. You just need to stick with your program and respect that the process is going to be hard.
Treating Meth Misuse And Addiction
Dual diagnosis programs are great for those suffering from meth addiction and the corresponding withdrawal symptoms. There can be a lot of brain chemistry damage with meth, so dual-diagnosis usually your best option. A dual diagnosis treatment program is one that helps you tackle your addiction and your mental health all at once. It may seem like a lot at first, but one greatly affects the other.
There is a direct link between mental illness and meth. There are a lot of people whose mental illnesses can become worse through drug abuse. In some cases, people have developed mental illness as a result of addiction.
Long-term clean time is possible with Icarus. At least that has been my own personal experience. My addiction was off the charts, so if it worked for me I sincerely feel that it can work for anyone. It’s all about putting your all into it. You won’t get clean unless you truly want to get clean.
There aren’t many wishy-washy people in recovery. You have to be all in. It’s a lifestyle. If you embrace the lifestyle and engage with other people in recovery, you will find a wonderful and supportive community. I’ve built wonderful relationships through my recovery, and wouldn’t change it for anything.
If you want to find recovery from the cycles of meth binging and crashing, give yourself a chance and reach out for help from Icarus. I know I’m glad I did, and I’m pretty sure you will be too!