Meth Comedown

Coming down from methamphetamine can cause people to sleep for extended periods of time and experience feelings of anxiety and depression. However, a meth crash can be properly managed without going to the hospital.
Topics On this page
| | 9 sources

Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant. When used, it releases a “feel-good” chemical in the brain called dopamine. This chemical causes a rush of euphoria that lasts from five to 30 minutes.

When this initial rush ends, meth users experience an increased sense of well-being, decreased appetite and increased energy. These lingering effects can last from six to 12 hours.

Once the effects end, dopamine drops below normal levels and individuals endure a crash, also known as a comedown. A comedown is a period of exhaustion that occurs because the body is drained of energy.

Meth Comedown Symptoms

Meth increases energy levels in the body. This causes the body to think it has unlimited amounts of energy, leading people to avoid sleep and engage in excessive activity. But when the body’s energy is depleted, meth users experience a crash marked by fatigue or extreme exhaustion.

Symptoms of a meth comedown include:

  • Aches and pains
  • Low energy
  • Confusion
  • Intense drug cravings
  • Agitation
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicidal ideation

While coming down from methamphetamine, people typically sleep for extended periods — sometimes for up to three days.

But according to the Center for Health, Identity, Behavior and Prevention Studies at New York University, a meth crash lasts at least one to two days. It takes even longer, seven to 10 days, for the body to reach normal energy levels.

The comedown phase is an early stage of meth withdrawal. Symptoms of a crash are typically less severe than the withdrawal effects felt when the crash ends. But a crash can be dangerous if individuals have thoughts of self-harm.

Coming down off meth is also dangerous if people give in to the intense drug cravings. This can increase a person’s tolerance to the drug, which can lead to dependence and methamphetamine addiction.

Meth Binge and Crash

Because the euphoric effects of methamphetamine do not last long, people often repeatedly use the drug to maintain their high. This pattern, called binge and crash, sustains the pleasurable effects of the stimulant for longer periods of time.

During the binging stage, individuals use the drug every few hours. They usually self-administer meth until they either run out of the stimulant or choose to stop using it. In many instances, they do not eat or sleep while binging on the drug.

When the binge ends, the crash begins. The entire process typically lasts from three to 15 days, according to a 2017 report by the Fordham Law Review.

Managing a Meth Comedown

In many cases, individuals do not need to go to a hospital to overcome a meth comedown. Like an alcohol hangover, people can usually manage the symptoms of exhaustion at home.

To alleviate the distressing effects of a meth crash:

  • Do not take more meth to reduce cravings
  • Distract yourself by watching a movie or talking with friends
  • Eat well and drink fluids to help regain your energy levels
  • Relax and avoid high-stress environments

However, call 911 or contact a meth hotline if you have thoughts of suicide or self-harm while coming down from meth. If you experience more severe symptoms of withdrawal after the crash, consider seeking rehab.

If you need medical assistance during a meth crash, medical professionals are equipped to help. They provide care to people coming down from methamphetamine in two stages.

The first stage involves observing clients to ensure they get some sleep and do not intentionally harm themselves. After sleep, clinicians conduct an evaluation to ensure that the most serious symptoms associated with the crash, such as suicidal thoughts, have subsided.

The best way to stop crashes is to stop using meth. But people often struggle to overcome meth abuse and addiction on their own.

Meth rehab can help. These facilities employ medical professionals who are trained to assist people experiencing a comedown and other methamphetamine withdrawal symptoms. Treatment can also teach people to live fulfilling lives without the stimulant.

Author
Matt Gonzales
Content Writer, DrugRehab.com
Matt Gonzales is a writer and researcher for DrugRehab.com. He graduated with a degree in journalism from East Carolina University and began his professional writing career in 2011. Matt covers the latest drug trends and shares inspirational stories of people who have overcome addiction. Certified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in health literacy, Matt leverages his experience in addiction research to provide hope to those struggling with substance use disorders.
@bymattjgonzales
editor
,

Was this article helpful?

How helpful would you rate this article?

    loading

    DrugRehab.com logo

    Thanks for helping us make our website better for visitors like you!

    View Sources

    Ready to make a change?

    Get cost-effective, quality addiction care that truly works.

    Start Your Recovery
    Question mark symbol icon

    Who am I calling?

    Calls will be answered by a qualified admissions representative with Advanced Recovery Systems (ARS), the owners of DrugRehab.com. We look forward to helping you!

    Question mark symbol icon

    Who am I calling?

    Phone calls to treatment center listings not associated with ARS will go directly to those centers. DrugRehab.com and ARS are not responsible for those calls.