Why You Shouldn’t Get Off Meth at Home Alone
Methamphetamine (meth) is a dangerous drug in many ways. If you’re thinking about quitting it, we congratulate you for taking that first step.
But it might not be a good idea to undergo meth detox, or quit using it, while you’re alone at home.
Others believe that certain practices and substances could help them detox on their own, so they
- Drink extra water or sports drinks.
- Use fiber supplements or laxatives.
- Exercise or sweat in saunas to try to remove toxins.
- Add extra niacin to their diets.
The goal of these practices is to flush out meth and other harmful toxins. But many of these practices also eliminate much-needed nutrients, which is especially dangerous if people’s bodies are already weakened by addiction.
Don't Detox Alone
Detoxing off meth at home is incredibly difficult and dangerous. If you want to detox, we highly recommend that you come to one of our facilities. We offer:
What are some dangers of using water to detox at home?
For example, you might be considering drinking massive amounts of water to try to flush meth from your system. Drinking one half of an ounce or an ounce for every pound you weigh each day is a healthy amount of water, and it’s also good to drink 24 additional ounces or so if you’ll be exercising intensely or working strenously at your job.
But if you drink a large amount of water in a short amount of time, such as 1.5 liters (about 50 ounces) in the course of an hour, you could be putting yourself in harm’s way. Your body could receive too much water and not enough sodium and other electrolytes, substances that could help balance the amount of fluid in your cells
Without electrolytes, excess water can move into your cells, including ones in your brain, and can make them swell. If your brain cells swell, you could go into a coma and die.
Instead of drinking large amounts of water, using laxatives, or trying to flush out meth in other ways, it’s better to let professionals handle your meth detox.
They know safer ways to help you remove meth from your system. In the unlikely event that something does go wrong during detox, these professionals have the medical knowledge to help before things become worse.
Why should you address withdrawal symptoms when detoxing?
When you detox from meth, it’s common to experience different side effects. These effects are known as withdrawal. While some say they are just annoying or inconvenient, they can actually harm your health.
Since meth is a stimulant, it stimulates many bodily systems and processes. Removing it can hurt the body in a number of ways.
Meth can hurt the cardiovascular system by causing an irregular heartbeat and damaging blood vessels in the brain.
Even after people have stopped using the drug, people may develop high blood pressure or even experience strokes and heart attacks. Both can incapacitate or kill.
To determine if their clients need assistance, professionals at detox centers regularly check:
- Pulses (heart rates).
- Breathing rates.
- Blood pressures.
Staff members also conduct safety checks known as Q checks. Such monitoring occurs frequently during the early stages of detox. It typically occurs every hour during the first 24 hours of detox and regularly after that.
Without meth, people might be so tired that all they want to do is sleep. Sleep is restorative, but people who are detoxing or undergoing other medical procedures should be supervised while doing so.
When people undergo detox at addiction rehab centers, professionals monitor their vital signs while they sleep. They’ll check if their clients’ breathing and heart rates and heart rhythms are regular or if they’re at risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or other serious incident.
Monitoring during sleep is also important for other safety reasons. Nauseated people who are struggling to stay awake might choke during their sleep. People with both conditions might receive medication or other assistance, such as additional monitoring, to prevent this potentially fatal outcome.
Basically, if clients aren’t safe and comfortable, staff members will intervene.
Sleep is necessary during meth withdrawals, but so are other things.
Food and water are also obviously important. They’re even more important to people who have been struggling with addiction and addiction-related illnesses. But people detoxing from meth may feel too tired or sick to prepare anything.
They may be struggling with nausea or vomiting, so they might not want to eat. But if addiction and detox have sapped nutrients and fluids from their bodies, people need to restore them, or their weak bodies may become weaker.
When people stay at addiction treatment centers, staff members will ensure that they receive fluids and appropriate foods during their withdrawals and subsequent treatment.
Mental health problems
Staff members can also find remedies for other side effects, including depression. Since meth stimulates the brain and body, quitting it may make someone feel sad and unenergetic.
Depression may make it even more difficult for people to eat and take care of themselves. This can weaken and endanger their health even further. In addition, depression could trigger suicidal thoughts or prompt people to try to kill themselves.
Detox and treatment centers employ trained professionals who know about suicidal thoughts and behaviors and how to address them. They provide supervision and assistance for people during challenging times.
How can attending treatment centers help you fight meth cravings?
Cravings are another common occurrence during meth detox. If people use meth for a long time, they can miss it physically and mentally when they quit.
To stop this physical and mental pain, they may want to use the drug again. If they’re detoxing at home on their own, people might not have the support they need to fight their meth cravings. They might still have meth in their homes or access to it in other ways, making it easy to succumb to their potentially deadly cravings.
But if they detox from meth at an addiction detox center, people can
- Be physically removed from meth and won’t have access to the drug.
- Can talk with staff members, who may prescribe medications such as Ativan or Valium or offer other remedies to ease anxiety or other types of mental or physical distress.
- Learn ways to handle their urges from other clients who are detoxing or receiving treatment.
Detoxing at centers with the assistance of trained professionals provides such mental and physical support. This assistance provides detox procedures that are backed by science and evidence.
Such experiences are safer and more comfortable than the do-it-yourself methods some people use to detox from meth alone at home. While those practices might succeed in removing meth, they often do more harm than good. They can produce unintended results that can cause serious, even fatal consequences.
However people choose to do it, detoxing from meth isn’t easy. But experienced professionals can make it safer and easier, helping their clients prepare for treatment and ultimately achieve better health.
pennmedicine.org – How Much Water Do You Need Each Day?
waterandhealth.org – Hydration and Hyponatremia: Can You Drink Too Much Water?
nida.nih.gov – Methamphetamine DrugFacts
heart.org – Meth and Heart Disease: A Deadly Crisis We Don’t Fully Fathom, Report Says
healthgrades.com – How Do People Die in Their Sleep?
todaysdietitian.com – CPE Monthly: Substance Abuse and Nutrition
camh.ca – Straight Talk – Methamphetamine
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov – Clinical Guidelines for Withdrawal Management and Treatment of Drug Dependence in Closed Settings – Withdrawal Management
Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.
Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.