Methamphetamine, or meth for short, is a highly addictive stimulant drug. One formulation of this drug, marketed as Desoxyn, is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). There are no other FDA-approved uses for methamphetamine-based substances.
Most formulations of meth are illegal. They come in different names when sold on the streets. The most common nicknames for meth are:
- No doze
- Scooby snax
- Rocket fuel
Ice, otherwise known as crystal meth, is a popular form of this drug. Crystal meth looks like blue-white rocks when whole. When crushed, it resembles broken glass. The crystalline appearance earned it the name “crystal meth.”
Meth in any form is highly addictive. If you happen to have this addiction, you need to go into meth detox as soon as possible. If you’re wondering if you can detox at home, read on to find out how.
What is meth detox?
Meth detox is a process that helps your body eliminate all traces of the drug. It involves stopping the intake of meth and managing the withdrawal symptoms that may show up.
Quitting meth cold turkey is possible but not recommended because doing so can produce severe, painful withdrawal symptoms. Instead, the better method is to reduce your dose little by little. This process is known as tapering, and it is a common method of detoxing from many addictive substances.
At the end of the detox, your body should have adjusted to the complete absence of meth. Some withdrawal symptoms may still linger, but they will not be as uncomfortable as before.
Why is meth addictive?
Meth produces the following effects shortly after you take it:
- Increased wakefulness and alertness
- Higher levels of physical activity
- Difficulty sleeping
- Loss of appetite
These effects make you feel hyperactive and lead to a euphoric high. You can get high from meth really quickly, but it only lasts for a few minutes. For this reason, a popular practice is to go on a meth “run,” which means not sleeping or eating for several days while continuing to take the drug.
Some users also prefer to smoke meth or inject it. These methods produce more intense pleasurable effects known as a “rush.” Smoking or injection makes meth reach the brain faster, resulting in more pronounced effects. However, this comes with a much higher risk of addiction.
In any case, taking meth using any of these methods can make you addicted to the drug. Once you are addicted, your behavior patterns will change. You may begin to:
- Ditch work or school to make more time for taking meth
- Distance yourself from friends and family who are concerned about your drug habits
- Isolate yourself when taking the drug
- Seek a new circle of friends who also use drugs
- Lose money over meth use
- Get involved in crimes to get more meth
- Neglect your own hygiene
- Stop eating in a healthy way
- Find yourself unable to stop taking meth even if you want to quit
Addiction takes control of your life. At this point, you will find that you can no longer function normally without it. If you try to stop, you will get withdrawal symptoms, which can cause so much discomfort that you would rather take meth again than endure them.
Withdrawal symptoms from meth use include:
- Feeling extremely exhausted
- Increased appetite
- Excessive sleepiness
- Intense cravings for meth
- Suicidal thoughts
If you want to quit using meth safely, you need to go through meth detox. It will help you stop taking the drug while managing its withdrawal symptoms.
Can detox be done at home?
Meth detox should ideally be performed in a setting supervised by medical professionals – either a hospital or a rehab center. That way, you can get immediate medical attention in case of emergencies or extreme discomfort.
Detoxing at home is possible, though, and it has certain advantages such as:
- You are most comfortable at home and familiar with the environment
- Your home provides the best level of privacy
- Your family can take care of you
- You can have a more personalized experience at home
- Your home environment can be less stressful than a hospital or rehab center
When you decide to detox at home, avoid doing it without having at least a private duty nurse trained in drug detox. That way, you can get medical attention immediately when needed. If your withdrawal symptoms turn serious or life-threatening, help is within reach.
Private duty detox nurses are supervised by a doctor trained in addiction recovery. The doctor can make prescriptions when you require any medications.
Your family will also need to be educated in how to properly handle your behaviors during detox. It would help if your family members will get adequate psychoeducation from an addiction treatment professional. That way, they will know the best ways to help you stop using meth.
What are the risks of home detox?
Meth detox at home does not come without drawbacks. For one, you do not have access to a team with all the necessary medical equipment and tools at home. If any emergencies arise, you will still need to be transported to the hospital. Detoxing in a hospital or rehab setting saves you valuable time in these emergencies.
Also, you may be unknowingly putting your family at risk by detoxing at home. Your behavior might turn violent or aggressive during detox, and you may inadvertently lash out at your family members. If you have children at home, angry or violent outbursts will be particularly traumatic for them.
Another is the danger of self-harm. If your family members are not equipped to deal with self-harming situations, you risk injuring yourself and getting no help. The worst case is if you begin to have suicidal tendencies.
All of these risks can be avoided in a formal healthcare setting. That is why medically supervised detox is highly advisable.