Detoxing “Home Alone” — The Truth


As I wrote in Quitting Crystal Meth, it’s advisable to do any detox under the care of a doctor, one familiar with meth withdrawal and addiction medicine, if possible. You’ll probably be prescribed something to ease anxiety and make the entire experience much more pleasant.

But since, for various reasons, detoxing under a physician’s care isn’t always an option, let’s look at how you can prepare for your own at-home detox.

From a physical standpoint, crystal withdrawal is not dangerous—it won’t kill you. You won’t have seizures or delirium tremens, like you might from alcohol withdrawal. The main side-effects when detoxing from crystal, besides physical exhaustion, are emotional. Your mood will be low and you may have trouble experiencing pleasure. When this can become life-threatening is if that dark mood spirals into suicidal thoughts. If you believe you might be suicidal, see your doctor or, if needed, call 911.

I did my own detox at home, alone, as did many other users I know. We basically slept for a couple of weeks, only getting up to wolf down some cereal, chug some Gatorade for hydration, or to use the bathroom. If your appetite is low, this is a good time to drink protein drinks or even that old tweaker standby, Ensure. Though, for most, the appetite quickly returns with a vengeance.

But a warning: if you also heavily use alcohol, marijuana, or any other depressants/downers, or opiates, it is essential that you seek out medical supervision for your detox. Quitting both meth and depressants or opiates simultaneously can cause serious physical complications, like stroke, heart failure, or even death.

Otherwise, just sleep, eat, and hydrate. (I would never hydrate enough — while using or coming down.) You will get through it. Withdrawal, the first stage of recovery from crystal meth, usually lasts from 3 to 15 days.

For a much more detailed discussion, click through to the excerpt from Quitting Crystal Meth entitled “Stage 1: Withdrawal.”