What Is a Meth Comedown or Crash?

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A meth comedown, also known as a crash, is a state of extreme exhaustion and dullness that some people experience after using methamphetamine. This phenomenon happens because the intense high that meth produces is due to the overstimulation of the brain’s reward center, which depletes the brain’s natural stores of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin.

When the body eventually breaks down the meth, these neurotransmitters become depleted, leading to feelings of depression, fatigue, and irritability. People experiencing a meth comedown may also experience headaches, body aches, and cravings for more of the drug. In severe cases, a meth comedown can lead to anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations.

A meth comedown most commonly occurs after a binge or prolonged period of use and happens in three stages.

Stage One lasts about one day and is characterized by intense tiredness and lethargy, mood swings, and disruptions in eating and sleeping habits.

Stage Two is usually the most intense in terms of symptoms. You will be agitated, unable to feel pleasure, irritable, and experience unpredictable behaviors that often include acting out violently. This stage takes place on days two and three.

Stage Three can last about two weeks, depending on how severe your meth addiction is. Symptoms include cognitive issues, depression, cravings, anxiety, and sleep problems. Symptoms will begin to subside as time passes.

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How Does Methamphetamine Dependence Cause a Meth Comedown?

Methamphetamine is a potent stimulant that can cause profound changes in the brain. Meth causes a release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in the brain’s pleasure and reward centers. When you stop using meth, dopamine levels drop, causing feelings of depression, anxiety, and fatigue.

The stimulant qualities of meth can cause you to push your body to its limits during periods of use. This overexertion can lead to exhaustion and depleted energy stores when you stop using.

While it’s possible to handle a meth crash on your own, the safest way to detox from meth and other controlled substances is with the help of a licensed rehabilitation facility like Guardian Recovery. We will work with you to develop an individualized and effective program to help you recover from addiction and get you on the road to long-term recovery. We believe in the benefits of a full curriculum of clinical care, beginning with medical detoxification, transitioning into a higher level of treatment, and concluding with personalized aftercare planning. Our program also offers nutrition therapy to help you with a healthy recovery from weight loss and nutrient deficits. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment options in your area.

Signs & Symptoms of a Meth Comedown

The signs and symptoms of a meth comedown can vary from person to person but generally include the following:

You may also have intense cravings for the drug during this period. These feelings can be overwhelming and difficult to manage on your own, so it’s essential to seek professional help.

How Long Does a Comedown Last?

Once the high wears off and you enter a meth crash, you can experience symptoms that range from mildly uncomfortable to intensely overwhelming, depending on the individual’s usage and tolerance. Factors that influence the duration of a comedown include:

  • How much meth you have been using.
  • How long you have been using.
  • Having experienced withdrawal previously.
  • Whether you are also dependent on another substance.
  • Your history with substance abuse and overall health.

Self-Care During a Meth Crash

While a crash can be very uncomfortable to go through, there are steps you can take to ease your symptoms and take the edge off.

Stay hydrated. Keep a large bottle of water and ice nearby and take sips several times an hour.

Eat well. Meth suppresses the appetite, but it may return as you come down. Whether or not you feel like eating, prepare or order nutritious meals of lean protein, whole grains, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Rest. Getting enough sleep will be difficult because meth disrupts your natural sleep patterns. Counter these effects by keeping your bedroom dark and avoiding blue light —the light given off by electronic devices.

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How Do the Effects of a Comedown Compare to Withdrawal Symptoms?

When it comes to the effects of drug use, both withdrawal and comedowns can be challenging to navigate. However, the experiences are pretty different. Withdrawal typically occurs when you abruptly stop using a drug you’ve become dependent on. This can lead to a range of physical and psychological symptoms, including shaking, vomiting, anxiety, and depression.

Conversely, comedowns typically refer to the period after someone uses a stimulant such as methamphetamine. It’s the less-than-pleasant symptoms you feel once the euphoric effects of meth have worn off. This period often leads to physical exhaustion, irritability, and difficulty sleeping. While both experiences can be challenging, it’s important to understand their differences and seek the appropriate help if you or someone you know is struggling with drug use.

Long-Term Effects of Continued Highs & Lows

Repeatedly coming down from meth can have a variety of long-term effects. These can include changes in brain structure, chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, and psychosis. There is also evidence that suggests a link between prolonged methamphetamine abuse and the development of certain types of cancer, such as lung and prostate cancer

How to Come Down Safely from Meth Use

While coming down from meth isn’t usually medically dangerous, some withdrawal symptoms, such as depression, agitation, or psychosis, can lead you to harm yourself or others. You can avoid these tragedies by seeking professional help like Guardian Recovery offers.

Experiencing a comedown provides you with the opportunity to begin the journey of recovery by enrolling in a rehabilitation program offered by a licensed facility. We offer all of the levels of care necessary to stay clean for the long term, including:

It is important to remember that overcoming an addiction will take time and dedication. There is no quick fix for substance abuse, so make sure you are taking the necessary steps toward a healthier lifestyle.

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Methamphetamine is highly addictive and can potentially cause severe dependence and negative impacts on your health. Its potent effects on your brain can cause a dramatic and uncomfortable crash once the euphoric effects of the substance have subsided. No matter the substance, the best way to overcome addiction is with the help of experienced, trusted professionals like those at Guardian Recovery. We provide comprehensive treatment, including medically-assisted detox, therapy, specialty programs, and reintegration support. Our caring and skilled administrative, medical, and clinical teams will guide you through every step of your recovery process from the first time you call. We provide a complimentary assessment and a free insurance benefits check and help coordinate local travel to our facility. All you have to do is ask; we will take care of the rest. Contact us today.

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Disclaimer: Does not guarantee specific treatment outcomes, as individual results may vary. Our services are not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis; please consult a qualified healthcare provider for such matters.

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Reviewed professionally for accuracy by:

Ryan Soave

L.M.H.C.

Ryan Soave brings deep experience as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, certified trauma therapist, program developer, and research consultant for Huberman Lab at Stanford University Department of Neurobiology. Post-graduation from Wake Forest University, Ryan quickly discovered his acumen for the business world. After almost a decade of successful entrepreneurship and world traveling, he encountered a wave of personal and spiritual challenges; he felt a calling for something more. Ryan returned to school and completed his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. When he started working with those suffering from addiction and PTSD, he found his passion. He has never looked back.

Written by:

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Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and graduated from UCLA with a degree in playwriting. Since then she has been writing on addiction recovery and psychology full-time, and has found a home as part of the Guardian Recovery team.

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