Changing your meth use

In Balancing Choices you decided whether you want to stop using, cut down, or use or maintain your present usage. Since meth can be particularly habit forming, here are some additional things you could consider.


Cutting down

If you plan to reduce your meth use, as a first step it could be easier to stop completely until you have your cravings under control. How long that takes depends on factors unique to you, but two months might be a good place to start. After that, think about the positive and negative effects meth had on your life before you decide to use again.

Maintaining current use

If meth isn’t obviously causing any problems at the moment, this strategy can still be a risky. Exactly how risky, depends on the level of use you intend to maintain. Meth affects everyone differently, but if you’re using meth more than once a month, you may not be giving your brain enough time to recover. Over the longer term, this could lead to problems.

Make your own rules

Whether cutting down or maintaining use, one tool to stay in control is to set rules that give you a reason to override an urge. Knowing what it feels like to push back against and overcome an urge can make you better at moderating your use of meth in the future. Examples:

  • Only use with someone else (i.e. not alone)
  • Only use on long weekends
  • Stop if you haven’t slept for 24 hours.
What are your rules? Write some down to protect the life you enjoy, commit to them, and refer to them regularly. It can be helpful to keep in mind that the physical effects of stopping meth are mild and short lived compared to some other drugs.

Symptoms of meth withdrawal
Since last use Symptoms
1 to 3 days Comedown:
  • Exhausted
  • Hungry
  • Tired
  • Depressed
2 to 10 days
(Common to very uncommon)
Withdrawal:
  • Strong cravings
  • Moody, emotional, anxious, flat
  • Irritable or easily agitated
  • Tired
  • Sleep problems, disturbing dreams
  • Poor concentration
  • Aches, headaches, diarrhea
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
7 to 28 days Settling down:
  • Weaker cravings
  • Moody
  • Depressed
  • Sleep problems
  • Poor concentration
1 to 3 months Establishing new normal:
  • Feeling healthier
  • Sleeping better