There’s a big stigma around Ice withdrawal. The media images of violent outbursts in hospitals creates the impression that detoxing is dangerous. In fact, Meth is the easiest of all detoxes. It leaves the body quickly and the person can feel good as gold in 5 days. So what’s the problem?

Meth hypes the body into a super-energised state. So much so, you don’t want to rest or sleep. If this lack of sleep goes on for too long, the brain can’t recover and the risk of psychosis can be high after 2-3 days. In psychosis, the person behaves irrationally and may have violent outbursts. With sleep and deep rest, the person will wake up refreshed and of sound mind in most cases. 

With chronic sleep deprivation from Ice usage, permanent psychosis can occur. This means, the manic state of mind is reversable most of the time. Should the person not be able to get to sleep, rehab medical staff may prescribe sleepers to start the process. Sleep is the only remedy.

The person may need many days of sleep, so maintaining fluids and food is important. They may have lost their appetite before detoxing, so they will get hungry for carbs and fat between sleep cycles. You may need to wake the person at intervals to make sure they are breathing and hydrated.

After day 5, and the person is well rested, an increased feeling of wellbeing and mental clarity arises. This is a seemingly miraculous change. The person is convinced that the detox is over and they are back to normal. This is an impressive turn around for loved ones, who may think the battle is over.

But while the individual feels physically better, the brain is not fully recovered. Meth creates a low Dopamine level. Dopamine is the chemical in your brain to help you feel satisfied. When Dopamine is low, you feel discontent. This continues despite the detox process. So expect to feel physically well, but start to become restless on day 5. 

At this point, it is common to want to take off somewhere, feel you need to do something, be active, see someone or just be productive. These are all signs that your Dopamine is still low and you are having a craving for Ice again. When you start to get restless, the cravings start to get very strong and a relapse is likely. Without support, rehabilitation and professional counselling, you may misunderstand what is happening and start using again in 24 hours.

 

For this reason, at Gold Coast Detox and Rehab Services, we encourage a 10-day Meth detox so the client has plenty of time to manage their cravings on day 5-10. 28 days is always ideal to break an addiction, but 10 days is minimum. In fact, Ice cravings last up to 9 months, so staying connected to your rehab support team is important to prevent relapse.