As the old adage states: what goes up, must come down. While drug users crave the intense high that these substances provide, they are also often accompanied by a crash. The easiest way to avoid the crash is to continue to take more, but just how long do you have until the effects start to wear off? This answer depends on a variety of factors including the drug.
What Is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine, or meth, is a highly addictive, man-made drug that stimulates a person’s central nervous system. This system controls a person’s mind related to senses, interpreting thoughts, memory, and overall focus as well as physical aspects like breathing, body temperature, movement, and balance. Meth can be smoked, snorted, swallowed as a pill or injected.
Similarly, crystal meth is the most potent and purest form of methamphetamine. Physical and psychological damage can occur with chronic use, but because the drug is so addictive, many people struggle to stop without formal methamphetamine addiction treatment.
Its fast-hitting effects and appearance similar to crystal shards or rocks with a bluish hue have earned it street names such as:
How Long Does A Meth High Last?
How long the meth high lasts will depend on a variety of factors. In general, a traditional meth high lasts anywhere from a few hours to over half a day before the effects wear off. Because it is the purest form of meth, a crystal meth high can last for several hours, even up to three days by some accounts.
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Stages of a Meth High
Unlike cocaine, meth produces a prolonged state of euphoria experienced in several stages.
In its initial phase, the dopamine rush meth provides is nearly instantaneous and quite powerful. People feel a burst of energy building while their heart begins to race, crowning at a high filled with rapid speech and confidence. The meth rush phase lasts about 14 hours.
This initial rush is followed by a longer meth high. Typically, this meth high lasts for a few hours, but can extend up to 15 hours. A person may feel very outspoken and might be prone to arguing to make their point. They can often fixate on one activity such as standing and staring at an appliance or a flame or actively repeating a task like snapping their fingers or sweeping a room.
When someone is addicted, they will continue to repeat the meth rush and high cycle for days to make the euphoria associated with the methamphetamine high last as long as possible and avoid negative withdrawal effects. During this time, they may barely eat or sleep. As their body weakens physically and mentally, it may lead to the next step in the meth high- shutdown or tweaking.
Shutdown Phase (aka Tweaking)
When the rush and high are over, psychological issues begin to present themselves due to exhaustion and the inability to regain the methamphetamine high. The person using will often describe this time after the meth high as a feeling of emptiness, loss, and craving, or existing in a fog of sensations no one else can experience. This period of time of the meth high is dangerous for both the person experiencing it and others around them due to their increased hostility or desire to harm themselves.
When the body cannot take anymore, it will retreat into a sleep stage to find a semblance of recovery. This part after the meth high generally lasts several days. The person emerges unbathed, hungry, thirsty, and still exhausted from the ravaging effects of the days prior.
As withdrawal symptoms appear, eventually a person will look for the solution to diminish them and the cycle will repeat.
What Impacts How Long A Meth High Lasts?
How long a meth high lasts can vary widely. It can be different from user to user as well as experience to experience.
Some factors that can impact how long a methamphetamine high lasts include:
- route of administration
- tolerance of user
- polysubstance use
- user’s medical history
- body’s ability to metabolism methamphetamine
Physical/Mental Side Effects With Meth Use
Although the meth high may be euphoric, methamphetamine use can lead to a variety of short- and long-term problems. With chronic use, even if discontinued, meth can lead to long-term neurological changes with motor coordination and memory impairments, mood alterations, and psychiatric problems.
For those who use needles also comes the associated risks for HIV transmission and Hepatitis C. Hepatitis C is a highly infectious virus transferred when people share needles, and the virus attacks the liver. Symptoms can come on suddenly or not be present until damage has already occurred. It can be treated, but 80% of those infected will have Hepatitis C for life and, over time, can experience liver failure.
Methamphetamine use can also structurally and physically alter the brain leading to long-term cognitive and emotional impairment. This may lead to relapse because judgment is clouded. Anxiety, confusion, and psychotic tendencies will often maintain a presence as well.
Regardless of how experienced a user is, meth can be dangerous. If you suspect that someone you care about is using this drug, look for the signs of meth abuse and get them help.
While it might be pleasurable, the meth high doesn’t last forever. Instead of putting yourself at risk or watching as a loved one puts themselves in harm’s way, take action.
At Vertava Health Texas, formerly The Treehouse Rehab, we offer a variety of treatment plans to help people stop wasting their time on the meth high and start working toward recovery. Our medical detox in Kaufman County includes care and support from medical staff members to monitor meth withdrawal and manage symptoms.
Treating your mental health and substance use disorder is a life-changing journey. Get the treatment you deserve and call us today at (888) 759-5073.