Stimulant Withdrawal & Timeline

When used in large amounts or for a long period of time stimulants, like methamphetamine or cocaine, change the brain’s chemistry and can lead to severe addiction. After stopping stimulant use the brain goes through an extended readjustment period categorized by physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms, the severity of which depends on the dosage and duration of use.

Psychological symptoms associated with stimulant withdrawal can be particularly severe, sometimes triggering relapse, violent behavior or suicidal thoughts.

Symptoms and Duration of Stimulant Withdrawal

The types of symptoms experienced during stimulant withdrawal vary from person to person and heavily depend on history of use. Symptoms typically begin within hours of last use but may take up to a day. The main bulk of withdrawal symptoms peak about a week after discontinuation of use. Post-acute withdrawal symptoms such as mood swings, poor sleep, depression and fatigue can last for weeks or months.

Early stage (Days 1-3) Middle stage (Days 4-10) Late stage (Days 11+)
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Fatigue
  • Body Aches
  • Feelings of Unhappiness
  • Sleepiness
  • Severe Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Poor sleep
  • Poor concentration
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood Swings

Help with Stimulant Withdrawal

A stay at an inpatient addiction treatment center offers the best chance of success in overcoming stimulant addiction. Inpatient drug treatment programs, such as those provided by Recovery Centers of America, provide comfort medications and strong psychological support to alleviate the symptoms of stimulant withdrawal. Once acute withdrawals are complete the work of healing and rebuilding begins. At this stage, therapy, education and counseling provided in a safe, focused treatment environment are critical to long term recovery from stimulant addiction. For some, outpatient addiction treatment can also be a suitable option to overcome addiction to stimulants.

For help finding the right stimulant addiction treatment program for you or your loved one call Recovery Centers of America. Our treatment advisors are standing by to assist you.

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