Stimulant detox

There are varying degrees of stimulant drugs – from legal prescription stimulants like Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta, to illicit drugs like meth, ecstasy, and cocaine. Regardless of the substance being abused, all can lead to stimulant addiction and you may experience stimulant withdrawal symptoms if you try to quit. Our team of experienced specialists can help you through the detox and withdrawal phase, ensuring your safety and comfort at stimulant rehab as you tackle this first step.

Stimulant withdrawal

No matter what stimulant you use, they all affect the brain in the same way – by producing a rush of dopamine. With regular use, your brain begins to acclimate to these levels of dopamine, and will in turn stop producing its own to compensate. When we stop taking a stimulant, we may experience a “crash” as our dopamine levels are not fulfilled, and this leads to uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

Stimulant withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Decreased cognitive ability
  • Hyperactivity
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Body aches
  • Dizziness
  • Hallucinations
  • Nightmares
  • Increased heart rate

Depending on the stimulant you abuse, the amount taken, the frequency taken, and your general health, stimulant withdrawal symptoms may vary from mild to moderate, and can even be dangerous in some cases.

There are some risks involved with the stimulant withdrawal period, notably the intense feelings of depression that may develop. This obviously poses a great danger to the individual who may be exposed to suicidal or self-harming thoughts. Having the support of a doctor or therapist during this time is crucial to ensure your safety and wellbeing.

Stimulant detox timeline

Stimulant withdrawal symptoms generally present themselves within a few hours to several days after the last use. Although the acuteness of these symptoms will vary depending on the stimulant being abused and the severity of abuse, a stimulant detox timeline that you can typically expect to see is:

One to three days after last use

During this time, you may begin to experience symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, body aches, anxiety, and depression. Cravings for the stimulant may also arise. In extreme cases, hallucinations, paranoia and panic may occur.

Four to ten days after last use

Cravings may begin to intensify at this stage; however, other symptoms will start to lessen as the days go by. You may still experience fatigue and depression, and may feel mentally and physically exhausted.

Eleven to seventeen days after last use

The majority of stimulant withdrawal symptoms will have reduced, although sleep issues can continue. You may experience insomnia or hypersomnia, and can also be subject to mood swings.

Eighteen days after last use

At this point, you have overcome the worst of the stimulant withdrawal period. In extreme cases, symptoms of depression may linger. You may also experience cravings and this can last several weeks, and even months before subsiding.

Do you have to detox from stimulants?

Stimulants, also referred to as ‘study drugs’ or ‘smart drugs’, are usually taken, not to get ‘high’, but to enhance performance, focus, or concentration. Certain drugs, including ADHD medications, antidepressants, and treatment for narcolepsy like Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta, all fall under this bracket. Although these stimulants are legal and intended for legitimate medical purposes, when misused they are still addictive and can pose serious dangers to your health.

Stimulants, just like any other stimulant, alter the chemical levels in your brain, and therefore it is likely that stimulant withdrawal symptoms will develop if you try to stop taking them after prolonged use. It is recommended that stimulant detox is done under the supervision of medical professionals.

What happens during stimulant detox?

During your stimulant detox, you will take part in an initial assessment with one of our doctors. They will take a look at your general health and determine the severity of your stimulant abuse so that any withdrawal symptoms can be better managed.

Through abstinence, your body will begin to clear out any substances and expel toxins. This is what we refer to as a ‘detox’. As these substances leave your body, stimulant withdrawal symptoms may set in. Our team is dedicated to making this stage more comfortable for you, and will assist you in battling through this first phase of treatment.

Psychological withdrawal symptoms often prove the most difficult to cope with in regards to stimulant detox, and so having assistance from a team of experts can really make all the difference to your recovery. It is not advisable to tackle stimulant detox on your own.

What happens after stimulant detox?

Detox is a crucial step in your recovery, but this is only the first hurdle. The next phase will focus on different therapies for addiction, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which will help you to tackle the root causes of your stimulant abuse. You will learn coping mechanisms and relapse prevention techniques designed to encourage a lasting sobriety.

The well-rounded and comprehensive care you receive at private, inpatient facilities heals every aspect of addiction and is unmatched compared to other treatment programmes in terms of building connections and a supportive recovery network. This guarantees you the very best chance of success.

The benefits of stimulant detox

After completing stimulant detox, not only will you have laid a strong foundation for your ongoing recovery, but you will notice many significant benefits.

These benefits include:

  • Freedom from the harmful cycle of stimulant abuse
  • Improved mental and physical health
  • Improved relationships, both with yourself and your loved ones
  • Increased self-confidence
  • Ability to enjoy hobbies and interests
  • Ability to develop new skills

Stimulant detox will open the door to a life that is not engulfed by seeking drugs – you will feel a sense of achievement, alongside a healthier and happier version of yourself.

Contact us

Searching for the right stimulant detox and treatment programme can seem daunting, but UKAT is available to answer any questions you may have. Stimulant abuse can destroy lives, tear apart relationships, and cause harm to your health and wellbeing, but help is available. Take back control and start your journey to a happier, healthier life today.

Call us now for help

Frequently asked questions

How does prescription stimulant detox work?
Prescription stimulant detox works just like any other prescription drug detox. Your body will naturally begin to rid itself of toxins and heal once you stop consuming the drug. Our UKAT team will be present to guide you through this process, and will offer their support through any uncomfortable stimulant withdrawal symptoms.
What should I expect during stimulant detox?
Stimulant detox may be a little uncomfortable, and this can sometimes prevent individuals from starting their treatment. Although you may experience some unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, the detox period is relatively short, with symptoms beginning to subside after the first week. At our UK Addiction Treatment facilities, we are committed to making your stimulant detox from addiction comfortable, safe, and most importantly, successful.
How can I support my loved one in stimulant detox?
If you have a loved one battling stimulant detox, it can be an overwhelming and worrisome time. It is important to support them, be open to family counselling, and plan healthy distractions to ward off temptations to relapse. Most importantly, it is vital that you remain patient – detox is an important step in recovery, but it does not mark the end. Your loved one will need your ongoing love and care as they continue their journey.