What can I expect when I withdraw from using methamphetamine (ice, speed, base, meth)?


After taking methamphetamines for a while, your mind and body get used to having the substance in your system. In fact, you might feel like you can only function 'normally' when you've taken the drug, although others may notice your behaviour is hyperactive, erratic, moody, euphoric or on edge, and that you are drug affected.

When you stop using methamphetamines, your body then has to adapt to not having the drug in your system. This process is what causes withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal is the period of re-adjustment, when your body learns to work normally again without the drug. Withdrawal symptoms from ice or any other form of methamphetamine (such as "speed", "base" or "meth") are more psychological than from heroin or alcohol withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms can include mood swings, irritability, sleep problems, changes in appetite, and strong cravings.

Your experience when you withdraw from methamphetamine can vary a lot depending on which type of methamphetamine you have been using, your pattern of use (e.g. daily use or bingeing), whether you use other substances as well, how much you take, and how long you have been using for.

Generally, if you have been using methamphetamines frequently, you are likely to experience some withdrawal symptoms when you stop using. This can feel pretty bad for the first week or two, but withdrawal symptoms should typically reduce within a few weeks.

Can I withdraw from methamphetamines at home?

It may be safe for you to withdraw from methamphetamines at home.  If you are attempting to withdraw at home, you are more likely to withdraw successfully if you are well prepared and supported.

Seeking information and support before you start can help you know what to expect and how to manage withdrawal symptoms. Accessing support during withdrawal is a good way to stay on track – a health professional such as an ADIS counsellor or your GP can provide you with tips and guidance on the best way to do this. If needed, you could also contact your local drug and alcohol outpatient or detox service.

ADIS can provide you with support during your withdrawal. If you're not sure whether your experience is normal, you may want to speak to an ADIS counsellor about your concerns.

To find out more about ways to stop using alcohol and drugs, go to the Support and Treatment page.

To find out how to access support, go to the Getting Help page.

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