Understanding the stimulant withdrawal timeline before detox is an essential factor in treatment. Above all, stimulants drastically change brain chemistry and can lead to an intensely dangerous addiction. Most importantly, stimulant detox involves a distinctive readjustment phase with intense physical and psychological symptoms. Indeed, understanding the physical and psychological effects of withdrawal can establish the importance of entering a medically monitored detox program. 

Drug Classification of Stimulants

It seems like an unimportant fact to bring to the table, but 85% of the US consumes at least 1 stimulating caffeinated beverage daily. In addition, researchers have discovered that up to 20% of college students rely on stimulants. However, adults look to Adderall and Ritalin for stimulant use. Consequently, stimulant reliance does not always result in addiction, but misusing them presents a high risk for addiction, and a large percentage of people think they need its effects. 

Why are people drawn to stimulants? The National Institute on Drug Abuse maintains 1.3 million people in the US struggle with cocaine use disorders. Henceforth, the attractive effects of stimulants point to affecting the brain’s messages to the body, which control confidence, energy, and alertness. Meanwhile, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recognizes the high risk for misuse and labels cocaine a Schedule II drug. As a result, the following drugs are assigned classifications by the DEA. 

The stimulant withdrawal timeline depends upon the type of stimulant, the amount of doses taken, and the length of use. Other factors combine with these to determine how severe the withdrawal symptoms will be. In addition, how drugs are classified in the United States is listed in schedules from one to five. Finally, the following examples include stimulants under Schedule II. 

Schedule I drugs have no current medical usage and present a high risk for addiction. These drugs are the most potentially dangerous and cause severe physical and psychological dependence. The following drugs are included:

  • Heroin
  • LSD
  • Marijuana
  • Ecstasy
  • Methaqualone
  • Peyote

Schedule II drugs include drugs with a high potential for addiction and are very dangerous:

  • Vicodin
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Methadone
  • Dilaudid
  • Demerol
  • OxyContin
  • Fentanyl
  • Dexedrine
  • Adderall
  • Ritalin

Schedule III, IV, and V Drugs And Addiction 

Cocaine addiction factors into the stimulant withdrawal timeline because cocaine is commonly mixed with other substances, such as amphetamines, or synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl. Therefore, similar to polydrug withdrawal, the cocaine user must detox from more than 1 substance. However, cocaine is used in powdered form intranasally and can also be freebased or smoked as crack. Consequently, these factors all determine the severity of symptoms in detox. 

Methamphetamines are highly addictive and affect the central nervous system. In addition, crystal meth identifies glass-like fragments or shiny bluish-white rocks. However, there is also a matching component to cocaine, as ingesting methamphetamines is done through smoking, swallowing in pill form, snorting, and injecting into the vein. Affecting the stimulant withdrawal timeline, the binge and crash pattern users commonly use causes inconsistencies in the severity of withdrawal in detox.  

Amphetamines work to speed up the body’s motor system. As a result, they are commonly referred to as Bennies, Black Beauties, Crank, Ice, Speed, and Uppers. In addition, they are either taken orally or injected. Once again, these factors affect the stimulant withdrawal timeline and the severity of withdrawal symptoms.

Symptoms of Stimulant Withdrawal

The stimulant withdrawal timeline corresponds with various withdrawal symptoms at different intensity levels. In addition, stimulant withdrawal symptoms can be highly uncomfortable and cause many in detox to relapse. However, the history of addiction determines how complex and lengthy detox can be.

Finally, listing the withdrawal symptoms commonly associated with stimulant withdrawal can include any of the following: 

  • Increased anxiety, depression, and dysphoric mood
  • Extreme cravings for stimulant use
  • Increased appetite, weight loss
  • Slowed heart rate and bodily movements
  • Fatigue, distressing dreams, and sleep problems like insomnia and hypersomnia
  • Irritability, agitation, and jittery reactions
  • Dehydration, chills, and body aches
  • Dulled senses and slowed speech
  •  Impaired memory, paranoia, and loss of interest

In some cases, people have more severe symptoms, such as the following:

  • Psychosis (hallucinations or delusions)
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Impaired memory
  • Severe dehydration

Stimulant Withdrawal Timeline

The following factors guide the stimulant withdrawal timeline. First, physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms vary in severity. In addition, professional assessment, evaluation, and intake processes collect data before the detox begins. Finally, in some cases, medication-assisted treatment can help with the intensity of the symptoms. 

  • The length of the addiction to stimulants
  • Frequency and how the drug was ingested
  • Other drugs used in combination
  • Mental and physical health of the patient

The Stages of the Stimulant Timeline

The early stage of stimulant detox (days 1 to 3) or the first 24 to 72 hours includes the following withdrawal symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Agitation and unhappiness
  • Fatigue and trouble sleeping
  • Body aches
  • Drug cravings

Heavy users can experience hallucinations, paranoia, and panic.

The middle stage of stimulant detox (days 4 to 10) usually lasts seven days but can go 10 days. Towards the end of the week, symptoms will subside, and cravings will intensify. Additionally, someone can experience: 

  • Sleepiness and severe fatigue
  • Depression and irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Intensified drug cravings

Late stage (days 11 to 17 days) severe symptoms decrease, but depression and insomnia continue, and some may also experience mood swings and :

  • Poor sleep
  • Poor concentration
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood Swings

Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS)

Eighteen days out of detox and longer, Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms can linger for weeks and even months after detox from stimulants. Of these stimulant withdrawal symptoms, the most common withdrawal symptoms for PAWS are any of the following:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Concentration issues
  • Problems with social relationships
  • Poor sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability and agitation

Get Help with Stimulant Detox  in Tennessee

Stimulant addiction can present some challenges in detoxing from the substances. If you need more information for stimulant detox in Tennessee, Detox West offers options for medically monitored detox and a variety of treatment options. In addition, our admissions personnel can help with more information if needed. Tour our treatment center online and notice we have more than one location for your convenience.