I see that somebody searched for this (“hearing meth voices after stopping meth”), so it’s worth writing briefly about it…
It depends what you mean by “after stopping meth”. I can say from personal experience that I stopped using meth many times, but usually only for a few hours or a couple of days. And even when I stopped for good and knew that I was finished with the drug, I referred to myself as clean on the same day that I took my last hit. But it doesn’t work like that. Just because you’ve decided to be clean doesn’t mean that you are clean – it doesn’t make all the side-effects go away.
Although the meth high only lasts a few hours (and meth is only present in your bloodstream for a few hours), the half-life of the substance in your body is much longer, which is why the drug can still be detected in your urine up to six or seven days after you stop using it. It can be detected in other ways, such as you hair and nails, for months after you stop using. It stands to reason that if the drug can still be detected, there are also effects of it that linger after that initial high, after that part that you remember. You already know this: You can see the effects of the drug on your weight, on your skin, in those dark rings around your eyes. Of course there is also damage that you can’t see, which takes a while to be repaired.
So it makes sense that the side-effects of the drug don’t disappear immediately, especially if you consider yourself “clean” while you are still very much under the influence of the drug. (And by the way, every addict who uses daily is under the influence of the drug all the time, even when they don’t think that they are. After you stop using the drug, you’re technically still under the influence for a couple of days.)
There is damage done to your midbrain, and it takes some time for your brain to recover. I don’t know how long it takes altogether, but I do know that for me, my moods were not normal until about three or four months after I stopped using. I also didn’t feel the effects of stopping meth immediately. One day after I stopped using, I still felt “normal” and didn’t sleep. Only after another day did I reach the point where I crashed, because I was dependent on the drug to stay awake. Since I didn’t go to rehab but carried on working, I had a few tough days at work, drinking a lot of coffee and taking plenty of breaks where I splashed water on my face, mostly to no avail. It took about three days altogether for the voices to stop. I don’t remember exactly how long, but at some point I realized that they were gone. So don’t expect the voices to disappear just because you stopped. It takes a few days.
Bear in mind that I’ve combined a few different times I stopped using above because it makes describing the situation easier… If you want accuracy…When I first attempted recovery, at the end I was hearing voices all the time. That time I did go to rehab, and slept most of the time for about two days, after which I joined the others there in their group activities, although for two more days I was mostly out of it. I was quite unable to stay awake. And it also took about three days for the voices to disappear.
I don’t know the exact cause of the voices… I don’t know if it is directly because of the drugs, or if it is a consequence of the combination of prolonged sleep deprivation as well as the drugs. But when I quit the drugs for good in September 2013, I was fortunate in that I wasn’t hearing voices then. I’d been using every day, and sleeping an hour or two every night (thanks to extreme tolerance for the drug). In fact, the day I quit, I went straight to sleep right after using and then destroying all my drug paraphernalia. That is, I could even sleep while high on meth. I felt awful and confused most of the time then, living my life in a drug-fueled haze, but heard no voices. I quit on a Thursday and went to work on the Friday, without any drugs. And I was OK at work. Then I slept most of that weekend, and by Monday I was able to perform reasonably well at work. I’ve never looked back.
(But honestly, I don’t know why quitting was relatively easy the last time. But I generally consider all the times I tried to quit when describing cleaning up as difficult, because all the other times were difficult. All except the last time, and I don’t know why. Maybe the difficulty and being unable to stay awake is purely psychological? Maybe it’s just the addict trying to make excuses to get more drugs? Maybe because I’d made peace with the fact that I would not use again that last time, that made it easier? I don’t know and I don’t need to know any more.) Though on previous occasions when I quit (temporarily) I did hear voices up until about three days after cleaning up. My longest clean time (before this past two years and a bit) was nine months, and when I relapsed, the voices returned in a matter of weeks, which tells me that whatever damage had been done, had not been completely repaired in those nine months clean. (After all, I used for about three years originally before hearing voices.)
So rest assured, the voices do stop. But if you don’t want them to return, you can never use meth again. It’s the only way.