19th May, 2024

Meth Addiction

Overview, Signs, Symptoms & Treatment

methamphetamine dangers

Methamphetamine addiction has many psychological, physical, emotional and financial consequences.

The abuse of methamphetamine, a potent stimulant drug, leads to extremely dangerous and harmful results for everyone involved, and many individuals are attempting to take steps in order to suppress meth abuse and creation wherever possible. The NIDA states, “While national trends are showing declines, methamphetamine abuse continues to exhibit regional variability.”

Individuals who abuse meth become addicted very quickly and their physical as well as their mental health deteriorates rapidly. Meth addiction has very clear signs and symptoms, and formal treatment is required in order to recover from addiction to meth. Even if you do attend treatment, however, there is a possibility that some of the effects of meth addiction will not be able to be eradicated.

Methamphetamine Addiction Overview

According to the NLM, methamphetamine “is a powder that can be made into a pill or a shiny rock (called a crystal).” Meth is illegal to make, buy, and sell and should not be confused with the licit version of methamphetamine which is sometimes prescribed by doctors to individuals with severe ADHD. This medication is rarely prescribed, however, because of the addictive nature of the prescription drug as well.

Crystal meth is smoked which makes the effects reach the brain very quickly, making it highly addictive. An individual might smoke meth for several hours or even days straight, trying to maintain the same high that they are experiencing. This sort of behavior quickly leads to addiction. Meth can also be eaten or snorted in its powder form.

There are many ways to determine if someone you know may be addicted to meth. Meth addiction is not subtle and will likely lead to many issues which will be signs that your friend or loved one needs treatment.

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Methamphetamine Addiction Signs

There are many signs that point to addiction to methamphetamine. A person’s health, physicality, behavior, and mental state will all change the longer they abuse meth. Chronic abuse can lead to addiction, and meth-addicted individuals will not be able to think of anything else.

The common signs of meth addiction are:

  • Severe itching
    • A meth addict will often itch themselves constantly which will quickly lead to sores and skin infections.
  • Meth mouth
    • Meth mouth is a dental condition where the individual’s constant teeth clenching, diet of sugary substances, and lack of hygiene leads to cracked, broken teeth, dry mouth, and other oral issues.
  • Anxious behavior
  • Paranoia
  • Insomnia
  • Hostility
  • Psychotic behavior
  • “A pale, unhealthy complexion” (CESAR)
  • An increase in risky behavior
  • Edginess
  • Extreme weight loss
    • An individual who abuses meth in the long-term will often feel a decreased need for food. This can lead to a very severe weight loss that can leave the person malnourished as well as causing many other issues.
  • Tweaking
    • “The most dangerous stage in methamphetamine abuse,” tweaking refers to a state where the individual has not slept in 3-15 days and has become very paranoid and irritable. The signs of this can be difficult to determine as the person may seem normal, but upon closer inspection, you will notice:
      • Rapid eye movement
      • A quiver to the voice
      • Quick, jerky arm and body movements

When a person abuses methamphetamine chronically and in high doses, it is almost a certainty that they will become addicted to meth. While there are these clear physical and behavioral signs of chronic meth abuse, there are also health issues that go along with meth addiction. If your loved one’s doctor diagnoses them with any of these conditions, especially more than one, there is a strong possibility that they may already be addicted meth.

  • Stroke
  • Heart infection
  • Kidney damage
  • Liver damage
  • Lung disease
  • Weakened immune system
  • Brain damage that is similar to Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease

The person will display paranoid, psychotic, and hostile behavior as well, and especially if this is not normal for the individual, it is likely that they have become addicted to meth. Meth causes stimulant-induced psychosis, and other issues occur as a result. Addiction to meth will often destroy a person’s physical and mental state, so as soon as you begin to notice these issues in a friend or loved one, seek treatment for them right away.

It is easy to notice meth addiction in others, but if you are a meth user, there are ways of realizing whether or not your meth use has become a full-blown addiction.

Meth Addiction Symptoms

Ask yourself the questions below and discover whether or not your meth use has caused you to become addicted to the drug.

  • Do you use meth every day?
  • Have you been smoking or otherwise using meth for more than a few weeks or months?
  • Do you feel that you crave the effects of meth?
  • Do you abuse the drug in binge-crash patterns for more than several hours or even several days?
  • Have you ever experienced severe depression and/or other issues as a result of not being able to do meth?
  • Have you ever noticed yourself experiencing strange delusions or hallucinations, “such as the sensation of insects creeping on or under the skin” (DEA)?
  • Are you consistently more paranoid, aggressive, hostile, and anxious than you were before you began using meth?
  • Do you ever have intense homicidal or suicidal thoughts that you did not have before you began abusing meth?
  • Do you not feel like yourself unless you are on meth?
  • Does your meth use seem to determine everything else you do (including where you go, who you spend time with, what is important to you, etc.)?
  • Have you noticed that you exhibit uncontrollable and compulsive physical tics and movements that you did not exhibit before you began abusing meth?
  • Has your meth use caused extreme problems in your life from job and school-related issues to relationship problems and even legal troubles?
  • Despite these issues, do you feel that if you wanted to stop taking meth now you would not be able to do so?

Meth addiction is extremely difficult to recover from. The drug can feel impossible to stop abusing, and most meth addicts need to attend formal treatment before they are able to stop. If you realize that you need help, look for a treatment center that fits your needs and attend formal meth addiction treatment now.

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline will be answered or returned by one of the treatment providers listed, each of which is a paid advertiser: Rehab Media Group, Recovery Helpline, Alli Addiction Services.

By calling the helpline you agree to the terms of use. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses. There is no obligation to enter treatment.

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