Signs of Methamphetamine Use

In recent years the stimulant methamphetamine, also known simply as "meth," has unfortunately grown in popularity, but its toxicity makes it incredibly dangerous. Methamphetamine can easily be made from household products and over the counter medication.

Methamphetamine both comes in a crystallized form and in a powdered form, and like other stimulants, promotes a sense of euphoria in the user. This is typically accompanied by heightened energy, happiness, and confidence and the effects of the drug can be felt for as much as twelve hours.

Signs of Methamphetamine Use

The signs will be different amongst users, and will vary in severity due to biological factors and the length of addictive use. However, most methamphetamine users will experience symptoms like a false sense of happiness or a feeling of depression or anxiety.

1. Mood Symptoms

  • Euphoria
  • Wellbeing
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

2. Behavioral Symptoms

  • Isolation
  • Impulsiveness
  • Dangerous behaviors
  • Unexplained financial problems
  • Relationship problems
  • Violent behaviors and legal problems
  • Aggression
  • Incarceration
  • Obsession with getting, using, and recovering from drugs
  • Hiding drug use
  • Binge/crash patterns
  • Loss of appetite
  • Overly focused attention
  • Risky sexual behaviors

3. Physical Symptoms

  • Addiction
  • Increased tolerance
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Open sores
  • Meth mouth
  • Hair loss
  • Liver Damage
  • Loss of elasticity in skin
  • Decreased blood flow in tissues
  • Vasoconstriction
  • Tachycardia
  • Rises in body core temperature

4. Psychological Symptoms

  • Nervousness
  • Repetitive behavior
  • Disorganized thought
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Feeling like bugs are crawling on the skin

How to Know If Someone Is Using Meth

Besides the signs of methamphetamine use listed above, there're many visible signs that would indicate someone around you is using meth as meth would really cause great changes to the way how an individual looks and behaves.

  • Weight loss is the easiest to notice. Though the amount of weight loss varies, the average weight loss ranges from 8-10 pounds each month for several months in a row.
  • Floppy appearance is usually observed in people using meth. They would care little about personal hygiene such as brushing teeth or taking showers. And their skin may look just like severe bad acne breakout. Besides, their hands and fingers may also be in very bad shape.
  • Changes of behaviors such as becoming secretive and closed off suddenly. Meth users may tell lies, have aggressive behaviors and present many mental disorders.
  • Loss of interest in anything else but drug. Even things that were dearest to their heart cannot compare to the importance of drug.
  • Items associated with meth using such as smoking devices converted from light bulbs.

How Do I Know If I'm Meth Addicted?

Use of any chemical substance can lead to addictions and possibly fatal overdoses. Besides the signs of methamphetamine use mentioned above, the questions below may help you to find out if you're addicted to it or not.

  • Do you use every day?
  • Do you feel as if you need to use more of the drug to feel its effects?
  • Do you think about stopping but can't break the habit or have a fear of withdrawal?
  • Are you nervous, paranoid, and irritable?
  • Do you have violent outbursts?
  • Do you have hallucinations?
  • Do others say you have a problem or try to talk to you?
  • Do you get angry when someone talks about your use?
  • Have you experienced any of these signs like paleness, sores, unhealthy skin, extreme weight loss, psychosis or severe dental problems?
  • Do you binge on the drug for days and then stop and crash after?
  • Have you had problems with work, school, family, relationships or the law?
  • Do you think you can't quit?

It's quite easy to get addicted to meth; some uses may even become addicted the first time they use. If you answered yes to these questions, then it may indicate that you are addicted to meth.

How to Overcome Meth Addiction

Admitting you are ready to tackle the problem is the first step in successfully overcoming methamphetamine addiction. The road to getting and staying clean is full of physical and mental challenges, but with the right supports you will be on your way to a better life.

  • Accept yourself: On the path to recovery, it is important that you accept who you are and the fact that you are addicted. This is the basis for understanding what led you to your addiction and how you can change things going forward.
  • Surround yourself with positivity: One of the signs of methamphetamine use is straining positive relationships and finding negative influences that enable your habit. Do whatever you need to in order to surround yourself with positive people and environments for optimal support.
  • Lean on friends and family: You're going to have to work on repairing relationships, but friends and family members who are willing to support your recovery efforts will be the best supports during this time.
  • Get help: There are numerous resources out there to help you overcome your methamphetamine use. Whether you need a detox program with residential treatment or outpatient group therapy options, there are choices available to suit your needs.
  • Seek therapy: Talk therapy has proven immeasurably successful in helping people overcome drug addiction, and support groups with people in different stages of recovery are great way to find motivation when you need it.

What About Withdrawal Signs of Methamphetamine Use

While recovery will help with long-term health, there are a number of withdrawal signs that you should be aware of. Unfortunately, some addicts fear the withdrawal symptoms so much that they continue to use drugs in order to avoid them. In most cases, medical professionals should supervise withdrawal from drug use, and there are a number of facilities that offer detox services. The most common effects include:

  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Vomiting
  • Shaking and tremors
  • Strong cravings for meth
  • Heart problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Respiratory failure
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness
  • Death
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