Methamphetamine, or meth for short, is a type of drug used often by teens and adults. It causes dangerous medical conditions and side effects, especially with continued use or addiction. The drug is either smoked, snorted, swallowed or injected, with crystal meth being the most common form of meth. Look out for these common signs and symptoms of meth use and help your friend or loved one get the help they need.
1. Short-Term Signs
The first of signs someone is addicted to meth are short-term signs. These include changes in body, behavior and emotional stability. Short-term signs of meth addiction are things like increased physical activity, irregular heartbeat, higher blood pressure and heart rate, hyperthermia, increased respiration, lower appetite and increased wakefulness at certain times of the day.
The long-term sings are along the same lines of the short-term signs of addiction to meth, though they are usually more extreme. People addicted to meth will start showing signs of “meth mouth” which includes broken, rotting teeth and excessive cavities. They will also start appealing very thin, pale and gaunt, and overly unhealthy. The cardiovascular system of someone addicted to meth also starts to fail.
3.Emotional & Psychological Signs
Like other illicit drugs, meth causes the user to have a wide range of emotional and psychological changes. Among them are showing violent and aggressive behavior, suicidal thoughts, being homicidal at times, delusions, paranoia, hallucinations, mood swings, and various psychotic behavior.
Meth users also start showing different behavioral signs that can signal meth addiction or abuse. This includes moments of euphoria, mixed with paranoia, aggression or irritability, an increased libido (which increases the risk of sexually transmitted diseases), having very high self esteem and self confidence, increased sociability, more energy and being on high alert at times. They will also show signs common of all drug users, such as losing interest in activities, being socially awkward or isolating themselves from others, being caught stealing money or selling belongings for meth, and dangerous activities.
Finally there are the physical signs of meth use, like sunken, shallow eyes, pale skin, scabs and scars on the skin from picking, poor dental hygiene and rotting teeth, visibly shaking, sweating, hyperventilation and lower personal hygiene or desire to improve their physical appearance.
Withdrawal symptoms are another common sign of addiction, which may include flu-like symptoms, migraines, nausea and vomiting, increased appetite, depression, anxiety and hallucinations. These are common among someone who has been addicted to meth and is now in withdrawal due to no longer using it. If you know someone showing these types of signs, they are most likely using meth, possibly on its own or with other illicit drugs. Find a good time to speak with them about their problem, show you are concerned and offer your help.