Methamphetamine has become one of the most dangerous drugs in America. Highly addictive, extremely potent, and easily accessible, meth is finding its way into more and more homes across the U.S. In 2020 alone, an estimated 2.5 million Americans actively used meth. Tragically, that same year, 30,000 Americans lost their lives as a direct result of meth use. Identifying meth use signs in users can help get them the attention and assistance they need to take back their freedom from meth addiction. Learning meth use signs and symptoms can also make the difference between saving a life and tragedy.
Meth is a particularly dangerous drug for several key reasons. Meth can be made in many ways and in many forms. Common household items are often used to make meth, so manufacturing the drug is cheap. This has played a large role in meth’s rise in popularity. For instance, more expensive drugs like cocaine and heroin have been replaced by much cheaper and easier to produce methamphetamine. In addition, just one use of meth is enough to develop a full-blown addiction.
Meth affects the user’s central nervous system. Unlike many drugs, meth does not need to be used multiple times to develop an addiction. Often, new users will develop an addiction to meth after only one single use. Those who have previously struggled with Adderall or Vyvanse addictions are also very susceptible to meth use, as the effects are similar. Users will sometimes seek out more accessible drugs with similar effects, and many turn to meth use.
Extensive meth use is difficult to hide. Both physical and psychological meth use signs are often quite visible, and relatively easy for non-users to identify. Compared to many drugs that allow the user to function semi-normally or appear “put together,” meth use is far more difficult to hide. This is especially true in the latter stages of addiction. Learning these physical and psychological signs can help you identify meth users and allow you to help them get the support they need.
Physical signs of meth use are commonly visible and easy to identify. “Meth mouth” describes the tooth decay and damage that many extensive users have. Jagged or missing teeth, black spots on both gums and teeth, and yellowing of the tongue are all signs of meth use. Paying attention to one’s skin can also help to identify whether or not someone is actively using meth. In addition, sores, scabs, and open wounds on the arms, legs, or face are all meth use signs. Twitching, inability to sit still, restlessness, and sleeplessness are also common, easy-to-spot signs of an active meth user.
Psychological signs of meth use are a bit harder to spot than the physical. Knowing what behaviors to look for when identifying psychological signs of meth use can be key to identifying someone struggling with meth addiction. Paranoia, mood swings, and emotional outbursts are all psychological meth use signs. Meth use can also lead to psychosis, meaning the user may have hallucinations, delusions, and extreme paranoia. A user in this state of mind can endanger themselves and anyone around them.
Meth withdrawal often occurs over a two-week period following a user’s last dose. Short-term meth withdrawals include the following:
These withdrawal symptoms typically occur during the first two weeks of withdrawal. More long-term meth withdrawal symptoms that may persist for weeks, months, or even years include:
It is always important to seek a meth detox program in order to put recovering users in the best and safest position possible to go through meth withdrawal.
If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction to meth, there are options available. Finding the appropriate support system can be vital in making the difference between a successful recovery and tragedy. By getting yourself or your loved one the help needed to reclaim their freedom from meth addiction, you open the door to a happier, healthier, drug-free life.
Here at Retreat Of Atlanta, we are here to help you or your loved one find freedom from addiction. Located in Eatonton, Georgia, we provide a tranquil environment dedicated to the healing process. Our knowledgeable and compassionate staff of addiction professionals will give you the tools to free yourself from addiction. Offering inpatient drug and alcohol detox rehabilitation programs, Retreat Of Atlanta is at the forefront of combating addiction and giving our clients hope. There has never been a better time to regain your freedom from addiction. Visit our admissions page today and take the first steps in your recovery journey.