The extreme physical toll of crystal methamphetamine use has made it one of the most dangerous drugs in the United States. If someone is showing physical or psychological signs of meth use, they should find a meth addiction treatment program as soon as possible.
Crystal meth belongs to a large class of drugs called amphetamines. Some of these drugs have legitimate therapeutic value. For instance, some are useful in managing narcolepsy and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, crystal meth is an illicit drug, just like speed, which is meth in the form of a white powder. These forms of meth are produced in underground meth labs with no quality control.
What Are the Physical Signs of Meth Use?
Meth has such a high potential for addiction because people will slip from casual use to addiction without realizing it. However, physical signs of meth use will arise as people start developing a dependency on the drug. The following are some typical observable physical signs of meth use:
- A frail and thinning body
- Appetite loss
- Droopy facial skin
- Increased physical activity
- Intense scratching
- Facial sores or acne
- Faster breathing
- Meth mouth or rotted teeth
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
With prolonged use, people with meth addictions may experience liver damage and have an increased chance of getting a stroke or dying. People using meth may also experience overheating due to dramatic increases in their body temperature, along with increased libido. Combined with lowered immunity, the latter may make people with meth addictions very susceptible to getting infectious diseases.
Meth can also make people push their bodies too hard and too fast. Once a meth dose wears off, the individual crashes. People with meth addiction may feel physically exhausted and sleep for a long time.
What Are the Psychological Signs of Meth Use?
Meth use can lead to a host of different psychological side effects. In the first place, meth use results in an initial feeling of euphoria due to the drug’s ability to increase levels of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical messenger that works with the brain’s reward system. Drugs that can affect the brain’s reward circuitry in this way, such as meth, have a high potential for addiction.
Dopamine is also involved in the brain’s memory and learning functions. Ongoing meth abuse will lead to impaired visual memory and other related problems and an inability to learn new motor skills.
Meth use can also cause psychosis. Meth-induced psychosis can involve auditory and visual hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and irritability. Intense scratching is a physical side effect that is rooted, in some cases, in this type of psychosis. Other psychological signs of meth use include the following:
- Anxiety and irritability
- Disinterested in things that were once enjoyable
- Mood swings
What Are the Behavioral Signs of Meth Use?
Some people with meth addiction will experience meth-induced psychosis and will perceive bugs crawling all over their skin. Constant scratching and picking are ways to relieve this perceived affliction, leading to observable skin rashes and abrasions.
People with meth addictions can experience insomnia and increasingly poor attention to their hygiene for up to two weeks when they’re tweaking. This may occur as part of a meth binge, which some people do to chase their original high. Tweaking can cause psychological side effects, such as paranoia, irritability, and confusion. However, it can also lead to behavioral signs of meth use. Rapid eye movement, taking fast, and walking in a jerky motion are all easily observable behavior to watch out for if you suspect that your loved one is using meth. In such cases, it’s often best to seek a meth detox center.
Seek Treatment at Midwest Detox Center
At Midwest Detox Center, we’re committed to helping our clients put an end to their addiction. We use a range of evidence-based treatment options to help our clients detox from meth, including:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
Call 833.647.0392 or reach out to our team online to find out more about their addiction treatment programs.