Find out how we can help you on your road to recovery.

The Signs & Symptoms of Meth Use

Methamphetamine addiction is a serious substance use disorder that wreaks havoc on your health, relationships, and life. It’s a dangerous drug that leaves thousands of overdose deaths in its wake each year. That doesn’t include deaths linked to long-term meth abuse like heart attacks, AIDS, and suicide. If you’re worried that a loved one is showing meth addiction signs, don’t wait to get help.

Signs of Meth Abuse in Your Loved One

There are several behavioral and physical signs of meth use to observe if you’re worried that your loved one is using meth. Some of these signs are physical, like a decline in appearance. There are also several psychological and behavioral symptoms of meth addiction. You may find paraphernalia used to take meth as well.

Physical Meth Addiction Symptoms

Methamphetamine abuse takes its toll on your body. If you think your loved one is using meth, look for these physical symptoms of meth abuse:
  • Shaking and trembling
  • Seeming “antsy”
  • No longer sleeping as much as they used to
  • Quick weight loss
  • Hair loss
  • Sores on their face and body
  • Decaying teeth (also known as “meth mouth”)
  • Skin isn’t as elastic as it once was
  • Lack of hygiene
  • Dilated pupils

Meth Paraphernalia

Another sign of meth addiction and abuse is finding tools commonly used to take or cook meth. Some of these include:
  • Straws that are cut 
  • Plastic bags
  • Razor blades
  • Needles
  • Tourniquets
  • Metal wool
  • Paperclips
  • Dirty rags
  • Bunsen burners or lighters
  • Pots, glass pipes, and burnt spoons, bottle tops, or foil (to cook crystal meth)

Behavioral Meth Addiction Symptoms

Meth abuse changes your brain. It interferes with chemicals responsible for mood, motivation, movement, attention, and memory. This puts you at risk for symptoms of some mental illnesses and other behavioral health deficits.  Meth hijacks your brain, making it think it needs meth to survive. Your brain begins relying on meth to produce even normal levels of natural chemicals. This can spark drug-seeking behaviors to get more meth whatever means necessary. Behavioral meth addiction signs/symptoms sometimes include:
  • Erratic sleep patterns
  • Mood swings
  • Paranoia and confusion
  • Withdrawal from interpersonal relationships
  • Neglecting or quitting work or school
  • Exhibiting symptoms of depression or anxiety disorders
  • Irritability
  • Agitation or angry outbursts
  • Hyperactivity

What Are the Short-Term Effects of Meth Abuse?

Meth users take the drug to feel pleasure, but after you abuse meth for a while, it becomes harder to achieve the same high. You need to start taking increasing amounts of meth to feel high and eventually, to just keep withdrawal symptoms at bay. 

Short-term effects of meth addiction may include:

  • Inability to sleep
  • Euphoria
  • A “rush” followed by a “crash”
  • Irregular or fast heartbeat
  • Increase in activity
  • Poor appetite
  • High body temperature
  • Rapid breathing
  • Increase in alertness and attention

Short-term effects of meth can also include meth withdrawal. This happens when you’ve developed a chemical dependency on drugs or alcohol and go without the substance. You’re not just using it recreationally at this point, you’re addicted to meth. 

Meth withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Psychosis
  • Cravings for sugar and carbs
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Nightmares

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Meth Abuse?

Methamphetamine addiction can have serious consequences. Because of the way meth impacts the central nervous system and circulatory system, people who are addicted to methamphetamines are at risk for:
  • Changes in brain chemicals and structure
  • Heart problems
  • Dental decay (meth mouth)
  • Repetitive movements 
  • Problems with motor skills and memory
  • Blood vessel damage
  • HIV from injecting the drug with used needles
  • Infections from burning the skin or injecting meth
  • Psychosis (paranoia and delusions)
  • Mental health conditions like depression and anxiety
  • Symptoms similar to bipolar disorder
  • Aggressive or violent behaviors
  • Suicidal ideations
  • Parkinson’s Disease and early onset stroke

Don’t Wait to Get Help

It’s scary to watch a loved one ruin their life over meth. Please know that there’s still hope for your loved one. With the right treatment program, determination, and support, recovery from substance abuse is possible. We can help. Vogue’s addiction treatment centers are accredited and known for evidence-based, engaging care that works. 

Features of meth addiction treatment include:

We take most insurance plans, and our admissions process is simple and stress-free. Call us today for a free, confidential consultation.

References

  1. https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/methamphetamine-involved-overdose-deaths-nearly-tripled-between-2015-2019-nih-study-finds
  2. https://www.samhsa.gov/meth
  3. https://www.nature.com/articles/npp2017291
  4. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/methamphetamine/what-are-long-term-effects-methamphetamine-misuse
  5. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/methamphetamine/what-are-immediate-short-term-effects-methamphetamine-misuse
  6. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/2698599

Trusted & Accredited Addiction Treatment Centers

We’re Here 24/7