Due to the addictive effects that any illegal drugs provide, those who start experimenting with it end up chasing and becoming dependent on the high. A notorious drug that possesses such effect is methamphetamine—also known as meth or crystal, among many other street names.
Meth can have mental, physical, and emotional consequences to the user. That’s why when a person is already addicted to this substance, their life begins to fall apart sooner or later. Fortunately, knowing the symptoms of meth addiction use can help you identify someone you know or love who’s starting to get addicted on meth, allowing you to control or manage their drug dependency before it spirals out of control.
What is methamphetamine?
Before knowing the symptoms of meth use, it’s first important to know the nature of the drug itself. Methamphetamine is a stimulant drug. The Drug Enforcement Agency considers meth a Schedule II controlled substance. Since it’s a controlled substance, doctors can legally prescribe meth to treat ADHD and obesity, but the prescription can’t be refilled.
Due to its addictive nature, around 2 million people were reported to use meth in 2019. The report further clarifies that around 1.7 million people are aged 26 or older, 275,000 are aged 18–25 years old, and 41,000 are aged 12–17 years old. (1)
4 Alarming Symptoms of Meth Use
As you can see, any age group can get addicted to meth. Fortunately, like any other drug addiction, there’s still always hope. So if you want to know how to get meth out of your system quick or you noticed the signs and symptoms in this article, don’t hesitate to call a professional immediately.
1. Behavioral changes
Experts agree that regularly introducing your body to meth will result in behavioral changes. For instance, it’s common for meth-dependent individuals to experience unusual euphoria or exhibit signs of violence and aggression. Some users even point to the fact that they experience psychosis.
Here are the symptoms of behavioral changes, especially psychosis, due to meth use:
- Both visual and auditory hallucinations
- Paranoia (2).
2. Changes in physical appearance
Among other highly addictive and dangerous drugs, meth use is one of the easiest to identify, especially since one of its common symptoms is a change in the user’s physical appearance.
In other words, meth can dramatically change the user’s look, giving them distinctive characteristics. This is supported by a statistic that shows around 37% of meth users report a significant change in their physical appearance due to the drug. (3)
For your reference, here are physical changes due to meth that you should take note:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Premature aging
- Skin picking
- Tooth decay (3).
3. Presence of paraphernalia
A sure indicator that someone is using meth is the presence of meth paraphernalia. Meth can be introduced to your body through snorting, injecting, and smoking—all of which require an apparatus.
Here are some meth paraphernalia you need to look out for if you suspect one of your loved ones are using:
- Aluminum foil, cans, or spoons
- Glass pipes
- Rolled up bills
- Empty ink pens (4)
A meth user may try to stash away these items or hide them in plain sight. If you find any of these paraphernalia, then it’s advisable to intervene immediately.
4. Meth crash
Lastly, a symptom that someone is abusing meth is when they experience the crash stage. The crash stage is when the body starts to collapse due to constant stimulation from the drug. Meth crash ends after a lengthy amount of sleep and days wherein a user is unable to function properly, affecting their day-to-day life. So if you noticed that someone you love is constantly active for days on end and suddenly crashes and sleeps for long durations, then you may suspect them of meth use. (1)
Additionally, a person who regularly uses meth may experience some withdrawal symptoms, like intense craving for the substance, anxiety, fatigue, depression, and headaches. (1)
Knowing how to recognize the symptoms of meth use won’t only help you identify someone abusing the drug. However, you can also intervene before their addiction gets out of hand, allowing you to save their life. The more you equip yourself with the consequences of methamphetamine use and addiction, the more you’re capable of helping someone in need.
If you notice your loved one or a person you know exhibiting the signs and symptoms in this article, always confront them calmly and express your concerns for them. Encourage them to admit they have an addiction, as it’s the first step to recovery. Lastly, try to present the benefits of going into rehabilitation.
- “The National Survey on Drug Use and Health: 2019”, Source: https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/reports/rpt29392/Assistant-Secretary-nsduh2019_presentation/Assistant-Secretary-nsduh2019_presentation.pdf
- “How to Tell if Your Spouse Is Using Meth”, Source: https://www.webmd.com/connect-to-care/addiction-treatment-recovery/methamphetamine/how-to-tell-if-your-spouse-is-using-meth
- “Study: 73% of Meth Users Are Multiplying Their Risk for Fatal Outcomes”, Source: https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/meth-addiction/users-are-multiplying-their-risk-for-fatal-outcomes/
- “6 Signs of Meth Use in Someone You Love”, Source: https://vertavahealthmassachusetts.com/blog/6-signs-loved-one-using-meth/