Meth addiction is a ferocious thing. As so authentically described in David Sheff’s book, and now movie, Beautiful Boy, being addicted to methamphetamine has the capability of exacting significant destruction to a person’s life. Of course, when someone first experiments with meth they have no intention of becoming an addict. But the reality is that methamphetamine has an extremely high addiction rate, taking the recreational user right into the vortex of addiction.
According to the By having an awareness of the 10 signs of meth use, those close to the user may be able to spot the signs and get their loved one help. Meth addiction is very difficult to overcome, but it is entirely possible. Get familiar with these 10 signs of meth use so you can step in and guide a loved one to treatment.
Methamphetamine is a white powdered stimulant that is chemically similar to amphetamine, sometimes called meth, crank, chalk, or speed. The effects of meth cause a powerful rush, where the individual feels highly confident, hyperactive, and energetic, often skipping sleep as the high lasts up to 24 hours. It can also cause irritability and aggressive behavior. Crystal meth is a more potent version of meth, which has a crystalized appearance and is commonly referred to as ice, crystal, and glass.
Meth can be consumed by smoking, snorting, or injecting the drug and is extremely addictive. Long-term health effects include serious dental problems, skin sores, paranoia, violent behaviors, cognitive problems, and the risk of contracting HIV or hepatitis. There is currently no medication-assisted treatment for methamphetamine, leaving behavioral therapies as the most efficacious method of treating someone addicted to methamphetamine.
What Are the 10 Signs of Meth Use?
When considering the most common 10 signs of meth use it is important to recognize that these include physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms. Spotting the signs of meth use in a loved one is the first step in getting them the help they need.
The 10 signs of meth use include:
- Skin sores. The obsessive itching is due to the meth user’s belief that there are bugs crawling on their skin.
- Severe tooth decay. Known as meth mouth, this is caused by excessive dry mouth, as well as by the user ignoring dental hygiene. Jaw clenching is common as well.
- High-risk behaviors. Impulsive and erratic behaviors include promiscuous unsafe sexual practices, driving under the influence, and illegal activities.
- Insomnia. Meth addicts can sometimes go days without sleep. They will begin to appear gaunt and be irritable due to lack of sleep.
- Paranoia. Long-term meth use can lead to psychosis, including paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions.
- Legal problems. Possible DUIs, child neglect, or being arrested for theft or violence.
- Loss of appetite. Because of its stimulant properties, those who are using meth tend to loss their appetites and lose weight and become frail as a result.
- Hyperactivity. Rapid speech, compulsive behaviors, nervousness, euphoria, increased sexual libido, rapid eye movements, and jerky motions.
- Droopy skin. The skin takes on a loose, droopy tone with facial blemishes and a distinct odor to the skin.
- Paraphernalia. Finding small plastic bags or just the corners of bags, aluminum foil strips, lighters, short straws, hollowed out pens, glass tubes, gutted light bulbs, syringes, arm bands, spoons.
Getting the Meth Addict Help
Someone with a methamphetamine addiction will be better served at a residential addiction treatment facility due to the often aggressive, hostile behaviors that accompany this particular addiction. A medical detox will be the best setting for detoxification and withdrawing from the substance, where medical treatments can assist individuals as they cycle through the difficult withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms include deep fatigue, excessive sleep, depression, mood swings, concentration issues, powerful cravings for meth, and sometimes psychosis.
Treating the addictive behaviors is intrinsic to meth recovery, as individuals will have to replace the addict behaviors with constructive, healthy ones, and this takes time. Therapy will be offered in both individual and group formats, family therapy, life skills classes, relapse prevention planning, holistic activities, and treatment for a co-occurring mental health disorder round out the treatment plan.
Solutions 4 Recovery is a Leading Addiction Treatment Provider in Orange County
Solutions 4 Recovery provides treatment for some of the most difficult drug addictions, and dual diagnoses, including methamphetamine addiction. At Solutions 4 Recovery, a gifted team of addiction experts devise an individualized treatment protocol to help the meth addict overcome the addiction and get his or her life back. Using proven evidence-based therapies and various adjunctive therapies and activities, the clinical team at Solution 4 Recovery will help you or a loved one make the fundamental changes needed to live a clean and sober life. For any questions about the 10 signs of meth use or our program, please reach out to Solutions 4 Recovery today at (888) 417-1874.