The Top Signs of A Meth Addiction
Addiction to methamphetamine, or meth as it is commonly known, is one of the most destructive and insidious cycles of drug abuse in the modern world. Meth is a powerful stimulant that releases extremely large amounts of dopamine, the drug responsible for creating a sense of pleasure.
Because of the fast rate at which meth acts in the body, and the length of time that it lasts, recreational use of meth can quickly transform into a powerful addiction that is exceedingly difficult to break. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most common signs of meth addiction. This addiction information is useful for loved ones, coworkers, and those closest to someone they suspect may be suffering from an addiction to meth.
By recognizing the signs of a meth addiction early, family members and loved ones can encourage the addict in their life to get the help they need before some of the more damaging meth long-term effects can be seen on the health of their loved one. Because meth addiction is so powerful and physically destructive, it is critical to get a loved one you suspect may be abusing meth to obtain help by qualified medical professionals as soon as possible.
1. Excitability and high amounts of energy.
Meth is an incredibly powerful stimulant that imbues the user with seemingly boundless amounts of energy. Meth users will frequently exhibit clear signs that they are under the influence of a stimulant. These signs include restlessness, a lack of fatigue, fidgeting or twitching, and walking or speaking quickly. The excessive amount of energy that meth produces may manifest in a variety of ways, each unique to the individual users. Some people who abuse meth find themselves embracing compulsive behavior, such as cleaning for hours at a time. Others may take on enormous projects, but lack the continued concentration to see those projects through. Meth may also produce a heightened state of excitability. Users may be prone to having intense conversations, but these conversations may be difficult to follow and may lack a coherent structure.
2. Loss of weight and appetite suppression.
One of the clearest signs of an addiction to meth is a rapid and dramatic loss of weight. Amphetamines have a relatively long history of clinical use as a weight loss drug. In the past, amphetamines were overprescribed for many patients as a drug that could suppress appetite and allow patients to achieve their desired weight.
However, as the side effects of amphetamine use over time become apparent, the use of amphetamines for this purpose dramatically decreased. Today, amphetamines are only used in the most extreme cases of obesity. What this illustrates is the powerful meth use side effects of appetite suppression and subsequent loss of weight in those abusing meth.
Meth is a particularly powerful amphetamine, so those addicted to meth often will appear frail and gaunt. If a user is overweight when they begin to use meth, they will exhibit signs of extremely rapid weight loss in a very short period of time. Meth users will also have little desire to eat, providing a further indication that a loved one may be abusing meth.
3. Decreased performance and withdrawal.
Addiction to meth is a powerful force that quickly becomes all-consuming in the lives of those affected. One of the meth addiction behavior signs is a withdrawal from normal, everyday life. Those closest to someone addicted to meth will notice repeated failures and a lack of engagement with the world around the addict. Often, the first people to notice these signs of loved ones, family members, and coworkers.
Meth addicts may begin to frequently call in sick to work, miss family events, make excuses for missing a meeting or forget a meeting or date altogether. Over time, the degradation in performance in these important aspects of life will result in very real consequences. Often, meth addicts will lose their job and begin to bounce between various forms of employment. Employment will often not be held down for regular periods of time, due to missed days of work or a lack of performance.
Meth addiction often also results in negative outcomes in personal relationships. Meth use over time causes marriages to fail, family to become estranged, and friendships to erode. Some meth users may exhibit only one aspect of these signs, while other aspects of their lives appear to be normal. However, when viewed in the context of other common signs of meth addiction, usually a pattern will emerge that indicates a serious problem.
4. Insomnia and lack of sleep
Meth, being a powerful stimulant, results in a heightened state that defies fatigue and a need for sleep. One of the most common warning signs of a meth addict is the presence of insomnia or an extremely diminished need for rest or sleep.
Meth addicts will often go days without sleeping, a condition known as “tweaking.” During these tweaking sessions, meth addicts may appear to be obsessed with an activity or project that they spend hours or even days working on. Other meth addicts will display definite signs of restlessness. Nearly all meth addicts will show definite signs that they need less sleep than they did before they began using meth, making this a clear indicator of an addiction to meth.
5. Extended hangovers and prolonged crashes.
While meth addicts may appear to exhibit a superhuman ability to defy the body’s need for rest for extended periods of time, eventually they will need to sleep just like everyone else. At this point, many meth addicts will experience a prolonged crash period. These crashes will become all-consuming, as the body attempts to catch up on days of missed sleep and rest. These periods will be marked by extreme fatigue that seems to be all-powerful.
Meth addicts that are experiencing a crash will often miss work, school, or other prior commitments due to their inability to do anything but rest. After an extended period of meth use, these crashes will also be accompanied by a powerful hangover that will persist for an extended period of time. These hangovers are an aftereffect of the effects of drug on the body of the meth user.
During these periods where rest becomes a necessity and the hangover is intense and acute, a meth addict will begin to feel symptoms of withdrawal from the drug. These meth comedown symptoms can become intense and excruciating, prompting the addict to procure and use more meth to stave them off. Over time, this cycle results in crashes and hangovers that are characterized by increasing intensity and accompanied by increased withdrawal from life and those around the addict.
6. Nervousness and anxiousness.
Due to the powerful stimulant nature of methamphetamine, one of the most common signs of addiction to meth is a state of nervousness and anxiousness. While all drugs affect people differently, the majority of meth users experience or exhibit signs of heightened nervousness. This nervousness may not be tied to any particular external circumstance, and instead will most often appear regardless of the situation that a meth addict finds themselves in.
This heightened state of nervousness and anxiousness will appear alongside the excessive energy that is experienced during a meth high. However, nervousness and anxiousness can also become a common feeling during the period after meth has been broken down and excreted by the body, and is often seen during the withdrawal period from the drug. In these instances, nervousness will be noticeable alongside a period of acute lethargy and tiredness, and is often accompanied by irritability and at times paranoia. For family members and loved ones, periods of unexplainable nervous or anxious behavior is a common warning sign of an addiction to meth.
7. Physiological signs of meth addiction.
Meth use results in a number of physiological effects on the body of the user. These effects may be difficult to detect for loved ones and those closest to the addict, but over time their continued appearance may be a good sign of a meth addiction.
The stimulant effect of meth use will often result in a raised body temperature as the body begins to cope with the excessive amount of the drug. Elevated body temperature will be accompanied by a raised heart rate, rapid breathing, and increased blood pressure, which may manifest to outside observers as a sign of a distressed body.
The stimulant effects will also result in excessive sweating, which will be notable particularly if it appears without any obvious sign of exertion or environmental cause, such as a hot day. When a person takes meth the stimulant also causes their pupils to dilate, a clear sign that some type of drug has been consumed.
Meth use often results in a dry mouth and bad breath, which some users may attempt to conceal with gum or mints. This tactic is also used at times to hide the clenching of the jaw and grinding of the teeth that often results from meth use. Lastly, many users of meth will also experience bouts of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
8. Failure to stay on top of finances and responsibilities.
Meth, like other substances of abuse, quickly becomes all-consuming, resulting in addicts spending any money they have pursuing their addiction. While meth is not a particularly expensive drug, the chemical dependence that it creates in the user will require them to purchase more of the drug at all costs.
This, in conjunction with the frequent destructive effects that meth abuse has on stable jobs and careers, can quickly result in obvious financial problems. For this reason, financial instability or a lack of money without any apparent cause is an important sign of a meth addiction. Often, this sign will be a clear indicator when combined with some of the more obvious signs of substance abuse. Aside from financial troubles, meth addiction also results in neglect of personal and family responsibilities.
Meth addicts will frequently neglect the care of their children, who will often exhibit signs of decreased performance in school as their life at home deteriorates. While some people addicted to meth will exhibit signs of compulsive behavior such as cleaning, more often the house or living area of a meth addict will be unkempt and unsanitary. Trash, dirty dishes, old food, and a general state of disarray will often be seen in the house of someone addicted to meth. Lastly, many meth addicts will exhibit signs of poor hygiene as their addiction advances. Dirty clothes, an unkempt appearance, and notable body odor are all commonly seen in meth addicts.
For loved ones and those closest to someone suspected of an addiction to meth, these common signs of a meth addiction are most often the earliest indicator that something is wrong. It is important to note that meth, like all drugs, affects each person differently. Some of these signs and symptoms of meth use and abuse may appear unevenly and infrequently in certain meth users.
Because of this, it is recommended that if one or more of these signs appear in a loved one or someone close to you, you consider it in the context of their overall behavior and actions. Meth is a powerful stimulant, so the effects of use and abuse of it will be difficult to hide or mask for many meth users.
On top of this, at a certain point many people that are addicted to meth will cease attempting to mask or hide their behavior as their illicit drug addiction becomes all-consuming. Many people will simply stop caring about whether anyone knows that they are abusing meth. For loved ones and those close to someone they suspect is addicted to meth, the most important thing they can do is to encourage them to seek help with a qualified medical professional.
Catching meth abuse and addiction early is critical to avoid any of the long-term health effects that result from meth use. The chemical dependency that meth abuse creates is so powerful that the best chances of a successful recovery and transition to a life of sobriety will be treatment within an inpatient facility like Luminance Recovery. Our drug rehab center in Orange County helps families and loved ones get the addict in their life the help they need as quickly as possible. Our holistic approach to meth addiction treatment has helped many people on their journey to a successful recovery.
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