There are many dangers that come with substance abuse, especially when the drug affects the central nervous system such as meth. There are short-term and long-term effects of meth addiction that can impact the person abusing the drug as well as their close family and friends.
Here are some of the common signs of meth abuse and addiction.
1. Weight Loss
Although weight loss can indicate meth use, it’s important to note that everyone’s weight fluctuates throughout the course of their lifetime. However, those who abuse meth may show signs of drastic weight loss within a short period of time.
2. Memory Loss
For those of you concerned about a loved one, consider paying close attention to the person’s speech and if they can recall events correctly. Many who abuse meth suffer from memory loss and can also become easily distracted.
3. Twitching & Shaking
Some of the behavioral signs of meth abuse come in the form of twitching and shaking. If someone’s shakiness and trembling have gotten out of control or have become noticeable, it’s possible that your loved one is addicted to meth or experiencing meth withdrawal.
4. Psychosis & Tweaking
Many times, mental illness goes hand-in-hand with a substance use disorder. Because meth causes a “rush” due to the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, large quantities of dopamine are released all at once.
Over time, the brain structure changes, which is when tweaking or psychosis can occur. When a meth high can no longer be achieved, tweaking may begin.
Tweaking can cause a wide array of psychological side effects such as paranoia, confusion, and irritability. When dealing with psychosis, the person may experience repetitive motor activity as well as hallucinations.
These are clear indicators of mental health concerns and symptoms of meth addiction.
5. Tooth Decay
One of the effects of smoking crystal meth include severe dental problems sometimes referred to as “meth mouth.” This is one of the strongest signs of meth use as it’s difficult for the person struggling with drug use to hide it.
“Meth mouth” is usually caused by poor hygiene, teeth grinding, and dry mouth.
If you notice that your loved one, who rarely ever has dental problems, is now dealing with gum disease and other forms of tooth decay, this may be an indicator that they have a substance use disorder involving meth.
6. Abscesses & “Track Marks”
Those abusing crystal meth by way of injection may develop abscesses or “track marks” near the injection site. Skin sores are one of the physical signs of meth abuse. People can become paranoid and pick at their skin for too long, causing sores.
7. Mood Swings
If you’ve noticed that your loved one has constant mood shifts, even sometimes drastically, this can be a cause for concern.
Since the “high” from methamphetamine use can both come and go quickly, a binge and crash pattern is usually established. This causes the person abusing drugs to experience mood swings and difficulty with their sleep patterns.
8. Abnormal Sleeping Patterns
Methamphetamine abuse can lead to insomnia and erratic sleeping behaviors. Once the side effects of meth have worn off, the person abusing this dangerous drug can also “crash,” causing them to sleep for long periods.
9. Violent Behavior
Methamphetamine addiction can lead to extreme changes in behavior. Violent behavior isn’t uncommon with meth use. In fact, it’s one of the long-term health risks due to the changes in the brain that occur from drug abuse.
10. Constant Health Problems
Those with meth addiction may exhibit a variety of health problems such as seizures, changes in body temperature, and a fluctuating heart rate.
If you notice that your loved one is experiencing multiple health problems and is in constant need of seeing a doctor, it’s possible that they’re suffering from meth addiction.
Meth Addiction Treatment
If you or a loved one need help, meth addiction treatment is available. Established treatment programs address withdrawal symptoms with detox support, and are likely followed by therapy, peer support groups, and other treatment services.
To learn more about our treatment center, please contact us today.
National Alliance on Mental Illness — Substance Use Disorders
National Institute on Drug Abuse — What are the Immediate Effects of Methamphetamine Misuse?
National Institute on Drug Abuse — What are the Long-Term Effects of Methamphetamine Misuse?
National Institute on Drug Abuse — What is Methamphetamine?
US National Library of Medicine — The Burden and Management of Crystal Meth Use