Methamphetamine is a very strong and addictive substance that goes by many names like meth, speed, blue, crystal, and ice to name a few. Creating a similar high as cocaine but for much longer, it has a high addiction potential that is easy for a regular user of meth to slip into addiction. It can be crushed and consumed through the mouth, smoked, snorted, or injected. Once used it can increase talkativeness, and activity and decrease appetite.
Meth is cheap, easy to make, and easily available. The side effects of meth can be extremely harmful and aggressive, making recovery in a structured treatment program the recommended first step to moving forward.
Physical, Psychological, And Behavioral Signs Of Meth Abuse
Methamphetamine can take a large toll on the body in many ways both physically and psychologically. The physical signs of meth use will appear regardless if the person using is new to the drug or becoming progressively dependent on it. Those physical signs that are typically associated with meth abuse include things like:
- Extreme weight loss
- Facial acne or sores
- Rotted teeth, also referred to as “meth mouth”
- A droopy quality to the facial skin
- Liver damage
- Lowered immunity and susceptibility to infectious disease
- A dramatic increase in body temperature
- Increased libido, positioning a person who abuses meth to sexually transmitted diseases
- Intense scratching
Though the physical signs of meth abuse are relatively easy to detect, the psychological signs are a little tough to see offhand. When a person uses meth, there is an initial feeling of euphoria because of the drug’s ability to increase dopamine in the brain. This can be dangerous because while dopamine is responsible for feelings of pleasure, it also is involved in memory and learning ability. In the long run, those who abuse meth may experience memory problems, an inability to learn new motor skills as well as other tasks, and impaired visual memory.
Meth can also cause psychosis which can include things like delusions, auditory and visual hallucinations, paranoia, and irritability. The person may believe bugs are crawling all over their skin, causing them to constantly scratch and pick which is what causes skin abrasions and rashes.
Another psychological effect of meth is tweaking. This is when a person using this drug experiences anxiety and insomnia for 3-15 days. It typically happens at the end of a drug binge when that person can no longer achieve a high or rush. Tweaking can cause psychological side effects like paranoia, irritability, and confusion. It can also cause rapid eye movement, jerky motions, and talking in a fast, jumbled manner.
Getting Professional Methamphetamine Recovery Assistance
Abuse affects the personal and social life of anyone that uses it. It can cause problems at work, school, with family, and with friends. Though meth is a highly addictive drug, recovery is possible. If you or someone you know is abusing meth, seeking help from a meth addiction treatment facility is the best way to go. Depending on the severity of the abuse or addiction, a counselor may recommend outpatient treatment or an inpatient program.