Methamphetamine, a drug commonly referred to simply as meth, is an extremely addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system. The signs of meth use can show up whether you are new to using meth or well on your way to becoming dependent on it. If you or someone you love is struggling with meth use, contact Midwest Recovery online or call us at 833.627.0039 today to learn about our meth addiction treatment program.
Meth takes an extreme psychological toll on a person, with severe physical signs of meth use that can be seen on the skin and face of those using the dangerous drug. Meth affects both the brain and the body, and signs of meth use are visible in various ways.
The Signs of Meth Use
One of the first signs of meth use to be on the lookout for is a sudden loss of interest in part of a person’s life that were once important, including things like:
- Career goals
Even before the physical signs of meth use, these aspects of a normal, healthy life will begin to take a back seat. In its place will be acquiring and using meth as the drug begins to dominate the person’s life. People will attempt to hide their meth use, but the longer they use it, the more obvious it becomes that meth is now running and ruining their lives. Because meth chemically alters how a person thinks and feels, recreational drug activity can quickly transform into a major life priority.
Whether they just started using meth or have already developed a meth addiction, people will exhibit various behavioral and physical signs of meth use. Some of the most common signs of meth use include:
- Skin sores
- Rotting teeth
- Facial tics
- Sudden physical movements
- Dilated pupils
- Rapid eye movement
- Sudden weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Burns (usually on lips or fingers)
- Erratic sleeping patterns
Other Physical Signs of Meth Use
As dramatic and traumatic as those signs of meth use are, there are even more dangerous physical signs of meth use that you need to look out for if you fear that a child or other loved one is using meth.
Tweaking happens after a meth binge when someone can no longer achieve a rush or high. This causes extreme anxiety and insomnia over a period of 3 to 15 days. There are psychological side effects of tweaking, too, including:
- Violent behavior
During a crash, the user’s body is deprived of the dopamine hit that meth was providing. This causes noticeable and extreme exhaustion, lasting anywhere from 1 to 3 days. While crashing, the meth addict will experience long stretches of sleeping, craving more meth, and depression.
The Risks of Meth Use
Despite the serious health risks of using meth, many people are still willing to experiment with the addictive drug. The euphoria comes at a serious cost, though, because a large percentage of meth remains unchanged in the body and stays present in the brain longer. This means that in addition to the physical signs of meth use, the drug is highly toxic to nerve terminals in the brain. Meth use can destroy your brain cell synapses where dopamine is released, causing mood disturbances and dependence on the drug.
The signs of meth use are often obvious and pronounced but what is happening inside is even worse for your health. The prolonged use of meth changes brain chemistry, destroying the wiring in the brain’s pleasure center. This makes experiencing any pleasure nearly impossible without the use of meth. In addition to behavioral changes, chronic and long-term meth use can damage bodily systems and blood vessels in the brain that are irreversible and may result in a stroke.
Learn More at Midwest Recovery
If you worry that you or someone you love is at risk of becoming addicted to meth, learn how to spot the signs of meth use and contact us using our secure online form or call us at 833.627.0039 today. Our drug addiction treatment program can help.