Meth Abuse

Methamphetamine is an illicit stimulant that comes in the form of powder, pills, and rock crystals known as crystal meth. Regular meth use can lead to serious problems, including extreme weight loss, severe dental problems, violent behavior, and drug dependence and addiction. Knowing common signs of meth abuse can help you determine whether you or a loved one may need drug rehab to safely overcome meth addiction.

Here are signs of meth abuse and addiction, and an overview of meth addiction treatment.

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What Are Signs of Meth Abuse and Addiction?

Meth stimulates the nervous system to increase wakefulness and physical activity, making people seem more restless, energetic, and talkative. Meth also reduces appetite and increases breathing rate, heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature.

Other signs of meth abuse:

  • Acne and facial sores
  • Dilated pupils
  • Extreme sweating
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Rotted teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Premature aging of skin
  • Itching and scratching
  • Increased sexual libido
  • Risky sexual behavior
  • Tics or twitches
  • Burn marks on the lips or fingers
  • Presence of meth paraphernalia (i.e. aluminum foil, rubber tubing, burned spoons)

People who use meth regularly can become tolerant to the drug and thus begin using higher amounts to feel its effects. Meth tolerance can quickly lead to meth dependence, which is marked by withdrawal symptoms that begin when meth use is stopped or reduced. Meth dependence increases the risk for meth addiction, which can be safely treated at drug or alcohol rehab using drug detox and behavioral therapies.

Common signs of meth addiction include the following:

  • Inability to reduce or control meth use despite wanting to quit
  • Strong cravings for meth
  • Using meth in larger amounts over time
  • Using meth for longer periods of time than intended
  • Loss of interest in social and recreational activities
  • Continued meth use despite problems at work, school, and home
  • Continued meth use despite its contribution to physical or mental health issues

 

 

What Are Signs of Meth Abuse and Addiction?

Meth stimulates the nervous system to increase wakefulness and physical activity, making people seem more restless, energetic, and talkative. Meth also reduces appetite and increases breathing rate, heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature.

Other signs of meth abuse:

  • Acne and facial sores
  • Dilated pupils
  • Extreme sweating
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Rotted teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Premature aging of skin
  • Itching and scratching
  • Increased sexual libido
  • Risky sexual behavior
  • Tics or twitches
  • Burn marks on the lips or fingers
  • Presence of meth paraphernalia (i.e. aluminum foil, rubber tubing, burned spoons)

People who use meth regularly can become tolerant to the drug and thus begin using higher amounts to feel its effects. Meth tolerance can quickly lead to meth dependence, which is marked by withdrawal symptoms that begin when meth use is stopped or reduced. Meth dependence increases the risk for meth addiction, which can be safely treated at drug or alcohol rehab using drug detox and behavioral therapies.

Common signs of meth addiction include the following:

  • Inability to reduce or control meth use despite wanting to quit
  • Strong cravings for meth
  • Using meth in larger amounts over time
  • Using meth for longer periods of time than intended
  • Loss of interest in social and recreational activities
  • Continued meth use despite problems at work, school, and home
  • Continued meth use despite its contribution to physical or mental health issues

 

What Are Side Effects of Methamphetamine Use?

The highs produced by meth are often short-lived and fade quickly. Meth is sometimes used in a “binge and crash” pattern, where meth users get high every few hours for several days to maintain their highs. They may go several days without enough food or water to stay nourished and face the risk of serious health problems as a result.

Side effects of meth use include:

  • Nervousness.
  • Anxiety.
  • Restlessness.
  • Agitation.
  • Unexplained mood swings.
  • Confusion.
  • Insomnia.
  • Depression.
  • Paranoia.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Feeling of bugs and insects crawling under skin.
  • Reduced motor speed.
  • Impaired verbal learning.
  • Memory loss.
  • Drug overdose.

Using too much meth or meth mixed with other substances like fentanyl can cause a toxic reaction that leads to an overdose. A meth overdose can increase your risk for serious medical and health problems, including heart attack, stroke, organ failure, and death.

 

What Happens During Meth Withdrawal?

Withdrawing from meth usually doesn’t produce physical symptoms like those produced by alcohol, heroin, and painkillers. Meth withdrawal symptoms are mostly psychological and can set in shortly after stopping meth use.

Meth withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Fatigue.
  • Anxiety.
  • Severe depression.
  • Psychosis.
  • Severe drug cravings.

Meth withdrawal can be safely treated at a drug or alcohol detox center, though in most cases, detox treatment involves the use of medications for certain psychological symptoms like anxiety and depression. At present, there are no FDA-approved medications that specifically treat meth addiction.

 

How Can I Safely Overcome Meth Addiction?

When left untreated, meth addiction can cause major problems with your career, education, family, health, and overall life and happiness. However, meth addiction can be effectively treated using behavioral therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and motivational incentives. Specifically, CBT helps you identify, avoid, and cope with situations that could lead to meth use, while motivational incentives encourage you to remain abstinent through the use of vouchers and rewards. Dual diagnosis therapy may also be used to help you overcome lingering withdrawal symptoms of depression and anxiety.

America’s Rehab Campuses use medical detox and many evidence-based therapies that can be personalized to help you or a loved one safely overcome stimulant addiction. Fill out our insurance verification form today or call 833-272-7342 to learn more about your benefits and deductibles for addiction treatment.

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