How To Get Support
If youd like to stop using meth, you have options for confidential support and treatment.
Professional treatment programs cant tell your boss, family members, or law enforcement that you take meth or have a meth addiction. Barring a life-or-death emergency, your participation in treatment is completely anonymous.
Treatment for meth use disorder may involve a combination of strategies, such as:
Changes In Physical Appearance
Another sign of meth use is often an increase in appetite or weight gain. This may seem like a good thing at first because your loved one has been craving food all day long, but if they are not eating healthy foods, then there is something else going on. If you notice any sudden change in body shape, hair growth patterns, skin texture, or facial features, speak with them about what might be happening.
Physical signs of methamphetamine use may include:
- facial acne or skin sores
- intense scratching
- weight loss from loss of appetite
- sagging or premature aging of facial skin
The more severe the physical symptoms of meth abuse, the more likely the person has a serious problem.
What Is The Crash Phase
The crash phase represents the first stage of meth withdrawal. It often takes place within the initial 1 to 3 days after a person stops taking the drug.
In this phase, symptoms of meth withdrawal can include:
- Worsen underlying mental health conditions like anxiety or psychotic disorders like schizophrenia
- Build physical and psychological dependence that can lead to addiction
- Raise the risk of death from overdose
- Alter good judgment and place you in risky situations like unprotected sex
Long-term health effects on people addicted to meth use include:
- Increase the risk of heart attacks or strokes
- Cause renal failure
- Lead to memory loss and cognitive and emotional deficits
- Raise the likelihood of more psychotic episodes
- Result in permanent damage to the brain and blood vessels
- Favor the development of a substance use disorder
- Contribute to an overdose because of a need to get high with stronger doses
- Leave you with an infectious disease, such as HIV or hepatitis B or C
- Affect personal and professional relationships and contribute to a loss of friends, family, income, and job
There are many negative consequences of methamphetamine use, and the list continues. It is important to remember that methamphetamine affects the body heavily, especially during an overdose.
In the most severe cases, a person can die or become strongly handicapped because of the damage caused by meth.
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Dangers Of A Meth Addiction
Methamphetamine is composed of toxic chemicals, many of which are found in common household cleaners. When ingested, the drug can cause permanent brain damage, skin infections, severe dental decay, and paranoia, psychosis, and stroke. Long-term health effects include tooth loss, infected skin sores, psychosis, cognitive dysfunction, and an increased risk of contracting HIV or hepatitis.
Meth is about three times more potent as cocaine. Methamphetamine affects the brain by increasing the levels of dopamine. By rapidly increasing dopamine levels in the reward center of the brain, the brain imprints the experience as something positive to be repeated. However, with extended use of this dangerous drug, the brains natural dopamine receptors are destroyed, and the person becomes chemically dependent and addicted to the substance.
Rehabilitation through an evidence-based treatment program is the only proven path to recovery from a meth addiction. A comprehensive residential program offers the most effective treatment solution for once again enjoying a healthy quality of life.
Noticeable Changes In Physical Appearance
The easiest way to know if someone is on meth is typically by changes in their physical appearance. Methamphetamine is known for the drastic effect it can have on someones looks even after a short amount of time. Physical signs of meth use can include:
- Rotting teeth and inflamed gums
- Meth sores or scratches on the skin
- Hair that is thinning or falling out
- Red, swollen eyes
- Burn marks on the fingers or lips
The more severe the physical signs of meth use, the more severe the use, so it is important to try to get someones help at the first signs of trouble.
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Causes And Risk Factors Of Meth
Several variables play into the reasons why a person would become addicted to methamphetamine. These variables include:
Genetic: Researchers believe that there is a strong genetic component at work that can determine a persons susceptibility to developing an addiction to drugs.
Physical: Due to the release of dopamine in the brain, users of methamphetamine find the surge, or rush, of euphoria to be the appealing part of the high. However, because the user requires increased amounts of methamphetamine to mimic that high time and time again, addiction is likely. After repeated and long-term use of the drug, the dopamine receptors in the brain become damaged.
Environmental: Exposure to methamphetamine use can trigger a person to want to try the drug. Furthermore, for people who reside in an area where the drug is readily available, temptation can be even harder to resist. Lastly, and in conjunction with the exposure and availability of the drug, people coping with another mental illness could turn to methamphetamine use as a means of unconsciously masking the symptoms of an undiagnosed mental disorder.
- Personal history of mental illness
- Genetic predisposition to addiction
- Present abuse of other drugs
Meth Symptoms: Psychological Methamphetamine Symptoms During Meth Use
Methamphetamine symptoms during meth use are generally considered to be pleasurable and are known as a high however, not all meth symptoms are positive. Many crystal meth symptoms can put a person in a hospital or even cause death.
Meth symptoms vary with the amount of meth used, method of ingestion and the other factors. General, psychological methamphetamine symptoms during meth use include:1
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Learn About The Causes And Risk Factors For Meth Addiction
Addiction is a disease of the brain that is not considered to be caused by a single factor. Rather, it is believed that addiction to meth and other drugs or alcohol is caused by a variety of environmental triggers, heredity, and physical changes in the brain working together. The most common causes and risk factors associated with meth addiction include:
Genetic: Addiction is often considered a hereditary disease. People who develop addiction to meth or other drugs often have a first-degree relative, such as a parent or sibling, who similarly struggles with addiction. However, many addicts do not have a family history of addiction.
Physical: Its been suggested that certain people are born with a different structure and functioning of their brain and central nervous system, which can put them at a higher risk for developing an addiction to meth or other drugs.
Environmental: Those who are born into families in which addiction is a part of daily life may come to see drug abuse as the appropriate way to solve problems, and as a result develop an addiction later in life. Additionally, using drugs at an early age increases the risk that an individual will develop an addiction to drugs like meth.
Risk Factors: The more risk factors a person displays, the more likely they are to develop addiction to drugs like meth.
- Lack of parental supervision
- Availability of drug
- Low socioeconomic status
Signs of Meth Addiction
Take Them To Appointments
It can be tough to start recovery alone, even if theyre already motivated to so do on their own.
If possible, offer a ride to their first appointment with a doctor or therapist. Even if you cant take them every time, your support can help them successfully navigate the first steps toward recovery, which can empower them to continue.
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What Are The Signs Of Meth Use
Meth use often happens among adolescents and young adults within social settings. It is a preferred drug because it can give a stronger sense of confidence and boost energy.
However, meth use of this kind is not common . It also does not usually involve injecting.
Yet, as more time passes and dependence builds, people use meth more frequently within less social settings. The drug use pattern shifts from the occasional high to a repetitive, sleep-deprived binge and crash pattern.
Weight Loss And Muscle Wasting
Loss of appetite often means unhealthy weight loss, including loss of muscle. Because meth becomes a higher priority than food, an individual does not get enough nutrients, the body consumes stored fat for energy.
If the individual continues not to eat enough to support their caloric needs, the body uses muscle for the energy. This leads to wasting away of muscle and can cause weakness and other issues.
Effects Of Meth Withdrawal & Overdose
Effects of meth withdrawal: When a person has become dependent upon methamphetamine, abruptly stopping or drastically reducing ones meth use can result in several unpleasant and potentially dangerous symptoms. Depending upon the severity of a persons dependence, these symptoms can occur within 24 hours of last use and can last for weeks. The following are common symptoms experienced by individuals who are going through meth withdrawal:
- Powerful cravings for meth
- Vivid nightmares
Effects of meth overdose: When a person ingests meth in a quantity or potency that exceeds his or her bodys ability to safely metabolize, that person will experience several potentially fatal overdose symptoms. Anyone who experiences the following symptoms after abusing methamphetamine should be immediately brought to the attention of a qualified medical professional:
- Respiratory distress
What Does Meth Look Like / What Does Crank Look Like
When youre trying to figure out if someone is high on meth, it is helpful to know what meth looks like. The two most common forms of meth are a crystalline powder and a shiny glass-like form called crystal meth. Meth is bitter-tasting and odorless. While it is usually white, the crystalline form may range from bluish-white, yellow, brown or even pink depending on what it was cooked with and what cutting agents were used.
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Look For Meth Paraphernalia
Paraphernalia includes accessories that people use when taking drugs. Some types of paraphernalia are used for multiple types of drugs. Common paraphernalia linked to meth include:
- Spoons, often with burn marks on the bottom from being heated
- Small glass or metal pipes
- Plastic pen casings
- Plastic cards, such as credit cards, for breaking up the substance
- Rolled paper, such as dollar bills, to snort the powdered substance
If you suspect someone may be cooking meth, there are telltale signs to identify a meth lab. Outside, you may see blacked-out windows or smell unusual odors, and signs inside can include the appearance of funnels and lab equipment. Be aware of the physical effects that can come with cooking meth, including asthma, insomnia or tremors.
If you come across a meth lab, do not approach it. Protect yourself and others by leaving immediately and alerting law enforcement.
Does It Interact With Alcohol And Other Drugs
If you feel calmer when drinking alcohol, you might assume itll help you feel less restless or jittery when you take meth. But its not a good idea to mix these substances.
Alcohol could potentially boost the effects of meth by heightening its euphoric effects. But it may also lead you to feel more anxious and agitated not to mention increase your risk of alcohol poisoning or overdose. You may not feel alcohols effects as you typically would, so you might drink more alcohol than your body can process.
For instance, your heart rate may speed up, slow down, and then speed up again, because your body metabolizes each drug at different rates. These rapid changes can put a lot of strain on your body, to the point where you need emergency medical attention.
Its also dangerous to combine meth with other stimulants, like cocaine. If you take more than one stimulant at a time, you have a higher risk of experiencing a stroke or heart attack, and your body may overheat.
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Statistics For Meth Addiction
Methamphetamine represents the fastest growing drug threat in America today. The estimated 12 month prevalence rate of methamphetamine use for adults in the United States is about 0.27%, with a lifetime rate of 8.6%. There were no significant differences in methamphetamine addiction based on gender for lifetime usage, with rates estimated for men at 0.32% and for women at 0.23%. The highest abuse rates were found in individuals between the ages of 18 to 25.
Causes & Risk Factors
Meth Addiction Symptoms & Warnings Signs
Learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of meth addiction and get help for yourself or a loved one. Seven Hills Hospital helps individuals struggling with meth addiction build a strong foundation for lasting recovery. Located near Las Vegas, Seven Hills is the leading provider of psychiatric and addiction treatment.
Understanding Meth Addiction
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Signs Of Meth Use: How To Tell If Your Spouse Is Using
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Doug has been actingdifferent. And Peg isnt sure whats going on. But she knows something isnt right.
Is he on drugs? Having an affair? Involved in something illegal?
Doug didnt seem to be eating, or sleeping, or doing any of the normal things he used to do. Based on what Peg is seeing, Doug might be using meth.
If you think your spouse might be abusing meth, look for the following warning signs.
Warning Signs Of Meth Use
People who use meth are often unpredictable. In some situations, they may be vulgar and violent. Its important to know when friends, family members or others are using crystal meth so you can be cautious around them.
- Appearing extremely agitated or irritable
- Acting more aggressively or violently than usual
- Going several hours or an entire day without eating
- Picking at skin, pulling on hair or twitching
Its unwise to try to communicate with someone who is on meth. If youre trying to convince someone to quit using the drug, its best to wait until the person is sober.
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Learn About Meth And Substance Abuse
Methamphetamines is a powerful and addictive stimulant that can be smoked, snorted, eaten, or injected. Due to the psychoactive properties, false confidence, and sense of happiness, people who try methamphetamine quickly develop a desire to continue using. Some users state that they were hooked on meth after they try it once. While initially pleasurable, methamphetamine can destroy a persons life by burning up the bodys resources and leaving the user with a dependence that is only relieved by using more of the drug.
Methamphetamine is the child of a drug class called amphetamines, both stimulants that can provide users with increased energy, intense desire to chat, and an overall sense of happiness. However, methamphetamines are different than amphetamines because much higher amounts of methamphetamines are able to reach the brain which increases the potency. Meth also gives users a longer and more sustained high which leads to damage to the central nervous system.
Medically, methamphetamine is a Schedule II stimulant with a high potential for abuse. Medical methamphetamine is used to treat narcolepsy and ADHD. Medical methamphetamine is prescribed at a far lower dose than the street version.
Signs Of Secondhand Meth Exposure
If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to meth, there are a few signs you can watch out for. Methamphetamine causes an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature.
As long as those measurements are within a normal range for you, it is highly unlikely you were exposed to meaningful levels of meth. If the measurements are much higher than normal, you should seek medical attention.
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Consequences Of Crystal Meth Abuse
When someone uses crystal meth, it causes their brain and the rest of their nervous system to become highly alert. The brain releases a massive amount of its pleasure chemical dopamine, causing a strong rush of euphoria and seemingly unlimited energy.
It also causes increased heart rate and raised body temperature. This initial rush can last as long as 30 minutes, and the overall desired effects can last as long as 12 hours, during which users have little appetite and feel extremely alert.
Once the effects begin to wear off, awful sensations set in. Because their dopamine has been depleted, users can feel extremely irritable, tired, depressed and physically itchy. As a result, they often take more of the drug to offset these effects.
Causes & Risk Factors For Meth Addiction
Genetic: Since everyone is a product of their parents, those individuals who have parents with addiction struggles will be much more susceptible to addiction. This effect is particularly strong when the relative was addicted to a stimulant.
Physical: Dopamine, a chemical responsible for communication in the brain, has been linked to experiences of pleasure. Methamphetamine stimulates certain areas of the brain, causing a large amount of dopamine to be released, leading to the brains reward center communicating a sudden rush of pleasure. This experience of exhilaration can lead to an addiction.
Environmental: Sometimes people experience a number of negative life events in a relatively short period and are unable to cope with them. Feelings of being overwhelmed may lead to a sense of hopelessness and cause them to turn toward substances such as meth to make themselves feel better. Additionally, peer pressure is a huge factor on drug use. Those children who belong to a social group where drugs are seen as cool and accepted are more likely to use meth and become addicted.
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