Signs And Symptoms Of Meth Addiction
Methamphetamine is an extremely powerful stimulant that causes both short and long-term effects. Short-term effects of meth use include:
- Intense rush
- Extreme increase in physical activities
- Increased body core temperatures
- Increased wakefulness
While not all of the following will be present, the following is a list of the most common and severe long-term effects of methamphetamine abuse:
- Severe depression following a methamphetamine binge
- Wanting to quit or cut down on methamphetamine use without being able to
- Increased sexual activity
- Avoiding hobbies and activities that were once considered pleasurable
- Legal problems
- Preoccupation with chasing the next high
- Pulling away from friends and family
- Engaging in unsafe activities
- Molecular and functional changes in the brain
- Inability of body to repair damaged tissues
- Cardiac arrhythmias
- Insomnia, especially during a methamphetamine binge
- Constriction of the blood vessels in the body
- Respiratory problems
- Loss of elasticity of the skin
- Meth Mouth
- Paranoia, which can be permanent
Dangers Of Methamphetamine Addiction
Meth addiction affects practically every aspect of a persons life, and can create long-term consequences. Effects on the brain can take over a year to repair. There is some research that indicates snorting or injecting meth may produce disruptive cognitive functioning. People can also develop ticks or tremors.
In addition, when someone experiences the huge dopamine surges produced by meth, they can develop anhedonia, or the inability to experience pleasure. Some long-term meth users report depression.
Meth also damages non-neural brain cells called microgolia. These defend our brain against infection and remove damaged neurons. People who regularly use meth typically have two times the amount of microglial cells as a normal brain. With too many microglia in the brain, they begin to attack the healthy neurons, causing measurable brain damage.
What Are The Effects Of Meth Withdrawal
Taking meth in a prolonged and repeated manner can result in an individual developing a physical and psychological dependence on this substance. As a result, when they stop or dramatically reduce their meth intake, they will typically experience a range of distressing and unpleasant meth withdrawal symptoms. These can include:
- Intense cravings for meth
- Extreme fatigue
At Manor Clinic, we offer a rigorous detox programme. The purpose of detox for meth addiction is to remove all traces of meth from an individuals body, whilst controlling withdrawal symptoms in a medically managed environment. Following detox, patients are then equipped to commence with intensive therapy to address the psychological components of their addiction.
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Behavioral Signs Of Meth Use
If a loved one is struggling with meth, you may notice some of the drugs side effects. Some behavioral signs that a person is using meth include:
- Dilated pupils
- Being very alert or physically active
- Reduced appetite and weight loss
- Outbursts or mood swings
- Paranoia or hallucinations
In a survey by The Recovery Village, people who currently and formerly used meth reported symptoms that lasted long-term, even after they stopped using meth. 23% reported high blood pressure, 27% reported sudden or severe weight loss and 16% reported hallucinations. People who utilized multiple methods doubled their chances of experiencing weight loss and hallucinations.
What Causes Meth Sores
Meth sores are an indirect result of using the drug. This means that using meth does not automatically cause sores to develop. Instead, the drug triggers itching, irritation, and hallucinations. This causes someone to pick and scratch at their skin, eventually leading to sores.
Many people who use meth go days at a time without sleeping. After several days, some people hallucinate something crawling under their skin. These are called meth mites or crank bugs.
A combination of poor nutrition and less-than-adequate hygiene contribute to skin fragility. This can cause the skin to become infected with bacteria as they gain access through the sores.
Meth users overreact to the itching due to their paranoia and anxiety, causing a vicious cycle of more skin damage.
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Find Treatment For Meth Addiction
Meth is a dangerous and highly addictive drug. If someone you know is exhibiting signs of Meth abuse, its essential that you communicate the importance of getting professional help. Inpatient rehabs, therapy, and support groups can all help individuals struggling with a Methamphetamine addiction achieve and maintain sobriety. Contact a treatment provider for rehab-related help today.
Jena Hilliard earned her Bachelors of Arts degree from the University of Central Florida in English Literature. She has always had a passion for literature and the written word. Upon graduation, Jena found her purpose in educating the public on addiction and helping those that struggle with substance dependency find the best treatment options available.
David embarked on his journey into sobriety in June of 2005, which led him to his current career path as a Certified Professional Addiction Recovery Coach in private practice in Greater Nashville. David is also a public speaker and the author of two books. David is cohost of the weekly Positive Sobriety Podcast, as well as being a frequent contributor to various articles and recovery based materials. As a member of the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors , David works closely with area treatment centers, recovery orientated nonprofit organizations, as well as being a keynote speaker for various recovery-focused events.
- More from David Hampton
What Are Some Signs Of Meth Use
The overall general signs that someone is on a stimulant like meth include:
- Increased physical activity and, in some cases, hyperactivity
- Increased talkativeness and pressured speech
- Extreme elation
- Increased breathing rate and heart rate
- Dilated pupils
People may also be distracted easily and suspicious of others. Some individuals tend to isolate themselves and dont wish to interact with others.
Treatments Provided For Meth Addiction At Ripple Ranch
Treatment at Ripple Ranch is completely personalized to fit each individuals needs in treatment. We create a plan for each patient using a mix of our already existing and well-running treatments that have helped others reach long-term recovery.
Our therapies are centered around providing treatment for the whole you and not just your addiction. By doing this, we focus on dual diagnosis treatment that can uncover potential underlying mental health conditions that may be a cause for the substance use in your past. This holistic ideology of treatment is a cornerstone of our system at Ripple Ranch.
Throughout treatment, you will participate in therapies that include:
- Individual therapy
All of these treatments will be done along with following our 12-step or 12-step alternative plan to help set you or your loved one back on the right path.
Meth: The Binge & Crash Drug
As with many stimulants of its type, methamphetamine is most often misused in a pattern of abuse known by addicts as binge and crash. Because meths euphoric effect is short-lived, even disappearing before any significant change in the drugs concentration within the bloodstream, users will literally binge on the drug by increasing the quantity used, as they try to prolong the rush.Some users may even engage in a method of bingeing known as a run which involves deliberately not eating food or sleeping while continuing the meth use over several days. However, bingeing on meth is not needed to become addicted many first time users are immediately hooked by the instant and intense euphoric rush that they experience.
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What Does Meth Addiction Look Like
What does meth addiction look like? Meth addiction changes the body and mind in a number of ways, which is why recognizing the signs of abuse is essential. Meth addiction treatment can help you or someone you love to get on the path to recovery. Contact us at Avedis Recovery today at to find out more about the signs of meth addiction.
A Warning: Why Medical Detox May Be Necessary
Even though symptoms usually subside after the first week of withdrawal, dealing with symptoms such as psychosis on your own can have serious consequences. It is best to go through detox and withdrawal from meth with the supervision of trained professionals. If you are having severe symptoms, you need to go to a medically-managed detox center. Antipsychotic drugs may need to be prescribed to treat psychiatric symptoms.
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What Are The Signs Of Meth Use
Methamphetamine is notorious for its adverse effects. The illegal and highly addictive drug can devastate a persons health. Most people have seen frightening before-and-after pictures of meth addicts, but in many cases, the signs that someone is on meth or uses meth regularly may not be obvious.
If you suspect that someone you know, perhaps even a family member, has a problem with meth, its important to know all the signs so that you can stage an intervention and help them find treatment. If you need answers about treatment for meth abuse, please contact a dedicated recovery provider today.
How Is Meth Used
Meth comes in different forms and can be taken several different ways, including snorting, injecting, consuming orally or smoking it. Crystal meth is most commonly smoked. In a recent study of current and former meth use, 63% of people smoked meth, 44% snorted meth, 27% injected meth and 30% swallowed it. Nearly half of all people who use meth consume it with multiple methods, and 7% use all four methods over their lifetime.
When meth is first used, it creates an immediate rush. That rush lasts up to 30 minutes and is described as extremely pleasurable. Following the initial rush, a meth high can last for up to 14 hours. The onset and length of the high vary based on how it is taken.
According to our 2021 survey of former and current meth use, meth use tends to be frequent. In fact, 44.4% of respondents use or used meth daily and 22.9% use or used it several times per week.
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The Dramatic & Damaging Effects Of Meth Use In The Us
The illegal use of meth remains a serious and ongoing problem in the U.S. In some regions of the nation, it poses an even greater threat than opioid use, and it has resulted in more violent crime than any other illegal substance.
According to 2017 data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health , over 14.7 million people have tried meth at least once, and it remains one of the most commonly misused stimulant drugs in the world.The psychological, medical, and social consequences of meth misuse can be both devastating and irreversible for the addict, as its prolonged use can cause memory loss, aggression, psychotic behavior, and malnutrition. Because of this, meth misuse creates new crime waves, unemployment, and high case numbers of child neglect and abuse. Additionally, it has also been shown to contribute to the increased transmission of infectious diseases, such as hepatitis and HIV/AIDS.
What Is Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine, which is nicknamed meth, is a commonly abused, very potent stimulant drug. This drug is a Schedule II controlled substance, which means that it has the potential to lead to severe psychological and physical dependency. When taken improperly, the likelihood of dependency or addiction is higher.
Methamphetamine is also known by other names, such as:
Interestingly, It does have a very specific legal, medical use for the treatment of ADHD or obesity but is rarely prescribed and often abused. When misused, methamphetamine is dangerous and can cause many serious changes in a persons body and mind.
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What Are Meth Sores
Meth sores are open wounds that develop when a person uses methamphetamine or crystal meth excessively. Skin problems are common because of both the physical and psychological effects of excessive use of the drug.
Long-term meth abuse triggers formication. This is characterized by hallucinations and sensations of bugs crawling on the skin. It induces severe itching and scratching.
Meth users might also fail to maintain a healthy diet rich in nutrients that provide protection to the skin.
Lastly, meth can constrict blood vessels and limit blood flow, causing skin problems.
The combination of all of these factors puts a meth user at risk for developing sores that can cause skin infections.
Details About The Drug
Meth or crystal methamphetamine is a stimulant drug widely sold in the streets. It is also referred to as ice, speed, or chalk. It can usually be found in crystal or powder-like form which has no odor, a bitter taste, and can dissolve quickly in water. This drug is usually seen in brown, pink or yellowish gray in color. While the crystal powder has colors, crystal meth on the other hand looks clear and is similar in appearance to ice.
Meth has a similar chemical makeup to amphetamine, which is used to treat ADHD. It is highly potent and can be very addictive. Based on a survey in 2012 by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 1.2 million people are believed to have used methamphetamine over the past year, and about 440,000 people use meth in an average month.
Initial effects of using meth can be euphoric and exhilarating, but compared to cocaine and other recreational drugs, this is one that remains in the brain longer. It also stimulates the brain to release more dopamine which is a chemical that affects the persons energy and moods.
Low doses of this drug can cause one to stay awake, focused, and happy, but these effects are also attached with negative ones. Larger doses can cause more serious health problems including sudden cardiac arrest. Not only that, damages to major organs in the body can also become permanent or worse lead to untimely death.
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Meth Sores Caused By Meth Mites
As mentioned, meth is a strong stimulant that can sometimes result in hallucinations. For long-time users of meth, they may experience hallucinations that bugs, also known as meth mites, live under their skin.
There is actually a formal term for this type of hallucination known as formication. It involves two senses both sight and touch, which can make the hallucination seem very real.
The hallucination causes a crawling sensation of the skin. Or a meth user might think that they can see bugs crawling beneath their skin. The result is continuous scratching and itching, leading to irritated skin and large, open sores.
Are You A Meth Addict
If youre currently using this drug, you may be wondering how you can tell if youre an addict. There are several signs you can look for in yourself, and they are both physical and psychological. Keep in mind that addicts tend to prefer to stay in denial of addictions. That means that you may need to ask someone else to give you their opinion. Have you noticed any of the following signs of meth addiction:
- Problems getting to sleep
- Changes in your blood pressure
- Increased anxiety
- Feeling dizzy
- Frequent headaches
If you have noticed any of these, you may already be a methamphetamines addict. However, its possible that even after looking over this list, youre still not sure. You may want to consider taking a meth addiction quiz like this one. It will dig a little deeper into your drug use patterns and history. Once youre finished, youll know if youre an addict or not.
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Is Dependence The Same Thing As Addiction
Dependence and addiction arent the same.
Dependence refers to a physical state in which your body is dependent on the drug. With drug dependence, you need more and more of the substance to achieve the same effect . You experience mental and physical effects if you stop taking the drug.
When you have an addiction, you cant stop using a drug, regardless of any negative consequences. Addiction can occur with or without physical dependence on the drug. However, physical dependence is a of addiction.
What causes addiction?
Addiction has many causes. Some are related to your environment and life experiences, such as having friends who use drugs. Others are genetic. When you take a drug, certain genetic factors can increase your risk of developing an addiction.Regular drug use changes your brain chemistry, affecting how you experience pleasure. This can make it difficult to simply stop using the drug once youve started.
The signs of addiction can vary depending on which substance is used. There are general warning signs of addiction, though, regardless of the substance. Signs you have an addiction can include the following:
Your loved one might try to hide their addiction from you. You might wonder if its drug use or something else, such as stressful job or time in their life.
The following can be signs of addiction:
Causes And Risk Factors For Meth Addiction
People try illegal drugs for a number of reasons, mostly involving being dissatisfied with their lives. Other reasons people abuse drugs include fitting in with peers and friends, escaping an unpleasant situation, relief from boredom, to rebel from authority, and to experiment. While methamphetamine use is often used to solve a problem, the drug abuse and consequences become the problem.
Genetic: research has shown that certain individuals have a genetic predisposition to develop a substance abuse problem or addiction. This is especially true for people who have a first-degree relative, such as a parent or sibling, who are addicted to a substance of abuse.
Biological: some researchers have proposed that methamphetamine abuse may be the result of lower levels of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that has a large effect on the pleasure feelings we receive from seeing our children or eating a great meal. This biological makeup could make people who abuse methamphetamines desire the euphoric feelings caused by increased levels of dopamine released by methamphetamine use.
Psychological: as many mental illnesses and other conditions can cause a decrease in feelings of happiness, many turn to substance abuse as a means to control their symptoms. In addition, methamphetamine, like other drugs of abuse, leads to the disruption of normal levels of dopamine in the brain, so that over time a methamphetamine user is unable to feel pleasure without using meth.
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