Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant drug that often hooks users after the first hit. The drug has immediate effects on the central nervous system. Meth is most often smoked, but users can also inject the drug or take it orally as a pill. No matter how the drug is used, meth is a highly addictive drug that severely affects the physical and psychological functioning of users. Those who are in the grips of methamphetamine addiction often feel they are in the grip of the devil himself.
If a family member or friend is struggling with an addiction to meth, understanding the signs of abuse is key in getting them professional help. The following article details the physical, behavioral and psychological symptoms of meth abuse. If you need further help and support in finding treatment for a loved one, the addiction professionals at B-Hope are a phone call away.
The Signs of Meth Addiction
The Physical Symptoms of Methamphetamine Addiction
For those suffering from meth addiction, they display physical signs that are pronounced and often grotesque. Some of the most obvious physical signs of meth addiction include significant weight loss, dilated pupils, and significant twitching. One physical sign of meth addiction that unique is the presence of what is known as meth mouth. This condition is characterized by the appearance of rotten or browning teeth that often fall out. This is caused by the extreme acidity of methamphetamine combined with poor oral hygiene.
Additional physical symptoms associated with meth addiction include the presence of open sores or lesions on the skin. Also, meth causes rough and scaly skin and users can look much older than their actual age. The rapid aging of a meth user’s skin is due to the drug accelerating production of fats called ceramides. Ceramides slow down the aging process and helps the skin retain moisture.
The Psychological Symptoms of Meth Addiction
Methamphetamine is an extremely potent stimulant. Because of its potency, users of the drug will experience immediate effects which last anywhere from several hours to several days. Meth releases large amounts of dopamine in the brain and will take over production of this neurotransmitter. With wild fluctuations of these neurotransmitters, users will experience a wide variety of psychological symptoms which include the following:
- Intense euphoria
- Increased alertness and energy
- Increased anxiety
- An increase in tremors
Additionally, those who abuse meth will experience impaired thinking. As a result, their attention span and decision-making rapidly deteriorate as well as working memory. Additional psychological signs of methamphetamine abuse can also include the following:
- Decreased motivation
- Pronounced depression
- Prolonged periods of lethargy
- Suicidal thoughts or engaging in self-harming behavior such as cutting
The Behavioral Signs of Meth Abuse
Those who chronically abuse methamphetamine engage in specific behaviors. Since meth use increases one’s confidence, meth abusers increasingly engage in high-risk behaviors. These may include increased sexual promiscuity and other thrill-seeking behaviors. Those who struggle with meth abuse may also become very aggressive. This leads to relationship problems with your spouse, children, family members, and friends.
Another telltale behavioral sign of meth abuse is secretive behavior and isolation. Like other drug and alcohol addictions, meth use is extremely expensive. Those who abuse meth may have depleted all their income resources such as job earning and savings to obtain the drug. When that occurs, meth abusers resort to stealing money or property from others to obtain methamphetamine. Additionally, those who engage in meth abuse have great difficulty in holding a job. As a result, meth addicts are chronically unemployed or underemployed.
Meth Abuse Requires Professional Help
The effects of meth abuse are severe, and its impacts can ruin the lives of the addict and those they love. Fortunately, professional help is available that help meth addicts break from their addiction. The best chance for meth addicts to recover is to undergo treatment at a professional rehab center.
Since the withdrawal symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable and painful, medical detoxification is an important first step. While in meth detox, addicts will receive a combination of medications, nutrition, and other interventions to make the withdrawal process more tolerable. During detox, experienced treatment staff will perform a comprehensive evaluation to see if they suffer from a co-occurring condition that can complicate the recovery process. Once your loved one is both mentally and physically stable, they will transition into an intensive drug treatment program.
During treatment, they will undergo individual and group therapy as well as participate in 12-step support groups and undergo valuable life skills training. It is in intensive drug treatment where they receive the tools and support needed to face their meth addiction head on. Upon successful completion of a drug treatment program, it is highly advisable to undergo some of the aftercare treatment.
There are a wide variety of aftercare programs that newly recovering meth addicts can get additional help. These include intensive outpatient treatment and sober living programs. The main goal of aftercare programs is relapse prevention. As meth abusers slowly transition back into their normal work and family routines, they will continue to receive the support they need to gain confidence in their newly found and hard-fought sobriety.
Call B-Hope Today
Are you trying to find a drug treatment program that will help a loved one who is struggling with meth abuse? Call B-Hope toll-free today and speak to one of our experienced treatment staff about our specialized treatment programs. Our addiction professionals work with each addict in creating a treatment plan that fits their unique and specific needs. At B-Hope, the goal is to help give your loved one confidence and tools you need to transform your life.
Don’t wait another day to address your loved one’s meth addiction; call B-Hope right now.