Are you worried that a loved one is using crystal meth? Being a friend, spouse, or family member of someone who is using crystal meth can be a terrifying thing. However, if you are unsure whether or not your loved one is using crystal meth, the uncertainty can be anxiety-provoking. A person who uses meth can become addicted quickly. As a result, it is crucial to know what the signs are that someone is using crystal meth. The faster a person can get the help they need – the better.
What is Crystal Meth?
Crystal meth, also known as methamphetamine, ice, or glass, is a highly addictive illicit stimulant. It can be snorted, smoked, or injected. Regardless of the method of use, it is extremely dangerous. The appearance of crystal meth varies. It can be in the form of light gray, blue, or white rocks. Meth is cooked in clandestine laboratories and often contains a variety of deadly chemicals. Some of these chemicals include:
- Drain cleaner
- Battery acid
- Red phosphorus
- Anhydrous ammonia
- Paint thinner
The active ingredient in methamphetamine that produces its stimulant effects is pseudoephedrine, an over the counter cough suppressant. Although all of these chemicals can be found at a local store, it is extremely dangerous to combine them, and even more dangerous to consume them.
If you notice some of all of the following signs, your loved one may be using crystal meth.
1. Sores on face and arms.
One of the most obvious signs of crystal meth use is easily visible. People who abuse meth may develop sores on their faces, arms, and neck. Skins sores appear because meth often causes people to pick at their skin, resulting in red irritation and bumps to appear on the skin.
Tweaking occurs when a person is at the end of a crystal meth binge. When a person is no longer able to achieve a rush or a high from the drug, they become extremely agitated. The person may become desperate to feel the euphoric effects of the drug again. Some signs of tweaking include:
- A sensation of bugs crawling under the skin
- Inability to sleep for days on end
- Growing extremely frustrated and paranoid
- Engaging in self-harm
- Intense cravings for meth
- Delusional thinking and irrational behavior
3. Paranoia or hallucinations.
Methamphetamine users may become obsessed with their own thoughts and surroundings. This can lead to compulsive, erratic behaviors and paranoia. A person may believe someone is watching them, trying to catch them, or trying to hurt them. The person may also see or hear things that aren’t real.
If these paranoid thoughts and hallucinations continue for an extended period of time, a person may be suffering from meth-induced psychosis. Meth-induced psychosis is a result of both impaired neurological pathways and the lack of sleep.
4. Extreme weight loss.
Like most stimulant drugs, methamphetamine is an appetite suppressant. When a person is under the influence of meth, they may have little to no appetite. In addition, the body is in overdrive. This forces the body into starvation mode, causing a person to experience rapid weight loss.
5. Staying awake for days at a time.
Crystal meth is a strong stimulant that has the ability to keep users up for multiple days at a time. However, when the effects of the drug wear off, or when the body can no longer hand the drugs, users will experience a crash. During the crash phase, users may sleep for days on end. Sometimes, a crash period will last for up to 3 days. In addition, meth withdrawal may begin with a crash.
6. Rapid eye movements and dilated pupils.
When a person is under the influence of crystal meth, their pupils will be dilated. In addition, the stimulant can cause vision disturbances. As a result, the eyes will have difficulty focusing on one object. Therefore, a person using meth may exhibit rapid eye movements.
7. Irrational behaviors.
Another sign of methamphetamine abuse is unusual or irrational behaviors. These behaviors can include:
- Excessive talkativeness
- Aggression or violent behavior
- Mood changes or manic behavior
- Risky or illegal behaviors
- Repetitive or obsessive actions
8. Meth mouth.
When under the influence of crystal meth, a person may grind their teeth and neglect their hygiene. In addition, taking into consideration the plethora of toxic chemicals that are in meth, it is no surprise that it has devastating effects on the teeth and mouth. Long-term meth use can actually cause the teeth and gums to decay and rot. Missing teeth and a deformed mouth is commonly known as “meth mouth.”
Finding Treatment for Meth Addiction
Crystal meth is an extremely dangerous, toxic, and addictive drug. If a person is abusing meth, the best way to achieve sobriety is by checking into drug rehab.
“Since mood disorders like depression and paranoia are common among individuals who abuse methamphetamines, dual-diagnosis treatment centers are a great option to ensure that the client is not only being treated for their addiction, but for their mental health as well. Treatment in South Florida will consist of peer support groups, cognitive behavioral therapy, individual therapy, and holistic therapy. Through integrated treatment and the use of mood-stabilizing medications, the entirety of meth addiction can be addressed.”
If you or a loved one is suffering from crystal meth addiction, contact the addiction specialists at CWC Recovery today.