Methamphetamine is a powerful drug that can have physical, mental, and emotional consequences when abused. Due to the intense high this substance produces, many people who start off simply experimenting with the drug end up in the throes of addiction as they continually chase after that initial high. Unfortunately, meth addiction comes with an incredibly high price and is often hard to hide from loved ones.
If a person continues to abuse methamphetamine, his or her health – and often life – will quickly begin to crumble. If you believe a loved one is abusing meth, knowing the signs can help you determine whether your loved one is in need of professional treatment. The sooner a person gets help for meth abuse, the more likely he or she will avoid developing a full-blown addiction and make a full recovery in sobriety.
The following are six signs that may indicate your loved one is using methamphetamine:
1. They Have Noticeable Changes In Appearance
Methamphetamine is known for causing a few specific changes that can impact someone’s appearance, even after only a short period of use.
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Common physical signs that someone is using meth include:
- sores or scratches on the skin
- track marks often found on the arms
- rotting teeth
- inflamed gums
- drastic weight loss
- hair that is thinning or falling out
- red, swollen eyes
- burn marks on the fingers or lips
If you notice any of these physical signs on your loved one, he or she may be abusing meth. A person who uses methamphetamine by smoking it (in the form of crystal meth) will likely have the most noticeable physical signs and symptoms of abuse.
The more severe the physical changes, the more severe the abuse of the drug likely is.
2. You Find Drug Paraphernalia In Their Home Or Near Them
Noticing drug paraphernalia around your loved one or in his or her home is a tell-tale sign that he or she is abusing methamphetamine. Meth is most commonly injected, snorted, or smoked. All of these methods require some form of equipment or paraphernalia.
Methamphetamine paraphernalia may include:
- glass pipes
- rolled up dollar bills
- aluminum foil, spoons, or cans
A person who is abusing meth may try to hide these items or leave them hidden in plain sight. If you find any of the abovementioned paraphernalia around your loved one, it may be time to intervene.
3. You Notice Behavioral Changes
A person who is using meth will typically exhibit behavioral changes that are noticeable to others. Common changes in behavior due to meth use may include paranoia, anxiety, violent outbursts, and irritability.
Additionally, drug abuse can quickly consume a person’s life and become the main priority for that individual. As a result, the person may dismiss responsibilities or activities that he or she once enjoyed or took pride in. Your loved one may have relationship problems or appear to not care about things he or once took pleasure in.
4. Your Loved One Exhibits Symptoms Of “Tweaking”
One of the more obvious signs of meth abuse is something known as “tweaking.” This is when a person experiences insomnia and/or anxiety for an extended period of time – often three days or longer. The individual may not sleep for several days and begin to be paranoid, anxious, and irritable.
Tweaking is when a person has reached the end of a meth binge and can no longer achieve the desired high. The desperation to use methamphetamine again can result in the abovementioned symptoms and can severely impact a person’s mental stability.
5. Your Loved One Has Problems At Work Or School
Abusing substances – especially ones that are as potent as methamphetamine – can result in problems at work or school. A person may call off work in order to use the drug or recover from a binge. He or she may perform poorly and be written up or even fired. Or, if a person is in school, he or she may fail tests or even be suspended or expelled for drug use.
6. Your Loved One Has Started To Withdraw From Friends And Family
Another telling sign that a person is abusing methamphetamine is the withdrawal from friends and family. Active drug abuse and addiction can consume a person’s life to the point where the individual will avoid people or situations that may prevent him or her from using the drug. Your loved one may isolate in order to use meth more frequently or may completely withdraw from social activities to avoid tipping off loved ones from the drug abuse.
Helping Your Loved One Get Treatment For Meth Abuse And Addiction
Methamphetamine is a dangerous drug that can quickly consume a person and lead to addiction and even death. If you believe someone you love is using meth, helping him or her get addiction treatment could potentially save your loved one’s life. At Vertava Health of Massachusetts, we offer a variety of personalized treatment programs to help individuals overcome addiction and live a sober and fulfilling life.
To learn more about the signs that someone may be using methamphetamine, contact a Vertava Health of Massachusetts treatment specialist today.
- Drug Enforcement Administration — Methamphetamine
- National Institute on Drug Abuse — What are the immediate (short-term) effects of methamphetamine misuse?
- National Institute on Drug Abuse — Signs of Meth Use