The act of Googling, “What are meth addiction signs?” probably has you feeling sick to your stomach, sending an all-consuming wave of nausea through your body.
The disease of addiction is a cold-hearted monster that destroys goals and dreams, tears apart families, and fundamentally changes the physical and chemical makeup of an addict’s mind and body.
Meth – one of the most volatile illicit drugs on the black market – is a cataclysm in and of itself. When a loved one begins to behave and look differently, and your mind worries drugs are to blame, the time is now to get to the bottom of what’s really going on.
Helping a meth addict starts by understanding the signs and symptoms of meth addiction and knowing where to turn to get your loved one the life-changing and life-saving help they need.
What is Meth Addiction?
When an individual becomes addicted to methamphetamine, their entire life is seemingly flipped on its head. Meth – also known as crystal, ice, glass, or crank – chemically alters the brain’s processes and fundamentally seizes control over every action, mood and behavior.
Meth addicts typically begin to neglect personal, familial and professional responsibilities, as they begin to spend most of their time obsessing over the substance and working hard to keep an optimal supply.
- Individuals who are addicted to meth will more than likely find themselves in financial, health or legal troubles because of their addiction.
- Individuals who are addicted to meth will develop a chemical dependency that inhibits them from ending all meth use on their own.
- Individuals who are addicted to meth tend to act irresponsibly and do whatever it takes to get their next fix.
- Individuals who are addicted to meth can make loved ones feel as if everything is alright by denying they have a problem or downplaying the extent of their substance use.
Signs and Symptoms of Meth Addiction
It’s important to note that meth affects every individual in different ways. For the most part, however, the following meth addiction signs and symptoms will help you make sense of your loved one’s physical, mental and behavioral states.
Early detection of any drug use, abuse, or addiction plays a vital role in stopping the damage before it inflicts real impairment on your loved one’s mind and body, or, worse, claims their life altogether.
Meth Addiction Signs: Paraphernalia Used by Meth Addicts
Meth is made from all kinds of deadly chemicals, with the most popular being from fertilizer, batteries, and engine starter fluid. Meth can be smoked, injected or snorted and is most commonly known as a “cheap party drug.”
For consumption, several tools are used among meth users. It’s common for users and addicts to hide their equipment and thoroughly clean up after themselves to hide any evidence of their substance problem.
If you find any of the following tools or equipment, it’s time to talk with your loved one about their meth (or other drug) use:
- Cut straws and empty ink pens – These tools are used to snort or smoke meth.
- Tin foil and aluminum cans – These tools are used to smoke meth. Take special note if you find blackened tin foil and pin-sized holes in aluminum cans.
- Glass and home-made pipes – These tools are used to smoke meth. Look for long, glass cylinders with bulbous ends. A used meth pipe will have black burn marks on the underside of the end. Additionally, once smoked, meth will leave a waxy, yellowish residue in the pipe.
- Needles and syringes – These tools are used to inject meth. *This method of consumption has the highest risk of overdose and contracting HIV or hepatitis if needles are shared.
- Small sandwich bags with residue – These are used to store meth. Meth residue will look like a crystalline powder with an off-white or light brown coloring, or it may appear as chunky pieces of clear, broken glass.
Physical, Mental & Behavioral Symptoms of Meth Addiction
Meth promises a high unlike any other, but what addicts truly get from meth use is a dependent mind and body that is crumbling from the inside-out and the outside-in.
Here are the most prominent symptoms of meth addiction:
Physical & Mental Meth Addiction Signs
• Dilated pupils
• Increased breathing rate
• Chest pain
• Flushed or itchy skin
• Changes in physical appearance
• Unhealthy & drastic weight loss
• Rapidly aged physical appearance
• Loss of teeth
• Severe tooth decay and gum disease
• Damage to blood vessels
• Irregular heartbeat
Long-term use can lead to:
• Lung disease
• Brain disease
• Heart attacks
• Heart disease
Behavioral Meth Addiction Signs
• Picking at skin or hair
• Rapid eye movement
• Decreased appetite
• Anger and aggression
• Overly talkative
• Increased distractibility
• Grandiose behavior
• Loss of consciousness
• Hallucinations and paranoia
• Depression and suicide attempts
What to Do When Your Loved One is Addicted to Meth
An addiction develops from continued meth use at increasingly higher doses. This builds an individual’s tolerance level and, in turn, gives rise to dependency.
Because of the severity and dangers associated with the detox and withdrawal process, meth addiction treatment should always come from medical and addiction experts in a well-established and clinically sound rehab facility.
But helping an addict is never as easy as signing them up for treatment and meeting them at the end when they are sober. Unfortunately, it’s much harder and more painful than that – for the addict and loved one.
The hard part about being a support person in the addiction process is your loved one must acknowledge their addiction and want to get help before any rehab process can start.
Helping an addict starts with a calm, well-composed conversation about their drug use and your continued support for them. Always remember that with the right support, there is hope and your loved one can return to the clean, thriving individual they were before meth entered their life.
Life-Changing, Holistic Meth Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery
As your loved one’s biggest advocate, we understand how crucial it is for you to help your loved one get clean and stay sober. If they are ready to get help, or you are seeking insights from addiction recovery experts, Ranch Creek Recovery can help.
We go beyond the normal twelve-step program and focus on tailor-fitting each treatment program to address each patient’s unique needs. It’s about individualization and holistic treatment at Ranch Creek, and your loved one can discover a new beginning here.
Learn more about our meth addiction treatment program.
Have questions? We’re here to help. Contact us today.