Between 2015 and 2018, 1.6 million American adults over 18 used meth. Of that 1.6 million, 52.9% were addicted to the drug.
Meth addiction is a real problem. The drug is a highly addictive stimulant that impacts the central nervous system. People can become addicted after just one use.
Knowing the signs of a meth addiction is the best way to help those in need. Let’s explore the top four symptoms of meth abuse.
1. A Meth Addiction Creates Physical Changes
When a person is addicted to meth, you will notice changes to their appearance. The changes can occur at any time.
Some of the most common physical signs of addiction include:
- Fast weight loss
- Frequent sweating
- Dilated pupils
- Increased body temperature
- Rapid speech
- Facial and skin sores
- Tooth decay and inflamed gums
- Track marks along the arms
- Burns around the lips or fingers
- Hair loss
Keep in mind that not all meth-users exhibit physical changes. However, most people who smoke crystal meth undergo bodily changes. The more noticeable the changes, the more severe the addiction.
2. Meth Leads to “Tweaking”
“Tweaking” refers to compulsive and erratic behavior caused by meth abuse. It includes high anxiety, nervous ticks, repeated physical motions, mood swings, and violent outbursts. Tweaking typically leads to insomnia and can last as long as three days.
Tweaking occurs in users who have been dosing for long periods. It can also happen after a person engages in a very large amount of meth. Tweaking occurs because a person has reached the end of their high.
If you notice a loved one tweaking, it’s a cry for help. Talk to professionals who can help you understand what’s going on and how to treat addiction.
3. Meth Addiction Creates Withdrawal
Drug abuse often leads to social changes, including withdrawal. Your loved one may be hard to reach or fail to show up for scheduled plans. When you’re together, the user may seem distant or distracted.
Withdrawal occurs because meth consumes a user’s life. It’s a dangerous drug that changes the way the brain works. When a person becomes addicted, all he or she can think about is the drug.
Meth addiction causes people to avoid social gatherings that prevent them from engaging in the drug. They may isolate themselves so they can dose privately. The user will avoid friends and family to prevent them from noticing their drug addiction.
4. Meth Causes Behavioral Changes
Meth addiction leads to a variety of changes in the way a person behaves. If you call them out, they may blame their actions on a lack of sleep, schedule changes, or stress.
Some noticeable behavior changes include:
- Poor job performance
- Lack of interest in activities
- Running on little to no sleep for days at a time
- Paranoia or delusional beliefs
- Irritable moods
- Aggressive reactions
- Feelings of depression
- Lack of appetite (which leads to drastic weight loss)
These changes are caused by an obsession with the drug, and the effects meth has on the brain. Fortunately, with the right treatment, people can recover and resume their normal behavioral patterns.
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Meth addiction is serious. Knowing the signs helps you identify drug abuse and find treatment for a loved one in need.
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