Meth Signs of Addiction: 10 Ways to Know Your Loved One is in Danger

Since 2008, hospital admittance for methamphetamine use has risen by roughly 245% in the U.S. The recent opioid crisis has put the dangers of meth abuse in the shadows, but the number of meth users is staggering.

The U.S. border seizes up to 20 times more of the drug than they did a decade ago, proving that the problem is as rampant as ever.

The physical manifestation of meth use is gradual. If you think someone you love is using, keep reading for the common meth signs of addiction and some advice on how to get help.

What is Meth?

Methamphetamine, more commonly known as meth, is a highly addictive, illegal drug that is similar in structure to amphetamines. Amphetamines are used in a variety of common prescription drugs such as Adderall, Ritalin, and Dexadrine.

While the two chemicals are structurally similar and can produce similar effects, it’s important not to mistake one for the other.

Doctors prescribe amphetamines to treat conditions like ADHD and other focus-related disorders. Methamphatimes are much stronger, highly addictive and completely illegal.

It is a whitish blue glassy substance, which is why its most common street name is crystal meth. Other common street names are crystal, ice, glass, whizz, and jib. People take the drug by injecting, smoking, snorting or ingesting it.

It produces an immediate feeling of extreme euphoria lasting up to 30 minutes. During that time users often feel highly motivated, intellectually charged, alert, and confident.

Meth is widely attributed to being one of the most dangerous, destructive illicit drugs available on the streets today. It has one of the highest rates of relapse due to its highly addictive nature and extremely cheap street prices.

Early Signs of Meth Use

In most cases, meth is not the first drug people try. It’s commonly abused by people who have already struggled with addiction or abuse of other drugs, especially uppers like cocaine or MDMA.

The obvious visible signs of meth use don’t happen quickly; it is a gradual process. If you think someone you love might be using meth, keep an eye out for the following.

While it might not be easy to identify, and might even seem like a positive thing at first, one early sign to look out for is if the person stops using other drugs. Cocaine, for instance, produces some of the same effects but is incredibly expensive.

If you’re close enough to someone to know what drugs they’ve been using, and you notice they’ve stopped buying cocaine, but are still acting in a way that worries you, they could have moved on to meth.

Another thing to watch for is a change in sleeping patterns. Meth users don’t sleep as much since the drug is a powerful stimulant. Withdrawing from loved ones and ditching previously enjoyed activities, work, and school are also red flags.

While it’s tricky to identify the early stages of meth addiction, it can be quite easy to identify if someone has recently taken it. Signs of the meth high include dilated pupils, fast-paced and excessive talking and over-confidence.

Other signs that someone is taking meth include extreme paranoia, delusional behavior, grandiose thoughts, increased libido, decreased appetite, stealing money from loved ones, violence and an increase in reckless behavior.

Late Signs of Meth Use

Unfortunately, it can go from the early stage to the late stage very quickly. It doesn’t take long for meth addiction to take hold, and the physical manifestation of the drug can be very jarring.

Physical signs of late-stage meth use are rotting teeth, mouth sores, bad breath, and scabs. Meth scabs are common due to the skin-crawling feeling that incites the users to pick at their skin, causing scabs and open sores.

Chronic meth use can lead to brain damage, stroke, seizures, and death. Meth addiction can cause the user to lose their job and home, leading them to financial ruin. It causes broken relationships. Often, the user ends up on the street.

Overdose Symptoms

It’s incredibly easy to overdose on meth. Signs that someone is overdosing, or close to overdosing, include intense, aggressive behavior, fever, muscle pains and shakes, nausea and vomiting, deliriousness or confusion or high or low blood pressure.

A meth overdose can lead to a stroke, a coma, and death. There is no drug available that can reduce the effects of a meth overdose.

Doctors will administer fluids through an IV for hydration, and give medication to control blood pressure and anxiety. The sooner the user gets medical attention, the better.

Meth Detox

The meth detox process is not an easy one with such high relapse rates. But it’s not impossible. The earlier the user gets into a treatment center for detoxification, the better.

There are three commonly recognized stages of meth detox. The first stage is the crash, also known as the “come down” or the withdrawal, and lasts up to 3 days from the time the last high subsides.

During this time, the user will be extremely anxious, irritable, hungry, depressed, and exhausted. The next stage is known as the acute stage and can last up to a week once the initial withdrawal symptoms fade.

When in the acute stage of detox, the user will experience severe insomnia, body aches, shakiness, depression, loss of memory and psychosis. During this stage, it’s best for the user to be in a safe environment, preferably a detox center.

The last stage is referred to as extinction, or post-withdrawal acute stage, and in severe cases can last up to several months.

During what will hopefully be the final stage and the end of their addiction, users will experience extreme mood changes, extreme anxiety, depression, irritability, aggression, intense cravings, nightmares, and insomnia.

The Bottom Line: Get Help ASAP

If you think someone you love is using meth, try to get them help as soon as possible.

Deterioration of the body and mind of meth addicts happens fast and can lead to death.

To learn more about meth signs of addiction and to get help, read through our treatment options.


types of meth

Crystal Meth, Glass, and Speed: 3 Different Types of Meth and Their Effects

You feel as though your life is spiraling out of control, and you’re absolutely desperate for relief, no matter how brief.

So, you turn to drugs. Specifically, you experiment with methamphetamine, an illegal stimulant that comes in different, dangerous forms, such as crystal meth, glass and speed.

The reality, though, is that for every good feeling you experience with meth comes a rash of other bad, potentially deadly ones.

Unfortunately, research shows that the use of meth has been surging throughout the United States in recent years, increasing from 3% to 4% of the country’s population from 2010 to 2015.

Here’s a rundown on the three different types of meth and their effects that you should know about.

Three Types of Meth Include Crystal Meth: What Exactly Is It?

This form of meth is a highly addictive and strong drug that impacts your body’s nervous system and can cause serious psychological issues.

This drug is available in a powder form that can be snorted.

This form of meth gets its name from its crystal-like appearance. What makes it so dangerous is that it is highly purified, as extra refining is performed so that impurities are removed from it.

The Feelings You Get from Crystal Meth

The potent rush that individuals experience when using the crystal form of this drug causes many of them to become hooked on it right away.

When you use crystal meth, a chemical known as dopamine floods areas of your brain that are responsible for regulating pleasure feelings. You may also feel energetic and confident.

If you continue to use the drug to experience the rush that comes with it, you’ll eventually develop a tolerance to it. As a result, you’ll need higher doses of meth to experience the high you used to experience with smaller amounts of it.

Unfortunately, the larger your doses of crystal meth are, the greater the risks.

The Effects of Crystal Meth

When you use crystal meth, your pupils will remain large and your eyes may move rapidly. In addition, you’ll feel like you can’t keep still and you’ll become talkative.

People who’ve developed an addiction to meth also typically complain about experiencing withdrawal symptoms if they go days or even hours without using the drug.

These withdrawal symptoms include the following:

  • Feeling violent
  • Feeling depressed
  • Breaking out in cold sweats
  • Experiencing panic attacks
  • Feeling hungry
  • Feeling tired

In addition, meth may drive up your body temperature, thus causing you to pass out. You could even pass away as a result of this.

People may notice a dramatic change in your looks as well. For instance, your skin might become dull and you may start to age quickly. You may also quit caring about your appearance.

You might even develop pimples and sores that are difficult to heal. Other apparent signs that you’re having a problem with meth are rotting, stained and broken teeth.

You CAN Overcome Meth Addiction

Help is available to those struggling with meth abuse. Let us guide you in the right direction. All calls are 100% free and confidential.

(855) 713-7262

Additional Crystal Meth Use Signs

One of the most serious side effects of becoming addicted to meth is feeling paranoid.

For example, you might see and hear things that are not actually there. These hallucinations may drive you to hurt other people or yourself. You could also feel like bugs are crawling under or on your skin.

Crystal meth is also dangerous in that it lessens your inhibitions and affects your judgment. For instance, you might be more inclined to practice unsafe sex, thus putting you at greater risk for HIV and AIDS.

Here are some other indicators that you’re struggling with a crystal meth addiction:

  • Dry mouth
  • Constantly picking at your skin or hair
  • Odd sleeping patterns, like going days without sleeping
  • Erratic, jerky movements, including facial tics and twitching
  • Exaggerated or animated mannerisms
  • Appetite and weight loss
  • Mood swings and angry outbursts

You might also find yourself stealing, selling your possessions or asking to borrow money often to support your meth habit.

What Exactly is Glass (Also Known as Ice)?

Crystal meth and glass are often used interchangeably. This is because glass is rock hard and crystal clear, thus resembling crystal meth.

However, the chemical make-up of these two forms of meth are totally different.

Glass is between 90% and 100% meth whose crystalline form resembles rock salt. As a result, it is the most powerful and purest form of meth.

Crystal meth, on the other hand, is a powder with varying purity levels as mentioned earlier.

Glass, which also goes by the names of shabu, ice cream and crank, can be injected when it’s heated. You can also swallow, inhale or smoke it. However, most users smoke it, which provides them with an even greater level of euphoria that they can’t get with snorted crystal meth.

Since glass is a lot purer than crystal meth, it’ll give you a longer high than crystal meth can. In fact, you may still feel high 24 hours after using it. This synthetic drug’s high purity level also makes it far more addictive than crystal meth.

The Effects of Glass

Here are some common side effects of using glass:

  • Psychosis
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Teeth grinding
  • Dilated pupils
  • Meth mouth
  • Meth sores
  • Bacterial infections
  • Malnutrition

If you use too much of this manufactured drug, you could easily overdose and lose your life as a result.

Speed and Its Effects

This is the form of meth that you can typically purchase on the street.

Unlike glass, speed is greasy, powdery and poorly cut. Part of its draw is that it’s a lot cheaper than glass, but that’s because it’s less pure.

In some cases, it’s just 1% meth.

With moderate or low doses of meth, you may experience the following side effects:

  • Hallucinations and paranoia
  • Increased libido, or sex drive
  • Feelings of excitement and happiness
  • Increased motivation
  • Feelings of superiority and power
  • Greater strength
  • Increased talkativeness
  • Quicker reaction times
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Aggression, irritability and hostility
  • Panic, agitation, nervousness and anxiety
  • Repeating simple acts
  • The feeling of being alert and awake
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Shifts in your speech and thinking
  • Uncomfortable itching
  • Increased sweating and body temperature

When it comes to your physical health, you may also experience stomach cramps if you swallow the drug, along with dry mouth and enlarged pupils.

Some particularly serious health effects of speed are a more rapid breathing rate, along with increased blood pressure, heart palpitations and chest pain.

If you consume large doses of speed, you can also experience the following serious issues:

  • Tremors
  • Blurred vision
  • Losing your coordination
  • Breathing irregularly
  • Collapse
  • Stroke
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Rapid heart pounding

If you frequently use heavy doses of this drug, you could also experience hallucinations and paranoid delusions and your behavior may become violent or aggressive.

As this drug’s effects start to wear off, you may feel totally exhausted and lethargic. You could even feel depressed, anxious, tense, restless and irritable.

However, these symptoms typically go away several days after you quit using speed.

Meth Addiction Can Ruin Lives

If you, or someone you know is struggling with crystal meth addiction, please give us a call - we can provide honest guidance and support. Confidentiality is 100% guaranteed.

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Why Meth Addiction Is So Serious

Whether you decide to use crystal meth, glass or speed, the drug can quickly take a toll on your health.

For instance, you may end up suffering from liver and kidney problems, as well as stroke. You may also be more susceptible to Parkinson’s disease.

When you look at the research, the health-related dangers of meth are especially apparent.

Data from 2017 show that the number of people who pursued medical help after taking meth was greater than the sum of people who sought help after consuming alcohol and cannabis combined. This makes it one of the most deadly drugs.

Meth also appears to negatively impact women more than it does men, although researchers aren’t sure why. A little more than 8% of women needed medical help after taking meth compared with nearly 4% of men.

What makes meth addiction particularly troubling is that this drug produces an extremely pleasurable feeling that can dissipate before the drug’s concentration in your blood decreases. As a result, you can easily binge on it.

The severity and length of a meth binge vary among users. However, it’s not uncommon for people to neglect eating or sleeping for several days. After that point, medical treatment might be necessary.

A Glimpse at Meth Treatment

If you are struggling with meth addiction, your loved ones may encourage you to seek treatment. After all, they may be worried about the harm you are doing to yourself.

The reality is that you’re better off getting help now before you get arrested for taking illegal drugs. In this situation, the choice will no longer be in your hands.

Also, since meth can have such a severe impact on your brain as well as other organs long term, it’s critical that you intervene sooner instead of later.

Fortunately, treatment centers and professional interventionists are available that have experience with fighting meth addiction.

Your first step? You’ll need to inquire about the type of coverage available to you through your insurer. Then, you can look for a rehab center and treatment facility that meets the certain criteria that addiction to meth requires.

Meth addiction is among the hardest addictions to beat. Between 30 days and 60 days is required to detox. Then, you’ll need extra time to tackle those underlying issues that resulted in your addiction.

An individualized and comprehensive treatment program that will cover you for the long haul is recommended.

Note that detoxification on its own simply isn’t enough to overcome your meth addiction. It’s paramount that you complete therapy as well to avoid relapse. If a person relapses, they might not get a second chance at kicking their drug habit.

In fact, behavioral therapy is considered to be the most powerful treatment for addiction to meth.

Additional Considerations

Other effective parts of the drug addiction intervention process include family education, the positive reinforcement of activities not related to drugs, drug testing and counseling.

As of now, no particular medications have been approved to be used in meth addiction. However, clinical research is currently in progress that is looking at vaccine or medication use for treating this type of drug addiction.

Also, a drug called bupropion (Wellbutrin), which is prescribed for depression, has been proven to decrease moderate or low meth cravings when used along with behavioral therapy. It’s believed that bupropion prevents the re-uptake of dopamine and norepinephrine in a drug user.

The most important thing, though is that you find a program that has strong inpatient treatment and a solid aftercare component. This will ensure that you have the support you need to transition to healthy, drug-free living.

How We Can Help

We offer top-notch treatment services aimed at helping families to find personalized drug rehab that will accept your insurance.

So many treatment centersĀ are willing to guide you into recovery from the three types of meth discussed above. The question is, how exactly do you choose the best one for your needs?

Our goal is to make the decision much easier for you by providing you with dependable input on various treatment providers.

When you talk to individual rehab centers, you may feel like you’re repeatedly being sold to. This is why many people who are struggling with addiction turn to us before talking to rehab center staff members.

We are dedicated to making sure that you choose a center that will effectively meet your unique needs.

Here is our four-step process. First, we’ll help you to pinpoint a starting point for your treatment. Second, we’ll help to secure intervention services for you.

Third, we’ll work directly with your insurance provider. And finally, we’ll help you to select the best rehab center.

Get in touch with us to find out more about how we can help you to finally break free from the grip of meth addiction and get your life back.