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Signs Of Meth Use & How To Get Help

Long-Term Meth Abuse Effects

Meth use is rampant across the US. Its cheap cost, wide availability and strong effect have meant that many across the country have unfortunately become addicted to this drug.

Meth addiction is a living hell for those unfortunately afflicted. Users stay up for days, facing delusions and paranoia. After this, a several day crash occurs. Meth itself is extremely toxic for the body and mind, and meth comes with a host of dangerous impurities that cause even more damage to users.

This article details exactly what methamphetamine use looks like, and how to get help if you are addicted to it.

 

What is Meth?

Methamphetamine is a powerful central nervous system stimulant. It stimulates the release of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, which increases alertness, feelings of pleasure, and energy. However, meth also causes toxic changes in the brain that can lead to serious health problems including stroke and irreversible damage to the brain.

Crystal meth is made from chemicals and other substances that are easily obtained. The main ingredient in meth is pseudoephedrine or ephedrine, which is found in many over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines.

These chemicals are mixed together in a process called “cooking.” The cooking process can be done in just a few hours, using small, easily hidden labs. The finished product is methamphetamine, which can be smoked, injected, swallowed, or snorted.

Methamphetamine use is associated with a range of serious health problems. Dangers of meth include:

  • Brain damage. Meth use can cause problems with the receptors in the brain. Some of these changes may be permanent.
  • Cardiovascular problems. Using meth causes the heart to beat far faster than normal. This puts strain on the heart, particularly when users do not sleep or eat for days.
  • Kidney damage. Meth is bad for the kidneys. Damage is even more severe when meth contains toxic impurities due to the way that it is manufactured.
  • Liver damage. Methamphetamine also causes grave injury to the liver. However, the liver is able to regenerate fairly well and can usually recover if meth use is ceased.
  • Mental health problems. Meth damages the brain but living the lifestyle of a meth addict can cause additional trauma, resulting in a worsening of mental health issues.
  • Pregnancy complications. If someone is pregnant, using meth even once can be catastrophic to the health of the baby. People who use meth while they are pregnant also risk suffering a miscarriage.

In addition to the physical risks, meth use can also lead to financial ruin, relationship problems, and legal trouble.

What does meth look like?

It is usually a white, odorless, bitter-tasting powder that dissolves easily in water or alcohol. Meth can also come in the form of a pill, crystal, or rock (known as “crystal meth”).

It tends to be packaged in small clear plastic bags, but may also come in another type of packaging.

Physical signs of meth use

Meth use cause a wide range of physical symptoms when it is taken on a regular basis.

Rotting Teeth

One of the most obvious physical signs of meth use is rotting teeth. Methamphetamine causes users to grind their teeth, which leads to tooth decay and gum disease. In extreme cases, teeth may fall out or need to be removed.

Weight Loss

Another physical sign of meth use is weight loss. Meth users often become so obsessed with the drug that they neglect to eat or take care of themselves, leading to drastic weight loss. Injecting meth also damages the skin around the injection site, causing sores or scabs.

Erratic Behavior

Meth users often have a wide range of bizarre behaviors. They may become paranoid, aggressive, or even violent. They may also act erratically, exhibiting sudden changes in mood or behavior. These behaviors can be signs that meth use is taking a toll on a person’s mental health.

Poor Appearance

Meth users often have an unkempt appearance. They may wear dirty clothes and have poor hygiene. Their skin may be covered in sores or scabs, and their hair may be oily or greasy.

Tremors

Another sign of meth use is tremors or twitching. People who are using meth may notice that their hands or feet start to shake uncontrollably. This is often caused by the high levels of dopamine in the brain.

Other Signs Of Meth Use

Here are a few more signs of meth use besides the physical signs.

Anxiety

One of the most common signs of meth use is anxiety. People who are using meth may feel extremely anxious and on edge. They may be unable to sit still or focus on anything for very long. This can often lead to paranoia and delusions.

Paranoia

Another common sign of meth use is paranoia. People who are using meth may become paranoid and believe that others are out to get them. They may also have hallucinations and see things that are not really there.

Psychosis

Another sign of meth use is psychosis. People who are using meth may start to hear voices or see things that are not really there. This can be a very frightening experience and may lead to paranoia and delusions.

Schizophrenia

People who take meth have an increased risk of experiencing schizophrenia. Symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, and disordered thinking. If you think you or someone you know may be suffering from schizophrenia, it is important to seek professional help immediately.

Enlarged Pupils

Meth users often have enlarged pupils. The pupils may become so large that they almost completely cover the iris. This is often one of the first signs that someone is using meth.

Not Sleeping

Taking meth means that users are not able to sleep. People who use meth may find that they cannot fall asleep or stay asleep for more than a few hours at a time. This can lead to fatigue and exhaustion.

How to get help for a meth addiction

If you or a loved one is addicted to meth, it may feel like a hopeless situation. The damage caused by meth exerts a heavy toll, and it may seem like there is no coming back.

Do not give up hope. There are solutions to meth addiction. People in the direst situations have been able to recover from meth abuse and go on to live happy and productive lives.

The first step is contacting a drug rehab that has experience with treating people who have been abusing meth. While some aspects of treating drug use are the same, some elements of meth addiction require treatment from specialists.

There are certain Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) that can be prescribed for meth withdrawal that make the withdrawal process significantly more comfortable. These can only be prescribed by someone who has the proper training.

If you or your loved one has had enough of meth addiction and would like to recover with the support of professionals who really care, contact Prosperity Haven today.

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