What Is Tweaking?
Tweaking is a complex state that has both physical and mental effects on crystal meth users. This state occurs after an abuser has binged on the drug for an extended period of time. It is important to remember that meth binges can last for several days at a time. Typically, the longer a meth binge lasts, the more severe the negative aftereffects, including tweaking, will be.
When binging on meth, the user will continue to use more meth to avoid the inevitable comedown. Users want to delay coming down from meth because it is associated with a loss of the euphoria and energy caused by the drug, as well as the onset of highly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
After using meth for hours or days on end, the user will not be able to get the same “high” that they did at the beginning of the binge. When this happens, the tweaking begins. Tweaking is notable for strong cravings and a sense of desperation to return to a euphoric state. These symptoms are so strong that many meth abusers quickly enter a state of psychosis in which they suffer from paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, and altered perceptions of reality.
This period of tweaking (sometimes known as “tweaking out”) can also cause insomnia and a loss of appetite. After the tweaking ends, methamphetamine users will often sleep for long periods of time. Periods of recovery can take a few weeks, during which time users will struggle with withdrawal, fatigue, as well as seemingly insatiable hunger and thirst.
Why Does Meth Tweaking Happen?
Tweaking occurs because of the properties of meth itself. In addition to being highly addictive, meth causes users to have intense, prolonged periods of high energy. When these periods fade, the signs of meth addiction and tweaking begin. Meth is known for releasing dopamine at the peak of the high. This causes a very sudden and intense elevation in mood and a sense of euphoria.
These unnatural levels of dopamine make users want to continue abusing the drug to maintain the drug’s desirable effects. The intensity of the addiction and cravings pushes the mind and body into a state of distress as the user struggles hopelessly to recreate the euphoria. Over time, people who regularly binge on meth will experience longer and more severe periods of tweaking and meth withdrawal.
How To Tell If Someone Is Tweaking On Meth
You may still feel a little confused about what tweaking really looks like. However, identifying tweaking is one of the best ways to know if someone is suffering from meth addiction. To know if you are witnessing someone who is “tweaking out,” look for the following signs and symptoms of tweaking:
- Hallucinations – A tweaker will not be fully attached to reality. The craving for meth is so strong that the person’s mind will begin to create visions or false beliefs in response to the sudden withdrawal symptoms. A common tweaker behavior is complaining about bugs crawling underneath the skin. This may result in the drug user scratching their skin to the point of drawing blood.
- Delusions – While psychosis does not always occur after meth use, it is a common sign that tweaking has begun. When someone is tweaking, they will often say things that sound very paranoid or do not make sense at all. In most cases, tweakers may believe that someone or something is “out to get them.” The combination of hallucinations and paranoia can even push meth users to engage in dangerous or violent behaviors.
- Physical Harm – As previously mentioned, meth can cause users to scratch their own skin. Consequently, a common sign of tweaking could be scabs or signs of scratching on the arms, hands, legs, or face.
- Shaking or Fidgeting – Meth usually gives people a huge boost of energy. Even after the drug has worn off, the energy level may remain elevated due to the panic caused by withdrawal. A person who is desperately wanting to get high again may shake or fidget, unable to sit still for more than a few seconds at a time.
- Desperation – People who are tweaking will show signs of intense cravings and desperation. Even if the user does not verbalize what they want, they may make it clear through their behavior. Constantly looking for something, pacing back and forth, and reacting aggressively to others could all be signs of the desperate cravings associated with tweaking.
How To Get Help For A Meth Addiction
The dangers of meth cannot be overstated. Experiencing or witnessing a period of tweaking can be frightening and potentially dangerous. When someone is tweaking, their actions and mindset become more erratic, and they will do whatever they can to get access to more meth and overcome the withdrawal symptoms.
As you can imagine, binging on meth will only strengthen the addiction, make withdrawals worse, and increase the risk of overdose. This means that tweaking is one of the most dangerous stages of meth use. If left untreated, meth addiction and binging can quickly have fatal results.
So, while some people might make jokes about tweakers or people “tweaking out” on drugs, there is nothing funny about meth abuse. It is a drug that can take total control of your life and even ruin your ability to function, both mentally and physically. Many people who start using meth find it extremely difficult to stop, even as the drug tears their lives apart.
Whether it is you or someone you love, you will need to take meth addiction seriously and act with compassion and care. For this reason, we recommend reaching out to professionals as soon as possible. A simple phone call could mean the difference between life and death.
Fortunately, Prosperity Haven has the facilities and expertise to provide high-quality treatment for meth addiction. Our residential drug rehab centers are designed to be a comfortable and judgment-free zone. At the same time, we offer all of the same services you could get at a traditional inpatient treatment center. Lastly, we stand out by focusing on long-term addiction relief through therapy, including both one-on-one and group sessions.
Are you or someone you know showing signs of meth abuse? Do you believe that treatment for meth addiction is the best solution to reach recovery? If so, feel free to contact the experts at Prosperity Haven to learn more about meth rehab for addiction to crystal meth.
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