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Methamphetamine Addiction and Addiction Treatment
Here are some signs that a person might be addicted to meth.
Obsessive, fidgety behavior. As a stimulant, meth can cause users to suddenly start exhibiting behavior more commonly associated with people who suffer from OCD (like compulsive hand-washing, cleaning). Sometimes a meth user will repeatedly perform the same task over and over again.
Loquaciousness. A meth user often engages in constant, rambling conversation.
Dilated pupils and rapid, darting eyes.
Frequent sweating. Meth causes a rise in body temperature. In cases of extreme methamphetamine addiction and overdose, body temperature can rise high enough to cause brain damage or even death.
Tooth decay (commonly referred to as "meth mouth"). Meth abuse over a period of time causes nervous tooth grinding, saliva deficiency and extreme lapses in hygiene. The result is dramatic tooth decay.
Skin lesions and frequent sores that take a long time to heal. Not only does meth naturally inhibit the body's ability to fight off minor infection, but it can also cause meth addicts to nervously pick at their skin until it bleeds. Chronic meth users often suffer from the hallucination that they have insects crawling beneath their flesh.
Weight loss. Tragically, the goal of weight loss has actually motivated people to start using meth. But extended meth use can cause severe and unhealthy weight loss. The drug that many take in order to look more attractive ultimately leads to physical degeneration that is sometimes unbearable to witness.
Wakefulness that lasts for days, or perhaps more than a week. If your neighbor, roommate or family member doesn't sleep for days, during which time you observe the kind of nervous, high-energy behavior described above, there's a distinct possibility that meth abuse is the cause. Meth abuse often manifests itself in waves of "tweaking," in which a user will take repeated doses of meth, foregoing sleep for days at a time.
Absence from work or daily routine. The inevitable crash follows this kind of tweaking. Users will often sleep for long periods of time, their body drained of energy.
Depression. During withdrawal stages, meth addicts often suffer from depression that remains until their next fix.
Dangerous sexual promiscuity. Studies have shown a direct link between meth use and risky sexual behavior, the result of a drug that simultaneously strengthens libido and weakens judgment. While arousal and sexual activity can last for hours upon hours, many chronic meth users lose their ability to reach sexual climax.
Frustration that they can't seem to focus or think. One of the reasons for the difficulty of quitting meth is that withdrawal leads a user to feel less intelligent, slower and unable to perform mentally. Frustrated by this, many meth users who want to quit feel that they must use meth in order to function. In harsh reality, the cognitive crystal meth side effects can last for a couple months or more than a year.
Noticing strong smells. There are many smells that people associate with meth smoke - sometimes sweet (like an air freshener), other times like burnt food or a self-cleaning oven. Others describe the smell of chemicals burning, or a burnt plastic odor. While impure meth is said to produce a burning smell when smoked, many of these associated smells are likely due not to the actual smell of the meth smoke but, instead, the efforts of the paranoid smoker to cover up any possible odor with even stronger, recognizable smells. Meth itself is odorless, and not all users smoke meth; it can be dissolved in water and injected, swallowed in pill form, snorted as a powder, taken as a rectal suppository or absorbed via the urethra. But if you smell strange new odors, you should investigate because these may be signs of meth use nearby.
Many of these signs and effects of meth abuse could alternately signify other kinds of drug abuse or an underlying mental illness. However, don't wait to express concern until you notice the most severe and advanced signs of meth abuse (skin lesions, meth mouth, extreme weight loss and psychotic behavior). Meth use rapidly leads to addiction and the necessity for larger doses. Gradually, a meth addict will lose the ability to feel pleasure entirely, and all pleasant narcotic effects of the drug will disappear to leave confusion, dulled cognitive ability, paranoia and a host of physical ailments. By any of its numerous names - crystal meth, crystal, tweak, ice, shards, crissy, jib and others - meth hijacks and destroys lives, leading to permanent brain damage, violent cardiac episodes and ultimately death.
Your concern may be the only thing that can save the meth addict from self-destruction. If you recognize behavioral changes that are typical of meth users, you must consider the best ways to help the user confront and overcome their meth addiction. If you or a loved have any questions on the signs of meth abuse please do not hesitate to call us!
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- How to Identify Meth
- Dangers of Meth Abuse
- How is Meth Abused
- Meth Withdrawal symptoms
- Short Term Effects of Meth
- Long term Effects of Meth
- Signs of Meth Addiction
- Methamphetamine Facts
- Meth and Drug Testing
- Street Names for Meth
- Treatment for Meth Abuse
- Meth Laws
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