Pick out a random group of one-hundred strangers and ask them about their drug use or abuse. Chances are good that out of those hundred there will be someone who used to be addicted to meth or is currently addicted. Meth addiction may not get the same headlines that opioids like heroin get – but it’s a growing problem. Meth is currently the most abused synthetic drug in the U.S.
If you think you may be addicted to meth or are fearful someone you love is addicted, it’s best to get accurate information before talking to them or searching for yourself. Let’s learn about the signs of meth addiction including signs of a person high on meth, signs of meth withdrawal, and how to get help through medical detox and treatment.
Signs of a Meth High
Someone high on meth will exhibit several signs and symptoms, both physically and psychologically. One or a few signs is not an automatic indication of a meth addiction, but most addicts will check many of the following boxes.
Meth is a central nervous system stimulant, so you can expect someone high on meth to exhibit symptoms of an accelerated system including:
- Tics, spasms, and twitches – More popularly known as ‘tweaking.’ Tweaking is an overactive central nervous system shooting off random and uncontrollable impulses through the body
- Missing or rotten teeth – Tooth and oral health degradation is a classic sign of meth addiction. Meth can decay tooth enamel and meth addicts tend to grind teeth. Tooth decay in addicts is commonly known as ‘meth mouth’
- Abundant amounts of energy – Extreme energy and mania are another hallmark of a meth addict. Meth puts the brain and body on turbo which leads to extreme personality changes. A person high on meth may want to suddenly rebuild a car engine, or come up with a get-rich scheme, or want to talk continuously. Everyone is prone to sudden bursts of energy, but most don’t stay awake for days at a time.
- Picking – Meth addicts pick at their skin and hair, even when painful. Open sores, scabs, and picking is an obvious sign of meth addiction.
- Rapid eye movement
- Drooping skin, especially in the face
- Weight and appetite loss
- Dilated pupils
- Raised body temperature
- Elevated heart rate
- Elevated blood pressure
- Rapid breathing
- Mood swings – Meth addicts experience high highs and low lows. If someone you know has suddenly become much more joyful than before or much lower, they could have a meth problem
- Mania – Everyone gets excited, but abundant excitement is a sign of mania
- Paranoia and Anxiety
- Mental confusion and cloudiness
Signs of Meth Withdrawal
Meth withdrawal symptoms can be as obvious as signs of someone actively addicted to the drug.
The Crash – The crash, also known as the come-down, is the acute period of withdrawal immediately after meth has left the system. The crash is essentially a meth hangover and comes with similar symptoms like depression, anxiety, and malaise. Some addicts can sleep for entire days during the crash. After the crash has passed meth addicts will experience other signs of acute withdrawal.
Physical Signs of Meth Withdrawal
Psychological Signs of Meth Withdrawal
Other Signs of Meth Addiction
Changes in personality – Does your even-tempered niece suddenly experience manic and depressive episodes? Did you spouse suddenly begin strange changes to their daily routine? Sudden personality changes, certain changes in schedule or other dramatic shifts might due to a drug or meth addiction.
Missing items – Meth is not cheap, and a chronic addict will need money to support their habit. It’s not uncommon or meth addicts to steal, lie, and fraud to get money to feed their addiction. If you notice a loved one selling off possessions of their own or notice possessions are going missing, it could be to feed their habit.
Sudden Financial Distress
If you’re afraid a friend or family member is addicted to meth and they suddenly need ‘like a hundred bucks’ from you-you’re probably right. If someone you know as generally financially healthy is suddenly having financial problems, there could be problems. Sudden financial distress can come from many outlets and will often only be an indicator of a meth addiction if there is already a suspicion.
Needing a Fix
Though any meth use is drug abuse there are many out there who think their meth habit is perfectly fine or not affecting their life in any negative way. This section will address questioning if your meth habit is a meth addiction. Yes. Meth can trick your brain into chemical dependence more quickly than you notice which means you have an addicted brain and body.
If you still think your meth use is fine, consider these questions. Could you leave it all behind right now? Has it negatively impacted your life – even once? Do you find yourself needing a fix before starting on a project or getting motivated? Do you need meth after a stressful day? This is addiction.
Getting the Help for Meth Addiction
If you or a loved one is addicted to meth there is a way out in modern treatment and rehab facilities. Our facilities are clean, warm, and only use well-researched methods and certified medical and treatment professionals to treat meth addiction.
Our treatment facility will help you detox safely and comfortably, then help you continue your recovery through counseling, education, and more. Meth addiction only ends in jails, institutions, or six feet under so get the help you need today if you’re addicted to meth.
Chris Clancy is the in-house Content Manager for JourneyPure’s Digital Marketing team, where he gets to explore a wide variety of substance abuse- and mental health-related topics. He has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist and researcher, with strong working knowledge of hospital systems, health insurance, content strategy, and public relations. He lives in Nashville with his wife and two kids.