Signs of Meth Addiction

Friday, October 19, 2018 | By Chris Clancy


Many people are drawn to meth because of how it makes them feel when they are high. When meth is abused, an increased sense of self-confidence and euphoria come on in a sudden rush that keeps users coming back for more. Because of its addictive properties, it does not take long for someone to go from abusing meth to becoming fully addicted to it. 

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.

Physical Signs of Meth High

Signs of a Meth High

Someone high on meth will exhibit several signs and symptoms, both physically and psychologically. The most common of these signs include:

Physical Signs

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 additional hallmarks 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


Psychological Signs

  • 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
  • Euphoria
  • Paranoia and Anxiety
  • Mental confusion and cloudiness
  • Irritability

People who are high on meth can exhibit signs of mania, which are defined by things such as grandiose beliefs, talking rapidly and loudly, and inappropriate social behavior. Since meth is a stimulant, the effects that are most noticeable are those that make the user appear to be “moving faster” than usual.

meth withdrawal signs

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

  • Insomnia
  • Hypersomnia
  • Sweating
  • Restlessness
  • Picking

Psychological Signs of Meth Withdrawal

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia

signs of meth addiction

Signs of Meth Addiction

A meth addiction is not something that develops overnight. Instead, it is something that gradually develops within a short period of time (especially if being abused regularly). As with all other addictive substances, someone who abuses meth will eventually become tolerant to it, meaning that he or she will need to use a higher dose in order to achieve a high. As tolerance increases, they become psychologically addicted to the abuse of meth. The longer the meth abuse continues, the more likely it becomes for an individual to develop a dependence on it, meaning that he or she cannot stop using without experiencing painful withdrawal symptoms. 

This is the silent process that occurs when meth abuse is becoming an addiction. What is more noticeable at this time are the user’s behaviors, which are being hijacked at the hands of the very drug they are abusing. 

When someone is addicted to meth, he or she may display the following signs of the disease:

  • Being secretive about their use (e.g. hiding paraphernalia, being dishonest about what they are doing behind closed doors, etc.)
  • Lying to others about where he or she is going, who he or she is seeing, or what he or she is spending his or her money on
  • Neglecting basic household duties like dishes, laundry, and general upkeep
  • Ignoring their own need for proper personal hygiene
  • Experiencing problems at work, home, and/or school because of meth
  • Continuing to engage in dangerous behaviors despite the risk of serious consequences
  • Continuing to use even if their use has caused harm to themselves or others (e.g. such as after causing a car accident or suffering an overdose)
  • Experiencing financial distress due to funding their meth addiction

Once an addiction has developed, putting a stop to it can be extremely difficult, especially when an addiction to a drug as strong as meth is occurring. 

Physical and Mental Signs of Meth Addiction

While one’s behaviors will undoubtedly change when addicted to meth, their physical and mental health will also become compromised, too. Meth is an incredibly dangerous substance to be addicted to for many reasons, but particularly because of what it consists of. It has a pseudoephedrine base and is combined with the following:

  • Acetone (found in nail polish and paint thinner)
  • Ammonia (found in fertilizer and household cleaners)
  • Hydrochloric acid (used to create plastic)
  • Lithium (used in batteries)
  • Red phosphorous (found on matchboxes)
  • Toluene (brake fluid)
  • Sodium hydroxide (used to dissolve roadkill)
  • Sulfuric acid (found in drain cleaner)

Each one of these chemicals is toxic and not designed for human consumption, which is one of the many reasons why it produces such horrific physical side effects. These effects include:

  • Tooth decay, which is known as “meth mouth
  • Skin sores and acne
  • Rapid aging of one’s appearance, including increase in wrinkles, dulling of skin
  • Bone loss that can result in osteoporosis

Other Signs of Meth Addiction

Changes in personality – Does your even-tempered niece suddenly experience manic and depressive episodes? Did your 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.

Get the Help You Deserve.

Accepting Same-Day Admission With Additional Pre-Screening


Stay Up To Date

  • I Think I’m Addicted to Prescription Meds – Am I an Addict?

    “It’s been prescribed to me, so it isn’t dangerous.”   This is one of the greatest myths surrounding prescription painkillers. When you think of substance abuse, you probably think of street drugs. But did you know prescription medicatio

  • 5 Stress Relief Tools for Recovering Addicts

    Family problems, traffic jams and looming deadlines. Everybody has experienced stress at some point, but for individuals suffering from addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders, stress can be destructive. Stress overload – or an inability

  • common fears of going to rehab

    10 Common Fears of Rehab and How to Overcome Them

    Making the decision to enter a treatment facility to get help with an addiction is certainly not easy. There are many common fears of entering rehab that come up when contemplating this decision. The good news is, you’re not alone in feeling this w

  • parent enabling daughter

    How to Stop Enabling an Addict

    Addiction is a tough disease — both for the person with the problem, as well as their friends and families, who may feel helpless in their ability to keep a loved one out of harm’s way. Though addictions only affect the addict themselves on a phy

  • Staying Motivated in Recovery

    Staying Motivated in Recovery

    Addiction is a deadly disease that can sneak up on you when you least expect it. One minute you think you have your life under control and the next minute you realize you are lying to everyone, including yourself. You have difficulty managing your wo

  • 12-Step Meetings: What to Expect

    If you’ve just completed a treatment program and are looking to get connected to people in recovery or if you’d like to stop drinking or using drugs and are looking for some support, 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonym

  • Michaela’s Story: Road to Recovery

    It is estimated more than two-thirds of people that struggle with addiction have experienced some type of childhood trauma. For Michaela S., it was a family tragedy. She was just 9-years-old when she lost her brother in an ATV accident. He was only a

  • Sober Fall Activities Near Bowling Green

    Fall is a great time to get outside and enjoy the cooler weather and head out for some festive family activities. A major contributor in long-term recovery and preventing relapse is steering clear of triggers. The best way to do that is to change you

  • A Guide to 12-Step Meetings

    As part of your continuing care plan, it will be recommended you attend regular 12-step meetings for support and encouragement. Understanding the founding principles and the general meeting guidelines can help ease some fears and anxiety you might be

  • Finding Hope through Family Therapy

    At JourneyPure Bowling Green, we feel very strongly that family involvement throughout one’s addiction treatment is essential for long-term recovery. Organizations including the National Institute on Drug Abuse and U.S. Department of Health and Hum

  • The Heroin Epidemic in Kentucky

    Known as “The Bluegrass State,” Kentucky is home to the world-famous Kentucky Derby, is notorious for its bourbon, coal mines and even fried chicken. What it’s lesser known is the devastating effect heroin is having on families. There is a hero

  • songwriting therapy

    Songwriting Therapy Heals Patients in Recovery

    For many, especially those undergoing treatment for addiction and mental health issues, it can be difficult to express feelings verbally. Addiction is rarely the only struggle one’s facing when they enter treatment; it’s often coupled with some t



  • Everyone who works here is very kind and helpful. They really want what is best for you. The housing is super nice and comfortable. I am very pleased with the time I spent here.



  • JourneyPure Bowling Green has changed my life this is the first time I have ever been to a Rehabilitation Center and while it was not at all what I expected, it was exactly what I needed.



  • Great place. I learned much here about my addiction and I feel that I now have the tools to control it. They have great a great staff and the accommodations are top notch.

    Terry F


  • My family member is still sober a year and a half after his treatment stay here.



  • This place was GREAT! I feel like they helped me with much more than I expected.

    Tim M


  • I loved my time here and I learned a lot about my recovery. All the staff were great and really helped me in the areas that I needed help in.

    Caleb H


  • The people here are very nice and will do whatever it takes to help you out, they are very helpful, its a great place to start off your sobriety



  • I have enjoyed my stay and feel very confident in my recovery. Everyone here has been wonderful and very helpful. I would recommend Journey Pure to anyone seeking recovery.