Meth or methamphetamine is a powerful central nervous stimulant that is considered to be the most powerful “upper” on the street. The physical side effects of meth make it fairly easy to spot an addict. Meth impairs people to the point where they really cannot cover up their behaviors (like severe insomnia and paranoia) or hide their meth use (meth mouth, scabs on skin) from anyone. Yet, it is good to know the signs of meth addiction for yourself or for your loved one so if you ever come across a situation where someone using meth needs help you can be there.
Here are 5 signs of meth addiction:
- Irregular sleeping patterns
Because meth is such a powerful central nervous stimulant, those who have a meth addiction will usually have weird sleep patterns. This is because one of the biggest side effects of meth is wakefulness. People with a meth addiction are usually awake for days on end and then crash for long periods of time. This means that if you notice someone has been awake for a few days or up all night frequently and then sleeps for a few days; they could have a meth addiction. Granted, irregular sleep patterns can be chalked up to many different things, some as simple as a different sleep schedule or diet but that is why there are 4 more signs of meth addiction.
- Extreme Paranoia
Meth is a powerful drug as we have said many times now and some other side effects of it are hallucinations (auditory and visual) as well as intense anxiety and paranoia. The extreme paranoia comes from a mix of, lack of sleep and the drug itself. Someone with a meth addiction will be afraid to use their computer, will want to lock their doors, will be very anxious and frightened easily etc.
- Weight Loss
One of the biggest signs of meth addiction is weight loss. Just like many people who have a cocaine addiction lose weight because it decreases appetite; the same goes for meth. Meth because it is a stimulant decreases the appetite of the meth user so they will not eat nearly as much and will drop weight rapidly. Weight loss over a long period of time is not what we are talking about either, we are talking about rapid weight loss. Many times someone with a meth addiction won’t eat for days on end and will drop 5 to 10 pounds in a matter of a week.
- Dilated Pupils
Someone with a meth addiction will often look frenzied and wide eyed. Their eye lids will seem glued open, they will have bags under them and their pupils will be dilated. This mixed with weight loss and a frantic attitude can make someone with a meth addiction seem pretty wild and crazy looking and this is definitely a sign they need help. As with all central nervous system depressants the pupils in the eyes become larger with drug use. So pay attention to the eyes if you are looking for signs of meth addiction.
- Meth mouth and grinding teeth
Meth mouth and bruxism or grinding teeth usually are symptoms that show up when someone who has a meth addiction is still high on meth and has been using it for a long time. Meth mouth is exactly what you see in many meth ads that are meant to keep you from wanting to use the drug. The teeth begin to rot or fall out and the mouth becomes dry. Those with a meth addiction will also grind their teeth vigorously while they are high. This can cause the teeth to fall out, be worn down, and to rot due to the loss of enamel. Many times a person with a meth addiction is not aware they are doing it while high on meth only after they sober up and the pain in their jaw is immense. Often times they will be swollen from grinding their teeth and in so much pain they can’t eat solid food.
There are many more signs of meth addiction such as wounds on the body from picking, more severe meth mouth, more extreme weight loss, having no money, lying, stealing, needle marks on the arms and hands if they are shooting meth etc. If someone you know has the signs of meth addiction don’t hesitate to try and help them. Meth is a dangerous drug and is very addictive. Many times people who have a meth addiction want to stop and just cant.
If you or your loved one is in need of treatment for alcohol or drug addiction please give us a call at 800-821-9584.