The numbers surrounding meth addiction in the United States paint a truly frightening picture. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse statistics, well over 1.5 million people used crystal meth in the year 2017, including some 775,00 who had used it in the last 30 days.
Things get even uglier when it comes to people suffering from a methamphetamine use disorder. According to the same national statistics, almost a million people over the age of 12– yes, 12– were experiencing definite health and other consequences because of meth addiction.
Fortunately, there’s hope. There’s hope for those who have already developed a meth addiction and for those who have just used it a few times. The key is knowing when you or a loved one needs help. In this post, we’ll discuss 10 signs that you or a loved one needs treatment for meth addiction.
Signs You Need Treatment for Meth Addiction
We’ll begin with some tell-tale external signs of meth addiction. These are things you might notice simply by looking at yourself in the mirror or glancing at a loved one you suspect might have a problem.
1. Sudden weight loss or frailness
2. Advanced tooth decay
3. Facial sores or acne
4. Hyperactivity and/or twitchy movements
5. Unexplained burns on the lips or fingers
Meth addiction takes an obvious physical toll, so this is far from an exhaustive list. However, if one or more of these physical signs begins to appear, the person in question might need professional help. This is especially true if they appear alongside some of the following behavioral signs of meth abuse.
Behavioral Changes Associated With Meth Addiction
Here are five behavioral changes to watch out for if you fear that you or a loved one is becoming dependent on crystal meth. Some of these signs are apparent to an outside observer, whereas others might only be noticeable to the user themselves. Either way, if the following signs appear consistently, it might be time to ask some difficult questions:
1. Meth addiction can induce feelings of paranoia.
2. It also often causes the user to develop erratic sleep habits. This can include staying up for long periods of time and/or sleeping for excessive periods after a binge.
3. Even short term use of crystal meth can lead to extreme mood swings or unusual emotional outbursts.
4. Once the user reaches a point where it’s difficult to get ‘high’ off of crystal meth, they often begin to experience things like confusion, irritability, and extreme depression.
5. Consistent use of crystal meth can lead to extreme agitation and even violent behavior.
Preventing the Damage
Methamphetamine is an extremely dangerous and addictive drug. It stays active in the body longer than most other stimulants and can do severe damage to the pleasure centers of the brain. It can also lead to convulsions, heart failure, stroke, and death.
In the final analysis, however, meth addiction is much like any other form of substance use disorder. Despite the horror stories you’ve heard, meth addiction is a very treatable condition. The first step is recognizing there’s a problem. If you or someone you love starts to manifest the signs we’ve discussed above, please seek help immediately.