Meth is an intense drug that can severely impact the user’s life. It doesn’t take many uses to cross over into full-blown addiction. Do you know the signs of meth addiction? Would you be able to tell if your loved one is struggling? Here’s what you need to look out for if you suspect a loved one is suffering from meth addiction.
Physical Symptoms of Meth Addiction
Meth addiction comes with an array of physical symptoms. A few are:
- Facial acne
- Sores on face or body
- Rotting teeth, also known as meth mouth
- Frail and thin body
- Droopy facial skin
- Intense scratching
- Increased libido
At the very least, you might have already heard of meth mouth. Meth addiction is at least a bit more visible than other addictions may be. There are many pictures and campaigns that have shown before and after pictures of meth addicts over time.
These physical symptoms can lead to more issues. Meth addiction lowers immunity, so it’s easier to get infections and diseases through sores and constantly scratching open the skin. Sexually transmitted diseases are also prevalent with heightened libido and lowered inhibitions. The addict may be more likely to be risky during sexual contact, as well as having a weaker immune system.
Psychological Signs of Meth Addiction
Even in the short term, meth addiction can wreak havoc on the brain. Some psychological signs of meth addiction include:
- Memory problems
- Insomnia/trouble sleeping
The hallucinations and delusions meth addicts experience contribute to the sores and scratching physically. Many addicts believe that there are bugs crawling under their skin and they have to scratch to get them out.
If they’re on a long meth binge, they may not sleep for days. This leads to them being irritable and touchy, as well as memory problems and hallucinations after so many days without sleeping. The psychological and physical signs of meth addiction go hand in hand.
Behavioral Signs of Meth Addiction
Meth addiction can seriously change the addict’s behavior. Some examples include:
- Rejecting important relationships or interests
- Sneaking around
- Trying to hide items
- Stealing or doing other drastic actions for money
When a meth user becomes an addict, they soon stop caring about anything but their next high. They ignore formerly important people in their life and aren’t interested in any events or hobbies anymore. They’re also sneaky, trying to hide their drug use, especially at the beginning.
When the addiction fully takes over, they’ll also do anything they can to get money for the drugs. This may include pawning things they formally considered valuable to them, stealing items from friends or family to sell, or performing sexual favors or other acts in exchange for drugs.
Neurobiological Signs of Meth Addiction
Meth use, especially extensive meth use, can lead to many issues in the brain. For example:
- Higher chance of stroke and Parkinson’s
- Nerve damage in the brain
- Lowered activation of microglia that repair damage to the brain
While some of these things can repair themselves over time after meth use is stopped, these symptoms can be permanent. In addition, damage to the brain can take a decent amount of time to heal. Depending on how long the addict is using, the symptoms can be worse and worse.
Longer-Term Signs of Meth Addiction
The longer someone is using meth, the more signs and side effects they’re impacted by. These symptoms can include:
- Deficits in thinking and motor skills
- Severe memory loss
- Violent behavior
- Easily distracted
Long-term meth use can severely damage the brain and some of the natural chemicals that it makes. For example, using meth floods the brain with dopamine, which throws the brain into imbalance and hinders it from doing normal functions that involve dopamine. Long-term dopamine excess can lead to impaired memory and the inability to learn new things.
If you or a loved one are showing signs of meth addiction, it’s important to get help immediately. Santé Center for Healing is here to help you on the road to recovery. With various addiction treatment programs and therapies available, we can get you to the sober life you want to live. Call us today at 866.238.3154 to enroll now.