Crystal meth, or crystal methamphetamine, can start destroying a person’s life as early as their first use. If you think there is a chance your loved one, child or friend could be addicted to meth, you will want to urge them to get the treatment they need right away. Being on the lookout for several warnings signs – both physical and behavioral – could help you determine if he or she has a meth addiction.
The Resurgence of Crystal Meth in Florida
People who have never tried methamphetamine (also known as crank, speed, crystal or simply meth) have a difficult time understanding why someone would use the drug. They’ve seen things like the “Faces of Meth” project that show what the drug can do after sustained use, and they can’t imagine why someone would experiment with a drug that can lead to that.
Obviously, nobody sets out with that end goal in mind. Your friends might use it regularly, and they don’t look like a warning poster. You have enough self-control to keep things together, right? It’s just one time at a party or hanging out with people you know.
These lies that we tell ourselves don’t take into account all the ways that meth affects our bodies, beginning as early as the first use. As meth makes a resurgence in Florida, take some time to learn about the effects meth can have on the body to hopefully help avoid using it in the future.
What is Crystal Meth?
Crystal meth is a white crystalline drug that people take by snorting it (through the nose), smoking it or injecting it with a needle. Some people even take it orally. Those who take it get a false sense of happiness and wellbeing, due to a release of dopamine. This high lasts for around 6-8 hours and gives them a rush of confidence, hyper-activeness and energy.
The drug is attractive to users because the effects last longer than cocaine, it’s relatively cheap, and can even be made with commonly available ingredients. Meth is illegal, addictive and highly potent. Getting all of the facts and knowing the risks of meth addiction might help you save your loved one from a long and dangerous road of substance abuse.
Street Names for Methamphetamine
Knowing the lingo and street names of a drug can be part of the battle in determining if your friend or family member has an addiction. Your loved one could be using these street names when talking about methamphetamine:
Warning Signs of Meth Abuse
Meth affects every part of the body and brain of the person who is abusing it. Because of this, there are both physical and behavioral warning signs of use. Look for these symptoms of meth use if you are worried about your loved one.
Physical Signs of Meth Use
- Sudden, severe weight loss
- Extreme perspiration
- Irregular breathing
- Sores that are slow to heal
- Dilated pupils
- Burns on lips or fingers
- Blackened, rotting teeth
- Bad breath
- Premature aging of skin
- Paranoia and anxiety
- Mood swings
Behavioral Signs of Meth Abuse
If your loved one has a meth addiction, everything in his or her life takes a backseat to their meth use. If this is happening, you might see some of these behavioral warning signs:
- Loss of interest in usual activities
- Neglecting relationships
- Isolating themselves
- Shift in social groups
- Forgetting important events
- Aggressive or violent behavior
- Erratic sleep patterns
- Developing a tic or twitch (such as pulling out hair)
- Extreme loss of appetite
Health Consequences of Meth Addiction
An addiction to meth is like any other drug abuse problem in that it can lead to serious health consequences and require urgent drug addiction treatment. Some of these possible issues can include1:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Sudden cardiac death (even upon the first use)
- Tooth decay or rot
- Parkinson’s disease
- High risk of blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis
- Cognitive problems
Long-Term Effects of Meth on the Body
As your tolerance builds and the size and frequency of your doses increases, you may suffer from:
- Bleeding within the brain
- Brain damage in multiple areas impacting various
- Immune system breakdowns
- Increased risk of blood clots
- Muscular and skeletal damage
- Skin sores and infections
These effects can occur from simply using the drug and don’t include the increased risk of traumatic injury as behavioral changes cause you to act out violently or engage in risky activities.
Meth Addiction Treatment Near St. Petersburg, FL
Meth addiction can and will affect every aspect of your loved one’s life. Since no two addictions are the same, Footprints provides customized treatment plans for recovery. Your friend or family member can get back to being the person they want to be.
Given the highly addictive nature of meth, treatment in a quality recovery program is strongly recommended. Have you tried to stop using and failed previously? Don’t let that be an excuse to avoid seeking help now.
1.Methamphetamine: What you should know. MedicalNewsToday.com (accessed Nov 16 2018).