7 Signs that Someone Is Using Crystal Meth
Around 11 million American’s have admitted to using methamphetamines at least once. So, it’s not an exaggeration to say drugs, including crystal meth, are a problem.
Though it’s most popular with younger demographics, it seems a lot of people with mental health disorders will turn to the drug for comfort.
Keep reading for signs that someone is using crystal meth and how you can get them the help they need.
What is Crytal Meth?
Crystal meth is a form of methamphetamine made from the pseudoephedrine found in over the counter cold medications. It first came about during WWII when it was given to soldiers as a stimulant to keep them awake.
Now, it’s an illegal drug that is most often used at parties or as a pick-me-up because of its effects on dopamine levels and the central nervous system.
There are a select few types of meth that are legal to use such as for treatments with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). However, they require a prescription.
How is Crystal Meth Used?
Crystal meth is used in many ways and can result in severe psychological disorders if the use of the drug is prolonged.
Crystal meth gets its name from its clear crystal appearance. It comes in chunks of clear or light blue and can be smoked, injected, or snorted.
What Happens After Prolonged Use?
Crystal meth isn’t just a stimulant, it’s also a hallucinogen and can cause severe emotional and psychological damage.
Because the user is essentially putting chemicals into their body, long-term use of methamphetamines can result in an array of harmful damages to the body that include:
- Brain damage
- Lung and liver damage
- Memory loss
Along with these, the abuser can also suffer from diseases transmitted by needles, or nasal tissue damage if the meth has been sniffed.
7 Signs That Someone is Using Crystal Meth
Not all drugs have telltale signs of abuse, but with crystal meth, you can keep an eye out for symptoms in friends and family who you suspect might be using.
There are several signs to look out for, and not all of them will be easy for you to read and diagnose. Remember, some of the symptoms won’t show up right away as others will.
A Change in Eyes
Searching for signs of methamphetamine use doesn’t mean having to check arms for needle marks. Eyes are difficult to hide, and chances are you’ll get a chance to see them regularly.
If their eyes are dilated or bloodshot, these could be small indications that someone is a meth user. Also, if they are constantly looking around or their eyes are twitching a lot, this could also be an indicator.
Sores on the Face and Body
A more visible sign of meth use is sores that appear on the face and body of those who use the drug. These sores appear on the skin for a variety of reasons.
One reason is the pipe used to smoke meth. The heat from the pipe can burn the mouth, resulting in sores around the already unhealthy skin.
Another reason is “formication.” It’s a term that is used for the sensation some crystal meth addicts get; a feeling that bugs are crawling around on their skin.
As a result, they scratch and pick at their skin until there are sores present, and then they scratch and pick at the sores until they become worse.
One more reason for the sores on the skin and face is because of the way meth is forced out of the body by sweat, making sores pop up on the skin that is mistaken for pimples or blemishes. Again, they are picked at until the sores begin to bleed.
Change in Sleeping Pattern
A lot of crystal meth addicts experience a major shift in sleep patterns when they start using.
If you notice the person in your life is staying up until all hours of the night, or not sleeping at all, this might be cause for concern. Especially if it’s followed by a crash that makes them sleep for hours at a time.
Extreme Weight Loss
Extreme weight loss is another sign of crystal meth use. Meth is an appetite suppressant and has even been used for weight management in the past. However, its illegal form is dangerous.
Meth addicts become malnourished and very thin after excessive use of crystal meth, at times leaving them looking hollow and close to starvation.
Because crystal meth is a harsh chemical, it stands to reason that it would wreak havoc on the body.
Rotting teeth, usually called “meth mouth,” is one of the major signs of methamphetamine use. It’s caused by dried up salivary glands and the acidity that breaks down the enamel of the teeth.
Crystal meth comes with a treasure trove of psychological side effects, some of which are not reversible once the drug has been stopped. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t still lead a fulfilling, drug-free life.
Memory loss and an inability to register certain information is a sign of meth use.
This is because of the part of the brain that is targeted most by meth. Dopamine levels not only increase euphoria, they also affect the part of the brain that remembers new things.
Paranoia and Psychosis
Psychosis is a big sign of meth addict behavior. Hallucinations and paranoia plague methamphetamine addicts because of the very nature of the drug.
Signs of paranoia or psychosis can be seen in excessive caution when locking their doors, speaking quietly when on the phone, or talking about being followed.
Getting Someone the Help They Need
Once you’ve figured out the signs that someone is using crystal meth, you have to make a decision. Do you sit back and watch it take them further into the world of addiction or do you get them the help they need?