Nobody takes methamphetamine (commonly referred to as crystal, speed or meth) with the intention of becoming an addict. The first time the powerful stimulant hits your brain, it sets off a chain reaction in the reward circuit. You’re flooded with a sense of euphoria and happiness. The second time is still a rush, but it’s not quite the same, so you start taking more in an attempt to recapture that first experience. As you build tolerance and increase the dosage, you might go from ingesting or snorting to smoking and injecting to accelerate and boost the effects. Eventually, you’re consumed with how you’ll acquire and use meth as your relationships, job, health and more suffer from neglect.
Common Symptoms of Meth Use
If you’re worried that a loved one is using meth or might be addicted, these are some of the typical warning signs:
- Anxiety or nervousness
- Loss of appetite
- Rapid weight loss
- Drastic mood swings
- Extended periods without rest or sleep
- Habitual grinding of teeth
- Deterioration of personal hygiene
- Sores and blisters
- Track marks from needle use
Long-Term Signs of Meth Addiction
Once you start taking larger and larger doses of meth, you may experience psychosis or hallucinations. Your body begins to break down, and skeletal muscle damage can occur. Eventually, bleeding in the brain may develop, and you could start having seizures. While meth typically makes a person feel more confident about themselves and their appearance, long-term use takes an incredible toll on your looks and health. Meth users may favor sugary snacks and sodas instead of healthier alternatives and full meals. Combined with the habitual teeth grinding that is common among users, this is thought to be a major factor in the condition commonly called “meth mouth.”
What is Tweaking?
Coming down from a meth high can leave the user feeling terrible. They might feel depressed, weak or anxious with headaches and muscle pains. These effects can drive behavior commonly referred to as “tweaking.” When tweaking, the meth user might not sleep for days or even as long as two weeks. They can become paranoid or psychotic. Repetitive behaviors often manifest as ways to deal with the overflowing energy reserves resulting in activities like obsessive cleaning.
Get Help with Meth Addiction at Design for Change
Once you get past the comedown effects, withdrawal symptoms may consist of fatigue, sleepiness, paranoia and hallucinations. Many users also report feelings of depression or hopelessness. Withdrawal symptoms on their own usually aren’t life-threatening, and they typically last 2-3 weeks. At Design for Change, we provide personalized, holistic care for methamphetamine addiction. Your treatment here will address both the physical components of your addiction as well as healing your body and mind. It’s vital to treat the underlying problem of addiction, and that’s the aim of our comprehensive care programs. If you or a loved one is struggling with meth addiction, we are here for you. Contact us now to begin your journey towards recovery.