drugsDifferent types of drugs have wildly different effects on the human body. While the effects of some drugs like alcohol are fairly well understood by most Americans, other drugs are more of a mystery. You may have heard that meth can make a user “tweak out,” for example, but what does that actually mean? What is tweaking, and why do meth users do it?

In order to understand this phenomenon, you have to understand the stages of a drug use episode that meth addicts go through. When you understand what is going through the body and mind of a meth user, you can understand just how dangerous tweaking is and what is going on when it happens.

The Rush of First Using Meth

When a user first smokes meth, the drug will quickly enter his bloodstream through the lungs and race towards his brain. This is called the “rush,” and it is the beginning of an exhilarating feeling for the addict. It can go on for a half hour or more, and physiological changes begin happening to the user’s bodily rapidly. His heart will start to race and his blood pressure will shoot upwards. This is just the start, however. Much more is about to happen to the addict’s body and mind.

A Persistent High

After the rush, the addict will go into a longer stage, which is the high. Meth can create a powerful and lengthy high that can last for half a day or longer. During this time the addict gets extremely aggressive as the drug is surging through his body. He can get into irrational arguments and want to fight others during this stage.

Continuing to Binge

As the meth addict starts to come down from the high, he’ll smoke more meth to try to create that feeling again. He can keep the high going, but it won’t be as strong as the first high. Every time he repeats the process it is weaker than the time before. During this binge, he won’t be sleeping much as he continues to ride the rising and falling waves of meth in his system.

Tweaking Out

Tweaking occurs when the meth addict can’t create the high any longer. His body and mind won’t react to smoking any more meth, and he enters a state that is almost psychotic. He is tired from not sleeping for days, but he is in a hungry rage to get back to a state he remembers but can’t reach. Meth addicts are called “tweakers” because they become unpredictable and borderline insane during the tweaking phase.

They can experience hallucinations and think bugs are crawling beneath their skin. They can hurt themselves and others. If you see a tweaker up close, you might notice that his eyes are darting rapidly around and he is almost shaking even though he is trying to stand still. Tweakers will do almost anything to get more meth and to try to get back to the high that they have lost, and this makes them a danger to society.

Crashing Down

It’s impossible to get back to the original high at this point, however, so the addict will enter the crash. This is the phase where his body finally shuts down and he goes to sleep. The meth addict might sleep for multiple days while his body tries to repair the damage that has been done and to make up for all the rest that has been missed.

All of these stages are dangerous for the meth addict as he can become severely dehydrated or starve himself of food. He can even die from a meth overdose or from using a contaminated batch. Don’t wait to get meth users help. Talk to a drug rehab center right away if you know someone using meth.