Methamphetamine is not one of the top five most abused drugs out there, but it is one of the most addictive. Meth takes as little as one use to become addictive. It is a synthetic drug, most commonly created in meth labs that can range from as small as a soda bottle to a large household operation to an entire building of labs. Family members need to be aware of the dangers of meth to protect their loved ones and the household overall.
Methamphetamine is a derivative of its parent, amphetamine. It is most often seen in a white to light colored powder, but can also appear in clear, chunky crystals. It is taken a variety of ways, including smoking, snorting, and injecting. People who use methamphetamine usually keep them in small baggies to be transported or sold to others. The physical changes caused by meth use are very noticeable to the naked eye. People under the influence are often scratching their arms and face due to the illusion that there are bugs crawling under their skin. They scratch so much and so hard that they cause blisters and open cuts. It is no uncommon to see multiple scabs on a meth user’s face and arms.
Meth abusers often suffer from multiple delusions. They begin to believe that people are out to get them while under the influence. These thoughts can last long after they come down from the high. Delusional behaviors can continue even months after the last use. Meth users also suffer from mood swings. They can range from euphoria and cheerfulness to irritability, depression, anxiety, and confusion. Because meth stimulates the central nervous system, meth users will often be kept wired and awake. Once the drug wears off, though, the user will crash, both physically and emotionally.
5 Signs of Meth Abuse
Here are 5 signs of meth abuse:
- Meth Users do not sleep for long periods of time. During their high, meth abusers are known for saying awake at all hours. They party, or do more drugs, some even binging (a thing known as a “run”).
- Meth abusers lose their appetites. The body is drained of nutrients because of meth abuse. Anyone who abuses meth will not take proper care of their bodies and will seldom eat as they go through their days of finding more meth.
- Meth abusers will lose large amounts of weight. People often fret about their bodily appearance, especially women. Some see meth as the answer to their weight woes. Meth was at one time prescribed in weight loss supplements. Again, the drug drains the body of its nutrients, which will cause severe weight loss. Meth abusers often have a skeletal appearance. And all is right with the world, right? This drastic weight loss is short term as the body will develop a tolerance to the drug, causing the weight loss to stop after about six weeks.
- Meth abusers may appear unusually active. Have you ever seen the public service announcements about people going on extreme cleaning binges while under the influence? They’ll often do something crazy, like scrubbing the entire kitchen tile with a toothbrush. Methamphetamine causes and increase in energy, and the delusions suffered while under the influence makes things seem to be happening that aren’t. Unusual energy is a side effect of the drug.
- Can seem nervous and anxious. Meth users often believe that things are after them (possibly because they know they should not be buying and using meth.). Psychosis is not unusual among meth users. They will not believe that everything is fine, choosing instead to live a life of paranoia…yet they go back to using meth once the drug wears off.