Once considered a drug of the poor, meth has exploded on the American drug scene as a cheap and easily found substance. One of the thing that seems to confuse most people that have a meth addict in their life is that they can’t tell if the person is using the drug or not. However, meth use, like other drugs, causes the user to have a certain ‘look.’ Here are the physical indications that someone is using methamphetamine:
1. Meth users are erratic and jumpy
Methamphetamine is a stimulant that causes changes in the people who use the drug. One of the most common signs is nervous and obsessive behavior. The constant washing of hands or overwhelming fear of germs are both types of paranoia you may see a person using meth exhibit. These types of behaviors have usually been reserved for people who have obsessive compulsive disorder, but have now surfaced as a side effect of continued meth use. This behavior is generally repeated over and over by the user, which should make it easy for you to spot.
2. Insomnia (looking tired)
Meth users are known to not sleep for days at a time due to the wired state that the drugs produce. If you notice a loved one not sleeping for days at a time and acting nervous or jumpy, there is a good chance they are using meth. The high produced by the drug is commonly called “tweaking” and involves the user taking repeated doses of the drug resulting in the lack of sleep. The lack of sleep, especially for days on end, can result in hallucinations and in some cases drug induced seizures.
One of the many side effects produced by meth use is the rise in an individual’s body temperature. You will be able to spot this rise by observing the frequent and uncontrollable sweating produced when the temperature spikes after meth use. In some cases the temperature gets so high that it can cause irreversible brain damage or in some cases death. If you notice someone you suspect of meth use sweating uncontrollably, it is advised that you seek medical attention immediately.
4. Dental Issues
Another warning sign of repeated meth use is tooth decay caused by the chemicals contained in meth. Depending on how a dealer “cooks” the meth, it can contain up to 20 different dangerous and deadly chemicals. Battery acid and ammonia are commonly found ingredients in most meth and can be deadly if consumed at very high levels. The tooth decay can also because by the addict nervously grinding their teeth or even just lack of brushing due to intoxication.
5. Lesions on the Skin
The use of meth can hinder your body from being able to fight off minor infections. Picking of the skin is a common side effect or meth use and can become quite severe depending on the frequency of use. Some addicts have been known to pick at the skin until it begins to bleed resulting in open sores that will not heal and become infected over a period of time. As previously mentioned these infections will be hard to fight off if the meth is continuously consumed. Most long time users pick at their skin because they hallucinate that there are actually tiny mites on their skin and then scratch the skin repeatedly to rid the skin of the imaginary mites.
See other signs of meth use here.
Meth use usually progresses fairly rapidly after the first time the individual consumes the drug. The previously mentioned signs can be spotted fairly easily if the person in question is using the meth on a daily basis. The continued use of meth is also very damaging to your heart and lungs. If you suspect that a loved one is using meth, get them professional help immediately.