Methamphetamine abuse and addiction are some of the worst addictions someone can have. The extreme physiological and mental toll methamphetamine takes on the user’s body makes it one of the most harmful drugs. Still, it’s considered a recreational medication.
One of the effects of meth is that it causes a more intense high than other recreational drugs. People using or abusing methamphetamine will show a variety of signs. These signs differ in the short term and the long term. Some of the common health effects of meth use are:
- Violent or reckless behavior
- Reduced appetite and weight loss
- Elevated body temperature and heart rate
- Shortness of breath
- Erratic sleeping patterns
Read on to learn more about how to tell if someone is on meth.
Short Term Meth Abuse Signs
The user notices symptoms of meth use immediately after taking it. These symptoms usually last for 8 to 24 hours, which is a long time compared to other drugs.
If a user engages in binge using, they can go days without sleeping. During this time, users experience some or all the adverse effects of methamphetamine listed below:
- Aggression or violence
- Loss of appetite
- Frequent mood swings
- Hallucinations and paranoia
- Muscle twitching
- Flushed or itchy skin
Binge using meth can lead to overdose, which poses several health risks. These include heat stroke, seizures, and heart attack. If you know someone who is overdosing on drugs, help them get help immediately. Without treatment, a drug overdose can lead to organ failure and even death.
Long Term Meth Abuse Signs
Continued methamphetamine use over a long period can cause severe harm to the user’s health. The brain starts to rely on its effects and creates a need for it. This results in a significant change in the meth user’s behavior. Other long-term meth abuse symptoms can be physiological and physical. These include:
- Liver failure
- Respiratory issues
- Heart diseases
- Premature aging
- Reproductivity issues
- Skin infections
- Impaired cognition
- Memory loss
The biggest and most dangerous long term effect of methamphetamine use is addiction. Crystal meth has such high addiction potential that a user can slip from use to abuse to addiction. It alters the meth addict’s brain in a way that it becomes impossible to function without the drug. This leads to increased use, which can pose more serious threats to the user’s health.
Some users also tend to mix methamphetamine with other drugs, including weed and cocaine. This can make the crash more intense than smoking meth alone.
Recovering from meth addiction is not easy, but it is not impossible either! Currently, there are no government-approved treatments for meth abuse. The good news is that behavioral therapies can help prevent and treat it.
The first step you need to take is to identify the problem before it turns into an addiction. Observe the methamphetamine addict’s behavior and look for other signs of meth abuse. It is imperative to seek professional help at the right time.
Also, consider behavioral therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and motivational incentives. They have proven to be the most effective treatment for meth addiction. There is also on-going research about the development of medicines and other medications. These are promising for treating meth use as well
Remember, it’s challenging to hide signs of meth use. So keep the above red flags above in mind. Someone close to you might be using – you just need to know what to watch out for. Now you know. If you know someone who is suffering from meth addiction, make sure they get help immediately.