Signs of Meth Abuse
Meth is a highly potent drug that is available as a stimulant medication in certain circumstances but is most commonly used for recreational purposes. When a person takes a relatively high dose of meth, they can begin to experience symptoms that range from delirium and panic to an irregular heartbeat and heart failure. If you or someone close to you has started to abuse meth, it’s important that you’re able to identify the signs and symptoms of abuse and addiction.
Signs and Symptoms of Meth Abuse
Meth is a very dangerous drug that’s worsened by the fact that it causes a significant physical and psychological toll on the body when a person takes too much of it. Because of the many complications that can be brought about by using meth, it’s among the most unsafe drugs on the market. The first symptom that a person will typically display after abusing meth is a loss of interest in their relationships and hobbies. While most individuals who take too much of this drug will attempt to hide their use of meth at the start, many signs of meth abuse are visibly apparent and can’t be easily hidden.
When someone abuses meth, the drug will change how they feel and think, which causes them to display numerous physical and behavioral symptoms. Among the common signs that indicate meth use are:
- Rapid eye movements
- Dilated pupils
- Rotting and blackened teeth
- Worsened appetite
- Poor sleeping patterns
- Muscle twitching
- A lessened appetite
- Skin that’s itchy or flushed
Likely the most severe reaction of taking too much meth is an overdose, which can lead to death if you don’t seek immediate medical treatment. Anyone who consumes a high amount of this drug in a short period of time will be at a greater risk of suffering from a heart attack, seizures or a heat stroke. If the overdose isn’t treated as quickly as possible, there’s a possibility that your organs will begin to fail, which can cause death.
Long-Term Effects of Using Meth
If you continue to use meth over a lengthy period of time, the damage and effects that are caused by long-term use can be very severe. The brain will begin to rely on the drug in order to function properly, which means that you may not be able to feel normal unless you’re taking the drug. When this occurs, individuals will experience numerous withdrawal symptoms if they attempt to stop taking the drug. These symptoms make it easy for the individual to relapse.
If your body and brain become dependent on meth, an addiction can soon follow, which is the most problematic long-term effect of using meth. Addiction is considered to be a chronic disease, which means that it can’t be fully cured. Treatments for meth addiction usually focus on helping the affected individual cope with their addiction and manage their cravings. Along with addiction, the long-term side effects of meth use can be broken down into psychological side effects and physical side effects.
The psychological side effects of long-term meth use include:
- Memory loss
The physical side effects of long-term meth use include:
- High blood pressure, which heightens the risk of diabetes and other conditions
- Skin infection
- Premature aging
- Kidney failure
- Blackened teeth
- Using meth even during dangerous situations, which could involve anything from driving under the influence to overdosing
- Using substantial amounts of meth for lengthy periods of time
- Needing to take a higher amount of meth in order to achieve the same effects, which occurs when the body becomes more tolerant of the drug
- Neglecting hobbies and spending time with friends in order to take meth
- Experiencing cravings from the drug
- Neglecting personal, professional and academic responsibilities
If you or someone you know meets two to three of these criteria, it’s likely that you or they are suffering from a relatively mild substance use disorder. On the other hand, meeting four to five of these criteria means that the substance use disorder is moderate in its intensity. In the event that you meet six or more of these criteria, your substance use disorder is severe. Whether your case is mild or severe, immediate treatment is highly recommended if you want to mitigate the damaging effects of meth addiction.
Importance of Seeking Treatment
Seeking treatment for meth abuse and addiction is highly important because it can help you lessen the serious effects of the addiction while allowing you to take control of your life. If your addiction lasts for a lengthy period of time before you even consider obtaining treatment, there’s a good chance that you will experience financial problems, relationship problems and serious health issues, most of which can be avoided by entering treatment early on.
When you decide to receive treatment for your addiction, you will have a variety of decisions to make regarding what level of care you should obtain. Most treatment programs begin with the provision of medical detoxification, which is a process that’s required if you want to safely get the drug out of your system. During the detox process, medical staff will be on hand 24/7 to make sure that any adverse side effects are dealt with immediately. Since the withdrawal symptoms of meth use are sometimes severe in nature, having medical staff on hand should make you more confident about the treatment. Keep in mind that meth detox can take anywhere from two to five days to be completed.
Detox can be obtained at either outpatient rehab or inpatient rehab. If you decide to enter an outpatient rehab program, you will be required to attend treatment multiple days per week and for several hours each day. While you will be provided with many of the same treatments that are available at inpatient facilities, you will be able to go home after each treatment session. Even though outpatient drug treatment allows individuals more freedom to go to work and school, it also makes it easier for the individual to relapse.
On the other hand, inpatient rehab requires patients to stay in a residential facility for a period of at least 28 days to well over a year. You will be in a drug-free environment, which lessens the possibility of relapse and facilitates more efficient recovery. While both treatment options can be beneficial, it’s recommended that you consider enrolling into an inpatient residential facility.
Treatment Centers You Should Consider
Two treatment centers that provide long-lasting treatment for meth abuse and addiction include Green Mountain Treatment Center and New Freedom Academy, both of which are inpatient residential facilities.
Green Mountain Treatment Center is located in Effingham, NH, and is notable for providing patients with scenic views of the nearby White Mountains. The peaceful atmosphere allows for a more therapeutic backdrop, which may be exactly what you need when attempting to manage your substance use disorder. This treatment center uses a 12-step program along with clinical psychotherapies. However, the treatment plans are individualized to make sure that your needs are met.
The types of features that you can expect to have access to when enrolling into the Green Mountain Treatment Center include:
- Nutritious meals that are prepared by a chef
- Additional treatment and care for co-occurring mental disorders
- Individual therapy and group counseling
- A variety of specialized therapies like DBT and CBT
- On-site medical staff
- Evidence-based treatment
While it’s never easy to admit that you have an addiction, the signs and symptoms mentioned in this guide should give you the information you need to make an informed decision about obtaining treatment. Once you have admitted that you have a problem, you can begin to take control of your life through treatment.