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Symptoms and Signs of Meth Use

a person sits on a bed by a window and experiences the Signs of meth use

Meth is one of the most dangerous illicit drugs in circulation today. Using meth leads to numerous mental and physical health problems. It can take a while for these to become apparent. But the signs of symptoms of meth use often show themselves much earlier than some of the uglier impacts. Learning to recognize the signs of meth use in someone you love could make a huge difference, ensuring you can intervene in a timely fashion.

Contact 855.732.4842 to access Rockland Recovery’s meth addiction treatment program.

What Is Meth?

Before exploring the signs and symptoms of meth use, you need to understand what meth is. The illegal form of meth is often created in makeshift laboratories using caustic chemicals. The people manufacturing these forms of meth are commonly injured and sometimes even killed during the cooking process. As a stimulant, using meth boosts energy levels and produces a euphoric high. The drug is versatile in terms of how one uses it. For example, meth can be injected, snorted, smoked, or ingested.

Many times, meth is used in binges. A binge is when someone uses a lot of meth within a short time to continue re-upping the high. By the end of a binge, the user may not have eaten or slept for days. Doing this just once involves health risks. Doing it repeatedly only compounds those risks. The causes of meth abuse overlap with any other type of substance abuse. These tend to boil down to genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.

Signs of Meth Use

The signs of meth use can appear in people’s behaviors and moods. A few signs of meth use related to a person’s mood include anxiety, aggression, jitteriness, delusions of grandeur, and mood swings. The most unambiguous indication of meth use is extreme depression following a binge. People may be stuck in a funk for days after a meth binge as their body and brain try to return to normal functioning.

The signs and symptoms of meth use also show up in behavior. One clear sign of meth abuse is the development of risky behavior in someone previously risk averse. Things like increased sexual activity, fighting, gambling, or participation in physically dangerous behavior are all common in someone abusing meth. People using meth may become preoccupied with chasing the high they receive from meth use and withdraw from their family or usual social commitments. Legal problems, either financial or criminal, also tend to run with meth use.

Physical and Psychological Signs of Meth Use

The signs and symptoms of meth use extend beyond behavior and mood to also include physical and psychological impacts. Perhaps more than any other drug, meth abuse causes marked physical changes in a person, including:

  • Severe weight loss
  • Meth mouth, which is extreme and rapid oral decay
  • Acne or sores
  • Breathing issues

The physical problems also go much deeper. While some of these physical signs of meth use are less visible, they are no less problematic. Hidden physical signs and symptoms of meth use are heart problems, liver damage, and an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

The psychological symptoms of meth abuse can also be severe, foremost among them being impaired cognition. Other psychological problems stemming from meth use include seizures, hallucinations, paranoia, and psychosis. Confusion and memory problems are also common in people who use meth for an extended period.

Access Meth Addiction Treatment at Rockland Recovery

Rockland Recovery is here to help you or a loved one overcome meth addiction. The signs of symptoms of meth use are things you can watch out for so that you can intervene when you first notice a problem. Connect to high-quality meth treatment options by calling 855.732.4842.

Medical Reviewer Kate Perfetti, LADC II

Medically Reviewed by Kate Perfetti, LADC II

Kate is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor who has worked in the field of substance abuse for the last nine years. At Rockland Recovery, Kate works to provide resources to the local community and engage and progress Rockland Recovery’s alumni program.


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