Signs and Symptoms of Meth Use

Worried that a friend or family member has started using crystal meth?

Keep reading to get a better understanding of this dangerous drug and how you can spot the signs and symptoms of meth use.

Hi there. My name is Alex Key and I lost a beloved sister to meth abuse. I know first hand what this drug is capable of and how quickly it can destroy relationships and lives.

Today I want to help others learn the signs and symptoms of a meth user so they can hopefully intervene before this nasty drug ruins another life.

What is Meth?

Methamphetamine’s or meth for short, is a drug that is both illegal and very dangerous.

Made from a combination of different chemicals, this drug could also be recognised as a poison because of what it does to the body.

With a number of toxic ingredients like hydrochloric acid, lithium and drain cleaner, it also contains the decongestant drug pseudoephedrine.

Developed in the early 20th century, methamphetamine’s was originally used in nasal decongestants and bronchial inhalers.

But meth has since evolved into a much more potent and toxic drug.

It’s now known as one of the most addictive drugs because it gives an instant high or euphoric rush when taking it.

Many first time users become addicted to this high because it gives a false sense of happiness and well-being, boost in confidence and for some it makes them feel like they have super powers.

But what goes up, must come down. Meth has some pretty dreadful side effects which are listed below.

What Does Meth Look Like and How Is It Taken

Methamphetamine’s can come in different forms such as:

  • A white, yellowish or light brown crystalline powder
  • Crystals
  • Pill form
  • Liquid form

Here are some images so you know what to look for.

Powder form:

meth powder form

Crystal Meth

crystal meth

Meth Pills

meth pills

These are just some examples of what meth looks like, but can sometimes differ in color and size.

If you find any kind of substance that looks like these images, I recommend taking it to the police.

Ways People Take Meth

There are many ways people take or consume meth and some methods are more dangerous than others.

  • Eating it
  • Snorting it
  • Plugging (inserting into the anus)
  • Hot-railing (similar to snorting, only you use a stem pipe that has been heated)
  • Smoking via a pipe
  • Injecting with a syringe

Each method said to give a different “high”.

Signs And Symptoms: What To Look For..

There are a few things you can look for to determine if someone is using methamphetamine’s.

Keep an eye out for the following:

  1. Change in mood or mood swings
  2. Violent or aggressive behaviour
  3. They become paranoid
  4. Lack of concentration or get confused easily
  5. Dilated pupils
  6. Sleeplessness
  7. Loss of appetite
  8. Heavy sweating
  9. Sudden weight loss
  10. Sores or scabs around the face
  11. Markings on the arm from using needles
  12. Regular nose bleeds

You may also find some tell tail signs of meth use if you come across any of the following:

  • Small bags with traces of white powder or crystals
  • Glass pipes
  • Crumpled aluminium foil
  • Soda cans with a hole in the side
  • Traces of powder on cards like a bank or credit card.
  • Shafts of pens, short straws or money with powder residue. (things that might be used to snort the drug)

Meth users go for long periods of time without sleep or eating. Because of this they often lose weight fast.

They also appear unusually active, irritable and can also act very nervous or anxious.

Side Effects Of Meth

Because meth is made from toxic chemicals, it is sure to have some damaging side effects, especially for heavy users.

Some side effects include:

  • addiction
  • psychosis, including:
    • paranoia
    • hallucinations
  • repetitive motor activity
  • changes in brain structure and function
  • memory loss
  • aggressive or violent behavior
  • mood disturbances
  • severe dental problems
  • weight loss
  • fatigue
  • sleeplessness and insomnia
  • decreased appetite
  • increased respiration
  • rapid/irregular heartbeat
  • change in physical appearance

A regular meth users appearance can change rapidly.

Have a look at some of the before and after photos of heavy methamphetamine users in this Youtube video.

So What Can You Do?

If you believe a friend or family member is using meth there are a few things you can do. BUT, it’s important to know that most meth addicts will refuse any kind of help and will often live in denial.

Support Groups:

Rehab and addiction treatment centres:

Mental health professionals:

Helpful Information And Drug Addiction Resources

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