There are some clear signs that someone is using crystal meth. The effects of some drugs are less noticeable and allow your use to fly under the radar. You might be able to get by with hiding your use for a few months or even years in some cases. On the other hand, methamphetamine use is more difficult to hide.
Are you worried someone you love might be addicted to methamphetamine? Have you noticed changes in their behavior lately that concern you? Continue reading to discover the top 5 signs that someone is using crystal meth.
What is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine, the full name for crystal meth, is a powerful stimulant drug. It comes in the form of full crystals, a crushed powder, or in pills. Sometimes manufacturers cut meth into other drugs such as ecstasy to lower the production cost. Users take the drug by smoking, snorting, or injecting it, or by mouth if it’s in the form of a pill.
Meth, also known as speed, ice, or crank, is similar to the prescription drug amphetamine. Doctors use prescription amphetamines to treat attention deficit and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta are common brand name amphetamines used nationwide.
The stimulating effects of the drug come on quickly and tend to fade away not long after. In order to maintain the high, people tend to use consistently for a number of days until they eventually wear themselves out and come down or “crash.” These days- to week-long stints are commonly referred to as “going on a run.”
These methamphetamine binges can result in disastrous consequences. The drug affects decision-making abilities and leads to taking more risks and participating in dangerous behavior. It also causes drastic changes to a person’s physical appearance. You can quickly notice signs that someone is using crystal meth if you know what to look for.
Top 5 Signs that Someone is Using Crystal Meth
1. They have difficulties falling asleep or they stay awake for days at a time.
Again, methamphetamine is stimulant, a drug with stimulating effects. One of the most common signs that someone is using crystal meth will be their erratic sleeping patterns. Similar to cocaine, meth makes it difficult for you to fall asleep. They continue using to maintain the high and find themselves up for long periods of time. Oftentimes people end up staying awake for days or even more than a week straight.
2. You notice wounds or scabs on their face, arms, or other parts of their body.
Crystal meth users often have sores or scabs, usually on their face and arms, as a result of picking. The drug causes a tingling or itching sensation on their skin that feels like bugs crawling over them. They scratch and pick at their skin until they tear it open then continue doing the same with the resulting scabs. The resulting marks left behind are one of the giveaway signs that someone is using crystal meth.
3. Their appetite is small or essentially nonexistent.
Stimulant drugs like crystal meth, amphetamine, and cocaine have a significant impact on appetite. When someone is using speed, they have little to no desire to eat. Their overall lack of appetite leads to them forgetting to eat and, if they do remember, it’s difficult to drum up the desire to do so. This disregard for food may lead to greater complications down the line.
4. They suddenly lose a noticeable or extreme amount of weight.
Most meth addicts, commonly referred to as “tweakers,” are known for their scrawny frame. Since meth all but eliminates their appetite, they often go long periods of time without eating. They experience extreme weight loss and many get to the point of being dangerously underweight. The lack of nourishment and nutrients causes a skin-and-bones frame and a sunken face. If you notice an extreme and sudden loss of weight, this is another one of the common signs that someone is using crystal meth.
5. The person develops an overwhelming and intense sense of paranoia.
Methamphetamine use causes paranoia, ranging from mild to extreme. This paranoia is one of the signs that someone is using crystal meth. Then as people use crystal meth for weeks, months, or years at a time, they find themselves drifting in and out of psychosis. Psychosis describes a state of mind when someone is entirely detached from reality, often characterized by paranoia. For example, someone using speed may believe that the government is keeping tabs on them.
Seeking Treatment for Methamphetamine Addiction
If you notice signs that someone is using crystal meth, you can help them find treatment. Addiction treatment centers provide assistance in separating users from drugs and establishing long-term recovery. Quitting using is one thing. Creating a happy, useful life free from drugs and alcohol is another.
Addiction treatment teaches addicts the skills they need to reintegrate into society. Through therapy, both in group and one-on-one, addicts in early recovery learn how to communicate and process thoughts effectively. When you see signs that someone is using crystal meth, especially someone you’re close to, you can offer to help.
Hawaii Island Recovery offers an addiction treatment program that specializes in the treatment of crystal meth addiction. To learn more about the services available and programs we offer,