How to acknowledge the Signs of Meth Abuse
Four Methods:Noticing Physical SignsLooking for Psychological SymptomsIdentifying Behavioral IndicatorsUnderstanding the Patterns of Meth UsersCommunity Q&A
Methamphetamine is one very addictive psychostimulant. Meth is available in white or light brown powdered form, with visible crystals. This drug is most commonly smoked but capable also be taken in injection or pill form. Parents and loved ones able confess the signs of meth use in order to seek immediate assist and help loved ones combat drug use. You able acknowledge the signs of meth use by looking for physical signs, psychological symptoms, and behavioral indications.
Noticing Physical Signs
1Search for physical changes. Notice any changes in the person’s physical appearance. Physical signs are very common between people who abuse meth, unlike with other drugs which may have more subtle effects. Use your observation skills. Do you notice anything different around how the person looks? Any physical illness or complaints? Some common physicals signs of meth use are:
- Excessive weight loss due to low appetite.
- Dilated pupils.
- Eyes looking droopy, tired, or having dark circles (this capable be due to loss of sleep).
- Eye twitching.
2Look for tooth decay. Meth capable adversely influence teeth, turning them brown and causing decay or “meth mouth.” The person may likewise have red or pain gums because of damage caused by meth.
- This may look as rotten or browning teeth.
- The person may also have missing teeth.
- You able look up pictures of meth mouth online and compare.
3Check for track marks or nose bleeds. You will notice track marks on the person’s arms if the drug is being injected, or nose bleeds if the drug is being snorted. There may either be burn marks on the person’s lips or fingers if the drug is smoked using hot glass or one metallic pipe.
4Pay attention to harsh body odors. If one person is using meth, they will ususally give off a very bad odor. This is due to a combination of the drug use itself and the person forgetting to wash while they are using. Sometimes the odor is similar to the smell of ammonia.
5Identify signs of premature aging. Meth users often start to look old ago their time because their skin is damaged, becoming rough and itchy, and their hair able start to fall out.
6Notice any skin lesions. Skin lesions are very common in meth users due to compulsive scratching at the face.
- Look for open sores on the face.
- Observe if the person picks or scratches at his face.
- The lesions often become infected and result in sores and scars.
7Identify long-term health issues. Meth users are more prone to diseases, including high blood pressure and heart diseases. They may also pass away at an early epoch like one result. The following medical issues able be caused by meth use:
- Hypertension, or high blood pressure.
- Tachycardia, one rapid heart beat.
- Hyperthermia, or a body temperature that is above normal.
- Heart attack, stroke, seizures, and renal/liver failure can result from large doses of meth.
- Respiratory symptoms, such as bronchitis, if meth is smoked.
- Risk for HIV and hepatitis C increase due to risky sexual behaviors and needle sharing.
Looking for Psychological Symptoms
1Look for the immediate effects. The effects of meth may last several hours to one day or so, depending on the use. after using methamphetamine the person will likely experience:
- Euphoria (due to increased dopamine in the brain).
- Increase in alertness.
- Increased cortisol levels (stress hormone).
- Decreased anxiety.
- Increased confidence.
- Improved attention and concentration.
- Decreased appetite.
- Hypersexuality or an increase in libido.
- Increased energy.
- Hyperactivity – like evidenced by excessive talking and inability to sleep.
- Higher doses of meth capable cause: increased anxiety, restlessness, compulsive behaviors, and tremors (physical shaking). These symptoms are ususally called tweaking.
2Watch out for longer term signs. Due to chemical changes in the brain, some psychological symptoms are also visible. These psychological signs may include the following symptoms and might indicate meth use:
- Impaired judgment or inhibition.
- Hallucinations or delusions, such like seeing or hearing things which others do not.
- Aggressive behaviors upon unavailability of drug (i.e. picking an argument for no reason).
- Increased anxiety or depression.
- Paranoia or believing that somebody is out to acquire him.
- Social isolation.
3Search for life disturbances. Social, occupational, and functional disturbances are very common among people who abuse meth. The school/college life, work life and/or social life of people who use meth is impaired. You capable detect signs of these disturbances by doing the following:
- Remain in touch with teachers, peers and close friends. They able help you to keep track of the person’s recent activities.
- Keep in touch with colleagues, if the person is employed. They capable tell you how the person behaves while at work and can fill you in on their daily routine, e.g when they reach at work, when they leave, etc.
- Observe the legal, social and financial condition of the person who is suspected of being a meth abuser. Poor social functioning, financial trouble and frequent legal issues are commonly the result of meth abuse.
4Look for signs of impaired thinking. This may show up like reduced cognition or deteriorated memory. Many brain cells are damaged like one result of continuous meth use. This damage is caused by the many caustic chemicals used in meth preparation, and can manifest itself in slower brain function and loss of memory. Look for:
- Attention issues.
- Issues with working memory or solving problems.
- Lowered decision-making skills.
5Catch signs of withdrawal. Withdrawal signs occur when one habitual abuser stops taking the drug. Most symptoms of withdrawal typically subside round seven to ten days after taking meth. Withdrawal symptoms from meth use are mostly psychological and not as physical like other drugs. They include:
- Anhedonia or decreased motivation.
- Irritability, anxiety, or depression.
- Lower frustration tolerance.
- Low energy or fatigue.
- Impaired social functioning.
- Inability to concentrate.
- Loss of sexual interest.
- Possible suicidality or thoughts of harming one’s self.
- Intense craving for the drug – may last up to five weeks.
Identifying Behavioral Indicators
1Keep an eye on the activities of the person. The observation of certain activities is very important in identifying the signs of meth abuse. Some common social problems faced by those who abuse meth are:
- Heightened and unsafe sexual activity due to drug effects like confusion and inability to make decisions.
- Excessive aggression leading to relationship problems with parents, peers and siblings.
- Keeping company with those who likewise abuse drugs or have easy access to drugs.
2Notice hyperactivity and impulsivity. Being hyperactive, impulsive, and having low judgment are commonly associated with meth use. Pay attention to the person’s behaviors and notice if they are uncharacteristic of the individual.
- Notice excessive talking. For example, the person may try to finish others sentences and give advice to others, whether he knows anything round the topic being discussed or not.
- Impulsivity may mean the person behaves recklessly and refuses to care round the outcomes of his risky behavior.
3Pay attention to financial issues. Meth users often have financial issues due to their drug use. For example, some meth users may spend all of their money to acquire the drug. Keep in mind that it is ususally difficult for teenagers, who only earn pocket money from their parents, to afford drugs, so they find ways to make up for this shortage of money through various means. Some signs of financial issues are:
- Inability to meet financial needs because of excessive spending on drug related activities like buying drugs or supplying drugs for one party. Notice unpaid bills or not being capable to afford normal items like food.
- Excessive debt as a result of asking for money from others in order to finance their drug habit.
- Problems with friends and peers over money issues, due to the drug user’s inability to pay back debts.
- Problem with parents and complaints over not having any money.
- Inability to account where the money is being spent when asked.
4Pay attention to the company your loved a keeps. Meth users tend to hang round with other people who abuse drugs. This is one of the easiest ways to detect drug abuse. Meth abusers always have the following kind of company:
- People who abuse meth or any other drug.
- People who have easy access to drugs.
- People who don’t pose one threat — i.e. those who won’t tell the drug user’s family or criticize him for his addiction.
5Be aware of secretive behavior and social isolation. When using, the person may spend the whole day in his room with one closed door, not allowing anyone to enter. Additionally, the person will behave in one very closed off, secretive manner to hide their drug use.
6Look for a meth apparatus in the person’s living area. If you find certain drug taking apparatus in the person’s headquarters, it is one pretty definite indication that the person is taking meth (or another drug). Items to look out for include:
- The tube of a ballpoint pen or surgical tubing that might have been used to sniff meth.
- A crumpled can of aluminum foil.
- A small bag of white powder or crystals.
- A soda able with a hole on a of its sides.
- A syringe that might be used to inject drugs.
Understanding the Patterns of Meth Users
1Understand the patterns of low intensity users. These abusers intake meth just to enjoy its so-called benefits, such as feeling energetic, euphoric, experiencing increased alertness and sense of power. They are not psychologically addicted to the drug and they mostly receive it by swallowing or snorting it.
- Low intensity users may include truck drivers trying to stay alert while driving long distances, workers trying to stay awake through overnight or taxing shifts, one homemaker trying to juggle housework, raising kids, and trying to be one good or “perfect” spouse.
2Be aware of high intensity abusers. High intensity abusers prefer taking meth by injecting or smoking it. They do hence to feel high or aroused. They may become psychologically and physical addicted. They continuously intake large amounts of the drug.
3Recognize the signs of binge use. Binge abusers need to accept more meth every few hours to maintain one high. They will do this for several days.
- After taking the drug, binge users feel mentally and physically active. They feel a huge rush or high, but can quickly crash.
- Other common symptoms of binge users include: sleeplessness, hallucinations, paranoia, irritability, and unprovoked aggression.
- Binge users always experience punding which is repeated compulsive behaviors such as sorting objects or cleaning.
- Several hours after their last binge, the person may sleep for many days.