Meth Addiction Symptoms
Methamphetamine is a widely abused and highly addictive stimulant that leads to extreme physical and psychological dependence which can be difficult to treat. People who smoke, snort or inject meth are at an immediate risk of becoming addicted to the drug and this addiction can quickly lead to consequences. Often times, meth addiction symptoms go unnoticed at first but as the user continues to spiral out of control, family members and friends will quickly come to realize that there is a real problem on hand.
While many drugs do not cause adverse appearance changes, meth addiction symptoms almost immediately appear on the user in the form of sores, tooth decay and hair loss. Toxic chemicals that are used to make methamphetamine cause the body to react in a number of ways and the longer the addiction goes untreated, the more prevalent and noticeable the physical appearance changes will be.
Physically, meth addiction symptoms will often include:
- Excessive sores on the body especially on the face. Meth users will often pick their skin obsessively when they are under the influence and this can lead to deep sores and scarring of the skin. The scarring may appear similar to those left behind as a result of extreme cases of acne.
- Meth mouth. People who use meth will often suffer from extreme tooth decay or they may even lose their teeth. The toxins in the meth eat away at the enamel of the teeth and quickly erode the teeth causing dramatic decay in a short amount of time.
- Balding or hair loss. People who abuse meth often do not eat properly or will go days without eating at all. The lack of nutrients in the daily diet can lead to hair loss, balding or split ends that cause the hair to seem very short or frazzled.
- Rapid and extreme weight loss. People who abuse meth will often lose excessive amounts of weight in a short period of time and they could seem anorexic or otherwise sick due to the vast amount of weight loss that occurs in such a short period of time.
- Hyperactivity and restlessness. Meth addiction symptoms such as hyperactivity and restlessness will often stick around with the user long after he or she even stops using meth. In some cases, the restlessness and twitching that are apparent when meth addiction is a problem will continue to plague the recovering addict many years into their recovery.
- Lack of hygiene or a foul body odor. Meth addiction will often result in a user no longer taking care of his or her personal appearance and it can lead to an extreme lack of hygiene. Meth addiction symptoms such as these can also lead to an increased risk of infection due to the presence of bacteria and grime on the body.
- Paranoia and hallucinations. Meth addiction will often lead to extreme cases of paranoia that resemble the medical diagnosis of schizophrenia. This paranoia does not typically go away with immediate discontinuation of methamphetamine abuse and can actually become a permanent part of the user’s life if he or she abuses methamphetamine for too long.
- Crawling skin. Meth addiction will cause the user to feel as if there are parasites or insects crawling just beneath their skin. This is the result of the toxins accumulating in the body and causing the brain to believe that there is a reason to feel itchy or uncomfortable.
Treatment for Meth Addiction
The effects of meth addiction can have a lasting impact on the user but there is help available. Treatment for meth addiction will typically include counseling and therapy to get to the bottom of the addiction and the reasons why the user decided to begin using methamphetamine in the first place but it will also include medical treatment to help the recovering addict overcome the symptoms of detox and withdrawal. Meth withdrawal symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to many months so it’s important to seek professional treatment to ensure the safety and complete recovery for the addict.