Crystal methamphetamine, or crystal meth, in short, is one of the most addictive illicit substances in the country. This drug is available in crystal form and is often crushed and then smoked, snorted, eaten, or injected by the user. Crystal meth is highly addictive and its use is associated with a range of harrowing symptoms, some of which can be life-threatening.
If you’re worried that you or a loved one may be dealing with an addiction to crystal meth, here are some of the physical and psychological warning signs to look out for.
These may occur when the person is new to using meth or when they’re becoming more dependent on it:
- Extreme weight loss
- Serious tooth decay (meth mouth)
- Drooping facial skin and facial sores
- Seizures and convulsions
- Dilated pupils
- High body temperature
- Intense scratching
- A rapid heart rate
- Elevated libido
- Violent behavior
- Heart attack
- Lowered immunity, making them susceptible to various illnesses
Crystal meth stimulates the release of dopamine in the brain. This results in feelings of euphoria that tempt the user to keep seeking out the drug. Eventually, the brain becomes flooded with dopamine, leading to an imbalance that results in symptoms such as memory problems, slowed motor skills, or the inability to learn new motor skills.
Other psychological signs of crystal meth addiction include:
- Intense cravings
- Psychosis – characterized by delusions, paranoia, hallucinations, and irritability
- Tweaking –this happens when the user goes without sleep for long periods e.g. 3-15 days. This leads to increased paranoia, confusion, irritability, increased aggression, and mood swings.
Another warning sign of possible crystal meth use is finding drug-related paraphernalia among an individual’s belongings. The paraphernalia will vary depending on the method used to take the drug. For instance, if smoked, you may find lighters, glass tubes, hollowed-out pens, etc., and if the drug is injected, you may find syringes, spoons, or armbands, among other items.
Recovery Is Possible
Breaking free of a crystal meth addiction is difficult but possible. Some of the drug’s long-term effects can be hard to fully recover from unless you have the right help. Those who are struggling with an addiction to crystal meth require a structured environment and addiction treatment specialists who have the requisite knowledge and experience to help. Both are available at the Robert Alexander Center for Recovery in Kentucky.
Our addiction treatment center offers a full continuum of care for all who are battling addiction. We have different addiction treatment programs and individuals are given personalized treatment plans based on their recovery needs. Those who have mild symptoms of meth addiction as well as a supportive living environment at home can be enrolled in intensive outpatient or outpatient programs. Those with more serious addictions may have to go for residential treatment. Medically-assisted detox is normally required before enrolling in a drug addiction treatment program.
Crystal meth addiction is serious but with the right help, you or your loved one can overcome it. Speak to the Robert Alexander Center for Recovery today and see how we can help you.