According to a study, at least 9.6 million Americans have used meth at least once (and this number is likely much higher). It’s more common than many people think.
But how can you tell if you or someone you know is experiencing meth addiction? Is it always obvious? And once you identify the problem, what can you do about it?
Let’s talk about it. Read on to learn more about the signs of meth addiction and the next steps to take.
What Are the Signs of Meth Addiction?
Before we discuss how to address the challenges of meth addiction, let’s talk about the signs. How can you tell when you or someone you know is addicted to meth?
Note that not all signs that we’re going to list indicate meth addiction on their own. They could be signs that someone is high on meth, but they can also be signs of other types of substance use (including legal substance use), mental health problems, physical health problems, or just odd behaviors.
When you notice several signs at once, however, it’s a good idea to address them. Here’s a quick rundown of some common signs of meth abuse.
Let’s discuss physical signs first. These are often the first obvious signs that someone is experiencing meth addiction. People can notice these signs in their loved ones even if they aren’t currently close.
First, someone who’s high on meth may seem to have a lot of energy, as though they’ve had too much caffeine. They’ll be jittery and they’ll have a hard time sitting still. When they don’t have access to their meth, they may be lethargic and sleepy.
They may lose weight quickly. Someone can drop several pounds without dieting, and people tend to get to unhealthily low weights when they’re going through meth addiction.
Pupils may look more dilated than normal and the person may experience excessive sweating.
Often, people struggling with meth addiction start to experience dental issues. As a matter of fact, 96% of meth users have cavities. If you notice a significant decline in someone’s dental health, meth could be the culprit.
Poor hygiene and grooming habits also come alongside meth addiction. Many people with meth also develop sores and scabs, sometimes as a result of compulsive skin picking.
Now let’s move on to behavioral signs. These are also identifiable by outsiders, but some are more obvious than others. Again, when it comes to behavioral signs, there can be many other causes aside from meth addiction, so tread carefully here.
As a matter of fact, many of these are symptoms of conditions like bipolar disorder, anxiety, and even ADHD.
First, people experiencing meth addiction may show impulsive behaviors. They may struggle to control themselves and they’ll take more unnecessary risks.
They may seem restless, hyperactive, and agitated when nothing is going on. They’ll find themselves hyper-focusing on activities to the extent that it’s counterproductive or even harmful (like working on a project all through the night instead of sleeping).
Speaking of sleep, they may not sleep as much as they should. They’ll be awake at odd hours and only take naps. They may also reject meals more often.
They may start distancing themself from friends and family members.
Psychological signs are more difficult to notice from the outside (though not impossible). If you’re the one who’s wondering if your casual meth use has turned into an addiction, this section is for you.
Extreme paranoia and anxiety can result from meth use, both when the person is using and when they’re going through withdrawal. In some cases, people even experience hallucinations and delusions.
Mood swings and irritability are common, and some people even get violent (even if that’s not normally in their nature).
Psychological signs continue to worsen as the addiction continues.
How to Start the Recovery Process
So once you’ve identified that you or a loved one is experiencing meth addiction, now what? It’s time to start the recovery process. But how do you do that?
Here’s a quick rundown.
Admit or Identify the Problem
The first step of recovery is always admitting that you have a problem. Whether it’s you or a loved one, you need to reach this point.
If it’s you, you’re likely already there. That’s fantastic.
If it’s a loved one, you may have to have a gentle intervention. Don’t approach them with accusations or aggression. Let them know that you support them and you aren’t forcing anything, but you want to encourage them to seek help.
This may not work the first time. You don’t want to push them away, but make sure you’re firm and set boundaries.
Find a Nearby Addiction Treatment Center
Now it’s time to find somewhere to go for rehab.
Look for rehabilitation centers that offer a modern and holistic approach to treatment. It’s helpful if they include medication-assisted detox as well. They should offer both physical and mental health services as well as aftercare to help their patients reintegrate into society.
Commit to Recovery
Once you’ve found the right treatment center, it’s time to get started. Reach out so you can start the healing process.
A representative will walk you through the admissions process and explain how treatment works. They’ll explain payment options and give you an overview of what you can expect.
Then it’s your job to follow through.
You Can Overcome Meth Addiction
Recognizing the signs of meth addiction can be scary, but now you’re ready to recover. It’s time to reach out to a reliable addiction treatment center so you can get the help you deserve and start taking your life back.
At Altitude Recovery, we value the people who trust us during this vulnerable point of their lives. We’re ready to guide you through your recovery journey.
Learn more about our admissions process and reach out today for more information.