Addiction to Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine, also called meth, crystal meth, ice or glass, is a highly addictive drug that causes numerous health problems. Methamphetamine is a controlled substance and a prescription medication that is used for patients with ADHD and sometimes for obese patients who can’t lose weight any other way. Symptoms of meth use in women and men are not hard to spot. If you suspect someone is abusing this drug, whether from a prescription or an illegal drug dealer, step in before the problem gets out of control.
What Is Meth?
Meth is a stimulant, which means it raises your heart rate, blood pressure, and metabolism. It makes you alert and can keep you awake. The boost in metabolism is one reason women abuse meth and why it can treat obesity. Meth will cause weight loss. It also can help to focus the mind at the right dosages, which is why it is used for treating ADHD. At higher doses, meth causes a high that may last up to 12 hours. Abusers take this drug in a variety of ways. It can be smoked, dissolved and injected, snorted as a powder or swallowed in pill form.
What Are the Signs of Meth Abuse?
Someone who is high on meth will show obvious signs, including a sense of euphoria, a high energy level, excessive sweating, insomnia, agitation, repetitive movements, dilated pupils and eye twitches, loss of appetite, and hyperactive behaviors. Over time, with repeated and frequent use, meth causes telltale health problems. These include weight loss, decaying teeth and psychosis. Meth addicts also feel a skin-crawling sensation and tend to pick at their skin, creating sores.
How Difficult Is It to Quit Using Meth?
For an addict of any type of drug, quitting is a major challenge, but meth has a particularly strong hold on abusers. Something called post-acute withdrawal syndrome is not uncommon when addicts try to stop using. This means that the addict experiences extremely uncomfortable symptoms as a result of no longer having the drug in the body. The skin crawling usually becomes intense during this period, while the addict may also feel serious paranoia and confusion, agitation, anxiety, depression, severe cravings, insomnia and anhedonia. Anhedonia refers to a lack of interest in anything pleasurable.
How to Get Help
Addiction affects families in so many ways. If you suspect a loved one is abusing meth, step in and try to help. The addiction of one family member can impact the health and well-being of all members for years into the future. Look out for the signs and symptoms of meth abuse and turn to professionals if you feel you cannot help your family member alone. Consider staging a professional intervention. Experts are available to set up and lead these powerful events. Be prepared with resources for rehab and give your full support to your family member who is in a vulnerable and difficult position.