Is a Loved One Using Crystal Meth?

Is a Loved One Using Crystal Meth?

Is a Loved One Using Crystal Meth?

Is a Loved One Using Crystal Meth?Crystal meth addiction is serious and the suspicion that a loved one is caught in its clutches can be frightening. You want to do something, but in a way you may not want to. It seems that to really probe the issue is to make it all the more real. However, avoiding the problem certainly won’t make it go away and meth addicts don’t heal on their own.

But despite your hunch, how can you know if a friend or family member is indeed using meth? The telltale signs of meth addiction can mimic other drug use and even common mental disorders, so relying specifically on physical symptoms may not be sufficient to conclude that someone has a problem with meth.

What Are the Symptoms of Meth Use?

The symptoms of meth addiction are physical, emotional and mental, and they manifest uniquely in each user depending on gender, age and other individual factors. But there are many signs and symptoms one can look for.

And while meth will eventually show itself in the face of its user, the drug takes a particular toll on the physical appearance of women, producing in them an aged and haggard look. Symptoms of meth use in women may also include gaunt, wrinkled, grayish-toned skin, sunken eyes, dark circles under the eyes and the appearance of anorexia. Rotting teeth and facial lesions are common symptoms seen in both men and women. In addition to these physical markers, meth users often battle insomnia because of the stimulant nature of the drug and may go in and out of bouts of mania and repetitive, obsessive-compulsive behaviors.

Is It Hard to Detect Meth Use?

Though many of the symptoms of meth use may mimic other conditions, it isn’t impossible to detect, especially if you are paying attention and willing to be honest about what you observe. However, addicts are crafty, and when addicts are paired with enablers of addicts, the denial and the deception will run very deep, making it hard to make clear distinctions or to take definitive action. Understanding the danger of meth use and the progressive nature of addiction, however, may help enablers to wake up to the truth of the problem and do what they can to encourage and empower recovery.

Long Term Effects of Meth Use

Crystal meth is powerfully addictive and severely damaging to the body, mind and spirit over time. In addition to the symptoms listed above, meth use carries severe cognitive consequences. For example, long-term meth use may result in loss of short-term memory, seizures, psychosis, aggression, schizophrenia and suicide.

Physically, long-term meth users will experience malnutrition, compromised immunity, frequent infection (especially of skin lesions), failure of the body’s internal organs and symptoms, blindness, internal bleeding and eventually death.

What to Do If You Suspect a Loved One Is Addicted to Crystal Meth

With meth, there is very little middle ground. This isn’t a recreational drug that permits occasional indulgence. Meth use quickly becomes meth abuse—it is a serious problem and one that is not to be treated casually. If someone you know is addicted to meth, don’t delay in encouraging him or her to get help. While in the end the addict must desire recovery, take whatever steps necessary to help. Look into local rehab facilities and schedule an appointment with an interventionist to begin discussing treatment options. Crystal meth has an overwhelmingly high relapse rate, so recovery approaches must be skillful, strategic and holistic, dealing with the deeper emotional roots of the user’s addiction.

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