The Signs and Symptoms of Methamphetamine Use

Methamphetamines are artificially manufactured stimulant drugs. They have been around for quite some time. As far back as World War II, methamphetamines were provided to soldiers to help keep them awake during times of war. Since then, methamphetamines had been produced illegally and used to help people lose weight, combat depression, and as popular party drugs. Significant attention is commonly paid to the cost and detriment resulting from the opioid epidemic in the United States. However, the scope of methamphetamine use in the United States is significant. According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, just under two million people reported using methamphetamines in the last year. Also, in the same year, just under one million people, some as young as age twelve, had a methamphetamine use disorder, and nearly 15% of all drug overdose death involved methamphetamines. 


What Are Methamphetamines?

Methamphetamines (or meth) are potent stimulants known for producing euphoria and excessive amounts of energy in users. Methamphetamines come in several forms, including powder, pills, and a powerful version known as crystal meth, which appears as crystals or glass. Powdered forms of meth can be snorted or dissolved in liquids and injected. When used, methamphetamine produces highly euphoric effects similar to those of cocaine. It works within the brain to increase the amount of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. These effects last longer than with other drugs, and methamphetamine is cheaper and easier to make with commonly available over-the-counter ingredients. 


The rise in illegal methamphetamine production is part of the reason why pharmacies and drugstores now monitor sales of cough syrups and common cold medicines that contain pseudoephedrine, one of the primary ingredients in manufacturing methamphetamine. With ongoing use, methamphetamine can damage neurons within the brain, inhibiting their ability to function normally without the presence of the drug in your system. Studies also suggest that structural and functional changes occur within the brain related to emotion and memory. Unfortunately, some of these changes may be irreversible even with comprehensive addiction treatment. 


Is It Easy to Tell If Someone Is Abusing Methamphetamines? 

The signs and symptoms of methamphetamine use are visible in a variety of ways. One of the first symptoms someone is abusing methamphetamines is often a sudden loss of interest in things that were once interesting or important. Former hobbies, career goals, and even relationships begin to take a backseat to obtain and using meth. Also, someone who is abusing methamphetamines will exhibit various behavioral and physical symptoms that are often outwardly apparent to those around them. 


Some of the most common symptoms of methamphetamine abuse include hyperactivity, twitching, dilated pupils, behavioral changes, sudden weight loss, changes in sleeping patterns, paranoia and agitation, and rotting teeth or skin sores. Another sign and symptom of methamphetamine use is known as tweaking. This is a period of alternating anxiety and insomnia that can last up to two weeks. Tweaking occurs at the end of a drug binge when someone using methamphetamine cannot achieve a high or euphoric rush any longer. Tweaking results in psychological side effects such as confusion, irritability, and paranoia. It can also result in hallucinations and violent outbursts. If you or a loved one struggles with a methamphetamine use disorder, seeking addiction treatment to detox from its dangerous effects is essential to your safety. 


Get Help With Methamphetamine Addiction Today

Methamphetamine is a dangerous and highly addictive drug. If you or a loved one are exhibiting signs of methamphetamine use disorder or addiction, it is vital to seek professional help immediately. Inpatient rehabs like Rise in Malibu can work with you to create a unique and individual treatment plan to help defeat methamphetamine addiction and achieve and maintain ongoing, long-term sobriety. Detoxing from methamphetamines without comprehensive treatment and support can be dangerous. To ensure your health and safety, it is crucial to choose a treatment center like Rise where medically supervised detox is available. If you are ready to take the first steps towards your journey to sobriety and freedom from methamphetamines, reach out to the admissions team at Rise today to learn more about how our addiction treatment staff can help. 

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