Be Honest When You See the Signs of Meth Addiction
There is no such thing as safe or responsible meth use.
Some people report addiction after just one use. Others begin using the drug more and more in order to achieve the same high when they began using it, slowly becoming more dependent on meth with each subsequent use. This is because inhaling, ingesting, or injecting methamphetamines into your system forces the brain to release excess amounts of dopamine, creating a level of euphoria that is only possible the first time.
This pursuit leads to continued and ever-increasing use, which creates a number of observable symptoms of meth addiction, such as:
- Hyperactivity: If you or someone you love is uncharacteristically manic, talkative, or mentally hyperactive for a few hours, they may be in the early stages of meth addiction. This hyperactivity continues throughout the course of meth addiction, but it is at its peak in the very beginning.
- Behavioral changes: You may have reason to suspect drug use of any kind if your loved one is spending long hours out of the house, exhibiting negative mood and personality changes, routinely asking for money, being defensive about their activities and whereabouts, isolating themselves, changing their social habits, staying awake for long stretches of time or showing any of these signs of drug addiction.
- Psychological damage: The powerful high brought on by meth always leads to a crash, which typically involves exhaustion, intense hunger, and prolonged insomnia. These can lead to psychosis, which may take the form of anxiety, depression, jerky eye movements, hallucinations, and compulsive picking and scratching at the skin.
- Anhedonia: Using meth restructures the pleasure centers in the brain, ultimately causing anhedonia, which is the inability to enjoy formerly pleasurable activities, such as playing sports, watching movies, spending time with friends, sexual intercourse, etc. People whose brains have been damaged by meth are often unable to derive any enjoyment from basic activities such as eating and sleeping, because nothing else releases the same level of dopamine.
- Physical decline: Using meth wreaks havoc on the body. Methamphetamine use often leads to significant weight loss, fever, dehydration, brittle bones, sores due to picked skin (especially on the face), reduced sexual drive, and a generally disheveled, sickly appearance accompanied by rotting teeth and lack of personal hygiene.
Combining Methamphetamines, Opiates, and Alcohol
Many people use opiates to offset the “upper” effect methamphetamines, and others use methamphetamines to offset the “downer” effect of opiates (known as a “speed ball”). People seeking to counter the hyperactive and energizing effects of meth may also turn to alcohol. Any of these combinations can constrict blood vessels, leading to high blood pressure. They can also cause slower breathing, seizures, and unconsciousness.
In short, combining meth with opiates or alcohol can (and often does) lead to death. If you or someone you love is engaging in polysubstance abuse of any kind, this is very serious and warrants immediate intervention.