Hot ice, crystal glass, black beauties, and poor man’s coke – these are but a few of the many street names of an extremely addictive stimulant called methamphetamine. Often sold in crystalline form, crystal meth is one of the more popular illegal substances available because it increases energy, improves alertness, and induces euphoria while suppressing fatigue and appetite. Unfortunately, chronic abuse of this drug can result to psychiatric disorders as well as severe physical damages. Doctors claim that addiction to this particular drug is extremely difficult to cure and the rate of successful treatments is low. If you suspect that a family member, a friend, or a loved one is taking crystal meth, it is important that you read on and learn how to recognize the signs that indicate if a person is addicted to the substance. Quick and effective intervention could spell the difference between a person’s successful recovery from the addiction and possible death.
- Observe specific physical changes in a suspected meth user. Two of the most common observable signs of addiction to meth are the collapsed jaw and the wounded skin. The substance is very acidic and tends to dry out the gums. These factors lead to a condition called “meth mouth.” Combined with the meth’s corrosive effects, most abusers tend to suffer from deficient oral hygiene and the tendency to grind the teeth; thus, most of the individual’s teeth would rot and fall out and the jaw collapses inwards. Besides drying the gums, meth also tends to dry out the skin. People addicted to meth believe that they are infested with “meth lice” leading to obsessive and frantic skin picking. If you notice unexplainable abscesses on the individual’s face, this could mean that he is using crystal meth. Other indicators are dilated pupils, excessive sweating, flushed appearance, acute and extreme weight loss, and tendencies to stay awake for unusually long periods of time followed by a period of deep sleep.
- Be vigilant of emotional telltale signs as well. If a dependable parent suddenly exhibits irresponsible behavior such as child neglect, this could be a sign that he is abusing meth. Other symptoms become more apparent once the meth leaves the person’s system and he experiences substance withdrawal. These symptoms are the inability to relax, unprovoked aggression, and bouts of depression. Prolonged use of methamphetamines can also bring about hallucinations and delusions. Suicidal tendencies and paranoid schizophrenia may also emerge.
- Be wary of losing money or other valuable items. Prolonged meth abuse will gradually degrade an addict’s ability to sense pleasure. The individual will need bigger quantities of the drug in order to attain the same level of euphoric sensations. In order to afford such binges, an addicted user might have to resort to selling items in order to buy more drugs. Once all his possessions have been sold, the individual could start stealing from neighbors and relatives. Others are also forced into selling drugs and prostitution in order to fund their addiction.
To have a loved one, becoming a victim of crystal meth is tragic. The effects of the drug keep them from making the rational choice to give it up. Once you have confirmed that an individual is indeed a meth addict, the next step would be to ask for professional assistance. Contact a qualified recovery clinic or treatment center. Remember that overcoming this form of addiction will take months, even years. Your encouragement and patient assistance are very much needed to make sure that the individual turns his life around and stays away from the dangerous substance for good.