Methamphetamine addiction is ravaging people’s lives all over the globe including countries such as Australia, The United States, parts of Europe, Russia, the Philippines and Thailand. Although there is evidence that overall use, especially in the U.S., is on a decline, it remains one of the most commonly abused drugs after alcohol, prescription medications and heroin.
What is Methamphetamine?
Discovered in 1919 by a Japanese chemist, methamphetamine has gone from being just another lab made, unknown drug, to one of the most abused drugs in the world. It is a white, odorless, bitter tasting powder which looks like small crystals, hence its alternative name “crystal meth”. It can be crushed and snorted, smoked or dissolved in water and injected. As a stimulant, methamphetamine is long lasting and causes an extreme rush of euphoria and energy. On the street, methamphetamine is known as speed, meth, chalk, ice, crystal, glass and tina (please note these names can vary based on the location and culture). An addiction to methamphetamine can happen quite rapidly; even in a matter of days or weeks of constant use. Some of the most common warning signs of a methamphetamine addiction are as follows.
High Energy Levels
When a person initially becomes addicted to crystal meth, they may seem to have more energy than ever before. It may look as if a person has ADHD or ADD because they are constantly moving and/or talking. Keep in mind that if a person already has naturally high energy levels, these increases can go unnoticed. Therefore, you must be able to recognize a few additional warning signs of a meth addiction.
Little to No Sleep
When a person has an addiction to methamphetamine, they may have very little need or desire to sleep. On some nights, the individual will sleep only a few hours, other times, they may go days without sleeping. However, when this happens they will likely crash and sleep for an extended period of time. Moreover, when a person is using methamphetamine, they may look extremely tired with puffy eyes and bags or circles underneath them. Even so, this sleeplessness does not always cause them to lose their energy.
Although less costly than other substances, a person will need money for meth. With regular use of the drug, financial woes may occur. Money which was supposed to be used for obligatory bills may be used to purchase more of the drug. Events, dinners with friends (non-users) and other invites may be declined to save money for meth. The individual may ask loved ones to borrow a loan, or money (or items) may go missing. Bank accounts can be drained or gambling could potentially ensue. This financial strain occurs so often because a user of methamphetamine will do anything to get more of the drug. This is just another reason why a private rehab for meth should be sought.
A frequent crystal meth user may begin to stray away from hanging out with non-using friends or family members. They may withdrawal from any social activities and develop reclusive like behavior. This distance is one of the most obvious warning signs of a meth addiction.
Another social behavior which a meth user may adapt is sexual promiscuity, or the willingness to have sex without thinking about potential issues which could occur. It’s a regular occurrence for meth addicts who have sought addiction treatment to discuss events in which unprotected sex took place. This of course, can lead to the transfer of sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.
One of the last, but very noticeable, sign of a methamphetamine addiction is the users’ physical appearance. Breasts on a woman may “shrink” or sag. The individual (man or woman) may appear very thin and unhealthy looking because they do not eat often or consume the vital nutrients which their body needs. Hair may appear thin and nails may become brittle because of malnutrition. The mouth, also known as “meth mouth” may appear greatly damaged. The teeth may be rotted out and the gums may be heavily swollen or bleeding. If a person is injecting the drug, they may have skin lesions, ruptures or infection. Other physical signs of a crystal ice addiction could be sniffling, running nose, a scratchy voice and coughing.
Indirect Signs of an Addiction to Meth
Apart from the aforementioned warning signs, there are additional things to look out for when a potential addiction to meth is being questioned. These include:
- Aluminum foil with burn marks (if smoking the meth)-
- Straws, with or without burn marks (used to smoke or snort)-
- Empty pen cases (for snorting)-
- Small plastic bags-
- Water pipes, bongs, glass or metal pipes
- Razor blades, ID’s or credit cards with powdered residue
- Belt, ropes, rubber bands or shoe laces (to tie off the veins for injecting)
- Syringes and syringe caps (if injecting)
Getting Rehab Treatment for a Meth Addiction
A meth addiction is not something to ignore. If left unnoticed, or untreated it can lead to devastating mental, emotional and physical effects on both the user and those around them. If you recognise one or more of the above warning signs, consider a rehab program for methamphetamine addictions.
Serenity Chiang Rai Rehab Centre is a leading private rehab in Thailand. The facility is able to offer a medical detox from meth furthered by an inclusive customised treatment program. If you would like to know more, please contact us today or browse our rehab site for more information.