With the widespread use of crystal meth, it’s essential to recognize the signs that someone you know is at risk from it. Crystal meth users face risks from short-term and long-term effects, as well as overdosing and withdrawal symptoms that come with an attempt to quit using. Let’s look at some of the most common dangers of crystal meth and when its time to seek help.
Crystal meth, or methamphetamine, is an illegal drug consumed by snorting, smoking, swallowing, or injecting it. Its short-term dangers include an irregular heartbeat and higher blood pressure. It can lead to paranoia, hallucinations, and extreme weight loss long-term. Signs of its use include rotting teeth, sores, and intense scratching. Someone using crystal meth can be aided by medical detox to safely manage the withdrawal process. That withdrawal process tends to be longer for people who inject the drug.
How Is Crystal Meth Used?
Meth can be taken in a variety of ways. Seeing someone consume it one way doesn’t mean they limit themselves to that single method. For example, it can be smoked, swallowed in pill form, or snorted as a powder. The powder may also be mixed with water or alcohol and injected into the body.
Warning Signs of Crystal Meth Use
Both physical characteristics and behavior give clues about someone’s meth use. Photos online typically show a “before” and “after’ of a person addicted to meth, with a noticeable change even in a relatively short amount of time. Physical changes can include skin issues, including sores, rotted teeth, drastic body weight drops, and they may appear frail.
Tweaking, a term for when crystal meth users go days without sleeping, is an example of a psychological sign of this drug’s abuse. They may hallucinate and feel paranoid.
While tweaking, the crystal meth user may move in a jerky manner, talk quickly, and get physically aggressive. This is a behavioral warning sign of abuse of this drug. Other signs include:
- Frequent scratching or picking at their skin
- Buying or making smoking paraphernalia
- Hiding drug-related items
- Selling their possessions
- Frequently borrowing money
Other Short-Term Crystal Meth Dangers
Since crystal meth is manufactured and distributed illegally, the risk of other substances being added to it is high. If it’s cut with fentanyl, it can lead to overdose or death. Even without another drug added, meth users face a variety of other risks immediately.
Body temperature rises upon use of meth. High body temperature can lead to unconsciousness or death. Their breathing will become rapid. Injecting the drug using shared or unclean needles can put a person at risk for disease.
Long-Term Crystal Meth Risks
In addition to some of the outcomes mentioned in the warning signs, other long-term dangers from crystal meth use include anxiety, memory loss, and other changes to the brain. Their coordination could be affected, and they may struggle with verbal learning. Psychotic behavior during episodes of paranoia and hallucinations could lead to self-harm or harming others.
Overdosing on Crystal Meth
Overdosing on crystal meth is possible and can be potentially life-threatening. It can disrupt blood flow to the brain and cause a stroke. It can create a blood clot affecting the flow to the heart. Other organ damage is possible as well. Those who overdose on meth may be unaware they’ve ingested a synthetic opioid that was added.
Crystal Meth Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms vary and are shaped by numerous factors, including the length of meth use, the amount used, the frequency of use, and whether they abused other substances. During meth withdrawal, a person may feel anxious or paranoid, they may hallucinate, and they may suffer from nausea and dehydration. Other withdrawal symptoms could include excessive sweating, fatigue, severe depression, and suicidal thoughts.
Detox for Crystal Meth Users
Restored Path Detox provides a safe detox from addictive substances for patients adults. A medical team provides 24-hour care as well as supportive counseling sessions with stress management techniques and relapse prevention tools. For someone with a history of crystal meth use, this medical detox is a valuable first step in getting on a path towards healing and making plans for continuing care once detox is complete.
Restored Path Detox is DFW’s premier location for sophisticated medical detox. Conveniently located in Frisco, we provide a safe sanctuary for healing that is also a state-of-the-art detoxification facility for a wide range of substances. Our compassionate physicians and therapists want you to get well and are committed to removing any existing barriers to your care. Restored Path’s board-certified medical professionals and highly qualified RNs have extensive critical care experience and are available to monitor your detox program 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you or a loved one are struggling with drug or alcohol use, call us today and take your first step towards recovery: 561-841-1268.