Person thinking about meth abuse

Common Signs of Meth Abuse

Methamphetamine (meth) abuse is rising in the United States among both teens and adults. Though scientists initially synthesized this stimulant for medical reasons, it is one of the most damaging and addictive substances there is. Most people, however, misuse a street version of meth that is illicitly created in kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and numerous other hidden spots, rather than using medical-grade meth. The meth on the market today is extremely potent and has a very intense high, making it supremely addictive and dangerous. If meth abuse has derailed your life or that of someone you love, it’s never too late to seek meth addiction treatment and turn things around. 

Reach out to The Right Step Houston to learn about the side effects of meth abuse and how you can regain your sobriety. Our evidence-based meth addiction treatment gives you an excellent chance for full recovery. Let our staff answer your questions. Just call us at 1.844.768.0169

How Meth Works 

Like many other addictive substances, meth interacts with the brain and affects the production of hormones and neurotransmitters as well as physical structures in the brain. People generally binge meth because they strongly urge to regain and hold onto the intense euphoric feeling they get when they first try the drug.  

The overload of meth in the body and brain during a prolonged binge is intense. It leads to an inevitable crash, usually after the drug no longer creates a high because the brain’s receptors are overwhelmed. 

When someone is trapped in a chronic repetition of binge and recovery cycles, they are addicted. The symptoms of addiction include what happens between binges when there is no access to the drug. 

Side Effects of Meth 

You may be familiar with some of the side effects of meth because they are often quite visible. Some of the most common symptoms of meth abuse and addiction are: 

  • Decayed and broken teeth – Referred to as meth mouth, this condition is caused by several factors, including the acidic content of the drug, neglect of oral hygiene during binges, chronic dry mouth, chronic tooth grinding and clenching, craving, and indulging in sugary foods when high. 
  • Early aging – Meth leads to the body’s over-production of ceramides, which are molecules that foster inflammation as well as the aging and death of cells. 
  • Short- and long-term psychological effects – Meth abuse often leads to short-term anxiety, paranoia, aggression, hallucinations, and insomnia. Over time, the more lasting effects result from potentially permanent damage to the brain and include psychotic symptoms, mood disturbances, and violence. 
  • Skin damage – The sores, bald patches, abscesses, and deep scrapes that are common among people who misuse meth are the result of obsessive picking and scratching the skin or pulling out hair. Many of these behaviors take place when tweaking. 
  • Tweaking – This term refers to the symptoms that arise when a binge ends. The brain can no longer get high, so the individual has no choice but to stop using so their system can recover. They may sleep for a brief time, but the symptoms of withdrawal immediately take effect during this time between binges as the body regains its ability to respond to the drug. When someone is tweaking, they cannot sleep, feel like bugs are crawling under their skin, dissociate from reality, and are at significantly increased risk of self-harm. 

The potentially permanent damage to the brain of someone who abuses meth long-term is of great concern. The brain’s most affected areas are those that control memory, cognition, motor coordination, and the ability to feel, regulate, and express emotion. If you or someone you care about is struggling with meth addiction, please reach out for help. 

Contact The Right Step Houston Today for Help with Meth Abuse 

The Right Step Houston is a judgment-free zone where our sole intention is to provide the support and evidence-based treatment you need to return to health. Contact us to accompany you through your recovery and beyond, ensuring you the best chance of excellent outcomes. Submit this easy online form or call 1.844.768.0169. We are here to help. 

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