Man using meth with spoon and syringe

Physical Signs of Meth Use and Abuse

Crystal meth is one of the most debilitating and dangerous drugs available — and it’s also one of the most addictive. Methamphetamine use causes an intense surge of dopamine that is strong enough to keep someone high for up to 16 hours. The damage it does to the body is rapid, so if you’re concerned about a loved one, you must watch out for the following signs of meth use.

1. Erratic, Elevated Mood That Lasts Hours

Like cocaine, crystal meth, or methamphetamine, is a stimulant. It causes a massive influx of dopamine, more intense than any other drug. The result is rapid-onset euphoria followed by hours of enhanced mood and talkativeness.

2. Hypersexuality

Hypersexuality is a common sign of crystal meth abuse and addiction. Crystal methamphetamine drug use makes some people extremely promiscuous and dis-inhibited, which can be dangerous. A person using might be deeply ashamed or not remember their behavior when they’re sober.

3. Intense Paranoia and Irritability

The flip side of the euphoria side effects is that meth can cause anger, mood swings and paranoia. People who are high on meth have hallucinations and delusions that can get extremely scary. Even when the drug has worn off, these drug abuse symptoms can persist.

4. Rapid Decline in Dental Health

Meth can cause meth mouth, which involves severe gum disease and tooth decay. Over time, many people who are addicted to meth get teeth that are stained, rotten, crumbling and blackened — or that eventually fall out. The cause is likely a mixture of dry mouth and extended periods of poor dental hygiene as a result of mental health problems caused by the drug.

5. Unexplained Weight Loss

If someone you know is showing the above signs, and they’re showing signs of extreme weight loss, meth could be the culprit. As a stimulant, it speeds up a person’s heart rate, raises the body temperature and increases energy. Additionally, it’s an appetite suppressant, so people who use the drug regularly tend to have a loss of appetite.

6. Extreme Sweating

Profuse sweating is a common sign among people who are high on meth and those who are experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

7. Strange Jaw Movements

Stimulants like cocaine, methamphetamine and ecstasy make people lose control of their jaw. The effects of crystal meth are distinct from ecstasy because the latter is longer-lasting and less psychedelic. Crystal meth is likely to make someone aggressive, whereas this isn’t the case with MDMA.

8. Violent Behavior

Meth is associated with violence and aggressive behavior — and for good reason. Scientists believe meth lowers emotional insight, which significantly increases a person’s chance of becoming aggressive.

9. Anxiety and Habitual Face-Picking

Lots of meth users show skin sores because they pick their skin as a nervous tic in response to the intense anxiety caused by dopamine depletion. Some people who are addicted to meth report scratching and picking because the drugs make them feel as if bugs are crawling all over their bodies.

Get Help for Meth Addiction Today

If you or a loved one is struggling with a crystal meth habit, there are effective drug rehab treatment options. Call Calusa Recovery at 844-254-9664 to learn more about our men’s and women’s addiction treatment center today.