Meth, aka Methamphetamine, is a vicious drug with an extremely high abuse potential. Abusing the drug forces the brain to produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter that induces feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. The release of dopamine is so strong that it makes the user want to consume more of the drug, leading to addiction.

Over time, the addiction takes over an addict’s life, and they find their relationships and work dwindling. While quitting meth altogether can take a lot of time and patience, it isn’t impossible. With the right treatment plans and friends and family support, addicts can learn to overcome their addiction and lead normal lives.

How to tell if someone is using meth

It is devastating to learn that a close family member or a friend has gone down the path of drug addiction. If you are in doubt of whether a person you know is addicted to meths, there are some signs that you can watch out for to make sure. Meth addicts usually show a range of physical symptoms that are easy to identify. Some of these meth addiction symptoms include:

  • Facial twitching
  • Quick eye movements
  • Increase in perspiration
  • Increased body temperature
  • Shaky body movements and tremors
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Tooth decay
  • Extremely excitable energy
  • Frequent scratching of the skin and hair
  • Facial sores
  • Fast and constant speech

While these symptoms are primarily seen in methamphetamine addicts, a point to be noted is that similar symptoms can present themselves in patients with anxiety or other mental disorders.

Along with these physical symptoms, addicts can show some behavioral signs as well. If you notice these behavioral symptoms in your loved ones, you may be able to assume their drug abuse. Some symptoms are:

  • Restlessness
  • Unpredictable and impulsive behavior
  • Violent or aggressive reactions
  • Nervousness and anxiety
  • Paranoia and baseless suspicion
  • Hearing or seeing things (hallucinations)
  • Insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Extreme fatigue

Helping your loved one deal with meth addiction

Talk to your loved ones.

Your doubt can only take you so far, the best way for you to make light of the situation is by having an honest conversation with your loved one. Not only will you be able to face the facts, but your loved one will also be able to realize his/her addiction and its impact on you. Here are some ways in which you can voice your concerns with love and compassion.

Research

Before you talk to your loved one, do some research on meth to get more insight on why s/he seems to be struggling with its abuse. Addiction is a disease that can alter the brain’s functions and, so, blaming your loved one for getting addicted to meth may not be a good idea. Highly addictive drugs, such as methamphetamine, can turn a social drug abuser to an addict in no time.

Since meth impacts the abuser’s brain, addicts may not be able to quit the drug altogether on their own. Understanding why meth makes someone crave the drug constantly can help you better understand your loved one’s struggle.

Talk

When you decide to talk to your loved one about the possible addiction to meth, make sure to find a place and time that is convenient for both of you and won’t have distractions while you’re talking it out.

It’s always a good idea to write beforehand about what you want to express to your loved one. This doesn’t mean that you would have to refer only to your notes while talking, but having a set idea can help you voice your concerns in an articulate manner. Because this is a difficult topic to talk about, make sure that you tell them how much you care about them and how their behavior affects you.

Listen

Addicts may not open up to you right away and deny their addiction. However, when they decide to open up to you, make sure you listen to them without judgment and give them your complete and unbiased attention.

Addicts abuse drugs for any number of reasons that varies between person to person. As such, you can’t know for sure what triggered your loved one’s addiction, until they tell you themselves. After you’ve voiced your concerns, let them share their side of the story, and listen. Understanding where the behavior is coming from could be vital in deciding a treatment course for their recovery.

Take help from healthcare professionals.

With any drug, sobriety can be challenging and must be undertaken in a safe and secure place with certified healthcare professionals to take care of addicts. Finding a treatment center can be crucial in helping your loved one deal with their addiction and get better.

When they have acknowledged their substance abuse, you could help them find a suitable drug rehab and drive them there to start the recovery process. You could also help find the support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous and Crystal Meth Anonymous to find solace in group therapy.

Be there for them

When they make a conscious decision to stop, addicts will often face challenges with the withdrawal of the drug, constant cravings, and may relapse and fall back to their old habits sometimes. These are normal circumstances in an addict’s recovery and, while it may be hard to see them relapse, you should provide the support they need during hard times.

Having a strong group of friends and family who care about your recovery and well-being can be an important motivation factor for addicts to get better. Always remind your loved one how much you love them and how proud you are of them for trying to overcome a disease.

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "How to Deal With Meth Addiction," in Medicalopedia, September 1, 2020, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/9224/how-to-deal-with-meth-addiction/].