How to Spot the Signs of Meth Addiction
Knowing how to spot the signs of meth addiction can help family and friends intervene on behalf of a loved one with a physical and psychological dependence on meth. Signs of meth use include dilated pupils, skin sores, and delusions.
Chronic meth use produces distinctive side effects that are recognizable by the physical characteristics and behaviors of someone who is addicted to using meth.
The initial signs of use may be less obvious but as the addiction progresses, the physical and mental toll of chronic meth abuse will become more apparent.
Learn more about the effects of a meth high below.
What Are The Signs Of Active Meth Use And Addiction?
Due to stimulation of the central nervous system and stress to other vital organs, meth side effects can present physical and behavioral signs indicative of recent or chronic use.
With long-term use, signs will become more evident and problematic, causing various health complications and conditions that are characteristic of meth addiction.
Signs Of Short-Term Meth Use
Early signs of meth addiction are recognizable but not as severe as the effects of prolonged use.
Signs of short-term use may present as atypical behaviors and physical side effects.
Short-term side effects and signs of early meth addiction include:
- dilated pupils
- fast breathing
- high blood pressure
- elevated heart rate
- high body temperature
- decreased appetite
- effects of meth on sleep, such as unusual sleep patterns
Signs Of Long-Term Meth Use
With the progression of meth abuse and addiction, mental and physical health will show signs of rapid deterioration as the side effects become increasingly severe and harmful.
Signs and symptoms of meth addiction include:
- severe weight loss from meth use
- poor hygiene
- meth skin sores
- tooth decay (“meth mouth”)
- volatile mood swings
- violent behavior
- meth psychosis
Other signs of meth addiction include evidence of meth paraphernalia.
Signs And Symptoms Of Meth Withdrawal
Meth withdrawal symptoms vary depending on how long someone has been dependent on meth, and the state of their physical and mental health.
Common withdrawal symptoms following abrupt cessation of meth use are:
- changes in appetite
- muscle spasms and pain
- body aches
- intense cravings
- cognitive issues
For cases of long-term meth use and severe dependence, it may be necessary for someone to go through meth detox to monitor severe withdrawal symptoms.
Dehydration and psychosis are the most concerning symptoms that can put someone’s health at high risk if they are not managed with medication and regular observation.
The onset of acute meth withdrawal symptoms can begin within 24 hours of last use and last for up to 50 hours.
Prolonged meth addiction can result in post-acute withdrawal syndrome, causing symptoms such as depression and cravings to continue for months after initial detox.
Finding Addiction Treatment In Massachusetts
Meth addiction is a severe substance use disorder with long-term effects that can negatively impact a person’s life, as well as their loved ones and family members.
To learn more about treatment options for a loved one who is showing signs of meth addiction, call our helpline to speak with one of our specialists.
Written by Spring Hill Editorial Team
©2023 Spring Hill Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved
This page does not provide medical advice.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse – What is Methamphetamine https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/methamphetamine/what-methamphetamine
- SAMHSA – Know the Risks of Meth https://www.samhsa.gov/meth
- WebMD – Physical Signs of Meth Use https://www.webmd.com/connect-to-care/addiction-treatment-recovery/methamphetamine/physical-signs-of-meth-use
- WebMD – Methamphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms, and How You Can Get Help https://www.webmd.com/connect-to-care/addiction-treatment-recovery/methamphetamine/meth-withdrawal-help