Determining if you or a loved one is struggling with meth addiction requires a thorough examination of daily life. As a highly addictive stimulant, meth is one of the most commonly abused substances in the United States. As stated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately 684,000 individuals in the United States reported having a methamphetamine use disorder in 2016 alone. 

In order to determine if you or a loved one is struggling with methamphetamine addiction, you will need to be able to identify the common signs of this addiction, as well as understand the dangers of meth abuse if left untreated. 

Signs of Methamphetamine Addiction 

Universal signs of addiction include isolation, secretive use, and personality changes, among others. Although meth addicts display these signs, there are indicators specific to methamphetamine use that suggest addiction has developed. These indicators are listed below. 

Facial Scarring 

Facial scarring occurs when a meth user begins to delusionally believe that there are bugs beneath the skin, causing them to pick or scratch the face or other areas of the body. Sores eventually develop and are unable to properly heal due to continued picking, resulting in scars or indentations upon the skin’s surface. 

Neglecting Responsibilities

Neglecting family, employment, finances, or other fundamental responsibilities is a strong indicator of addiction. Once addiction has developed, the only remaining responsibility in the mind of the user is obtaining more of their drug of choice. 

Change in Appearance

If an individual has lost a significant amount of weight, it is often a sign that meth addiction has developed since the substance is a powerful appetite suppressant. Being indifferent towards personal hygiene or grooming is also common among those battling this addiction. 

Tooth Decay 

An individual who has developed a methamphetamine addiction typically neglects oral hygiene. As an acidic substance, methamphetamine actively wears the teeth down while the meth high causes involuntary teeth grinding. The combination of these eventually causes severe tooth decay, breakage, and gum disease. 

Dangers of Meth Addiction

Methamphetamine addiction is a very serious disorder as it can be life-threatening when left untreated. According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, methamphetamine was the second-largest contributor to overdose deaths in the United States between May 2019 and May 2020.

When methamphetamine is ingested, it alters brain activity. With prolonged use, irreversible damage can be inflicted on the brain as well as other organ systems that rely on it to function. As stated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, methamphetamine use causes changes in the brain’s dopamine system that are associated with reduced coordination and impaired verbal learning, resulting in an increased risk among users of developing Parkinson’s disease, a disorder of the nerves that affects movement.

In the event that methamphetamine use is stopped, side effects of this addiction may remain. Since the substance significantly alters brain functioning, individuals can develop psychosis, schizophrenia, delusions, and visual or auditory hallucinations. While delusions and hallucinations typically cease over time, psychosis and schizophrenia are unlikely to be reversed once developed. 

Treatment for Methamphetamine Addiction

Addiction is a devastating disease and you do not have to fight it alone. The founders of Asheville Recovery Center, as well as many of our addiction therapists, have struggled with addiction and now enjoy life in recovery. They understand the struggles of addiction and how difficult it is to overcome on your own.

At Asheville Recovery Center, specialists have combined various therapies, treatments and 12-step approaches to develop an effective, hybrid model of treatment designed to fit every individual’s unique circumstances. If you feel that you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, our specialists are on standby and ready to help. Call (828) 518-6996 and speak with an addiction expert today so you can take the first step towards a rewarding life of sobriety.

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