Methamphetamine, or crystal meth, is the main drug of choice for young people in America. It’s left a lot of young people with ruined lives and broken families. It’s a startlingly common addiction and is notoriously difficult to treat. The best chance of stopping an addiction is to catch it early. Learn how to spot the warning signs of meth addiction and you could potentially save someone’s life.
People who become addicted to crystal meth tend to have more energy in the beginning. It can come across as a mild version of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Alongside a feeling of more energy, the person eats less and refuses to stay still for long periods.
Now, this is easy to miss if the person is already very energetic. Noticing the subtle changes is hard enough, but even when the change is clear people just pass it off as a phase. This is the easiest of the warning signs of meth addiction to spot if the person is naturally quiet and calm.
While during the above state, sleeping habits change drastically. You might notice the person not sleeping well; sometimes only a couple of hours a night. Crystal meth doesn’t remove the symptoms of sleeplessness. They will still look really tired, but this doesn’t mean they stop being energetic.
To notice a meth addiction, the easiest way to spot it is to wait for the crash. According to the University of Maryland, Meth addiction is characterized by sustained periods of sleeplessness and excessive sleep. Teenage addictions normally go unnoticed as chaotic sleep patterns are seen as natural and quite common.
Crystal meth, especially good quality meth, is costly. One of the warning signs of meth addiction is financial troubles. The person will suddenly run out of money and decline invitations to parties, nights out, and other things they previously enjoyed doing. Again, it’s so often missed as it’s seen as a phase.
Financial problems become so common because they’ll do anything to get a hit of the drug. And with a dealer in easy reach there’s nothing holding them back from blowing all their money on crystal meth. In teenagers who don’t necessarily have their own incomes, you can notice it because they’ll either ask you for money continuously or get themselves into trouble with the law.
When people finally notice a problem, it’s too late because they’ve already gotten into debt and missed rent payments. Ask politely if there’s a problem, if you know someone who is suffering from financial issues.
Another warning sign of meth addiction is social problems. As the addiction begins to take hold, you start to withdraw naturally. It’s rarely an immediate thing. The person becomes more distant, prior to withdrawing completely. Noticing a change in their social behavior is the most obvious of the warning signs of meth addiction.
You might also find your teen or young person becoming more sexually promiscuous. This is because the drug changes the way the brain works. It adds more mental clarity and boosts confidence. Doctors have reported how it’s quite common for veteran meth addicts to contract Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD). The change in the mind causes them to have more unprotected sex.
If possible, try to take a look at the suspect’s teeth. Addictions which have worsened over time begin to take their tolls on the teeth and gum areas. It’s why you commonly find long term drug addicts with missing and severely discolored teeth. Your dentist can probably spot meth mouth in a teenager or other young person.