Get 24/7 Help Now. 800-654-0987

Behavioral Signs of Crystal Methamphetamine Addiction

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Crystal methamphetamine addiction causes many health issues for a person, both physical and psychological. Because of this there are many behavioral signs of crystal methamphetamine addiction. If you believe someone you know is abusing crystal meth, look for these signs and seek treatment for the addiction as soon as possible.

Effects of Crystal Meth

Signs of Crystal Methamphetamine Addiction

Confusion is a common sign of crystal methamphetamine abuse.

Crystal meth is smoked from a pipe and abused recreationally. This often makes the effects of the drug more powerful and potent, as well as making the drug cheaper overall. Frequent crystal meth abuse has strong effects on the brain so that a person’s behavior changes severely even when he or she is not currently on the drug.

As stated by the NIDA, “methamphetamine increases the amount of the neurotransmitter dopamine, leading to high levels of that chemical in the brain.” This gives a person a rush of pleasure and euphoria, which many people become addicted to. This causes “chemical and molecular changes in the brain” in the longterm, leading to a reduction in a person’s verbal abilities and a slowing of the motor skills. These changes have a strong effect on a person’s behavior, as well as others on the brain.

Initial Behavioral Signs

Crystal meth abuse and addiction cause behavioral changes that range from mild to intense, depending on the length of the addiction and abuse. Here are some of the initial behavioral signs of crystal methamphetamine abuse:


This is caused by many of the physical side effects that crystal meth has on the body, including: “light sensitivity” and blurred vision (NIDA).

Reduced eating

A person abusing crystal meth will experience a loss of appetite and weight loss.

Mood swings

Because crystal meth is a stimulant, people often experience high highs and low lows. Mood swings can range from anxiety to erratic and unpredictable behavior to exhaustion after the drug wears off.

Violent behavior

Crystal meth abuse causes individuals to become incredibly hostile. This leads to violent outbursts and often extreme consequences.

Reduced sleep

Stimulants cause those abusing them to experience insomnia or extreme wakefulness. Crystal meth causes this as well, ending in a crash period after the drug leaves the person’s system.

Abusing crystal meth causes a person to act very erratically. The person can become a danger to him or herself or to others.

Long-term Behavioral Signs

Crystal methamphetamine causes extreme long-term behavioral signs as well that usually include the above signs in addition to:


Crystal meth causes psychosis and symptoms that are similar to schizophrenia. Crystal meth psychosis is characterized by paranoia and hallucinations that are both visual and auditory, including “crank bugs” which are a tactile hallucination of bugs crawling underneath the skin (CESAR). A person will often pick at his or her skin because of this, causing sores.

Brain function disturbances

People who use crystal meth chronically experience changes in the brain, making them behave differently than they did before the drug abuse. They have issues with cognitive thought and emotional response which is very difficult for the people who know them well.

According to the NIDA, “some of these brain changes persist long after methamphetamine use is stopped.” If you see many of these behavioral signs of crystal methamphetamine addiction from someone you love, seek treatment immediately.