Behavioral Signs of Crystal Meth Addiction

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

Changes in Appearance

People using crystal meth will start neglecting their hygiene and grooming. This will result in an unkempt or disheveled appearance. Crystal meth users may also pick obsessively at their skin, leaving visible sores.

Repetitive and Obsessive Behavior

Crystal meth abuse can often lead to repetitive and obsessive actions. These actions may be similar to those seen in individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder.


Blurred vision and sensitivity to light from crystal meth use can cause confused behavior. Crystal meth use can also lead to slower thought processes, and to users mixing up reality with fiction.

Reduced eating

Decreased appetite and skipping meals are often behavioral signs of crystal meth abuse. People addicted to meth often lose weight quite rapidly.

Mood swings

Crystal meth use creates high highs, and low lows as the levels of the drug vary in a person’s system. Mood swings can range from euphoria to anxiety to anger, and then to depression and exhaustion after the drug wears off.

Violent behavior

The effects of crystal meth can cause users to become incredibly hostile. This leads to violent outbursts towards others and themselves often with extreme consequences.

Reduced sleep

Stimulants cause those abusing crystal meth to experience insomnia or extreme wakefulness. This is especially true when used in a binge pattern that is common among crystal meth users. Users will go for long periods without sleep followed by a “crash” and a long period of excessive sleeping.

Long-term Behavioral Signs

Some signs of crystal meth use do not surface at the beginning but tend to build over time due to ongoing, chronic use. A few of these long-term behavioral signs are:

  • Punding

This is when a person repeats a seemingly pointless behavior over and over. Examples include taking mechanical objects apart and putting them back together or arranging and rearranging a collection of objects.

  • Psychosis

Crystal meth can cause psychosis and symptoms that are similar to schizophrenia. Crystal meth psychosis is characterized by paranoia and hallucinations that are both visual and auditory. This can include “crank bugs” which are a tactile hallucination of bugs crawling underneath the skin. Users will often scratch and pick obsessively at their skin.

  • Brain function disturbances

People who are addicted to crystal meth experience changes in the brain, making them behave differently. They have issues with cognitive thought and emotional response which can be very upsetting for their loved ones.

Some of these neurological changes can persist for months or years after stopping crystal meth use. However, with professional help, recovery from crystal meth addiction is possible. It should also be noted that along with behavioral, physical signs of crystal meth abuse will exist.

Get Help Today

If you believe that someone has a problem with crystal meth addiction, you should seek out an addiction specialist. Contact an addiction treatment center to get a clearer grasp on treatment options for crystal meth addiction.