Although your friend assured you that they stopped using meth, you may have started seeing some noticeable meth-abuse related symptoms such as scratches or sores on their skin. You want to jump right in and help, but you’re not sure whether they need it. You may start to wonder, “did I misread some signs, or is it up to me to broach the subject?”
Meth is a powerful and highly addictive stimulant drug that can cause severe physical, behavioral, and psychological effects. With continued usage, a person’s life may completely fall apart. If you know the signs and symptoms of meth use, you can get appropriate help for your friend before their use spirals out of control.
Here are few warning signs to look out for:
Changes in physical appearance
One of the surest ways of detecting meth use is looking for changes in physical appearance. Meth causes drastic physical signs in people even when they’re exposed to it within a short period. Common symptoms include the meth mouth (inflamed gums and rotting teeth), scratches and sores on the skin, extreme weight loss, hair falling out or thinning, swollen eyes, track marks, and burns on the lips or fingers.
If your friend has been exposed to meth for a more extended period, the physical signs will be severe.
Changes in their behavior
Meth causes extreme changes in people’s behavior, especially those who are dependent on it. Common behavioral changes include insomnia, lack of appetite, increased lying, stealing, social withdrawal, and taking dangerous risks. Others may start losing interest in the activities they used to like before.
When using meth, your friend may go without sleep for days and then crash and sleep continuously. During the waking period, they may develop what is known as tweaking. Tweaking occurs when they experience extreme mood changes due to anxiety or insomnia for an extended period — usually three or more days. It happens because they’re coming down from meth overdo and are unable to attain their desired high. This causes them to lack sleep for several days and become irritable, anxious, or paranoid.
It is also best to watch out for mood changes such as irritability, anxiety, mood swings, hyperactivity, and paranoia. Your friend can switch from being overly active to being depressed. If you notice that their mood is off or seem kind of irritable, it may be a sign of meth use. As they continue using the drug, their mood changes may become worse and more rampant.
Presence of Paraphernalia
Meth use requires different types of equipment, including needles for injection, glass pipers, little baggies, spoons for smoking, rolled-up dollar notes, and empty pens for snorting. It would help if you always searched for these in their belongings because they sometimes try to hide them.
If you find any of this paraphernalia in their belongings, it is time you look for help. In most cases, you can never go wrong by confronting the user.
Problems at home and work
Another way of determining if your friend is back on meth is by paying attention to their everyday life. Since meth is so addictive, your friend will gradually start prioritizing its usage over anything else. This may cause their job to suffer; they might get fired, face legal problems, or start struggling financially.
If they’re in school, their performance may start to plummet, get into fights or frequently face a string of disciplinary actions for misconduct. They can even drop out of school. Getting them help immediately can help salvage these critical areas of their lives before it becomes too late.
What to do if most of the signs check
Rather than waiting for it to blow up, it would be best if you address the issue, considering your friend’s wellbeing is on the line. Try to overcome your fear; doing so could potentially be lifesaving.
You can confront them peacefully and express your concerns. However, take care not to talk to them while they’re coming down from the drug or still intoxicated. The conversation will not be productive. Also, considering the irrationality and violent behavior of people on meth, you can jeopardize your safety. Similarly, try not to be critical, judgmental, or use an aggressive tone. Speak with compassion. Try to have an open mind to make your friend feel respected and loved.
Dealing with a friend on drug use can at times be nerve-wracking. It’s okay to feel anxious and overwhelmed because it shows that you care. However, you don’t have to go through the process alone. Seek a competent and well-experienced professional to guide you through the process. Call us today at (833) 922-2653.